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I have a 4 yr old boxer. She was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 1 1/2. She is currently being treated with pheonobarital. She is having break thru seizures and they are getting more frequent and lasting longer. Her vet keeps uping her dosage but that does not seem to help. She is currently taking 240 mg a day. My fear is she is going to max out on her medication quickly and we will not be able to do anything else for her. Does anyone know how high her dosage can go before it no longer works?
 

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When my previous boxer was having seizures he was on pheno and when they kept coming the vet also put him on potassium bromide. For the pheno, I don't remember the mg of pill, but he was taking 2 pheno's twice a day, and the potassium bromide dosage was eventually doubled to 1900 mg with the hopes of eventually backing down the pheno once we reached a maintenance level.
I'm sorry you are going through this with your girl. I know first hand how frustrating and scary seizures are. The whole trick to the pheno or other meds is finding the correct dose that works for your girl.
I hope you find something that works, and I wish I could welcome you to the forum on better circumstances, but welcome aboard and please do keep us updated on your girl.
 

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Changing diet.  Try it, I have heard of a lot of dogs becoming seizure free from change of diet but it has to be monitored carefully that they never get the foods that upset them. No wheat things like that can make the whole difference.  Whole Dog Journal had an entire article on it a couple of years ago.  Google their website and see if you can find it.  They will sell you a copy of the article very cheap.  If you can't find info let me know by pm and I will look for my article in my archives.

Nano
 

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So sorry to hear of your problems, I don't have any experience with Epilepsy so I can't add anything to what Lisa said; hope you find the right level of medicine.  I would like to welcome you to the forum too.
 

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Raw diet would probably be your best bet.

Nano
 

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Yes, Nano is correct with the diet also. I don't know what food you are feeding, but sometimes with idiopathic epilepsy a food change can really make a remarkable difference.  I would start by eliminating all corn, soy, wheat, by-products, artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin. I know that sounds overwhelming, but if you can't feed a raw diet for whatever reason, you can find a good holistic kibble to feed. Also, if you change food, check your treats as well.
I also knew of a boxer that had seizures due to the heartworm med Interceptor. That is a very rare occurence, but they were able to figure out a day or two after administering the Interceptor, a seizure would happen. Are you keeping a log of when the seizures happen? Maybe you can find a link between some times that the seizures are happening. I wish I could be of more help, I know these things are terrible to live through.  :(
 

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Phenobarbital is of course the first drug of choice for Epilepsy in dogs.  To determine what would be the "max dose" you can only go by the label for the drug and that is on the high end 15 mg per kg and at the extreme range about 20 mg per kg.  So a dog thats weight is 60 pounds would have a max dose of around 500 mg per day, of course it is not good for them to be on this high of a level because you have to worry about Liver toxicity developing at these higher dosages.

Like said before the thing is to find control with using the least amount of medicine and if the Phenobarb starts to not control the situation, it is not that the dosage should just be increased it is that another one should be added.....

Potassium Bromide is the second drug of choice and it is given 30 to 40 mg per kg once a day and combined with phenobarbital.....

There are other drugs out there that can be used with the Phenobarb and those are Chlorazepate Dipotassium and Mephenytoin.

The main thing with Epilepsy is that is considered Idiopathic, which means it is unknown what causes them or triggers them...You can only allow the seizure to form a pattern (frequency, duration, severity) Then start with one drug initially Phenobarb usually and then add your second drug if you are seeing poor control.

I do believe and agree that food can play a great part in the life of the dog with seizures.  I have seen one make remarkable changes after going on a holistic food.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all of the advice. I am going to do some more research on this and see how she does with it. Will talk it over with my vet before making any changes.
 

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My boston terrier, Elvis, was diagnosed with epilepsy in august. We happened to be in vegas at the time and he was staying with my bf's parents. They called to tell us about it and I got so upset I ended up in the hospital (still in vegas) for stress and dehydration.  Well the vet basically told us Elvis would need all these tests, including a cat scan and possibly surgery and we just couldn't afford all of it. It was the worst day of my life, but we had to make the decision to give him away to someone who could afford to  give him the treatment that he needed. Also, someone who would be home most of the day in case he had a seizure. We actually ended up giving him to a woman who owns and has experience with special needs boston's.  

We weren't really given the option of medication, and it still kills me to think about him everyday.
 

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I have a female schnauzer (Zoie) that is now 6 years old.
 
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