How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask NancyH Your Own Question
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
Type Your Dog Question Here...
NancyH is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

dog: take phene and potassium bromide for seizures..meds

Customer Question

My dog take phene and potassium bromide for seizures. Are there other more effect meds?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  JoAnne replied 11 years ago.

Hope this helps!

Phenobarbital is the most commonly used medication to treat epilepsy in the dog. If given in the lowest dose required to keep the seizures to a minimum, Phenobarbital can be a very useful medication with minimal side effects. Many dogs being given Phenobarbital are living very normal and happy lives. Some pet owners are adverse to giving their dog a “drug” for long periods and look at the situation of having a pet that is “drugged-up all the time” to be unacceptable. Most veterinarians agree, too, that if the dog requires such high levels of medication that it acts and feels “drugged-up” that this scenario is unacceptable. Fortunately, the majority of cases will be helped by medication with little, if any, side effects. The “side effect” we are looking for is the elimination for those awful seizures!

A drug called Dilantin (phenytoin) has been used for years but in general has been a secondary choice after Phenobarbital.

In some cases Valium may be used when Phenobarbital cannot be utilized or when a combination of medications are prescribed.

Potassium bromide (KBr) is being used in some dogs where response to traditional medication is unsatisfactory. Potassium Bromide had been used to treat human epileptics for over 100 years. It may be the anticonvulsant of choice for dogs with liver disease.   Sometimes veterinarians will prescribe KBr along with Phenobarbital for patients who do not respond well to Phenobarbital alone. KBr is not easily obtained and may require a pharmacist to acquire and formulate the proper dose.

Just as the brain must be in good balance with the rest of the body, so should we look for a balance in the treatment of epilepsy. Too much medication is not good because we don’t want the pet to have dulled senses; reoccurring seizure episodes are unacceptable so we may need to use a little medication.

Any dog receiving anti-epileptic medication should have periodic blood samples evaluated for blood chemistry balance. Since many medications are degraded and eliminated from the body via the liver, an assessment of liver function is a priority.


If you happen to witness a seizure, there is not much you can do at home to get it under control. Try to remove any objects from the immediate area that the dog may bump in to and injure itself.   Do not try to open the dog’s mouth to pull the tongue out. Although it can happen, it is extremely rare for the dog to “swallow the tongue” and obstruct the airway. Plus the strength of the dog’s jaws will probably prohibit any attempts you make to open the mouth to inspect the area.

NOTE: If your dog is actually choking on something and is consciously gagging, hacking, salivating and in trouble breathing, you may need to intervene. However this discussion concerns how to deal with the epileptic patient displaying seizure activity as described previously. Visible choking and gagging may require that you inspect the mouth for objects.

It may be helpful to gently talk to the dog and to try to make the dog comfortable during the seizure activity by rolling it onto a blanket or padded mat. If you try to pick the dog up you will need to be very careful because the dog will be thrashing about and you very likely will lose your grip and drop the dog. Try to turn off any loud music or other stimuli such as bright lights, and escort any screaming children away from the area. They can watch but they need to be silent. “Do something!! Do something!! ” is the high pitched phrase most often heard during one of these episodes. However, about all you can do is wait.

The most troubling thing you may witness occurs just before a Grande Mal seizure is over. The dog stiffens up, ceases to breathe, and just when you think death has visited the dog, it relaxes and begins to breathe again. In fact what has happened is that the interrupted breathing and resulting carbon dioxide buildup depresses nerve function and terminates the electrical chaos in the brain... and the seizure is turned off. Another marvel of survival! It is as if the dog’s survival center says “Seizure, you want to lock me up in a big muscle spasm and suffocate me? OK. I’ll show you. When I’m unable to breathe the brain will be starved for oxygen and shut down. When those nerve cells that triggered the seizure become deprived of oxygen they'll shut down, too... and the seizure will stop!"

The fact is that EPILEPSY, although truly a challenging condition in the dog, in most cases can be dealt with successfully. Cured... no; managed... yes. Just as each and every pet is a unique individual, every case of epilepsy should be dealt with on an individual basis. Some dogs will never have a seizure, some will have a single seizure and never another, some will have predictable intervals between chronic seizures, and some will have untreatable, repeating and debilitating epilepsy. No two cases will be exactly alike!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joann Canafax's Post: Thank Yo
Expert:  Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport replied 11 years ago.

Since you asked no follow-up questions -- may we assume that Joann
Canafax's answer met your needs? If so, would you please honor
her effort (and fullfil your agreement) by Clicking 'Accept' in her
answer post? NOTE: You can stgill do this, even though your Question is now Closed.

If you need more assistance, please post again.

Thanks in advance.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oreport's Post: The information was nothing I didnt already know.
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
This site is an excellent one on epilepsy and varying treatments including some nutritional things you can do etc.
Click on the table of contents to get to the articles list.
They have articles on other meds used for epilepsy including Zonisamide, Felbamate, Primidonem, Gabapentin and other medications and discount pharmacies etc. Plus info on triggers and avoiding the things that can cause seizures etc. Its really a wealth of information for you.
Hope this helps you!

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Previous | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL

Meet The Experts:

  • Dr. Gary

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Joan's Avatar


    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • Candy's Avatar


    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • 's Avatar

    Satisfied Customers:

  • Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew


    Satisfied Customers:

    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery