What are Natural Seizure Remedies?
Because they are inherently unanticipated, seizures often take a family and their pet by surprise, and yet seizures are one of the most frequently-occurring health issues found in dogs. A seizure can be just as frightening to experience as it is to witness and many pet-owners express helplessness when it comes to finding aid.
While medications can be prescribed by a veterinarian, some dog owners dislike the side effects that go with them. Due to this fact, natural or homeopathic remedies are becoming a popular option chosen by many pet owners. Any method or procedure is considered natural if it exclusively involves a tactic or source that is naturally occurring. A significant benefit of natural remedies is that they can be practiced in the comfort of one’s home.
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Natural Seizure Remedies Procedure in Dogs
There are several natural remedies and methods designed specifically to prevent or stop seizures in dogs, some of the more common and potentially most effective are:
Essential Fatty Acids
Pet owners and veterinarians alike recommend routinely introducing fatty acids into a dog’s diet. Omega-3 doses can be bought in pills, sprays, or oils. The recommended dosage varies by dog’s size, but one tablespoon per fifty pounds is standard. Several studies both on humans and dogs have shown that fatty acids are not proven to stop seizures, but may improve a patient’s seizure threshold (tendency to seize).
Dye used in foods are linked to causing seizures in dogs, particularly a dye called red dye 40. Pet owners should investigate dog foods and treats before trusting them. Several other foods are proven to be dangerous and toxic to dogs as well and could be causing seizures, such as onion, garlic, bell peppers, chocolate, or grapes.
Oils are a popular choice as they give a pet-owner the ability to administer medicine to their pet during a seizure. Due to the fact that seizures cause the jaw and teeth to clamp, attempting to give a dog medicine in the middle of a seizure is difficult or impossible. Natural oils can be rubbed into the skin or even on the gums of a seizing animal, giving them instant results and potentially ending their seizure and pain. Thus, homeopathic substances are another natural remedy to seizures, such as:
- Choline or Cholidin
Acupressure is said to help ease an animal’s tension during their seizure. For example, the pressure point at the base of a dog’s nose, right above their upper lip can be pressed, with moderate pressure, for up to a minute.
Some seizures are caused due to overheating. In this case, an ice pack applied to the back of a seizing dog and gently rubbing it up and down their spine may help the seizure’s grip lessen more quickly.
In animals that experience night seizures, administering melatonin (the naturally-occurring chemical released by the brain to induce sleep) can help.
If a dog has diabetes or is hypoglycemic, a teaspoon of honey once or twice a day, depending on frequency or severity of seizures, is suggested.
Efficacy of Natural Seizure Remedies in Dogs
Every animal varies in their seizure threshold. A high threshold indicates an animal’s predisposition to not experience or frequently experience seizures, while a low threshold indicates the opposite. When it comes to treating seizures with natural remedies and methods, the most success gained will be with a dog whose seizure threshold is high.
In some cases, a dog’s heritage will predispose them to developing epilepsy. In this case, most veterinarians will prescribe medication in order to reach the desired result: pet experiences less severe seizures and less frequently. Therefore, the efficacy of natural remedies varies widely and is typically utilized as more of a preventative measure than a wholly-healing treatment.
Natural Seizure Remedies Recovery in Dogs
Due to the fact that natural remedies and methods do not require surgery or high doses of medication, there is no recovery period associated with the treatment itself.
Cost of Natural Seizure Remedies in Dogs
Most natural seizure remedies, such as homeopathic oils, essential fatty acid pills, and other natural medicines, like melatonin, can cost anywhere between $15 to $40 per bottle or package. However, it’s highly recommended by veterinarians that the root cause of seizures be determined before treating a dog with solely natural resources. Because seizures may be brought on by serious issues, such as, thyroid problems or even cancer, affected dogs should undergo a rigorous exam to determine the source of its seizures.
In most cases, the cause of seizures can be determined by blood work. This will typically cost anywhere between $150 to $300. Sometimes a veterinarian will recommend additional tests, especially if the blood work comes back normal and seizures continue. At this juncture, a veterinarian team may perform a CT scan on the animal, which can cost anywhere between $500 to $1,000 depending on the size of the dog as well as its need for sedation during the procedure.
Dog Natural Seizure Remedies Considerations
Any of these natural remedies for dogs can be helpful, but it’s important to note that the cause of a dog’s seizures will determine their risk level. Any animal experiencing long or frequent seizures should see a veterinarian immediately. Natural remedies are designed to help lessen frequency or severity of seizures, not alleviate them. Extreme cases may require prescribed medication to avoid long-term brain damage in the dog.
Natural Seizure Remedies Prevention in Dogs
Seizure prevention can be a tricky science as there are many reasons for their occurrence, but any of the following steps can be taken to help prevent and/or ease the severity or duration of a seizure:
Seek a veterinarian’s advice
A dog that experiences seizures, whether the episodes are frequent or infrequent, should be taken to a medical professional and undergo a series of tests. This is always the first step in helping an epileptic animal.
Know dietary needs
The elimination of toxic and seizure-inducing foods from a dog’s diet is the surest method of preventing seizures. Similarly, a pet owner should know any allergies of their pet, as seizures may occur as a bodily response to exposure.
Dogs will pant heavily when they are uncomfortably hot. Pet owners should avoid exposing their dogs to long walks in high temperatures or leaving them in cramped, hot spaces or outside without water or shade.
Introduce homeopathic products
Many natural herbs and plants aim to calm tension in the body, making them great aides to pets during a seizure attack.
Natural remedies are not cited as the most reliable treatment for seizures in dogs by veterinarians, but rather as preventative measures that may help. In the end, a dog who is on a healthy, routine diet, free of toxins or any foods they may be allergic to, as well as not put in situations that could lead to overheating (left in a hot car or backyard without shade, taken on a long walk on a hot day, etc.) is less likely to develop severe seizures.