Phenobarbitol is a prescription medication available from your dog's veterinarian that is commonly used to treat canine epilepsy. However, phenobarbitol poses a risk of side effects in some dogs.
Common Side Effects
Common side effects of phenobarbitol in dogs include drowsiness, loss of coordination or clumsiness, and excessive hunger, thirst and urination.
Ordinarily, the common side effects of phenobarbitol occur during the first two weeks of use and gradually diminish once a dog adjusts to the medication, according to the Canine Epilepsy Resource Center.
Combining the anxiety medication acepromazine with phenobarbitol increases the risk of serious side effects. Additionally, barbiturates may decrease the effectiveness of phenobarbitol, which could lead to a return of seizures.
The most serious risk of phenobarbitol use in dogs is liver damage.
Most veterinarians order regular blood work to determine if the liver is functioning properly, as prompt detection of a problem can help avoid permanent damage. In addition, milk thistle supplements may help protect a dog's liver from the medication, suggests the Canine Epilepsy Resource Center.