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Ask Candy Your Own Question
Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11612
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My 5 yr old beagle has been having a tough time of it lately.

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My 5 yr old beagle has been having a tough time of it lately. He was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was two but didn't have to go on medication until last year when his seizures increased and his behavior changed. He also started to have problems with his dog food and began to swell up making the vet think he was allergic or had inflammatory bowel disease. We changed his food, he seemed to be getting better, but then he started gaining a lot of weight, was drinking a lot, and peeing more than normal. His belly is now huge and he eats everything he can get a hold of.
Could we be wrong about the food and can Cushings cause seizures?
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years

.I apologize that no one was available to help you sooner. Different experts come on at different times,I just signed on and saw your question? If you would still like assistance could you please provide the following information.

When were his phenobarb levels checked last?

When was full blood work done last and were there any abnormalities? Was the thyroid checked?

Is he gaining weight everywhere or just in the stomach area?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Candy,


No worries,


His phenobarb levels were checked in Sept and his blood levels showed slightly elevated liver enzymes but not enough to be worried about. His thyroid has been checked many times and is always good. His belly is swollen but when he eats our other dogs food (if I'm not fast enough) he gets an upset stomach and swells up. He is always ravenous but we thought the increase in appetite was from the phenobarb. His peeing seems to be more than normal and I've noticed that his urine output is more, but I can't be sure if he's drinking more because Jake drinks out of the same water dish.

Thank you for the additional information.

The increased appetite, drinking and urination can be side effects of the phenobarb.These tend to be side effects we see long term so we can not rule that out.
Click here for additional information
In most cases with Cushings the Alk Phos will be elevated so if that is the liver enzyme that was elevated then testing for Cushings would be recommended considering he is also having other symptoms often associated with this.
Can Cushings cause seizures the answer is yes, however considering the age he was wen the seizures first presented then Epilepsy is likely the cause.Cushings more often appears in older dogs.
Here is some good information on Cushings LINK

I would give your vet a call and let them know about the increased drinking and urination and express your concerns regarding Cushings. Your vet will be able to tell you if the most recent blood work indicates testing for Cushings. Considering he is still on the Phenobarb which we know effects the liver I would also ask your vet about adding a liver support supplement to his daily diet to help prevent further damage.

I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much Candy,


I will follow up with the vet.

You are very welcome and again I apologize that you had to wait so long for an answer.

Give him a good pet from me and I am always here if you need me.

Candy and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Corrine,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Indy. How is everything going?