Last Modified on Jun 17, 2014
A dog owner enters into this pet owning relationship knowing full well that there will be times and situations that must be endured that will prove to be some of the most difficult of their entire life. One of those particular events occurs, when a loving dog owner must watch helplessly as their best friend suffers through an epileptic seizure and is forced to accept the fact that they can do nothing to stop it, and can only help by making the animal a bit more comfortable during the whole ordeal.
It is not fully known why epilepsy occurs in a dog, but it is known that hereditary factors can play a part, as there are a number of different breeds who are predisposed to developing the condition. Some of those breeds include, Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Beagle, Collie breeds, Daschund, Setter breeds, Springer Spaniel, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Greyhound, Keeshond, Labrador Retriever, Poodle breeds, Corgi, Pointer, Pug, Saint Bernard and Vizsla.
Additionally, it is believed that many dogs suffering from seizures have a magnesium deficiency and/or a low thyroid. Talk to your vet about having your pet tested for thyroid problems and the possibility of decreasing seizure medication and adding more Magnesium to the dog's diet.
Doses of magnesium should start off as follows:
Small dogs 10mg
Medium dogs 20mg
Large dogs 50mg
Giant dogs 75mg
If your dog experiences diarrhea or gas, then cut back on the dosages slightly until the problem stops and then slowly increase them again.
|Dietary Changes||10 YEAS|
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- POPULAR REMEDIES
- Avoid Heartworm Meds and Seizures
- Coconut Oil
- Dietary Changes
- Dietary Changes, Chiropractics
- Feedback Regarding Seizures
- Filtered Water, No Bacon Strip Dog Treats
- Fish Oil
- Get a Tick Panel
- Gluten-Free Diet
- Heartworm Meds and Seizures
- Karo Oil, Pancake Syrup or Honey to Stop Seizure
- Miscellaneous Remedies
- Potassium Bromate, Acupuncture
- Raw Diet
- Remedies Needed
- Sunflower Seeds
- Website Recommendations
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 09/25/2011: Sarahmedic from Whitefish, Mt: "Our St. Bernard has had siezures since he was about 9 months old. We have been dealing with this problem for over two years now. He currently is on Phenobarb, Pot. Bromide, and Zonisamide. We have had to tinker with all these meds, side effects, and yet he was still having cluster grand mal seizures approximately every 10 days. We were maxed out on med doses as they were causing too many side effects which was costing quality of life. We were out of options. Or so I thought! We started doing accupressure once every two weeks and now once a month. The seizures are occurring only once a month, with it being just one at a time AND we have lowered his meds three times. Accupressure works! This is pure fact as dogs can't have any kind of placebo effect. We are hoping one day to get him off most of the meds and get his quality of life back!"Replies
09/25/2011: Pjaco from Springdale, Arkansas, Usa replies: "Hi I think acupressure is great. I do quantam touch which is great too."
12/04/2011: Dharmony from Orchard Park, Ny replies: "Make sure to give your dog milk thistle to protect the liver whenever phenobarital is used!!!"
02/24/2012: Dee from Charleston, Sc replies: "My Shih Tzu used to get frequent seizures for many years. I did research on natural remedies for dog seizures. I found Info. that Taurine helps prevent seizures. I gave my dog 500mg. Taurine a day, and she has not had any seizures since. My dog Bijou is now 13 yrs. old. Check out these links.
[YEA] 02/22/2011: Joanne from New Brighton, Mn: "Our male Viszla/lab mix has been having seizures for nearly 4 years, and we have discovered that we need to watch his diet carefully... No MSG, or wheat, cheese, or foods with coloring. He loves fruits and vegetables along with Natural Balance dog food. I keep ground beef for treats in the frig. I would like to pass on to you a remedy that I read on the internet for the 'post-ictal' phase... That's the stumbling around phase where they seem to be blind at first and stumble into furniture and try to walk through walls. (At a hundred pounds, that's a lot of damage! ) The minute he goes into his cluster seizures (which occur with the full moon) I gently press on one of his eyes for 8 seconds on, 8 seconds off for maybe 4-5 cycles. At first the eye will be darting around, but it quickly settles. This releases the amino acid GABA into the brain along the optic nerve. The results are simply amazing! No more stumbling!"Replies
02/24/2011: Shawna from Puyallup, Wa replies: "I have been reading a lot about the ocular compression. My concern is that, is it safe? I'm always told to stay back from my dog until she is done and is confident enough in who I am for her to apprach me. In the fit of the seizure, are they aware if you get close to them? This is a new thing for us and are 1 1/2 year old collie mix. I'm concerned that because her mouth is open and her teeth are showing that she may bite because she is so confused and hurting? Any help and suggestions to this would be greatly appreciated. It's so hopeless of a feeling and would like to do what I can to help the process be a bit more gentle on her. Thank you- S"
02/25/2011: Kay from Jacksonville, Fla, Usa replies: "Joanne,
My dog, a GS about 85 lbs, has been having extreme nervous episodes where she shakes, etc. I have found that Rescue Remedy calms her down immediately. It can be found in local health food stores. Hope this helps"
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS] 09/04/2011: Jasper from Redondo Beach, Ca replies: "We have a 2 yr old siberian Husky who has been cluster seizing since 7mos old. Recently I have been using Ocular Compression on her during the seizure, and in some cases, the efforts have stopped the seizure in mid stream ..
Typically it will phases of the seize that include paddling, jaw extension, full ridigidy, bowel movements etc .. When I reached her early enough, ocular compression stopped many of the phases. Ive done it 6 times now with successful outcome..
The upside is an immediate recovery from the seize - almost no post ictal phase.. the downside is now, she has developed facial ticks when she is drifiting off to sleep ..
Ive stopped using the technique now due to the fact that it looks to be very uncomfortable when she is trying to sleep and her face ticks her awake.
Hope this information helps others with seizing dogs - and virutally no medical remedy."
