An update to my other post.. I still don’t have great answers
I’ve been attempting to do my research on seizures in dogs for some time now. The vet will cost a fortune to run tests, so I’m just out here looking for similar situations.
My dog, Zeus, is a ~75lb pit mix (possibly with hound/boxer) at (approx.) 3 years old. He has now had 5 observed grand mal seizures this year between May and Dec. with a 12 week break after his first 2. All lasting about 2-4 minutes from the time it was caught.
I was determined it was the Interceptor heart worm prevention since the first 2 this year happened exactly 1 week after the dose was given. After I switched the heart worm preventative to ProHeart6 in July, we had about a 12 week period without a seizure. He then had 1 in Oct. and then one 7 weeks later in Nov. and then 4 weeks in Dec.
I then was convinced him eating his brothers poo was the cause. After doing MORE research, some hounds just eat poo (and he definitely has some in him).. and sometimes it is due to lack of enzyme & probiotic nutrition.
So what I did was order NaturVet Enzyme plus probiotic. In the meantime, we were very strict about watching him outside and picking up after every load. We also started a high protein diet by adding 1/2 – 1 cup meat to a 1/2 cup of dry kibble.. What I noticed during this time, he appeared to not have the acid-reflux symptoms (throwing up unexpectedly, mouth swallowing, etc.), no throwing up at all, overall more energy & perky, and not a strong beagle skin smell. What happened after the second dose of enzyme replacement was the acid-reflux symptoms reappeared (unexpected vomit & lots of swallowing) while still using CBD oil and high protein.
I proceeded to purchase a high quality/rated CBD oil for pets after the seizure in Nov. I did not order the second bottle soon enough and ran out. As I began to put him back on it slowly on day 2 of 1x/day he had his 5th seizure Dec. 24. We gave him a dose as he was beginning the seizure and did not appear to shorten or help.
Some things I have observed about him and these seizures:
– The first 2 (May & June) seizures occurred while eating Pure Balance wild & free grain-free salmon & pea (walmart) after wanting more convenience and switching to Chewy.com, I switched to Taste of the Wild grain-free bison & venison, July-Sept. I then made a personal decision to switch back to a grain food, Purina pro plan Focus sensitive skin & stomach salmon & rice in Sept. His 3rd seizure happened in Oct. and 4th in Nov.
– The 3 times that I have witnessed the episode, after he has relaxed for a few minutes, he immediately begins eating his food. He’s not a big eater and will eat about once a day on dry food only if no added meat.
-During the seizures, he expels his stomach bile (not sure if that is normal)
– He does eat his dog brother’s feces (and we have tried nearly every additive to the food to prevent this – now were down to frequent clean up/muzzle). We found him as a stray at approximately 1 year.
– The first 3 occurred while he was outside (which also made me believe that he was getting into a weed or poisonous fungus/plant). The 4th one occurred while he was sleeping and 5th inside.
– The 4th & 5th one were the only seizures I have seen from beginning to end as it happened when waking up in the AM. He began to try to vomit and then began running round, stopped, peed and grand mal for 2-4 minutes. During the seizure his stomach bile expels
– The 4th one also occurred while on doxycycline & vetprofen for a infected hair. He’s been on antibiotics before for a surgical ingrown hair removal
– Common demonstrators: Salmon flavor (possibly other similar ingredients)
Questions I have for myself: Is he eating it because his body needs something in the feces? Is it the Salmon/brand? Is his stomach bile doing something with the enzymes ingested?
If another one occurs, I will probably have to get a prescription for seizures. I feel there is a pattern and there is a healthier solution than medication.susan HMember
It will not be an accurate number but I would seriously consider having a whole blood taurine test done and even an echo and then…lack of taurine can also result in seizures – or so I have read. Get away from these foods loaded with peas and other legumes and potatoes until they understand exactly what the issue is.susan HMember
It will not be an accurate number because you have already switched foods but I would seriously consider having a whole blood taurine test done and even an echo to make sure your dog does not have DCM and then…lack of taurine can also result in seizures – or so I have read. Get away from these foods loaded with peas and other legumes and potatoes until they understand exactly what the issue is.Dean RMember
I’m new to this great website/forum and I must admit I have only skimmed all the posts related to DCM as there are a lot of them. So rather than jump in and make a fool out of myself, I am going to give mine and my dog’s experience with this rather complex issue.
Pepper is my almost 14-year-old, female Miniature Schnauzer, who was diagnosed with DCM this summer on a trip to California on a Saturday night, of course. We took her to an ER Vet for a problem with back leg weakness. They took radiographs of her hips and found the cardiomegaly and hepatomegaly. A heart murmur was also found. She did not have one a year before. Nothing was learned about her back legs, but we suddenly had a sick dog on our hands who needs lifelong medication. No cause was given and other than meds no solution was either. Her back legs got better after we got her some booties when we realized she was slipping on the smooth floor of the rental house.
