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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7367
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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I recently adopted a westie mix in December. we

Customer Question

I recently adopted a westie mix in December. we thought she was between 3 - 6 when we got her. after having her teeth cleaned and her not coming to from the anesthesia the vet examined her blood work and noticed elevated kidney levels. we have been managing this with royal canine lp. we also have her on steroids for her extreme allergies. just recently she started having seizures, it started a little over a month ago. she had one seizure, skipped about a month and then had 3 back to back. we now have her on phenobarbital. most of the side effects are normal, loss of use of back legs, thirst, increased urination, hunger, etc. However, the barking has gotten out of control. she barks/howls/whines for 2 hours straight until she wears herself out and then she sleeps for 30 mins. this starts the minute i walk in the door from work until i leave the next morning for work. what can i do??
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you if you are still needing assistance, but need a bit more information if possible. Does she have elevated kidney levels or liver levels or both? Has she had any further seizures since the phenobarb? When exactly did the barking start? Was this always a problem, or is it more recent? Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As of now, we only know of the elevated kidney levels. We have only had her on the phenobarb for a week and 2 days, so we have not yet checked her liver. It was not elevated on her last blood panel.She has not had another seizure since we have had her on the phenobarbital.The barking started the day we put her on the medicine. She has not always had this problem.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the reply. The barking behavior can be a side effect to the phenobarbital as it can cause agitation as a side effect, especially in the initiation stage which she is in. It may be that as her body gets used to it, all of the side effects will improve, which is usually the case. If not, once you have her phenobarb levels checked, you may be able to decrease the dose. If it is a problem that is continuing on even a lower dose, you may be able to switch medications to something else even. One other thing to consider is the possibility that the barking is related to brain disease and not to the medication. If there is a brain lesion, besides seizures, there can also be behavior changes and even though it seemed to start when the meds were started, it may just be coincidental and may be related to changes in the brain instead of the meds. I would tend to say that the former idea is more likely, but the only way to know is to see what happens over the next week or so as her body adjusts to the meds and/or you are able to make adjustments in them. If the barking continues, you would have to proceed with an MRI for further evaluation of the brain. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100%satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.Dr Z