1280: Bromide as Sole Drug Therapy for Treatment of Canine Epilepsy

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $40,196
Dawn Merton Boothe, DVM; Texas A&M University
September 23, 1996 - September 22, 1999


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Epilepsy Initiative
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Project Summary

This study found that Phenobarbitol has fewer lasting side effects and is more effective than bromide in treating epileptic dogs and should remain the first-choice medication for most affected dogs. Researchers compared the two therapies to determine which should be the first drug that veterinarians turn to for epilepsy. The researchers enrolled 46 epileptic dogs (40 of them purebred) in the double-blinded study. They found that both drugs were associated with side effects including grogginess, vomiting, and increased hunger, thirst and urination. However, with the exception of vomiting, those effects diminished under both drugs. Twenty percent of the bromide dogs were still vomiting six months later. In addition, the Phenobarbital was more effective in eliminating seizures, as well as reducing the duration of seizures. The study also supports the currently recommended therapeutic ranges in both drugs.


Boothe, D. M., Dewey, C., & Carpenter, D. M. (2012). Comparison of phenobarbital with bromide as a first-choice antiepileptic drug for treatment of epilepsy in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 240(9), 1073–1083. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.240.9.1073

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