Keppra ups & downs?

This is the place for general questions about drugs, long-term treatment concerns, possible influences of other drugs (such as antibiotics, heartworm preventatives, or anesthetics) for epileptic dogs, and other concerns. Please note that we cannot make specific recommendations for individual dogs - for this, please consult your veterinarian.

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Keppra ups & downs?

Post by midousuji » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:34 am

hi everyone, i am brand new to this forum. thank you for all the information and tips youve already posted here, you have all already helped me immensely! i hope i can be of help to someone too.

i have an australian cattle dog, 4 or 5 years old, a rescue named hal. we adopted him knowing he had epilepsy after hearing his previous owners refused to medicate him. the shelter had him on phenobarbital which was very effective, i forget the dose now but when it was taken on time he was totally free of seizures. he was on it for about 8 months before we took him in for a routine liver panel and all his levels had spiked up into the danger zone. the vet recommended we add keppra and decrease his phenobarb dose asap.

now he is on 375 mg of keppra, every 8 hours, with no phenobarb. the vet felt that hal's levels and other symptoms he was presenting (various early signs of liver failure) warranted a total split from everything but the keppra. his levels are back to normal after a few months of this and a liver cleanse diet, but the keppra seems less effective at controlling his seizures?

he is having a seizure at strange, random times of the day, maybe one every week or if he's lucky he can make it two weeks. i think it's because of the size of the pill. they are big pills, ones that i would definitely be uncomfortable swallowing, and i'm twice his size! although he only takes half a pill every eight hours he has started despising the taste. we use pill pockets, which he used to scarf down without even chewing, but now he chews them up, spits them out, and eats around the keppra. More often than not he has been crunching up the pill as he eats it, which i know causes a foul taste and makes the medication less effective. i have had to shove the tiny crushed bits of keppra down his throat several times in the past month. i started cutting the half pills into quarters, which has made it easier for him to take, but it causes breakthrough seizures because leppra isn't made to be cut up in the first place.

my question is: does anybody else's dog have issue with the size of keppra pills, or chew pills that are not meant to be chewed? what can i do to encourage him to take his pill without mangling it, spitting it out, chewing it to dust, or chomping down on it and breaking it up in his mouth? is anyone else's dog solely on keppra and still having breakthrough seizures? hal seems to have only recently discovered that he hates the taste of the pill, so i'm hoping that if i can find a solution fast, he won't continue to think of pill time as something to dread, which i know is how he thinks of it now.

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Re: Keppra ups & downs?

Post by acwharton7 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:23 pm

Are you using XR keppra? If not, you should be able to cut/break pills without problem. The 500 mg Lev tabs we get from Walmart are scored- which means you can cut in half. We actually cut in quarters and feel like they absorb better that way. When we 1st transitioned to the 500 mg tabs we didn't cut, but gave whole (in pill pocket). Shortly thereafter he had an uptic in seizures. Smaller pill segments have worked better for us and Nubb.

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