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My Sandy is a three year old Standard Poodle. A couple of months ago she started having significant seizures. Vet put her on phenobarbital but it did not stop them. Any ideas or suggestions?
 

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This happened to my choc spoo back in 2009. She was 8 when they started. Idiopathic seizures - (as in they had no clue why!) Our vet said that the phenobarbital was the first line of attack and when that stopped working, they'd put her on the potassium bromide also (or instead, I can't remember).
It worked for almost a year and then we added the bromide but she only lasted a few months after that.

Hopefully they can find out why yours is having the seizures.
Three is so young!!
Doing a quick search, there's a lot of new meds on the market at the moment.
I have no idea how well they work tho.

As a side note, the phenobarbital makes them feel hungry all the time.
I used to find Holly's head in my kids' cereal box if I left the cupboard open!
So I had to portion out her food and made sure my kids (who were young at the time) didn't walk around with food at her eye level.

Good luck and I really hopes something works for her.
Toni
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This happened to my choc spoo back in 2009. She was 8 when they started. Idiopathic seizures - (as in they had no clue why!) Our vet said that the phenobarbital was the first line of attack and when that stopped working, they'd put her on the potassium bromide also (or instead, I can't remember).
It worked for almost a year and then we added the bromide but she only lasted a few months after that.

Hopefully they can find out why yours is having the seizures.
Three is so young!!
Doing a quick search, there's a lot of new meds on the market at the moment.
I have no idea how well they work tho.

As a side note, the phenobarbital makes them feel hungry all the time.
I used to find Holly's head in my kids' cereal box if I left the cupboard open!
So I had to portion out her food and made sure my kids (who were young at the time) didn't walk around with food at her eye level.

Good luck and I really hopes something works for her.
Toni
Thank you so much for your response. Sandy doesn't have any excessive eating habits but drinks water like its going out of style. I am considering doing some research on her food. I am hesitant to put her on more medication since the phenobarbital didn't work.
 

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Buck has been seizure free, since he was prescribed Keppra, the generic is called Levetiracetam, extended release. We took him to a neurologist after his third seizure. We opted not to get the scan, since the specialist thought it was likely idiopathic. His medicine is pricey, because it’s human grade. There have been some months when it’s been hard to source. I patted myself on the back for having pet insurance. His regular vet can manage his care and consult for free with the neurologist, regarding medication as necessary.

My husband and I were petrified during and after the three seizures he experienced. Hard to witness, and a danger to your poodle and to you. It took me months of him being on the medication, seizure free before we could relax.
 

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It's great that they have new meds out there that work.
The seizures are so heart breaking to witness.
After being put through the ringer with our two choc spoos, we too will always have pet insurance!!
 

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Xhiker, I'm not sure if just a change of food will stop seizures. Maybe a change while on other anti-seizure meds?
I know for humans, it's important for seizures not to become frequent or the brain sees them as being normal and then it's hard to stop them with anything. Maybe your vet can recc either a different med or a specialist like Mfmst went to.
Good luck and I hope you find something that works!!
 

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I am a proponent of seeing specialists after dermatology issues with my previous breed and then these frightening seizures. They get to the root of the problem quickly and know all of the best meds, tests and other therapeutics. Cutting edge, God bless them!
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this. Seizures are so scary to witness! A veterinary neurologist would very likely be your best bet, if your family vet does not feel comfortable treating breakthrough seizures (seizures that occur while on anti-epileptic medication - phenobarbital). Like others have mentioned, there are more options out there if the phenobarbital is not doing an adequate job of preventing seizures. I know you are worried about giving Sandy even more medication, but unfortunately it is not uncommon for phenobarbital alone to not be effective. Your vet should be prioritizing balancing a reduction in seizure frequency with any side effects you may see, and many dogs are able to live happy lives on multiple anti-seizure medications.

I would recommend calling your family vet and letting them know that Sandy is still experiencing seizures while on the medication. At that time, if you're interested, you can ask for a referral to a neurologist. A neurologist will likely be more comfortable using multiple anti-seizure drugs. They can also recommend testing to rule-out causes of seizures. This would likely be in the form of an MRI, which is a form of imaging that will look closely at the brain, and a sampling of the spinal fluid for any signs of infection.

I hope that you are able to find some answers for Sandy! Definitely keep us all updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Buck has been seizure free, since he was prescribed Keppra, the generic is called Levetiracetam, extended release. We took him to a neurologist after his third seizure. We opted not to get the scan, since the specialist thought it was likely idiopathic. His medicine is pricey, because it’s human grade. There have been some months when it’s been hard to source. I patted myself on the back for having pet insurance. His regular vet can manage his care and consult for free with the neurologist, regarding medication as necessary.