01/03/2012: Avery from Hewitt, Nj replies: "Hi, I recently "adopted" a 10 y/o Purebred Chocolate Lab. She is the best dog in the world, and it breaks my heart to see her have Seizures. My stepfather had her from a pup, and I used to be the one who would take her to the vet when she started having the seizures. She was probably a year old when she had her first seizure. I have taken her to a total of 4 different vets over the years, and all 4 have said the same thing - Video record the seizure, if possible. They all said that they can get a better idea of :
1) The type of seizure, and
2) What type of medicine to be used, (either holistic or Vet-prescribed. )
They all also suggested that I "talk her through" the seizure. They said that she will be very frightened, even though she is accustomed to what is happening to her body because she's been through it before, they are like children who are nervous. The littlest bit of reassurance that everything will be OK makes a world of difference. I read in previous posts that some people were frightened to go near their dog during the seizure because their mouths were open and their teeth may have been exposed - but that is a naturally occuring phase of some types of seizures. Basically, I suggest that even if you are intimidated by the look of your dog during the seizure, and you don't feel comfortable approaching her, just make sure that they can hear your voice. With my Fudgie, I just simply tell her (during the seizure) "It'll be ok, Fudge! , " and that seems to make a world of difference. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at AveryMeyer89(at)gmail.com
Hope this helps!! :)"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/10/2008: Deb from Dallas, TX: "Just writing a comment about my Chihuahua-Terrier dog, Julio. Heartworm meds are toxic to our animals. My beloved pet would have periodic seizures. When I stopped the heartworm medication, the seizures stopped. One Vet had him on them, another said why are you giving them to him? Does he have heartworms? He said he would not give them to him. I was grateful that it wasn't about $$$$, but about my pet. If an animal gets heartworms (most indoor door pets are not exposed to mesquito larvae,) which causes heartworms. A small amount of VCO in their diet will provide essential fatty acids, and is a natural cure for parasitic host. During hot summer months, I use 1/2 tsp. of Cloud Nine herbal dip in 16 ounces of water in a sprayer bottle to repel fleas, or mesquitos that would otherwise zoom in on my pet. You have to be diligent. Shake the bottle each time, and apply before taking your pet out.(be sure to apply to their undercoats, and paws too) A good brushing each day, and using the spray will help too. I hope this is a helpful tip for all pet lovers.
Thanks, and God Bless!
07/21/2009: jmxprod from Los Angeles, CA replies: "My 2 1/2 yr old pointer just had a terrifying first seizure. he is on Interceptor which I will stop immediately. But what is this VCO you mention? (" A small amount of VCO in their diet will provide essential fatty acids, and is a natural cure for parasitic host"). Thank you."
EC: VCO = virgin coconut oil
04/11/2010: Pat from Montgomery, Texas, Usa replies: "Heartworms are not caused by mosquito larvae. The microfilariae are transmitted to the dog from the bite of an adult mosquito. So all it takes is one infected mosquito to bite your pet and its got heartworms. Especially if you live in the South where we have an abundance of mosquitos. Heartgard kills the microfilariae, it doesn't kill adult worms. I recommend this product. If you live in the south and don't have your pet on a heartworm preventive then it is only a matter of time until your pet gets heartworms even if it is an "inside" pet."
04/17/2011: Helena from Hickory, Nc replies: "A quick comment to the heartworms. It is a vicious circle. A mosquito gets the "heartworm" from a dog with heartworms and transfers it to another. That means, if you live in an area where there are many heartworm carrying dogs, chances are high the next dog will get them. But it means also, that if only your dogs live around and most times in your house and none has heartworms, they should be safe because mosquitos don't travel far. Reduce mosquito sources by eliminating their breeding grounds and don't let your dogs roam freely if you choose not to give heartworm prevention meds. Also, unless you are not living in a highly infested area, it is safe to use them every other month.
My German Shepherd mix had three grand mal seizures in one month, and I am still on the look out for a good cure. If he follows his pattern the next will be due this week. I used Bachs RR right after the seizure and fed him some kibbles to shorten the post-ictal phase with great success. I have changed his diet to Nature's Choice and am looking into alternatives.
Yesterday, I was under the impression he was getting a seizure, and in lieu of something better, I gave him a treat with four drops of Bachs RR. He slept through the night without troubles. We shall see, I guess."
EC: RR= Bach's Rescue Remedy
[YEA] 08/29/2007: Sandra from Gallatin, Missouri: "We have a Jack Russell Terrier who is now 5 years old..When she was about a year old she started having severe seizures..They got progressively worse thru the years..I was told to try coconut oil ..So I got a jar and started givig her a tsp. a day..that was back in February and cross my fingers she hasn't had any since then..she had been on medication and it wasn't helping her at all so I just stopped giving it to her and contacted a health store owner and she told me to try the coconut oil..Thank goodness it has helped her ..she was having severe seizures, as many as 12 at a time..I just wanted to share this with others"Replies
06/06/2009: Becky from West Valley City, Utah replies: "Thank you for your post!! Lari, our Australian/Border Collie has been experiencing seizures since Aug of 08. He was only just over a year old.
It is so very scary, and we hurried to our vet for help. It seems like the typical treatment is put them on meds until they no longer work and then kiss them good-bye. This is obviously not an acceptable treatment. Lari is on 2 phen/morning and night. and still experiencing seizures, on the moon cycles. He has been enjoying his coconut oil 1 tsp/per 10 lbs, and our fingers are crossed that it will help.
Please, let me know if you have had results with this treatment, or any other remedy would be much appreciated!!!!!!!
We love Lari!!! Thank you :)"
07/04/2009: Liz from Saint Louis, MS replies: "My dog has been experiencing seizures and I am very interested in trying the coconut oil. I was wondering, though, if anyone could tell me how long it takes before it stops the seizures and does it affect dogs as it affects humans(i.e. loose stools, weight loss)? Also, she is about 45lbs, any recommendations on how much to give her? I would really appreciate it if someone got back to me. I desperately want this seizures to stop and really hope this works!"
07/09/2009: Becky from West Valley City, UT replies: "Hi Liz, Lari has had great results with Virgin Coconut Oil. It must be virgin however, the other just isn't the same. Virgin is more expensive, but the other is just for cooking etc.
