A 9-month-old 5.7-kg (12.5-lb) spayed female domestic shorthair cat was examined because of intermittent elevation of the right third eyelid. Clinical signs were noticed by the owners at home 2 days previously. The cat was initially referred to a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist for evaluation. An ophthalmic examination revealed an absence of menace response and palpebral reflex in the right eye. The cat appeared to be able to see with both eyes, and there were no intraocular abnormalities. Treatment of the right eye with artificial tear ointment every 8 hours was initiated, and the cat was referred to a board-certified veterinary
A 10-week-old 11.9-kg (26.2-lb) sexually intact female English Labrador Retriever was referred for neurologic evaluation because of episodic ataxia of 1 month's duration. During these episodes, which typically lasted several minutes, the dog would stumble through the house, listing from side to side with a kyphotic posture; its mentation appeared slightly altered, but the dog did not urinate or defecate during these episodes. The owners perceived that the episodes occurred more often when the dog was apparently nervous. The owners also reported that the dog was overall more lethargic. The referring veterinarian performed serologic testing for antibodies against Neospora
Objective—To assess tolerability and short-term efficacy of oral administration of pregabalin as an adjunct to phenobarbital, potassium bromide, or a combination of phenobarbital and potassium bromide for treatment of dogs with poorly controlled suspected idiopathic epilepsy.
Design—Open-label, noncomparative clinical trial.
Animals—11 client-owned dogs suspected of having idiopathic epilepsy that was inadequately controlled with phenobarbital, potassium bromide, or a combination of these 2 drugs.
Procedures—Dogs were treated with pregabalin (3 to 4 mg/kg [1.4 to 1.8 mg/lb], PO, q 8 h) for 3 months. Number of generalized seizures in the 3 months before and after initiation of pregabalin treatment was recorded. Number of responders (≥ 50% reduction in seizure frequency) was recorded, and seizure frequency before and after initiation of pregabalin treatment was compared by use of a nonparametric Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Results—Seizures were significantly reduced (mean, 57%; median, 50%) after pregabalin administration in the 9 dogs that completed the study; 7 were considered responders with mean and median seizure reductions of 64% and 58%, respectively. Adverse effects for pregabalin were reported in 10 dogs. Mean and median plasma pregabalin concentrations for all dogs were 6.4 and 7.3 μg/mL, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pregabalin may hold promise as a safe and effective adjunct anticonvulsant drug for epileptic dogs poorly controlled with the standard drugs phenobarbital or potassium bromide. Adverse effects of pregabalin appeared to be mild. Additional studies with larger numbers of dogs and longer follow-up intervals are warranted.