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Phenobarbatol and bonemarrow/spleen issues


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My 2.5 year old shep/pit mix started having seizures in June.  Nothing for a couple of months the started back up in August, at that time she was put on Phenobarbital and was ok for a couple of weeks then had cluster seizures and was sent to the Neurologost.  Who performed an MRI and Spinal tab.  All to come back negative.  He then put her on Zonisamide with the Pheno.  2 weeks later she lymphnodes were swollen so I took her back to the Neurologist and they lowered her dosage of the Zonisamide.  Her blood levels were a little low also.  Now she as a very low red and white blood count and her platelets have dropped enormously.  They took her off the Zonisamide and put her on Keppra, and two antibiotics, fluids and everyday vet care. Now I get a call that her spleen is enlarged and I am doing research.  I found where Phenobarbital and Keppra can cause this.  What do I do, my poor dog is suffering and I am going broke. Im thinking to  get her off the phenobarbital, that that dug may be the cause of it all.  She is still stumbling and urinating in her sleep, ever since starting the pheno.

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First thing to do is ask for a second opinion referral to another canine neurologist.  At the very least, ask for a copy of all her medical records and request a review from another neuro.  Preferrably in a different clinic in another part of town, unconnected to your current clinic/neuro.   You might reach out to either a shepherd or pit rescue in your area to see if they have any recommendations based on breed familiarity.

Since this is a greyhound breed board we don't have much experience with shepherds or pits.  It could be something breed specific that is going on with your girl.  Or it could be something more, like lymphoma or another cancer, or just plain old horrible luck of the draw with idiopathic seizures causing all the trouble.  It's really difficult to know what to advise, and how to tell you to go forward because it's really all about your personal situation and what you think is the best path for your dog.  

It may be that a treatment can be found that will allow her a good quality of seizure-free life for a space of time.  But it's also possible that you may be forced into a different decision if you can't control her seizures without causing other terrible issues.  There is no right or wrong decision, only the best possible decision for you and your family and your dog.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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