This is the first full moon that Lari hasn't had a seizure. He has been taking virgin coconut oil since the first of June. I found the dosage on a website that sells it, and they recommended 1 tsp per 10 lbs. I have been giving Lari 3 to 4 tsp. since it does speed up the metabolism and he is on Phenobarbital. It's so hard to know what to do!
He is also on a chicken, veggie, fruit, raw bone diet. I have also added tomato paste, mixed with an egg, oatmeal spinach or whatever i have available. He was always swiping potatoes and tomatoes so i googled and found they are both a good sources of magnesium, which a previous poster had recommended. Heck, i'll try anything and everything!
He's had no problem with loose stools, weight loss or anything else noticeable."
01/02/2010: Sandy from Houston, Tx replies: "Do you believe the full moon triggers seizures?? I hadn't really thought about that, but my Border Collie/Pointer's big seizure two nights ago happened during the rare full blue moon."
01/27/2010: Anne from Manila, Philippines replies: "should i discontinue giving my dog phenobarb if i will give her virgin coconut oil and magnesium? Pls. help me as well as my 6 yrs old golden retriever, she's taking phenobarb for almost a year now and yet she's still suffering from seisure, i need your help very urgent coz she's having seisure twice a day for two consecutive day, im so worried...pls reply asap"
02/03/2010: Becky from West Valley City, Utah replies: "I'm very sorry. Is your dog doing any better? My dog usually has his seizures during the full moon, it is very strange. He was on phenobarbital along with the coconut oil and magnesium, last month I had to put him on potassium bromide as well. So the coconut oil and magnesium alone did not stop the seizures. It is very hard to know what to do.. I wish I could be more helpful."
07/13/2010: Katie from Fridley, Mn replies: "I have a dog who suffers from seizures and I just wanted to give a warning to people. PLEASE consult your vet before giving ANY type of supplements, natural or not. Different things can react poorly or affect the absorption of the medication which could cause more problems. Usually a phone call to the vet is all it takes and it's always better to be safe than sorry."
10/16/2010: Faithinhealing from Forest Park, Ohio replies: "THIS WORKS FOR HUMANS TOO... Haven't had a seizure... Knock on wood... In three years by using 4 T. of coconut oil each day!!!"
01/14/2011: Lin from E. Wenatchee, WA, Usa replies: "Besides pheno., I give my epileptic dog formula 303, (people also take this as a calmer), and lots of fresh vegs. These seem to help, vet select seizure med. (it is on internet), and thistle (as pheno. Is bad on their liver). I am just starting him on coconut oil.
I am adding to my list as he use to have one every 3 months, but the last 2 months he has had three to six in a row where he had to go to vet, so I am still working on it trying to help him.
You might check into these. I know the vet select seizure has helped for several years, expensive yes, but he's my kid."
03/18/2011: Kim from Pleasanton, Ca replies: "Hi, I am new here, but am in desperate need of help/advice. I have a 7 yr old pug who was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was a little over 3 yrs old. He has been on pheno ever since. The dosage has slowly increased over the last 4 yrs. This past Sept he had a grand mal that seemed more severe than his usual seizures (he averages about 2 a year) and didn't seem to recover as quickly as before. He eventually seemed to get better (although has never seemed 100% since).
He had another grand mal this last Feb. This is where the nightmare really began. He seemed really different after his seizure (I inject him with valium during his seizures to keep him from going status), 4 days after his last seizure when I got home form work he seemed "off", then began panting for no reason, and only wanted to be literally on me (seemed afraid of touching the floor, couch, etc... ). I brought him to emergency and they put him on an IV of valium. He seemed better and then 2 days after that all of the weird symptoms started again. It has been going on like this ever since. I have been having to inject him (per vet's direction) almost weekly due to the constant walking, panting, staring up, etc... The vet believes these weird behaviors are pre-seizural. I don't know what to believe or think. I worry in my heart that it may be a brain tumor and not epilepsy but the vets (consulted 2 different ones) feel that is unlikely. They also say that we would be treating the symptoms of a brain tumor with the same drugs that we are treating him with now (they have added potassium bromide to the increased pheno). Neither seems to feel that radiation or chemo is really a good option if he did have a tumor. I feel like I may be watching my sweet little boy slowly start to die from whatever has been causing these horrific seizures.
I work full time and live alone which terrifies me and limits what I can do. And I don't even know if what I am doing is the best thing I can be doing for him. I'm afraid to take him off the meds (not home enough to monitor the effects) and I'm afraid the meds could possibly be doing him harm or nothing at all. I stopped his heartworm meds last month.
If someone could tell me where to get a good coconut oil I would happy to try that. Also, can I use the oil with the meds he's on? Any advice would be very appreciated and if anyone else's dog has had similar experiences I would love to hear how you handled them. I worry that I may be reading into behaviors that aren't actually abnormal (the panting for no reason, constant walking/not laying or sitting down for more than a minute, etc...).
Sorry for the long post and thank you."
[YEA] 05/02/2011: Glenn from Portland, Or replies: "I am using something I got online called pet alive eazesure, and am having very few seizures. I was using natural Doc Ackerman's epilepsy and seizure formula and also drops from petessences.com. And had no seizures, I was just trying the different brands but I am going back on the doc ackerman's because I don't think we had any other than the first week we started it. I have a pom-poo with other health issues so the vet didnt' want to give her meds unless really necessary. I would try either or both, they are herbal. When she has a seizure we use rescue remedy spray and put a cold wet towel on her back and neck area, both things really help, you can rub the rescue remedy in their ears if you can't get it in their mouths."
05/31/2011: Paul from Pattaya, Chonburi, Thailand replies: "I own a 6 year old male Shi Tzu (MaMa). He suffers from regular seizures. These have been happening for the past 5 years. Just recently he has been having the seizures on a more frequent basis. I was reading on the Earthclinic site that Extra Virgin Coconut Oil helps in aleviating the seizures. I went out and bought a bottle of NAF Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Cold Pressed. I followed the instructions on the Earthclinic website and gave MaMa a 5ml dose orally once per day. After 2 days I had to stop giving him the oil. MaMa became very unsteady on his feet and sways when he stands, as if drunk. He has been like this for 4 days now and I am worried about him. I have been giving him Organic Honey on the tip of my finger. That seems to help, but only for a few minutes.
