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Phenobarbital for Dogs Seizures

Updated on January 25, 2014

Phenobarbital For Dog Seizures Photos

Phenobarbital For Dog Seizures Photo
Phenobarbital For Dog Seizures Photo | Source

Phenobarbital for Dogs

Phenobarbital is a drug that is classified as a barbiturate and often prescribed for dog seizures. The drug has also been very useful for treating feline epilepsy. Like the characteristics of all other barbiturates Phenobarbital is an organic drug that is known to cause mental lethargy. With these severe effects this drug can be potentially dangerous when overdosed. Phenobarbital is a very important drug for seizures treatment in dogs and cats although the drug is not approved by the Food and Drug Association. The effect of Phenobarbital in treatment of dog seizures has been documented as successful but with equally fatal side effects for overdose.

Phenobarbital Use for Dog Seizures

There is a high success rate to about 80% of the dogs that have been treated with Phenobarbital for dog seizures. In most cases of dog seizures, the cause is idiopathic and can be very frustrating to the owner. It’s important that the owner understands how they can manage dog seizures and control the potential self harm that the dog can inflict on their body. For years Phenobarbital has been used as an antiepileptic drug and its efficacy has been promising for management of dog and feline seizures.

Why Phenobarbital is Popular for Treating Dog Seizures

Unlike other drugs Phenobarbital is relatively cheap and very easy to use. The drug is often administered about 2 to 3 times each day. The drug is effective in controlling abrupt seizures attack and with good use Phenobarbital overdose side effects cannot occur. Before the use of most barbs it’s important that your dog undergoes a liver function test. Barbs are metabolized in the liver and dogs that have liver problems may have a problem metabolizing barbiturates and this can lead to fatalities.

Phenobarbital Dosage

When treating seizures in dogs the dosage of Phenobarbital used may vary depending on the response to the dosage administered previously. It is always safe to use the low recommended dosage to manage seizure attack. Unless the seizure attack is severe the lowest recommended dosage should be the ideal dose to avoid potentially harmful side effects associated with Phenobarbital overdose.

Seizures in Dog Managed with Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital Side effects in Dogs

The activity of phenobarb is mostly based on reducing the activity of neurons and therefore controls dog seizures. These processes of reduction of neuron activity can results to undesirable effects that are often seen in many cases of Phenobarbital ‘poisoning’

The major side effects of Phenobarbital in dogs include the following:

  • Loss of body strength
  • Immobility and reduced reflexes
  • Sedation and Sleepiness
  • Diuresis and increase in appetite
  • Uncoordinated body movement
  • Liver damage
  • Death can occur when the dose used is high.

Potassium Bromide for Dogs

Other Drugs Used for Treating Dog Seizures

Besides Phenobarbital, there are other drugs that have in the recent past been used for treatment of dog seizures. One such drug is Potassium Bromide that is often abbreviated as KBr.


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