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My 17 month old Pyrenees/retriever mix started getting

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My 17 month old...

My 17 month old Pyrenees/retriever mix started getting seizures a few months ago in early March. The vet put him on an initial dose of 2.5 32.4mg phenobarbital pills twice a day (5 pills/day). That lasted about 2 weeks then the vet upped the dose to 3 pills twice a day (6 pills/day). That lasted 28 days, then the dose was upped to 4 pills twice a day (8 pills/day). That lasted about 17 days, and now for the last 25+ days, the pup has been on 5 pills twice a day (10 pills/day). Realizing that this is a losing game, we have started him on homeopathy and solid state treatments. Those methods have given us much better results and a quality of life for him (and us) moving forward. My main question is this - what is the proper way to wean him off of this dose of phenobarbital?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?

Cinder is his name...

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Cinder?

Well, we are thinking that the vaccinations he was given in early February, and possibly the visit in mid February to put him to sleep to clean out his ears might be the culprit. It seems that the rabies vaccination especially is a hotly debated topic. Being a good pet owner, we had the vaccinations done on 2/6/18 - the line item says - DHLPPC\Bord\Rabies. I know that the rabies was a three year shot, as the certificate shows it. As mentioned, we also took him back in mid February (2/14/18) to have him put to sleep, as his ears were full of something, and the vet wanted to clean them out. A few weeks later, on March 4th to be exact, is when all of a sudden, the seizures started and were brutal...

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 15 hours by:
5/27/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,513
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Due to the variability of phenobarbital half-life between dogs, it's prudent to slowly taper this drug when discontinuing it. For example, for Cinder you might drop back to 4 pills twice daily for 5 days, then 3 pills twice daily for 5 days, 2 pills twice daily for 5 days, 1 pill twice daily for 5 days, and then stop administering it. You'll need to plan for possible resumption of seizure during this tapering period. The seizure due to withdrawal can be quite severe and require heavy sedation/anesthesia while hospitalized. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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