Can anyone make any suggestions how I stop MaMa from tremors/shaking/swaying.
All assistance would be greatly appreciated"
[YEA] 06/16/2011: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "You should discontinue the oil is correct. The oil buffers the electrical shortage, but it doesn't exactly solve the cause of the electrical shortage in its brains. It may be metal toxicity or excitotoxins as the other cause of seizures. But the fact he cannot stand may be viral, all oils tend to lower the immune system with exception of coconut oil. I would try a lysine and threonine, 1/4 teaspoon hourly 4 hours and in evening 1/4 teaspoon hourly 3 hours for 3 days.
10/23/2011: Pilarcita from Apple Valley, Ca, Usa replies: "Ted, I really need your help.. I have a six yr. old white maltese that started shaking vigorously two days ago. I thought he was afraid of new dogs and puppies that we have in the house but it has continued and he seems to have weak limbs to jump on the sofa. He only wants to seat and is not eating very much unless I bring the food up to him. He's always been a very active dog, very happy, he is not like that anymore. I looked it up in the internet and came across a syndrome on maltese and white dogs called White Shaker Syndrome, which describe exactly what is happening to my dog Coco. I was planning on taking him to the vet this Monday but I have read also that the meds given to dogs for that are not good for them "PREDNISONE". They sometimes called this syndrome seizures... Will coconut oil be good for treating him? Please tell me what you recommend for treating him naturally.. I am a Reiki healer and have also been doing reiki on him... He has improved from two days ago, but I want him to be back to normal and want to treat him naturally.... PLEASE HELP.. Thank you... Rocio"
12/13/2011: Diane from Charleston, Sc replies: "My 12 yr. old Shih Tsu has been having seizures for a long time. For the past few years they increased to one a month. I researched online and found Taurine helps to prevent seizures. I noticed Taurine is not in dog food. 7 months ago I started giving my dog 500mg. of Now Foods Taurine capsules a day. My dog hasn't had a seizure since. I also feed my dog Organix canned dog food. I've tried different natural food brands and this one agrees with her."
03/11/2014: Jona from West Virginia replies: "Our dog Sydney was just diagnosed as being epileptic and was prescribed phenobarbital. After reading about Organic Virgin Coconut Oil on this site, I'm interested in giving this to Sydney, but I was wondering if there are any interactions between the 2? I would feel absolutely horrible if I found out too late that they should not be used together."
03/12/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Jona!
I reviewed the comments and it appears many have used both the pheno and the EVCO at the same time. Some simply stopped the pheno as it seemed to not be working. I urge you to work with your veterinarian to determine the cause of the seizures if at all possible. Some folks report keeping the seizures successfully at bay by feeding a home made diet.
Please report back and let us know how your boy does on the EVCO! "
[YEA] 09/18/2010: Shelly from Houston, Texas: "Our lab started having seizures in April 2009 when she was 5 years old. I immediately took people's advice on this website to monitor her diet. Through a process of elimination of trying different, healthy dog foods, we found that she was highly sensitive to products with Rosemary... Even a cracker that she picked up off the floor catapulted her into seizures. So we took her off of dog food with Rosemary. Things got much better, but then she started having cluster grand mal seizures later in the fall and it had gotten to the point where she was having five seizures in 30 hours... Absolutely horrible! We completely eliminated dog food and dog biscuits from her diet and she has been seizure free since April of 2010. We determined that she was sensitive to the processed corn in dog food.
We feed our lab raw chicken legs (not cooked because the bones splinter and are dangerous for them to eat), one in the morning and one in the evening as well as other raw or cooked meats. We also feed her many different foods that we eat... Raw carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cottage cheese, boiled or raw eggs, pastas, rices, breads, baked or mashed potatoes, and many other fruits and vegetables that are not toxic to dogs. We mainly avoid leftover dishes that have too many spices or onions and such. I keep a list inside a cabinet door in the kitchen to remind me on what she can eat. As a result, we have a very healthy, happy lab. It's a little more work and maybe a little more expensive, but we no longer have the stress of watching a family member suffer. Plus, she is at a healthy weight because dog food can be very fattening. I urge you to not put your dog down or feel like you have to spend so much money on vet bills and meds, unless it is necessary. Most likely, it is caused by something that they are ingesting, so please look at that first. I hope that this helps."Replies
01/14/2012: Lori from Ottawa, On replies: "Hi Shelly from Houston.... I have a 6.5 yr old Jack Russell and she started having seizures when she was 5... She isn't on meds as the vet said to monitor them as she had them few of them, but recently she has been having them quite often... I have been thinking it is because of her food... so I am curious to know exactly what you do feed your dog? Not sure if I would give her uncooked chicken as I would worry she would get salmonella..."
[YEA] 03/19/2010: Larry C from Bartlett, Il, Usa: "This is in regards to pet epilepsy (dog).
