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Cat with epilepsy, phenobarb works, but...
  1. #1
    almintaka is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Cat with epilepsy, phenobarb works, but...

    Hi Everyone,
    I have a large male cat who suffers from epilepsy. My vet has him on phenobarbitol, the lowest possible dose he can take without getting grand mal seizures.

    The phenobarb works like a charm when it comes to controlling the seizures, but he's so sedated he just lies around and sleeps most of the time.

    Another result of this effect is that he doesn't take very good care of himself and requires constant grooming to keep his hair from getting all matted up and oily.

    The big guy can't tolerate handling very well so often I'm forced to take him to a groomer for a body shave. Those trips aren't fun for either one of us. In fact as he gets older, I'm starting to think that the stress of those trips might actually be dangerous for him.

    He doesn't have much of a life with the phenobarb. Before the seizures and medication, he was a really happy cat, energetic and playful. Now, if he were a human, I'd say he's suffering from severe depression. I think the only thing worse than what he goes through now is the epilepsy - those seizures were pretty bad.

    I was wondering if there's any other treatment for feline epilepsy that's not so sedating. I ask my vet about this frequently, but so far the phenobarb is her recommendation of choice.

    Thanks for your time,
    Big Al Mintaka

  2. #2
    Aaliah thomas is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    I think ou must be knowing that seizures is not curable. The goal of any treatment is to decrease the frequency, severity, and duration of the seizures only.

    Most commonly used medicines are phenobarbitol and potassium bromide because these are very effective. But these leads to depression and dizziness. And because of this many doctors no longer prescribe it unless other seizure medicines have failed

    Other drugs that have been used to treat epilepsy in cats include primidone, gabapentin, clonazepam, and chlorazepate. You can check with your doctor can these medicines work or not.

  3. #3
    almintaka is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Yes, I realize that cures aren't possible. I'm limiting my expectations to reducing the number and severity of seizures, hopefully with a med that's not so sedating.

    It's interesting that you mention Gabapentin (generic for Neurontin). I take that stuff myself to lower the seizure threshold from Wellbutrin. I never thought of it in terms of lowering the seizure threshold for an epileptic cat.

    For me it does have a mild sedative effect, but nothing like what Phenobarb does to my cat.

    Obviously I'm not going to experiment with anything on my cat; however I will ask the vet about Gabapentin as a viable alternative to Phenobarb.

    The other two you mentioned are benozdiazapenes. That's not the same class as Phenobarb, which is an old-fashioned barbiturate. I wonder if the benzos would do the job for my cat without being as sedating. It's worth another question for my vet.

    Hey, thanks for those ideas. I'll be interested to see what the vet has to say about Gabapentin.

    Take care,
    Big Al Mintaka

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