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Epilepsy, ​Nutrition and Dogs: Inappropriate Diets: Part 5


Epilepsy is a nuerological disorder in dogs that causes seizures. It's usually not fatal but can be distressing for both the dog and owner, more so for the owner to see.

There are a few different types of epilepsy in dogs;

Status Epilepticus - this is a worry and potentially fatal, but rare if the epilepsy is managed properly.  It's where one fit runs into the next, so your dog has one long (can be hours) fit. The treatment here would be general anaesthetic. 

Idiopathic Epilepsy - is the most common cause of seizures in a dog. It's an inherited disorder but its exact cause is unknown.

Epilepsy can take on two main forms of seizures. Focal and generalised. Focal is where the seizures start within a specific part of the brain and effect a certain part of the body or one side of the body. Generalised,is where the seizures effect both sides of the brain and the body to the point the dog is unaware of its surroundings and may lose it's ability to control bodily functions. (1)

​Seizures can range in length from a few seconds to longer than 5 minutes in severe cases. The main thing to monitor is their frequency, if the seizures have a recurring pattern, if there are convulsions, or involuntary muscular twitching of parts of the body and if fits start and stop suddenly.

Causes of Epilepsy in Dogs 

No-one is really sure what causes epilepsy in dogs but there are certain diseases or other factors that can be triggers.

Scientific research done on both humans and mice shows that epilepsy can be down to some form of genetic mutation so research is investigating links between dogs and humans to track similar gene mutations that can potentially cause epilepsy in dogs. (2)

However some of the main triggers are as follows:

  • Inbreeding of certain dog species
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Brain tumors
  • Brain trauma
  • Brain inflammation due to trauma
  • Toxins - these can be from unnatural food, to chemical flea treatments, to environmental toxins i.e the chemical cleaning products you use to clean your home.
  • Environmental - high stress situations
  • Vaccinations
  • Blood sugar level - either too high or too low.

Treatment for Epilespy

Treatment is usually begun only after a pet has been known to have more than one seizures a month, where there are a cluster of seizures so one seizure is immediately followed by another or your dog experiences "grand mal-seizures" whereby, the seizures are severe or prolonged in duration.

Some of the best treatments to go for are more holistic or homeopathic in order to keep the level of toxins to a minimum.

Most vets prescribe the drug Phenobarbitone but any conventional drugs should be considered alongside natural supplements to counter the side effects. For example Phenobarbitone must be used with Milk Thistle or similar as it's mildly toxic to the liver so combining the drug with a natural antioxidant like Milk Thistle, will help your pet.

Other conventional drugs to treat epilepsy are: 

  • Potassium bromide
  • Levetiracetam
  • Pexion
  • Zonegran

Natural Supplements Help Control Epilepsy. 

Speak to your vet about which one fits with your regime but some of the best supplements to consider instead of conventional drugs are...

  • MCT oil - These are oils that are Medium Chain Triglycerides, for example pure coconut oil. MCT's oils can produce ketones more readily.
  • CBD oil - Go for a high quality organically grown CBD oil but CBD oil has been repeatedly tested for seizures in both humans and dogs and has been shown to work well for drug-resistant epilepsy. (3)

Or more Homeopathics supplements are
  • Ignatia
  • Cocculus
  • Cicuta
  • Belladonna
  • or Nutracalm which is great for helping dog's relax.

Diet Can Impact Epilepsy.

Diet can have an impact on your dog's health as it can be one of the toxins that trigger a seizure. 

Epileptic dogs can do well on a raw food diet as you're limiting their exposure to toxins in processed food that could be a trigger or long term be an influencing cause in gene mutation.

When changing a epileptic dog from kibble to raw, it's essential that you try raw feeding for 3 months and note any changes, seizures etc. as this will help you determine if it's having a positive effect.

You could also try a diet low in carbs or start your dog on a Ketogenic Diet if it can't adapt to raw.

Ideally you also want to keep external toxins to a minimum as some dogs can fit if they get very itchy, hot or over-excited. To understand better the cold and hot energies in your dog and how food impacts these, click here.

Long Term Outlook

Most dogs with Idiopathic Epilepsy that is managed, can do well. The minimum response you're looking to achieve with any treatment is to half the frequency of fits to where they may only be fitting once a week or less.

If you're treating your dog with conventional drugs then look for natural supplements you can give that counter any side effects and ensure your pet is eating a diet that is full of pure real nutrition to help with your dog's overall well-being. Limit their exposure to toxins such as over vaccinating, environmental toxins like toxic plants in the garden or pesticides etc. 

Ultimately one of the changes to make is to ensure your pet is on a species appropriate diet to ensure overall organ health and keep inflammation at bay. 

NOW, we'd love to hear your feedback so LEAVE A COMMENT and feel free to share this with people you think will love it.

Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!


1. http://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/top-health-concerns/epilepsy/understanding-canine-epilepsy.html

2. Berendt M, Farquhar RG, Mandigers PJ, Pakzody A, Bhatti SF, De Risio L, Fischer A, Long S, Matsiasek K, Munana K, Patterson EE, Penderis J, Platt S, Podell M, Potschka H, Pumarola MB, Rusbridge C, Stein VM, Tipold A, Volk HA. International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force consensus report on epilepsy definition, classification and terminology in companion animals. 2015. BMC Vet Res 11:182.

3. Emily Vay - https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/3-natural-treatments-for-dog-seizures-and-epilepsy/

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