About 15 years ago my husky/Shepard mix began having seizures and a trip to the vet diagnosed epilepsy and drugs to slow him down (he was having about 3 episodes a day). I didn't want him slow, he was a great dog. At the time the internet was pretty much forums so I started searching for the cause of his affliction. I came across others who recommended a dietary change to something more natural than the Science Diet "poison" I was feeding him. I don't quite remember what brand came next but it reduced the seizures to about 3 a week. Another change reduced them to about 3 a month until the final brand "Natures Balance", eliminated them entirely. He lived a long and relatively healthy life to the ripe old age of 14. I believe he could have gone longer had my ex wife continued to give him filtered water that removed the chlorine and especially the fluoride from the drinking water. She's a believer that our great medical community knows it all and that I'm a kook... That may be true but my best friend helped save me as much as I did him. RIP Rascal 03/27/2009"Replies
01/04/2014: Brittany from Fort Wayne, In replies: "My dog, Ronin began having seizure at 8mo. old in December 2012. He was started on Phenobarb and until July his seizures were about once a month. In July he began going 4-14 days between seizures, and the frequency continued to increase. He had his first cluster seizure in October, and was loaded with PBr. He continued to have seizures ever 4-7 days. He recently began Keppra, and will be decreasing and discontinuing his PBr in the coming weeks. He went two weeks without a seizure, but had a post/pre ictal behavior episode after a week on Keppra, but no actual seizure. We currently feed him Grain-free Earthborn, and he is completely grain free, however we haven't confirmed it's grain related (he got into some friends grain dog food the day he had his seizure after started Keppra, but we're not sure if it was a coincidence yet). We continue to research, and have seen a few people say Rosemary may be their trigger... which our Earthborn dog food does have (and it seems most grain-free foods have! ). I have seen recent posts for nature's Balance and such... I was wondering what opinions were on dog foods for epi-pups?"
01/04/2014: Jane from Asheville, Nc replies: "Dear Brittany,
I read a post on Earth Clinic a few weeks ago about tap water being a possible trigger for seizures. Try putting your dog on purified water (not Brita filtered but better) and see if that helps. I keep learning about more and more contaminants in tap water. I now have our animals on spring water that I buy in 5 gallon containers at Home Depot. Oh and another post I recall reading some time ago was seizures caused after Rabies vaccination. Maybe there is a connection. Please let us know how your furry friend is."
01/05/2014: Suseeq from Sydney Australia replies: "Try zinc tablets. I had a cross border collie kelpie who suffered with seizures. I gave her a zinc tablet once a day and went from having four a week to about two a year and they were very mild."
01/06/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Brittany!
I'm sorry to hear about Ronin's seizures. Since they started young - 10 months - it sounds like Ronin is the poster pup for idiopathic [of unknown origin] canine epilepsy:
These seizures tend to occur at quiet times - at night or during sleep.
Diet certainly is a factor to consider with seizures; feeding doggie "junk food" - pretty much anything commonly available at the supermarket is often full of nitrates and red food dyes and artificial preservatives can indeed result in seizures.
So the best diet for an epi dog? Home cooked IMHO. It doesn't have to be RAW - it just has to be fresh, pure and healthfully prepared.
I am unable to find "New Balance Ltd" dog food; I DO find Natural Balance Ltd dog food and am not impressed. It is also possible at the time of the original post on this particular kibble it WAS an exceptional diet, and has since changed hands; this happens far too often with top dog foods - they obtain a good reputation and then are sold to other companies that then change the formulas to include substandard ingredients. In your shoes I would consider Fromm - Gold Nutritionals - no rosemary, made in Wisconsin. If that doesn't suite search the brands that are easily available to you and use your 'control F' function to search 'rosemary' on each ingredient panel you review - the diets are out there.
In reading up on the topic -its been a few years since I had an epilepsy dog - I found this gem from Ted:
"06/16/2011: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "You should discontinue the oil is correct. The oil buffers the electrical shortage, but it doesn't exactly solve the cause of the electrical shortage in its brains. It may be metal toxicity or excitotoxins as the other cause of seizures. But the fact he cannot stand may be viral, all oils tend to lower the immune system with exception of coconut oil. I would try a lysine and threonine, 1/4 teaspoon hourly 4 hours and in evening 1/4 teaspoon hourly 3 hours for 3 days."
Its cold and winter and skin dries so easily - so tempting to add oils to the diet yet that is contra indicated. In addition, the mention of excitotoxins - MSG is a big one, BHT and ethoxyquin [both preservatives] are also, however live vaccines have them as well: do consider stopping all vaccinations if you can [rabies is the only one required by law -as your vet for an exemption] and certainly discontinue any spot on or internal parasite treatments and the like. Also consider dosing - per Ted - lysine and threonine, 1/4 teaspoon hourly 4 hours and in evening 1/4 teaspoon hourly 3 hours for 3 days.
Also consider Dr. Ackerman's Epilepsy & Seizure Control Supplement - it looks super affordable [when it was recommended a couple years ago! ] as well as eliminating all non-'green' cleaning products; consider Dr. Bronner's soaps for washing the floors, etc.
Several contributors recommended Taurine, an amino acid that is a long lasting anti-convulsant that has proven to help some seizure dogs. Capsule form is best as tablets contain fillers. The dose is 500mg per 25lb once or twice daily.
Another nutritional supplement for brain support is Lecithin - 1200 mg/50 pounds has worked for 1 contributor. And yet another poster found ground raw, unsalted sunflower seeds - 1 table spoon per day - to help keep seizures at bay; grind them fresh every day as they lose freshness very quickly.
Homeopathic Cuprum Met 3x was recommended by one contributor; another posted "when I give him Belladonna...it stops [the seiuzure]almost immediately." With homeopathy if its the right remedy it will be effective very quickly and may make a huge difference.
Thinking really outside the box, check this out [my own holistic vet uses this technique as well]:
"12/03/2011: Wendy from Melbourne, Australia: "My 15 year old cat started having seizures about two months ago. As soon as she starts, I grab her and continuously tap FasterEft style on the point above her eyebrow all the time saying "Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go" until the seizure stops. It usually stops within 10 to 15 seconds. (Go to Robert Smith's website fastereft.com for info on tapping. ) I then hold her and cuddle and reassure her and give her Rescue Remedy. I fill a 30 mil dropper bottle with spring water and add four drops of Rescue Remedy and I keep this bottle handy."
This is another possibility to consider:
It is a Hemp Oil Supplement that was very successful for one contributor.
