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Discussion Starter #1
I have a three year old lab-shepherd mix that has been on Phenobarbital for about 2 years now. She was a pretty normal dog before the epilepsy, but since she's been on the medicine, she is extremely hyperactive and anxious, especially when people are over at the house.

For example, when I sleep at my house alone, she sleeps through the night just fine, but when my boyfriend sleeps over, she gets up in the middle of the night and whines, jumps, etc.

My vet recommended giving her Bendaryl to calm her down, but it only lasts 4 hours or so, so it wears off in the middle of the night.

My friend has my dog's brother, and he is epilepsy free and quite pleasant to be around. He isn't hyperactive or anxious in the least...

Is there anything I can do? Any advice?? I'm desperate!
 

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IIRC, phenobarb is generally the first med prescribed when a dog shows seizure activity. There are others that may work better but the vet prolly doesn't want to try to fix what ain't broke. It could also be the epilepsy, and not the meds, that are creating the behaviors. I had a Rotty bitch that was eventually PTS due to epilepsy, and she was a sweetheart--just a little squirrelly. I always attributed her oddness to the neurological thing.
 

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If you can pinpoint what is happening to certain events going on then I would say it's more likely a behavioral issue rather than from the medication. Plus, pheno is a sedative, the usual side-effects are lethargy, not anxiousness.

Like Marsh Muppet said I'd be more prone to thinking that if it does have a physiological source that it's the seizures themselves and not the meds. I'd also wonder though if it's a behavioral issue and try to treat it that way. Siblings in litters can certainly vary so her brother acting one way or her acting another doesn't mean much of anything.
 

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I also think you may have trouble distinguishing between causes here. It would be hard to say what is normal for your dog since he started on phenobarb at the age of one. Most dogs change behavior patterns quite a bit after the age of one. They can get more possessive, for instance.

It could also be the drug. Sometimes when dogs feel differently on pain meds or sedatives they do get anxious. Has your vet taken phenobarb levels? You may want to try increasing or decreasing the dose. Or trying a different drug.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Of course, now that I post this yesterday, she had a seizure early this morning. I am bringing her to the vet this afternoon. Can anyone give me good questions to ask the vet about this issue???
 

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How bad are the seizures? Some dogs do little more than stare blankly when seizuring. Others go the whole "grand mal" route.

It's quite possible that the treatments have changed since I dealt with my dog's seizures. Phenobarb is one drug that the body builds a tolerance for, so it's possible that she just needs an adjustment in the dosage. The other thing is that you have to be like clockwork with her meds as missing a dose can induce seizures. If your dog is a wiseacre who spits out her meds, you have to be extra careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The seizures are for sure grand mal. She has been on the same dose of pheno now for about 8 months. I always feed her the pills at breakfast and dinner, and I am pretty close to the exact time every day. She used to spit her pills out, but I check now...so I know she didn't miss any pills.
 

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A lot of vets are going to Potassium Bromide now instead of Phenobarb. It is more expensive but has fewer side effects. My GSD also had anxiety/hyperactivity on Pheno. I never got a chance to try Potassium Bromide because I lost him before we tried it, but that was what my vet was recommending we do.
 

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I have a dog with epilepsy as well. He's on both PB and KBr.

Sometimes dogs can become hyper, or anxious for a period of time before they have a seizure. So my question is, is the getting up in the middle of the night something that just started, or is it something that has been going on for a while? Are there other things in the normal schedule that change when your BF sleeps over...like does the dog sleep with you when he's not there, and then has to sleep on the floor or in another room when he is there? Sometimes these subtle changes will upset a dog a throw them out of their normal routine and cause them to be anxious.

You may want to try to get something called Rescue Remedy and give that to your dog right before bedtime on the nights that your BF stays over. It may help calm her down.

You could (if possible) also try to change the dog's medication times so that her 2nd dose is right before bedtime and given with a little snack. It may help her to sleep through the night.

If you try the rescue remedy and it seems to help, you can also give it when you have people over and it may work for the anxiousness then as well. Our epi, Topaz, is really hyper all the time, but he will calm down when we have ppl over if given a chance.

As far as spitting the meds out, we crush them into his food. Works like a charm and we don't have to wonder if he got his dose.

There is also an excellent mailing list on this site http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/subscribe.html. If you join and ask your question there may be other members who have more suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all of your suggestions. My dog never slept in bed w/ me, so nothing changed when my boyfriend started spending the night except that there was an extra person there...She only gets up in the middle of the night when he is there.

Tell me more about this Rescue Remedy - what is it? Where do you get it? How does it work?

I just ordered the Dog Appeasement Pheramone collar. It is supposed to be good for dogs that are anxious...like a flea collar with calming scent on it.
 

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My dog was having siezures and the vet put him on phenobarbital, but we had to take him off of it after about a month because of the horrible side effects. He was miserable and throwing up every day. I did alot of research on other more natural ways to control seizures and found out that the preservatives in most grocery store dog food was linked to causing seizures in dogs. So I looked in the ingredients of my dog's bag of food, and what do you know, there was BHA and BHT which were the preservatives that caused seizures. I immediately took him off of it and went to a pet store and bought a bag of all natural dog food that had no artificial preservatives. It's been 6 months, and not 1 seizure! He was having them at least once a week when he was on the other food.
So I would look in the ingredients of your dog food, and if there is BHA or BHT, i would stop feeding your dog that,and change to a better dog food and hopefully it would work like it did for mine.
 

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Tell me more about this Rescue Remedy - what is it? Where do you get it? How does it work?
Here is a link about Rescue Remedy http://www.rescueremedy.com/

They also have a pet formula. http://www.rescueremedy.com/pets/

A lot of people who have epi dogs use it after a seizure to help shorten the post ictal stage.

Last time I bought it, I got it on amazon...but if you search for it, you'll find a lot of sites to get it from online.
 
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