A Complete Guide To Phenobarbital For Dogs

Phenobarbital is a fairly common prescription medication in humans and animals alike, used to treat seizures in younger children and pets. It can be administered orally or through an injection. It takes hold relatively quickly and the effects last for a few days. Phenobarbital works by helping control electrical activity that occurs during a seizure.

The majority of seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in your dog’s brain. Neurons begin misfiring, leading to spasmodic jerks and contractions throughout your dog’s body. Phenobarbital reduces the electrical activity of your pet’s brain, reducing the likelihood that they will have a seizure. Much less commonly, though, phenobarbital may also be used to help dogs with anxiety or sleep issues. These instances involve short term prescriptions, however, rather than long term use of the medication.

Phenobarbital is usually administered once per day, typically at night. It comes in both tablet and liquid form and should be administered with food if possible. In cases of dogs with more severe epilepsy, they may end up taking dosages twice per day.

It’s very important that once your dog begins taking phenobarbital that dosages are not missed. Missed dosages have a tendency to trigger epileptic episodes. Your vet

will need to be somewhat involved with your phenobarbital treatment, as low dosages can be ineffective, while high dosages can be toxic to your dog’s blood.

A seizure is an unexpected surge of neuron activity within your dog’s brain. It can affect the way your dog feels, behaves, and moves. Most commonly, a seizure will look like convulsing spasms that last for a couple of minutes. Occasionally, instead of convulsing, dogs will simply go unconscious. This will look like your dog is walking around, going about their day, and then out of nowhere, they collapse unconscious.

Phenobarbital works by suppressing the overall electrical activity of your dog’s brain. It’s effective in around 60% to 80% of dogs. If your dog’s brain activity is generally low, then even when it sparks due to epilepsy, it isn’t high enough to cause a seizure – this is the underlying concept of phenobarbital as well as most epileptic medications.

Phenobarbital is one of the more popular prescriptions for seizures due to its low cost and effectiveness. Despite the fact that phenobarbital is not FDA approved for use with dogs, still one of the first medications that veterinarians will recommend for epileptic dogs. It takes around two weeks of use for phenobarbital to begin taking effect in a dog since the levels of phenobarbital in your pet’s bloodstream need to reach a certain level.



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