You may find additional remedies on this site:
Good luck, and please keep us updated! "
[YEA] 03/13/2009: Katherine from Jacksonville, Florida: "My 1 1/2 year old Rottie has been having seizures since she was 3 months old. She may have been having them longer, but I found her at age 3 month on the side of the road. To make a long story short, I eventually found her first owners and she was given to me. At any rate, I took her to the Vet when I found her and had her thoroughly checked out. The Vet told me I would probably have to put her on seizure medication if the seizures continued. One day I took her to the feed store/pet supply store for some advice on the rash she had just developed. While we were there, she had 3 seizures. The very nice and concerned lady that was helping me, suggested I put her on a dog for called "Diamond". The one with no artificial additives or grains. I believe it was the chicken and rice recipe. She suspected "Treet" (my Rottie) had food allergies. Since I've been giving Treet the Diamond dog food, her rash has disappeared, but to my surprise, so has her seizures. I didn't realize or attribute the disappearance of the seizures to the dog food until tonight. I was reading another comment from one of your reader's and they said that they feed their dog the same brand dog food (Diamond) because it does not contain and additive called "BTD or BTH" (they weren't sure of the exact name of the additive) because the additive causes seizures. I'm going to have to agree with that person. Treet hasn't had a seizure in about 2 months now. The only thing that I've changed was her dog food. I feel confident it was the dog food that made the seizures disappear. It's a very scary thing to watch your baby go through that and you can't do anything to help. I am so very happy and relieved that she doesn't have them any more. Now I have to work on her constant ear infections. I'm going to try the Apple Cider Vinegar, Alcohol and Water mixture I read about. I'll keep you posted."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 10/22/2008: Lara from Springfield, MO: "Dog Epilepsy
I found out from my vet that any kind of pork product can induce seizures, even in dogs that aren't epileptic. I stopped giving my dog ham bones (he used to get a lot) and pork and he has not had near as many seizures. Also, I only give him spring water because tap water has chlorine, which is another seizure trigger.
Another trigger that some people may not think of is exposure to fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Even if you do not use these products in your own yard, your neighbors could be spraying them.
As far as the vaccination issue goes, my dog also had his first seizure about one week after his rabies booster."
[YEA] 11/04/2008: Holly from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada replies: "As someone below said, seizures are not a death sentence, so don't despair. My dog, a border collie mix, began having seizures probably about about 4 years old. We put him on phenobarb at the recommend of the vet and increased or decreased accordingly. When we saw that his seizures had decreased for some time, we decreased the dose ourselves. He has not had a seizure that I have seen in several years now, and I have decreased his meds again. He is now 15 years old, and very active, not heavy, and a joy to have. As an aside, I feed him Ol'Roy dogfood in the bags, as well as people food. He loves vegetables, fruits, salmon, meats."
06/29/2012: Iheartmybabies from Moorestown, Nj, 08057 replies: "Hi Everyone, First time poster, long time reader here. I want to thank everyone who posts here for their valuable time and imput - it's helped me with my four dogs for so many different issues.
Today I'm posting about my 4 pound chihuahua, Louise. Years ago she had 2 seizures, a year apart and that was it. This past December, shortly after applying Frontline, she went into cluster seizures - major foaming at the mouth (could have filled a bathtub with all the foam), the shaking, etc. I had her at the vets for 3 days in a row. Everytime the valium started to wear off, she'd go back into the seizures. Finally she came home and all was quiet for a bit, and then it was a seizure here and a seizure there. Not the foaming at the mouth kind anymore, but what my vet called "petite" grand mal seizures. Her tests for Addison's Disease came back negative, even though her potassium levels were off the chart and more recently I've become convinced it's epilepsy.
Recently her seizures have become much more frequent, usually in the middle of the night. My other chihuahua wakes me up when Louise starts a seizure and thanks to the great folks on this website, with the use of Honey and a cold compress on her back, she usually comes out of it pretty quickly. However, I can't be here everytime she goes into a seizure and as everyone here knows, it's just heart-breaking to witness. I tried some BSM and virgin cocnut oil and she had a seizure that night. I know it's not long enough to tell if it helps or not, but with her tiny size I just don't want to put her through a million experiments. I definitely didn't want to put her on the seizure meds from the vets - again, with her tiny size, the damage they could do could far outweigh any benefits. So, anyway, after much research (and that's an understatement), I decided I wanted to keep it simple, clean and easy. I wanted organic food, NO rosemary, I wanted taurine and magnesium, etc. Raw would probably be a better way to go, but I have 4 dogs and not a ton of time/money. Not that Louise isn't worth it, she is, but like any diet (people or pets) I wanted something that I knew I could and would stick with.
So today, I picked up a bag of Potato and Venison New Balance dog food. It has everything I wanted for her and NO rosemary extract (that was tough to find). After reading a ton of positive reviews, I also ordered Dr. Ackerman's epilepsy/seizure control supplements. ! 0.00 on Amazon. I bought a small bag of New Balance dog treats too, again without the rosemary extract. I feel good about having made these changes. The Ackerman supplements won't arrive until next week sometime, but I really feel that the New Balance combined with Ackerman's supplements, we're going to finally see a decrease in her seizures. I'm also trying to give her bottled spring water but it's tough when the other 3 dogs drink it too.
One added note: Louise is 7 years old and because of her small size, I never had her spayed. I regret that now and may still do it as my intuition tells me that these seizures may even be hormonal triggered. She was in heat last Decemeber and she's in heat now - both times when the seizures really kicked in. I'll let you know in a few weeks if we had any success!"
07/04/2012: Iheartmybabies from Moorestown, Nj replies: "Just a quick update, going on day 5 or 6 here since starting Louise on her new diet - NO SEIZURES! She was having one everyday. I have her on New Balance Ltd. , and Dr. Ackerman's Seizure/Epilepsy Control Supplements. She also has New Balance treats. It appears that removing the rosemary extract and adding the taurine and magnesium (all in the New Balance food) might be the answer. I know it's too soon to really tell, but we're off to a great start. I'll continue to post updates."
