If your dog begins to have seizures, it’s crucial that you get him to a veterinarian immediately for an evaluation. If your dog is diagnosed with epilepsy, the following article will outline some ways that these seizures can be controlled. One of the first things you need to understand though is that epilepsy may not be the cause of your dog’s seizures. There could be something else to blame such as a brain tumor or some kind of injury caused to your dogs head, it could even be down to your dog coming into contact with harmful toxins. If these are the reasons for your dogs epilepsy then the following treatments will not help in the slightest.
Do not try these options before you have actually had your dog diagnosed as epileptic by a vet, do not just assume that epilepsy is the cause. If your dog only suffers from seizures occasionally and not as frequently as once a month, then it is advised that you do not need to treat it. You should keep in mind that the purpose of treatment is to reduce the frequency and intensity of the seizures, and that in many cases the seizures will continue in spite of the treatment, so don’t give up and don’t get discouraged.
Anti-Epileptic Drugs, or “AED’s” are usually the first choice of treatment options, with Phenobarbitol and Potassium bromide being the two most commonly prescribed drugs, sometimes independently and sometimes together, if administering just one of them does not produce sufficient seizure control. Diazepam, more commonly known as Valium, can be used if the seizures come one after another or last longer than 5 minutes. These types of seizures are called cluster seizures (status epilepticus). In my research for this article I was surprised to find that Primidone is still on the list of potential treatment options; however, because of the high concentration of liver enzymes that have been reported and other side effects such as lethargy and excessive hunger and thirst, I was always told that this drug should never be considered, and I knew it by the nickname of “Primadon’t” among my fellow owners of epileptic dogs. Repeated studies have shown that Neurontin (gabapentin) is also effective in the treatment of seizures. Researching these studies is a good idea for anyone considering the use of AED’s. With Anti-Epileptic Drugs liver enzymes can become increased, this can cause issues for you dog and so you will need to have regular tests done in order to determine that your dogs liver is not suffering.
There are alternative treatments you can try such as acupuncture and gold bead implants, this is where gold beads are placed inside the acupuncture areas. Acupuncture is something worth a try, however the use of gold bead implants is something better avoided unless a last resort.
Diet, Homeopathy and Vitamin Therapy. I believe that diet plays a critical role in the treatment of canine epilepsy, because many commercial dog foods are full of chemical dyes and preservatives. In dogs that have a low seizure threshold, preservatives can cause seizures. So eliminating preservative from their diet can help reduce seizure frequency. In my case the change of my dogs diet from manufactured dog food to fresh, raw food with fresh green vegetables did more good than the use of Anti-Epileptic Drugs. Working in conjunction with a holistic veterinarian in order to ensure you are feeding your dog the right kinds of food can also be very helpful. Vitamins and homeopathic treatments that a holistic vet can offer can also make a difference. If your water supply has fluoride added then you should invest in a filter for your dogs water.
Rescue Remedy and Ice Cream. You can pick up ‘Rescue Remedy’ in most health stores, you should add 4 drops of this to your dogs mouth when a seizure starts, it can help lessen the seizure dramatically. Another great idea is to give your dog some preservative free vanilla ice cream once the seizure has finished, dogs are only small and a seizure can be hard on their body, giving them some ice cream afterwards helps bring their blood sugar levels back up. It is also nice for your dog after going through a seizure, with mine it would actually happily go to his bowl waiting for some ice cream after each seizure.
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