Special Diet for Dog Taking Phenobarbitol

My Chihuahua has seizures and is on Phenobarbitol. Are there supplements I can give her to help her kidneys and liver from having to take this medication? What about special food? I want her to live the healthiest, happiest life she can have. Thanks.


By carrie2216 from CA

December 14, 20100 found this helpful

Carrie. The best way to stay ahead of health (organ) issues caused by long term Pheno usage is to keep your pet on a routine blood testing schedule as recommended by your vet. As I understand, the tests can determine most organ problems (in which case the dosage of Pheno may be adjusted) and will also make sure the Pheno is still in the "Therapeutic Range" necessary to help with seizures.

A big, important question, here: Is the Pheno eliminating the seizures or does your dog still have seizures? If she is still having seizures, they are called "Breakthrough Seizures" (breaking through the Pheno) and are a HUGE red flag telling you that the current dosage of Pheno is not working. At this time you might need to consider adding Potassium Bromide to her medications. Talk to your vet immediately after a "breakthrough seizure". Not adjusting her medications as soon as possible will lead to more and more seizures, and could ultimately lead to what is known as a "Status" episode. A "status" episode is a series of back to back to back continuous seizures and can lead to death without medical intervention.

Unrelated to organ health, but directly related to seizures, studies have shown that Omega 3 fish oil tablets are beneficial in limiting seizures. Again, talk to your vet about the appropriate dosage for your dog.

We have a pet with a seizure history and have done a lot of research on this topic. Took us over two years, and at least two near death experiences before we came up with a plan of action that saved his life. Since the causes of seizures can vary from a mere ear infection to a bona-fide case of epilepsy the solutions are as individual as stars in the sky. My best suggestion is to keep a good close relationship with your girl's vet and keep trying. Sometimes 'ya get lucky. - Knock on wood, but our fur boy has been seizure free for almost two years. :-) Wishing you the best of luck.

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December 14, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you so much for this advice Cindy. It came at a perfect time, as my dog had not had a breakthrough seizure until strangely enough, today. I will be contacting my vet first thing in the morning.

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December 15, 20100 found this helpful

Good luck, Carrie. Let me know how things turn out. Cheering for you and your fur gal!

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December 15, 20100 found this helpful

My cat began having seizures at 18 months. The Vet after many tests said it was ideopathic epilepsy (they dont know what causes it) Medication did not work for Tim. after reading all I could on epilepsy I began to feed him a very high protein, low carb raw diet. (I found the recipe on the internet)It was similar to the ketogenic diet used for humans, and close to a natural diet for cats. It worked. I tweaked the diet many times. He is nearly seizure free (3 years) and unfazed by a seizure when it does happen. He takes no medication. My new vet is supportive and tells me that many vets are trying diet for seizure control for dogs. I dont know what recipe is used for dogs. Keep looking for a vet that will support you in looking for answers. Sometimes the answer is a combination of things. Dont give up and good luck!

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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

We had a female GSD who had her first seizure at 9 months and was also on pheno on and off for the rest of her life; she also had idiopathic epilepsy, with the worst seizures between 9 months and a year and a half and then only very occasionally for the next fourteen years. ( She lived to be almost 16 and didn't pass from liver or kidney issues).

Our vet at the time told us this: when pheno is started, your vet should take bloodwork and bile acid tests no longer than two weeks after beginning treatment to make sure the levels of the meds are not excessive. After that, both tests should be done every six months. Chemistry panels for liver enzymes ( ALT, GCT and Alkaline) should also be done ASAP after starting meds--within a week and thereafter every 4 months.

If your vet is doing that, he/she should be able to keep a very good handle on whether to proceed with the pheno or switch your dog over to other meds if levels are high and would then pose a risk of liver/kidney damage.

In other words, if the vet is vigliant, pheno damage stops before it even starts. If it's a "prescribe and whatever" situation, I'd look at another vet.

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