QUOTE(cracker @ 17th Aug 2008, 11:27 am)
sorry to crash the thread can people tell me what they use ?? we have phenobarbital 1 a day , does anyone get it on line or only from vets and is this a strong medication or heavy ???
PB can only be prescribed from vets (or online with a prescription from your vet I would think). It basically works on the neurons in the brain (sedative affect) but is not neuron specific (there's lots of them!). So the idea is that it keeps them in a calm state for most of the time.
For PB to be affective (and it is a dodgy one depending how your dog metabolises the drug) you normally give a dose every 12 hours. So, Skye was on 3 a day, so would have 1.5 at 7 am and another 1.5 at 7 pm day in, day out to maintain the therapautic affect. It is also important to keep a strict 12 hour dosage because if you don't, what happens the 'level' of the drug in the blood stream dips thus basically opening a window for a siezure to occur. Skye also had Potassium Bromide alongside PB.
That's why, when you have your blood tests done to check the levels (particularly if siezures have occurred), you need to do the test before the next dose of PB is due - so that the vet can guage the level of the drug in the bloodstream prior to a second dose of PB being administered. This helps the vet decide on the correct dosage (and it is not easy to get the correct dosage but very much trial and error.
So is the 1 a day you are administering half in the morning and half at night for it to have an affect?
Also once your dog is on PB, you must continue to give it. Vet's do ween dogs off the drug but this must be done under strict veterinary supervision. The drug is an AED (Anti Epilepsy Drug).
The other thing to bear in mind with PB is the drug also has quite a journey before it reaches the brain where you want it to do it's 'job'. So, if your dog has diarrhoea (sp), and you gave it the PB an hour or so beforehand, the chances are the drug will have come out with the diarrhoea and not got tot he brain. This can then leave your dog open to siezure. But you would need to speak to your vet for advice if this ever happened but it is worth mentioning as lots of people aren't aware.
If you want to learn more, if you go back to the beginning of the thread the link is on their for the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels website where you'll find extensive info on PB and Potassium Bromide (and other drugs) and take a look at the link I gave to the Phyllis Croft Foundation which is also a good resource for all things to do with Canine Epilepsy.
Just to answer the other part of your question - it is a drug which must be prescribed under the strict supervision of your vet due to it's nature. Long term use of it at high doses does have it's risks of liver damage - but your vet will test regularly for this (and this is more likely to happen in dog's who have been on the drug at high doses over a long period of time).
So to be honest, due to the nature of the drug and what it's for, I would advise you to maintain a close contact with your vet and personally, for me, would buy it from my vet - they way I can ensure the drug is well within date etc. But that's just my opinion. It's not a drug to mess about with.