About 2 weeks later I read about the low grain diet controversy on an animal wellness website. Yes, Pepper was on a low grain diet. The article made the point that the problem wasn’t the low grain, but what it was replaced with, such as legumes(peas, beans, chickpeas) and nightshade plants (potatoes). It might have sounded like just another diet controversy, but I knew all about this from my own health issues. I had developed a heart issue and had been following Dr Steven Gundry’s Anti-Lectin diet. Lectins are plant proteins that protect the plant progeny from predators. Some of the more famous ones are gluten(grains)and ricin(castor beans). Legumes and nightshades have high levels of lectins. These lectins cause the body to attack its own tissues and organs. I had never seen anything about this in dogs, but it explained the etiology of Pepper’s problems. I got her off the low grain food and on to a 99% animal protein sourced one. It was really had to find and I have yet to find a dry dog food for her. She has stopped panting, has more energy, plays with the cat and loves her walks again. I also started to give her a taurine supplement and a vitamin supplement for dogs, which is designed to replace nutrients cooked out of dog food. I hope this sheds some light on this issue and urge you to investigate dietary lectins.Cristine DMember
I would like to add, if your dog is already having seizures 1- check your dog food for Rosemary or Rosemary Extract. Both are known to set off seizures in dogs who already have seizures. Also, everything I have read, once your dog comes out of seizures, it such a physical exhaustion for them, they want food, water and I know mine sleeps hard. I hope you have found some answers, I too am still looking.Patricia AMember
Christine is it a possibility that low blood sugar is contributing to seizure activity since he eats only once a day and very little? Maybe some lean boiled hamburger topper with kibble and string beans, carrots will help with his appetite and assure he gets enough animal protein. I boil chicken and add a tiny bit of the water to kibble also. Also maybe below article is of help. Common causes of seizures are flea/tick meds even when discontinued can result in ongoing seizures in some dogs as well as heart worm meds and vaccinations.
Diet and Epilepsy Link
Environmental control is a significant element in gaining better management of your dog’s seizures. Start with what goes into him. Feeding a home-prepared diet, cooked or raw, can make all the difference for some dogs. Though there are virtually no studies to determine whether there is a relationship between diet and seizure activity, many holistic veterinarians report anecdotal evidence that a top-quality home-prepared diet can play a large part in management of seizures.
Allergy testing for grain and protein sensitivities is another tool you can use to identify and remove any potential seizure triggers.
Dr. Kelleher also advocates the use of taurine supplementation for epileptic dogs at a dose of 250 milligrams per 40 pounds body weight daily. Taurine supplementation is especially important for dogs who eat commercial and grain-based diets. This amino acid is found in the central nervous system and skeletal muscle and is concentrated in the brain and heart. It’s unknown whether that has anything to do with the fact that taurine supplementation can reduce seizure activity, especially in those dogs experiencing tremors or noise triggered seizures. Discuss this or any other supplement with your dog’s veterinarian.
If feeding a home-prepared diet isn’t possible, find the highest-quality commercial dog food. Grains in the diet, including treats, should be kept to a minimum.
Keep in mind that many commercial dog foods include rosemary extract and sage, both of which are known to be seizure triggers in some sensitive dogs. Processed treats like rawhide chews and pigs ears should also be avoided with epileptics. Sharing human food containing MSG or cured products like hot dogs and luncheon meats is also not recommended. Many human takeout foods, instant, ready made, and convenience foods also contain chemical ingredients that can be adverse to the health of a seizure-prone dog. Cleaning up your dog’s diet is good incentive to do the same with your own.
Frequent, small meals are helpful in managing epilepsy, as keeping the blood sugar stabilized seems to help. Hypoglycemia can contribute to seizure activity, especially in smaller breeds where the dog’s digestive tract and his meals are proportionately smaller. Grain products are especially suspect in animals who have seizures regularly. Feeding frequent, small meals is also helpful for coping with the increased hunger experienced by dogs who are given phenobarbital. Snacks such as fresh or steamed vegetables or fruit pieces are great low calorie treats that can keep your dog satisfied and increase his seizure threshold.
Other Canine Epilepsy Triggers
Despite the changes in recommended vaccine protocols recommended by most of the major university-based veterinary medical schools, many veterinarians continue to recommend annual vaccinations for their patients. In a seizure-prone dog, a vaccine booster can trigger seizure activity for at least 30 days. This is one reason that Dr. Dodds recommends avoiding routine vaccination for canine epileptics.
Many owners of epileptic dogs ask their veterinarians to test their dogs’ vaccine titer levels instead, to ensure the animals have adequate antibodies to protect them from disease. If the results indicate a dog does not have adequate immune protection for a particular disease, the appropriate vaccination can be administered individually, rather than in a “5 in 1” vaccine combination.
Regular rabies vaccines are required in each state by law. These vaccines can be especially risky for epileptics; owners of epileptic dogs have lots of anecdotal evidence of this. Check with your local municipality to see if proof of adequate vaccine titer test results are acceptable in place of vaccinating an epileptic dog annually . Many towns and cities will accept documented titer tests as proof of vaccination.
Since exposure to many chemicals can trigger seizures in sensitive dogs, it should not come as a surprise that many heartworm and flea preventative treatments that are systemically administered can be disastrous for many epileptic dogs. While elimination of these treatments is not always possible, care must be taken with a seizure-prone dog when preventing heartworm infestation. Several of the most popular heartworm preventatives actually list tremors or convulsions as rare side effects, and can be contraindicated with a dog that is given daily phenobarbital.
Flea products containing insect growth regulator can cause twitching and muscle weakness when an animal is overexposed. Keep in mind these cautions are given for normal canine populations. An epileptic is commonly more sensitive to these products and great care must be taken when protecting them from heartworm and flea infestation.
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