Phenobarbital and potassium bromide




Can you tell me if it is harmful to give Phenobarbital to a dog with LS or MVD
who has/had seizures???  



From: Karen M Tobias/SACS/VET/UTIA
Date: 05/17/2007 01:30PM
Subject: Re: Question

Phenobarbital and potassium bromide can be used in dogs with shunts.  Seizures have been reported in 2-18% of dogs within 4 days after shunt surgery, and we don't know why this happens.  At some practices with high seizure rates after surgery, dogs with shunts are automatically put on phenobarbital or potassium bromide for at least 2 weeks before the surgery in the hopes that the drug will prevent seizures.  The dogs are usually kept on the drug for at least 3 months after.  We occasionally see Yorkies with shunts that also have epilepsy (or Yorkies with MVD that have epilepsy).  These dogs require a medication like phenobarbital- possibly for life.  Because phenobarbital can affect liver function, we check blood levels frequently to make sure the dog is on the right dose for its level of liver function.  

Dr. Tobias



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