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Since this was on general animal medicine rather than a Dobe-specific problem like hip dysplasia or Von Willebrand disease... well, I guess those are shared with humans and a lot of other animals. >.< Anyhow, I wasn't sure if I should put this here, or in off-topic. Please move it if needed?

Anyhow, I just had this cross my in-box -- it's from the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Potassium Bromide: Is It Safe for Dogs?

Basically, the FDA was evaluating whether or not potassium bromide was safe for dogs with seizures.

Potassium Bromide: Is It Safe for Dogs?
By Melanie McLean, DVM, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

“Daisy,” an 8-year-old, female spayed Dalmatian with a history of idiopathic epilepsy, and her owner are in Exam Room 1. The owner says that Daisy’s having frequent seizures, even on daily phenobarbital therapy. What’s the next step to control the dog’s seizures? Likely, it’s adding potassium bromide.

For over a century, potassium bromide, or KBr, has been used in human and veterinary medicine as an anti-seizure medication. Phenobarbital, or PB, has also been used for years to treat seizures. Despite both drugs’ long history of common use, neither is approved by FDA to treat seizures in people or animals.

The lack of FDA approval means that no drug company has presented information to the agency to prove that KBr or PB is safe and effective to treat seizures. It also means that no drug company has proven to FDA that either drug can be consistently manufactured according to quality standards. Without FDA approval, veterinarians and pet owners may be unaware of the risks of these drugs.

As part of FDA’s unapproved animal drugs1 initiative, several agency employees reviewed published literature on the safety of potassium bromide in dogs. They recently published the results of their review in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.1

By evaluating 111 references that provided data on the safety of potassium bromide, the authors “identified a considerable body of pharmacological, primary, and supportive evidence regarding the in vivo safety of KBr” in dogs. The authors summarized their findings by body system affected and clinical signs observed.
Go here (same link as above) to read the rest of the press release:
Potassium Bromide: Is It Safe for Dogs?

I thought this was noteworthy, as the FDA is normally cautious about off-label animal use:
Unapproved Animal Drugs

For more info, they also have a page on preventing medicine errors in pets:
A Microgram of Prevention is Worth a Milligram of Cure: Preventing Medication Errors in Animals

And here's their general Animal & Veterinary topic page:
Animal & Veterinary
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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“Daisy,” an 8-year-old, female spayed Dalmatian with a history of idiopathic epilepsy, and her owner are in Exam Room 1. The owner says that Daisy’s having frequent seizures, even on daily phenobarbital therapy. What’s the next step to control the dog’s seizures? Likely, it’s adding potassium bromide.

The next step should be to evaluate whether this dog has a brain tumor or not? Too many times diagnostics are overlooked just to try more medications and hope they work. There are diagnostic tools to help get to the root of most problems, or at least help rule out certain things.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The next step should be to evaluate whether this dog has a brain tumor or not? Too many times diagnostics are overlooked just to try more medications and hope they work. There are diagnostic tools to help get to the root of most problems, or at least help rule out certain things.
Won't disagree.

I think what they're trying to do is to give an example of why they were looking at KBr safety. (Also, etiology is important, but knowing the etiology without controlling or treating the symptoms may be only part of the battle, I guess?)
 

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Never Will Forget You
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Both of these medicines made my boy VERY sick and did NOT control his sz. With that said, we also tried Keppra.. no luck.
With my Himmy he was a very difficult case, he was on very high doses of both meds, therefore he suffered from serious side effects. I wish they would come up with a new drug that does not destroy the body in the process. THese meds are very toxic. I rarely read anything anymore about sz it is far too painful, but this was interesting though. Thanks for posting.
 
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Both of these medicines made my boy VERY sick and did NOT control his sz. With that said, we also tried Keppra.. no luck.
With my Himmy he was a very difficult case, he was on very high doses of both meds, therefore he suffered from serious side effects. I wish they would come up with a new drug that does not destroy the body in the process. THese meds are very toxic. I rarely read anything anymore about sz it is far too painful, but this was interesting though. Thanks for posting.
Most welcome, and I'm sad they didn't help your boy. :/ He was very beautiful. Like with people, not all medicines work for everyone, and those that do can have untoward side effects or be toxic themselves (I am always VERY distrustful of anything that claims to have no side effects - but then I've studied too much toxicology). I hope they find something that's helpful for other dogs with reactions like your boy had, and doesn't have side effects that preclude its use.
 

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kopfgeschlagen
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I will read the links you posted, as my girl Elke is starting back on KBr for her epilepsy. Unfortunately the drugs available for this condition all have potential side effects, so it is a matter of finding something to get it under control. In my conversations with her neurologist over treatment options, his feeling is that the KBr has the fewest potential side effects for her and her overall health (every individual is different). We have had a relatively easy time with it (she was on it before) and sometimes you have to take a risk with a treatment to prevent a bigger risk with a disease or condition. However, if I didn't agree with him that she needs meds, I wouldn't give them to her (we took her off for a few months to see how she did but the seizures are returning).

e.t.a. I took a quick look through, and nothing mentioned in the article is surprising given my experience and discussions with Elke's neurologists. Also, working in human healthcare, I am familiar with similar situations with some drugs/chemicals used in humans that are not FDA approved because they predate the approval process. Obviously safety has to be looked at, but sometimes drug companies submit a new application for a drug that's been in use for years and years just so they can patent it and jack up the price. For me personally (I am not assuming anyone else feels this way or should feel the same way), the important thing is working with a veterinarian who has used the drug successfully for a long time and feels comfortable with the risk of potential side effects, which we discuss and watch out for. I am more comfortable with older drugs because they've been around longer and the side effects are more likely to be known, rather than the new "latest thing" which may have side effects noone knows about yet. Just my personal opinion.
 
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