If you have had a dog who has had seizures, you will empathize with the fear and the complete lack of control you and your dog have as the event is happening. Watching your dog go through seizures can be incredibly scary and certainly worrisome. Talking to your veterinarian should be one of the first things you do as soon as you witness what you suspect is a seizure.
Once you and your veterinarian understand the reasons for your dog’s seizures, you may be able to prevent future seizures from happening. Your dog may be able to give you signs of seizures to come so you can be better prepared. There are usually three steps to a seizure: a beginning, when your dog may be confused and searching for comfort, a middle, when you will see the seizure occur as your dog stiffens, drools, or chomps at the air, and an end, when your dog is quiet and possibly scared.
Causes and Prevention of Seizures in Dogs
There are many reasons for a dog to be having seizures. When electrical activity within the brain changes, seizures occur.
One reason for seizures is the ingestion of poison. Dogs often find themselves in trouble because they have little fear of ingesting whatever they may find readily available. Poisons and toxins such as antifreeze and rat poison can be fatal for your dog. For dogs with only a minute amount of poison ingestion, seizures could occur as a result of exposure to these toxins. Avoid storing toxins and poisons anywhere within your house, shed, backyard, or garage where your dog could find them. If your dog is allowed to go into these areas, be sure to supervise and ensure these toxins are not where your dog can easily get a hold of them. Keep household toxins away from your dog as well. Cleaning product bottles could be a fun chew toy, but the substance inside could harm your dog and potentially cause seizures. Foods with toxins can also cause issues with your dog’s brain activity. Toxic food such as chocolate may cause seizures, and in some cases, death.
Epilepsy is a condition in which the brain seizes often enough without a known cause, creating a constant condition. Because the reasons for epilepsy vary from patient to patient, doctors will often take preventive measures with anti-seizure medications to help prevent future seizures from happening. For your dog to have a diagnosis of epilepsy, they will have had multiple seizures without reason.
Though your doctor or veterinarian may prescribe anticonvulsant medications, you may also want to talk to a homeopathic vet about weaning your dog off of anticonvulsant medicines and using natural herbs and essential oils to help prevent future seizures in your dog. Veterinarians who practice homeopathy have been known to mix tinctures using belladonna, valerian, and other herbs to ease the activity in the brain, which prevents seizures. Studies of these homeopathic treatments show dogs who used to have cluster seizures no longer having seizures at all after homeopathic veterinary care. Many homeopathic veterinarians will also offer acupuncture as a preventive measure for a dog who has a history of seizures.
No matter the type of veterinary care you choose, be sure your veterinarian is well-trained and well versed in seizure disorders. Avoid trying home remedies without the advice of your veterinarian.
General Health Care
Good general veterinary care is also an important prevention method for potential seizures in your dog. Fleas and ticks, along with heartworms and other parasites, can cause enormous strife with your dog's health. These parasites carry diseases that can make your dog very ill. Diseases carried by ticks such as Lyme disease are also known to cause seizures.
The best way to avoid parasites and the diseases they carry is with preventive medications from your veterinarian. Keeping your dog up-to-date on vaccinations, as well as taking preventive measures such as heartworm pills and flea and tick control, will help maintain your dog's health. On top of veterinary care at home, be sure you are feeding your dog a nutritional, high-quality diet with lean protein as the main and first ingredient. Overall health for your dog will highly depend on what food you offer. A healthy dog with a great immune system is less likely to have seizures or other ailments.
Easing Worry About Seizures
There is a lot to worry about when you have a dog who has seizures, whether they are not very often, or cluster seizures that happen quite regularly. As a pet owner, you probably understand anything that you can do to prevent your dog from having seizures is worth the effort. Though some seizures are a sign of a dangerous health condition such as a tumor, other seizures occur for no reason at all and have little to no effect on your dog's overall health. However, the link between the two extremes is whether or not your dog is healthy with a good balance of diet and exercise, high-quality foods, and preventive veterinary care. Any time your dog is showing signs of seizures, see your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis so the causes of seizures can be treated, and prevention of future seizures can begin.