Testing pheno levels BEFORE med is started??

General questions about tests and procedures for diagnosing canine epilepsy. Please note that we cannot make a diagnosis or interpret specific test results via this forum - please consult your veterinarian for specific advice for your individual pet.

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Testing pheno levels BEFORE med is started??

Post by DoodleBug » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:02 pm

Hello all! My name is Jessica and i am new to this forum. My 8 y/o MN American Pit Bull Terrier had his first seizure that i am aware of at 4am on January 25 of this year. Being that it was the only one we knew of i opted to hold off on starting any meds just yet. However he had a 2nd seizure at 6am on February 26 and again this morning (February 27) at 3am. My vet (who i also work for) had me do a phenobarb titer this morning BEFORE starting him on the medication. In my 12 years of being a vet tech i have never had one of my doctors to a pheno titer before starting meds, its always been at least 2 weeks later. When i asked him he really didnt give me much of an answer. But....i figure it isnt going to physically hurt my boy to just go ahead and draw some blood. If anyone has any answers it would be great!! If there is any info i can further provide i would be happy to :)

Thank You,


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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:08 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Testing pheno levels BEFORE med is started??

Post by Carolyn » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:29 pm

No offense to your vet but how much experience does your vet have with seizure dogs? You would be suprised how many don't know what to do.
Do you see a lot of them coming in to that office?
Kiya 11yr Shiloh Shepherd
PB 60mg am 90mg pm, 1teas kbr 1200mg, turmeric paste
1000mg milkthistle bid
First seizure 11/27/05
Last seizure 5/21/15

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Re: Testing pheno levels BEFORE med is started??

Post by seebr5640 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:43 am

Hi Jessica,

That's interesting. I noticed when the lab does the Pb therapeutic levels test on Sampson, that it includes the ALT as well. Maybe that is what your vet is checking.

But I do have one suggestion before anyone starts their pet on any seizure medications. And that is to do a CBC (completed, not just organ profile) and Chemistry test.

I have found that seizure drugs can lower or raise numbers on the tests mention above.

And by doing these tests prior to starting seizure medications, can help you see what your dog’s normal numbers are.

I always get a copy of the lab results from the vet.

Barb & epi-Sampson (39 lb Sheltie)
Pb 64.8 BID
KBr 1.2 ml of 250 mg BID
Zonisamide 300 mg BID
Keppra (generic) 250 mg TID
Denamarin QD
Taurine 500 mg BID
Wellness Core Reduced Fat TID

“They too, are created by the same loving hand of God which Created us...It is our duty to Protect Them and to promote their well-being.”—Mother Teresa

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