4 Natural Remedies for Management of Seizures in Dogs
Witnessing your dog experiencing a seizure can be quite disturbing and finding the right solution is important. One important thought to remember is that your dog can live a very normal life with seizures with the proper care.
There are many reasons why a dog can have seizures. Here a a few:
- Lack of Omega 3 fatty acids
- Long-term use of pharmaceutical sedatives (e.g. for nail trim, teeth cleaning, etc. several times per year)
- Heartworm preventatives
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Brain Tumor
- Pharmaceutical medications
Seizures behavior can be experienced as a small twitch to uncontrollable shaking and collapse and can be over as quickly as it began.
What to do if your dog has a seizure:
- Try to be Calm
- Reassure him/her quietly
- Don't put your hands in/near the mouth
- Track the length of time the seizure lasts and keep them cool
- You will want to contact your Holistic Vet so they can examine your dog and possibly run tests
Traditional Veterinarian Protocol
There are several pharmaceutical medications options available. All of which have PROS and CONS and can also have a negative effect on different organs and body systems if used long term.
Not as commonly used because the long-term usage can cause liver damage. If you decide to use this drug, I recommend also giving your dog Milk Thistle and an Omega 3 fatty acid daily to provide support for his liver and organs.
2. Keppra -
This is a newer drug that is a safer long-term option. This drug is processed by the kidneys so pets with kidney disease will need to have frequent bloodwork. Additionally, pets can build a tolerance over time and will need to have the dosage adjusted. If you decide to use this drug, I suggest ensuring your pet is on a good Omega 3 fatty acid to support the kidneys and organs.
3. Potassium Bromide
Potassium Bromide has been a reliable medication for many years. However, if your dog is on any diuretic type medications, it can flush this drug out of the body which will make a seizure more likely. Also, you will want to wean them off of this drug slowly so as not to trigger a seizure.
Although I have specified certain supportive supplements above, for all of the pharmaceutical type drugs I recommend milk thistle and Omega 3 fatty acid. When a pet is consuming any type of drug, it is important to support the body.
Natural Methods of Seizure Management in Dogs
Now for the alternative approaches for seizure management. I have been working with pet parents for many years to help manage their dogs' seizures.
The following natural products have been quite successful:
is a natural herbal tincture produced by Buck Mountain Botanicals. They use organic herbs. This liquid tincture is a combination of Valerian and Skullcap both of which can soothe the nervous system and can lessen or stop spasms, tremors, twitching of muscles and convulsions. It has a strong scent so for picky eaters, will need to be hidden in food or administered via syringe for consumption. This has been the most effective natural remedy for seizures that I have experienced with pet parents. This tincture can promote sleep but has no narcotic effect. Milk thistle is also recommended to take with lepsilyte for overall liver support.
The suggested dosage is 1mil per 40lbs of body weight, 2 or 3 times per day, as needed.
2. CBD OIL
CBD oil can help with seizures. I have not experienced CBD oil relieving them entirely, but some pet parents have had a lot of success. Make sure you purchase a good CBD Oil that has been distilled extracted or supercritical CO2 extracted as they seem to be the cleanest way for CBD extraction today. This difference can also be an important factor for success or failure of CBD usage for seizures or any other ailment.
The use of salmon oil has also been witnessed in my work with pet parents to eliminate or lessen seizures. Ensure you are using a good quality oil that has been filtered and tested for purity. I have only had experience with Salmon Oil lessening or ceasing seizures and not with Omega 3 fatty acids in general. However, a good quality Omega 3 may also prove to be as beneficial to help with seizure management.
I have had several pet parents whose dogs had seizures have success with just changing their dogs diet to a balanced raw diet. Their dogs were previously on kibble or canned food and immediately after they switched to raw, the seizures stopped.
One of my customers tested this and put their dog back on kibble a few months after she switched to raw. Immediately after she put her dog back on kibble, the seizures began again.
Make sure the raw diet you choose is balanced and please read the ingredients. There are some companies offering raw diets now that have chemicals in them that allow them to set on the shelf or in the refrigerator for indefinite periods of time. They are fake raw diets. The raw diet you will want to offer your pet will either need to be prepared by you with all the appropriate vitamins/minerals, etc or will most likely be in the frozen food department of your pet store.
If you decide to use the pharmaceutical approach the natural approaches listed above can most likely be used in conjunction. It may be helpful to have a balance of natural methods and pharmaceuticals in order to support your pet's body in a healthier way while managing the seizures. Talk to your Holistic Vet about this option. In my experience, traditional veterinarians don't have the knowledge or understanding of natural methods of care so please find a holistic veterinarian to help you with the natural care of your pet.
For the health of our beloved Pets!
Dr. of Animal Naturopathy