My husband and I were petrified during and after the three seizures he experienced. Hard to witness, and a danger to your poodle and to you. It took me months of him being on the medication, seizure free before we could relax.
Thank you for your response. Even the phenobarbital is pricey because we are seniors and live on Social Security only. I share your anxiety.
Every time Sandy just even flinches, I fear a seizure is coming on . She is 54 pounds of wonderful .
 

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Xhiker, I'm not sure if just a change of food will stop seizures. Maybe a change while on other anti-seizure meds?
I know for humans, it's important for seizures not to become frequent or the brain sees them as being normal and then it's hard to stop them with anything. Maybe your vet can recc either a different med or a specialist like Mfmst went to.
Good luck and I hope you find something that works!!
Thank you. We are trying to figure out what our next step in her cure will be. She is having a seizure every 3 to 5 weeks even while on meds.
 

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Thank you. We are trying to figure out what our next step in her cure will be. She is having a seizure every 3 to 5 weeks even while on meds.
Xhiker, I don't remember anymore how often Holly had her seizures but if memory serves, once every 3-5 weeks sounds not too bad to me. Maybe your vet can adjust the levels of her meds?
Also, have you looked into seeing if there are any orgs near you or on the internet that might be able to help you with costs?
I'm sure a lot of them are probably stretched at the moment but you never know.
I'd play the senior card too, you've earned it!!
Maybe someone on here might know of one.
You should ask your vet also (and get a number for a neurologist and ask them if they have any programs that might help seniors pay also).

The vet clinic I worked at many, many moons ago, used to have a fund for people who couldn't afford treatment, so it's worth a shot!
At worst, they'll just say no, but you never know!!
 

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Xhiker, I don't remember anymore how often Holly had her seizures but if memory serves, once every 3-5 weeks sounds not too bad to me. Maybe your vet can adjust the levels of her meds?
Also, have you looked into seeing if there are any orgs near you or on the internet that might be able to help you with costs?
I'm sure a lot of them are probably stretched at the moment but you never know.
I'd play the senior card too, you've earned it!!
Maybe someone on here might know of one.
You should ask your vet also (and get a number for a neurologist and ask them if they have any programs that might help seniors pay also).

The vet clinic I worked at many, many moons ago, used to have a fund for people who couldn't afford treatment, so it's worth a shot!
At worst, they'll just say no, but you never know!!
Thank you so much. Oklahoma is a poor state and there just isn't much help available, especially for pets. We are going to try adjusting her meds if the vet will agree to it. In any case, I love her and will take care of her.
 

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Thank you so much. Oklahoma is a poor state and there just isn't much help available, especially for pets. We are going to try adjusting her meds if the vet will agree to it. In any case, I love her and will take care of her.
Thank you for loving her. It sucks so much that she has gotten sick. She's a lucky pup to have you in her corner.
Do look online at orgs that offer help tho. You might get lucky with a few searches and how wonderful would that be?!!
Worst outcome would be that you've wasted a few evenings of time looking..🤞
💕
 

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We started on this expensive, three years effective route, thanks to my husband. He was listening to a radio program on our local NPR network featuring vet specialists. There was a neurologist who said that each seizure was impactful. Our regular vet gave us the “couple of seizures in a month metric”, which Buck had not met, as being cause to seek a specialist. We went with NPR:)
 

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My dog turned out to have severe reactions to Frontline flea and tick formulas. It was violent seizures. This happened about a week following every application for almost 3 years. There was actually was a class action suite against Frontline which I joined. Some dogs had even died. I am now extremely cautious with not absolutely mandatory preventatives, and vaccines, and with any flea and tick remedies. So basically I only do rabies, and using a titer test instead both for that and other vaccines.

I feed my dog absolutely top of the line nutrition, so a raw meat and food diet, organic as much as possible, etc. For organs like raw liver and kidney, only totally organic, straight from the farmer.

The last seven years we used zero flea and tick preventatives, but he had zero ticks or fleas, even though neighbors dogs, using flea and tick formulas, and going to the same places in our dense woods up here in the UP, had many tick problems. The only difference I can see is his diet.

Please look at anything you are giving your dog, or using environmentally, that is not totally organic. Even things like detergents, laundry softeners (I now use white vinegar only), hair rinses, floor cleaners, etc.

Best of luck!!!

PS: Vets tried to poo-poo the flea and tick preventive problem, and tried to get me to feed him kibble, which made him extremely ill. They do not know everything!

Also, my Spoo has only had one seizure in 7 years since I became so cautious. That seizure was in a movie that had many riffle shootings. He had a bad reaction to fireworks, which is my fault as I had him at a display when he was about 6 months old where one went off wrong and went past his ear singing it. So the riffle sounded like fireworks. Otherwise there have been zero seizures.
 

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Thank you for loving her. It sucks so much that she has gotten sick. She's a lucky pup to have you in her corner.
Do look online at orgs that offer help tho. You might get lucky with a few searches and how wonderful would that be?!!
Worst outcome would be that you've wasted a few evenings of time looking..🤞
💕
Thank you. I will search.
 
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