Thursday, December 21, 2006

What about pet seizures?

Not long ago an owner of a golden retriever called asking for help. Her dog's Petit mal seizures began suddenly three months earlier and were often barely noticeable. But they steadily increased in frequency and intensity. The veterinarian did a complete medical work up and could find no physical cause for the seizures.

We talked about any changes in his environment, diet and vaccination schedule but there seemed to be nothing different -- except for a new toy. As we talked she realized he received his new rubber chew toy shortly before the first seizure. And she mentioned it did have an odd, strong odor. I suggested she remove the bone in case he was sensitive to something in the material.

I did not hear from her for a couple of months and decided to check in to see how her golden was doing. She was happy to report that after removing the rubber bone he did not have any more seizures. This is not conclusive evidence the rubber bone caused the seizures but it is possible that he was sensitive to the materials. Whether it was coincidence or a cause-and-effect we will never know. But she now has a happy golden that is seizure free.

It is often difficult to determine the cause of seizures. They may be a result of an injury, illness, reaction to medication, vaccines or environmental toxins. It is important to keep a journal to record every aspect of your dog's environment and diet to determine if there is a pattern between the onset of the seizure and specific events. A poodle owner I spoke to recently was told her dog had a history of seizures when she adopted him.

She feeds him a high quality diet and checks titers instead of administering regular vaccines. He has not had any seizures since living in his new home. Because of her holistic and cautious approach, she can feel confident she has identified the cause if a seizure does occur after his next vaccine.In their book "The Goldsteins' Wellness & Longevity Program, Natural Care for Dogs and Cats," Robert and Susan Goldstein suggest administering the homeopathic medicine Thuja occidentalis once daily for seven days since some seizures are linked to past vaccinations.

Their diet recommendation is a natural food that is free of chemical additives and preservatives, which can provoke seizures. The nutrients and essential fatty acids they recommend are: Lecithin which rebuilds the nerves' protective insulation; Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid that is an important component of the cell membranes of the brain and nerves; Vitamin B complex; fish oil; flax oil; and Gamma-linoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory type fatty acid found in evening primrose oil.In addition to the Goldsteins' book I would recommend anyone dealing with canine seizures visit the web site Epi Guardian Angels at

You will find a wealth of information on possible causes, treatments, and support from others dealing with this difficult issue.Jo Bighouse is the proprietor of Midas Touch Naturally Healthy Pets, LLC on Shepherds Mill Road in Clarke County. She is a member of the Organic Trade Association, Flower Essence Society, Animal Wellness Association, and Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Contact her through her web site at with questions to be answered in future columns.


Post a Comment

<< Home