10/25/2012: Pennysmommy from South Jersey, Nj replies: "The only thing I found to eliminate the seizures all together was diet change. My dog is on pheno, but the seizures continued. I tried so many commercial dog foods - New Balance Ltd seemed the best for seizure reduction, but not complete elimination. She still continued to have a seizure a couple of times a month and I just didn't think her little body could continue to cope. Anyway, I started home cooking her food while continuing with the Pheno, and the seizures have been eliminated completely. I cook turkey, chicken and veal in a crock pot. When it's done I put a combination of meat, green beans, broclli, yogurt or cottage cheese, sometimes a bit of cooked rice, blueberries, bananna, apple, flax seed oil and crushed NuVet vitamins into a food processor. Chop it all up (it actually looks like canned dog food when it's done) and freeze individual serving sizes. It may take a little time, but I don't think it's more expensive and this has changed everything. Allergies are gone, seizures are gone.... And I know exactly what she's eating. There are so many hidden things in commercial dog foods, so much processing. With a special needs pet, I truly believe home cooking is the only way to go. I've heard great things about raw, but can't bring myself to go that route. I'm too afraid of bacteria's and generally speaking, it grosses me out. Just wanted to share this, and oh, fleas are gone and her coat is so beautiful."
[YEA] 03/15/2008: Krisanne from Birch Run, Michigan: "To everyone who has a dog or cat with seizures, I'm sorry for that, it's the worst. I have a seven year old German Shepard that started having them when she turned two. I took her to the vet and they put her on medicine, that "might harm her liver over time" I gave her the pills for three years, with still a few seizures. One day I went into PetSmart and was talking to the salesperson about animals,when it led into my shepard and her problem. She told me that her boxer had them to and that there is an additive in dog food called BHT or BHD that is found to bring on seizures.In amazement and anger I decieded to buy a dog food without this additive in to see if it was true and if it would help. I bought a very expensive bag of food that cost $39.99 a bag, not caring as long as it was true. Long story short, it's true! After that I started searching around for a reasonable priced bag of food because we have a 102lb.not fat just big,Golden Retriever too,and they eat alot! I found a great bag of food at Tractor Supply called Diamond brand food. Just look on the back of your food bag if you see the three letters BHD or BHT,I really can't remember the exact three letters but it starts with a B. If it's in there I would change. Even some of the brands you think would be O.K. are not. Please try this it has been great with her not having seizuers any more. Good Luck I hope it helps."Replies
06/08/2008: Veronica from San Antonio, Texas replies: "Specifically, BHA, short for Butylated Hydroxyanisole, and BHT, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, are both artificial preservatives added to oils to slow down deterioration. BHA and BHT (as well as ethoxyquin) are used in numerous pet food brands, including both "premium-grade" brands like Science Diet (even their prescription diet product line) and lower-grade brands like Alpo and Pedigree, to replace vitamin E, which is removed during oil processing. Studies have shown that BHA and BHT promote liver disease and other medical problems."
06/25/2008: Anja from Nashville, TN replies: "My beagle started seizures in summer of 2007. He was a stray, so I do not know his background. We had a titer done for rabies and he tested negative, so he got ONE rabies shot and that's all he will have. No other booster shots, so that could not have been the trigger for his seizures. Seizures started two years after we brought him home. I cook my own dogfood (brown rice, greens, chicken). Sometimes they get raw, so I don't think food is the trigger. We had an expensive medical blood test done and no underlying medical issue to trigger seizures. His seizures were not severe enough to put him on Phenobarbitol and I would not have wanted it anyway. He had a seizure about once a month. His first two seizures were severe enough. He would fall over the day after. I searched alternative remedies and found Native Remedies Co on the internet. I give him EaseSure. He had two mild seizures after I started him on that and in September his seizures stopped. He had NO seizures for 9 months and he had a mild one again last week. Only a few seconds and shook it righ off. Went to play right after! Ingredients in EaseSure is Passionflower, Skullcap, Hyoscyamus (30C), Belladonna (30C), Cuprum metallicum. He gets 8 drops in the morning and evening. I am happy using the product. Also, when he goes into seizure I give him Rescue Remedy. I also have him on enzymes, vitamins and minerals."
[YEA] 02/05/2009: Jason from Waukesha, WI replies: "I tried the suggestion from someone on the site to try diamond brand dog food from Tractor Supply. My 6 year old yellow lab Duckota has been seizure free for 7 mos. now. Thank you and the people on this site for putting this information on you web site. I would suggest this remedy before meds. Any one who wants to try this remember to slowly introduce the new food don't just switch up all at once it can upset your animal. Thanks again."
[NAY] 02/07/2009: Heather from Decatur, IN replies: "I have a three year old Beagle/Jack Russel mix. We got her when she was 9 months old. When she was about 2 years old, she started having seizures. The first time it happened, I didn't know what it was. She was playing with our boxer puppy and they were running, she fell over and landed on top of a duffle bag. When she didn't get up, I went over and noticed that she was shaking. I picked up up and she was stiff and shaking, eyes glazed over and her teeth were clenched. I thought she was scared from the fall. So I was holding her and talking to her and noticed that she was not responding to me at all. Well, then she tried to walk and kept falling down, still shaking. I thought she hurt her leg or something and was going into shock, so I called the vet. He suggested that she was having a seizure. He told me to wait about 10-20 minutes and call him back if she was not any better. Well, she finally was able to walk again...but continued to slobber for about an hour or so afterwards. Since then she seems to have one about once a month sometimes more often, that I know of. She goes in her cage at night and sometimes her blankets smell like urine and we have to wash them. So, I think she's been having some at night or early in the morning before we get up.
I have been feeding her Diamond Dog food for over a year now. I switched to that brand when we got our puppy boxer because it was comparable to Science Diet, but cheaper in price. So, she gets the Adult formula. Reading through these postings, I see some of you have said it helps because of the absence of BHT or whatever is in a lot of dog foods, but for my dog the food additive must not be the problem. Still trying to figure out what is causing her seizures. I'm going to try the coconut oil and see if that helps her.
It is heart breaking to see her go through it and sometimes they last for so long or she will have clusters with little breaks in between.... maybe a minute or less where it looks like she is coming back around and then starts to shake really bad again. All I can do is pet her and tell its okay and she is almost done. I hate watching her go through this."
