Seizures and phenobarbital - advice needed!!

Michelleeee

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My baby is a 16 year old Bengal who started having very small seizures last week, mostly affecting his back legs. He is fully conscious and almost gets paralyzed for 20 to 30 seconds then he curls up and naps. He’s had IBD for most of his life (successfully controlled by steroids until a year ago) and the last few months I’ve started to see him getting older. Bengals usually live 12-15 or 16 so he’s definitely old for a Bengal. He started seeming spacey and a little disoriented for a few weeks before the seizures. After several vet visits to rule out anything that wouldn’t need an MRI (don’t want to sedate him for that, since he’s so old), all the tests were clear. My specialist says it’s time to take the phenobarbital but I’m worried it’ll make him so sedated he won’t even have a quality of life for whatever time we have left. I’m looking for any stories - good or bad - for older cats that have tried phenobarbital as seniors. Thank you ❤
 

neely

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I've used phenobarbital with our dog, sorry not our cat, but I also didn't want him to be overly sedated so I asked the vet for the lowest possible dose to control the seizures without affecting his quality of life. This worked for us and I hope something similar is helpful for your Bengal. 🤗

I thought these two threads might have some helpful information for you:
ANY CATS WITH EPILEPSY?
Cat Having Seizures
Also this TCS Article: Seizures In Cats – TheCatSite Articles
I noticed you recently joined the site, welcome to TCS! :wave3: Keeping my fingers crossed for your Bengal cat. :crossfingers: Please keep us posted on his progress.
 
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Michelleeee

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I've used phenobarbital with our dog, sorry not our cat, but I also didn't want him to be overly sedated so I asked the vet for the lowest possible dose to control the seizures without affecting his quality of life. This worked for us and I hope something similar is helpful for your Bengal. 🤗

I thought these two threads might have some helpful information for you:
ANY CATS WITH EPILEPSY?
Cat Having Seizures
Also this TCS Article: Seizures In Cats – TheCatSite Articles
I noticed you recently joined the site, welcome to TCS! :wave3: Keeping my fingers crossed for your Bengal cat. :crossfingers: Please keep us posted on his progress.
Thank you. I’m going to email my vet. How old was your dog when you started?
 

BlackCatOp

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Initially, phenobarbital can be sedating but the sedative effects do become less over time. The goal is always to use the least amount of medication that control the seizures. The difficulty is finding what each individual animal’s tolerance and needs are. Plus, phenobarbital makes it more difficult with dosing as drug metabolism varies wildly between individual animals. That’s why drug monitor bloodwork is often recommended.

I wouldn’t let the sedation fears prevent you from starting your kitty on pheno if that’s being recommended. Dosing can always be decreased or the drug discontinued if needed.
 

fionasmom

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I agree that starting the phenobarbital is a good idea as you can make adjustments as needed. Discuss the dosing schedule with your vet as this med has to be given at precisely the agreed upon times, or time if it is once a day, so as to not trigger seizures because the body is not able to process it correctly due to irregular doses.
 
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