Three (3) Natural Treatments for Dog Seizures and Epilepsy
In dogs as with humans, not all seizures mean epilepsy. Sometimes a seizure will happen for no reason at all, just a technical glitch in the brain that will never have any type of answer behind it. The dog may live his whole life without ever having another seizure again. Others may have daily seizures, even dozens every day.
There are several things you should do no matter if it is the very first seizure ever or if your dog has had them for many years. It is important that you learn the right steps to prevent injury to your dog and to your self. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. Any added stress or tension could make your dog seize for much longer and could make him have repeat seizures as well. In addition to staying calm:
- Stay away from your dog’s head especially his mouth. Do not attempt to put anything in his mouth at any point. Even the most loving and loyal dog may bite in the confusing and frightening period just before and just after a seizure so protect yourself and other family members.
- Monitor your dog to make sure that he is not going to bump in to something that could hurt him. You will also want to keep track of how long the seizure lasts.
- For seizures over 2 minutes take steps to help cool your dog down including turning on fans in his general area and using cool water to cool the pads of his paws. Do not soak your dog in water.
- In seizures lasting over 5 minutes or for seizures that stop and start, call the vet. If the dog is still seizing or is unresponsive after a prolonged seizure he should be seen by the vet immediately.
The vet will probably discuss two different types of medication for your dog’s seizures regardless of what type they are. These medications are for prevention and a rescue drug that is used when a seizure starts. Rescue meds are meant to bring an immediate end to the seizure activity and can be used in various settings. They have their drawbacks as do regular veterinary drugs. Many of the most common drugs prescribed for seizures in dogs are toxic to the liver and other organs. In dogs that are already prone to certain types of organ damage, these drugs can be a literal death sentence.
Thankfully there are some more natural treatments that can be used for your dog. Even when using these methods, you should use the same standards when seizures occur.
#1 – CBD Oil (Cannabis Hemp Oil)
CBD Oil is derived from the hemp plant, a close relative of marijuana. While CBD can have some trace amounts of THC (the compound that makes you feel high) there is not enough to cause an effect on your dog at all. In fact, one of the standards that must be followed for this oil to be sold for pet use is very low to no THC. The things to look for when choosing CBD Oil:
- Buy organic only. Non-organic tends to have lower quality and may have harmful additives like fertilizers and other chemicals
- Only buy brands that are labeled for pet use.
- Buy brands that are sold on reputable websites which can allow you to ask questions or to complain if you have any problems with the product.
CBD Oil has a number of health benefits that go beyond seizures including reducing chronic inflammation and pain, reducing anxiety (which can be a trigger for seizures) and prevention or treatment of cancer. You can find CBD Oil prices and more information here.
#2 – Food Therapy
Like humans, the food a dog eats can play a role in his overall health and well-being. To that end, many vets are starting to recommend that a higher fat, lower carb diet be used for dogs that are prone to seizures of any kind. In addition to being more like a dog’s natural diet in the first place, it will help to increase natural levels of other compounds for other health benefits.
Some dogs benefit from a supplement of fish oil mixed in with their food although some dogs may get gassy from this. If your dog has a sensitive stomach he may get diarrhea at first but may adjust to it fairly quickly. If diarrhea continues or worsens, discontinue the fish oil immediately.
Any food that promotes brain and nerve health for your dog should be considered to be beneficial. Other foods which promote relaxation and calm can also be added to his diet. Turkey, which is high in protein as well as the amino acid tryptophan can be given to your dog. It will give him clean energy as well as promoting the release of serotonin which may help him to avoid seizure activity.
Not all foods are safe for dogs, so keep the list of forbidden foods in mind when you prepare his meals for him.
#3 – Belladonna 200c
The lovely belladonna plant is often known by its other, far more sinister sounding name, “deadly nightshade”. It is considered to be a toxic, poisonous plant but is still used for many remedies including treating asthma, nerve pain and more. A single study from more than 10 years ago found that it could be effective for treating seizures in dogs and so it became a popular home or natural remedy. There are a number of formulas for this particular remedy and it may be difficult to evaluate how safe or unsafe they might be. It is important that you discuss this option with your vet and get his advice before proceeding.
No matter what type of natural remedy or therapy you try with your dog, it is important to keep up to date with his medical appointments and to follow all vet recommendations for vaccines and more. You can discuss using less toxic medications especially with an older dog who may have organ damage already. Make sure you and the vet are working toward the best outcome for your dog, always.