08/08/2010: Julie from Coventry, England replies: "Taurine an amino acid has proven to help some dogs. Capsule form is best as tablets contain fillers. The dose is 500mg per 25lb once or twice daily. Taurine is a long lasting anti-convulsant and I believe is considered very safe. Magnesium Taurinate supplies both Taurine and Magnesium but I'm not sure of quantity.
Another, very important factor is vaccine damage. Vaccines can cause encephalytis (sorry if not spelt correctly) swelling of the brain, this can lead to seizures. If it were my dog I would give no more vaccines, flea or tick treatments. They can all affect the brain.
Hope this helps."
01/14/2011: Lin from E. Wenatchee, Wa, Usa replies: "Science diet (hills is also a science diet product)is one of the worse dog foods there is for an epileptic, or any dog. Read the ingredients. Bio-products, corn, preservatives, soy etc. which no dog should have.
check the ingred. on van patten's dry food, and buffalo blue for a comparison."
[YEA] 11/16/2007: Linda from Littleton, NC: "My Dalmatian, soon to be 16, started having violent, lengthy seizures, generally but not always while sleeping, as well as chronic head and facial tics. A friend suggested using a dog food with a lower or no corn. Another, familiar with human epilepsy, suggested magnesium. The magnesium may have helped a little, but did not stop either symptom and I discontinued its use. I have been feeding exclusively Purina One, with the addition of a small amount of fish - salmon, tuna or halibut - and a small amount of olive oil daily for about six' months and the violent seizures seem to have stopped. Occasionally she gets a taste of meat or vegetables. In the last month, I have noticed the head and facial tics gradually diminish and disappear. Thanks for your website. It's a relief to know that others have seen similar conditions and come up with a variety of solutions."
[YEA] 10/26/2007: Lisa from Rancho Cucamonga, Ca: "Many dogs who suffer from seizures benefit from a grain free dog food. This also helps with some types of cancers as the grain and carbs seem to feed the tumors."
[YEA] 05/05/2007: MrmDeLuca from Phoenix, USA: "When my father was released from the hospital from a possible heart attack, he was put on a strict diet. In keeping with his diet, he would eat baked chicken with heaps of garlic, tomatoes, and onions. My father, hating the food, would always pass it along to his dog. Well this otherwise healthy dog had a seizure one day, for the first time in its life. All three ingredients, consumed in excess, are known to be fatal to dogs. He's never given the dog his chicken again. The dog has never had a seizure since. To my own dog I give only a quarter of a clove every other week with no problems."
[YEA] 04/10/2007: Deb from Sherman Oaks, CA: "A Homeopath I know feels that sometimes copper can cause seizures in animals. She said to try to find foods without copper (you have to look hard) and giving Homepathis Cuprum Met 3x for awhile has worked for many of the cases she has treated. I don't know if this is true I'm just passing it along. If you've tried everything else with no success this might be worth a try."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 04/09/2011: Kim T. from Chilton, Wi, Usa: "My dog Parker is an Aussie mix and was diagnosed with epilepsy about 2 years ago, and he also has severe allergies, both food and environmental. Of course I followed what my vet said and that was to put him on Pheno. Well he was still having seizures while being on this medication so we consulted with the vet again, and he just wanted to up the dose and add a second medication. I said no way. So on to my own research.
We have changed his diet to a gluten-free one. That is working fabulously. We have seen great results so far for both the epilepsy and his allergies. We are not feeding dry kibble, nor are we doing a raw diet. He could not handle the raw diet at all so after a little more digging, I found an awesome food alternative from The Skye's The Limit in Canada. Their food Canine Life comes in several formulas and they can also custom-tailor it if the dog is allergic to any of the ingredients. This food comes in a pre-mix and you make them into muffins. All healthy ingredients and you can make a variety for the dog by changing up the ingredients you add.
We have also been using a product called Xango Mangosteen Juice. It can be used for people as well and is meant for helpling inflammation. He is getting 1 ounce twice a day. We are at the point where we are able to wean Parker off of the Pheno! We have also seen improvement with his always inflamed paws due to his allergies. When they are really bad we use Xango's Pericarp oil topically for his paws when allergies are really bad.
Along with the juice supplement, Parker gets chiropractic alignments every 2-3 months by a veterinarian certified in animal spinal manipulation. This has been an amazing investment for him.
I have also been told that adding vitamin B will help too, but I just heard about this so I have not tried it yet.
Hope this helps someone out there!"Replies
[YEA] 07/04/2011: Michael from Panama City, Fl replies: "I have a 5lbs 4oz chiuaua who from the first year I had her suffered from seizures. Went to the vet who prescribed phenobarbytol which made her lethargic and begin getting fat and did nothing for the seizures. Even after at the end tripling the dose. I went online and spent about a week on research and finaly ordered norwegian fish oil. I only have to give her two a week and she has not had a seizure since. She is 5 years old now. The best thing is I do not have to force feed it to her I squeeze the gel caps out on a plate and she will happily lick the plate clean. The vet said that it would not work. He got quite when I told him she has not had a seizure in a year and does not had in meds in the last year except the oil."
05/13/2012: Tanya from Richmond, Ky replies: "Michael, What is the brand of Norwegian Fish Oil did you use? And where did you purchase it? I want to try this right away on my pomeranian. He just had another seizure a few minutes ago. They are getting more frequent. Last one was about 6 wks. Ago. The one before that was 6 months ago.
Thank you so much for your speedy reply."
06/28/2012: Sam from Hereford, England: "Hi, I've been reading all of the comments on people who have dogs with epilepsy. We have a beautiful Yorky cross Jack Russell who started having fits. We are fairly sure that it can coincide with when he goes through certain fields where crops are grown and the farmers have put fertilisers on the soil. The vet said it may be an allergy type reaction. But on asking other pet owners in the area they have also said their dogs have had fits using the same fields. I am going to try a natural remedy as the vets don't seem to have any answers. I just wondered whether anyone else had experienced this with their dog and if there were any proven links with fertilisers and epilepsy? We are going to keep our little dog out of the fields for the summer now. Thanks Sam"