Natural Remedies for Epilepsy in Dogs

Written by k.t. parker
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Natural Remedies for Epilepsy in Dogs
Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders in dogs. (Dog image by Lea Petrasova from Fotolia.com)

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures. Veterinarians aren't certain what causes it but think epilepsy is probably due to a chemical imbalance, according to Pet Education. According to veterinarian Dennis O'Brien, seizures are one of the most common disorders from which dogs suffer and might affect up to 4 per cent of all dogs. As of 2010, there are no known cures for epilepsy, but some natural remedies can complement your dog's treatment regimen and help control seizure frequency and side effects.

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Nutrition

Holistic vet Allen M. Schoen suggests a natural, homemade diet for dogs suffering from epilepsy. It will improve the overall health of the dog. If food allergies are causing the epilepsy, it could potentially eliminate the problem. If feeding a homemade diet, you have to provide the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. Some vets can guide you, or you can make an appointment with a veterinary nutritionist.

Herbs and Supplements

Several supplements and herbs can help control your dog's epilepsy. Dr. Schoen recommends vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C, magnesium, B-6 and dimethyl glycine. Your vet can provide dosage guidance. Valerian root and kava can be beneficial for reducing the dog's stress levels, which might trigger seizures, according to Dr. Schoen. Ayurvedic herbs ashwaghanda, jatamansi and shilajit might also help reduce seizure frequency. Organic Pet Digest recommends skullcap, common oat or blue vervain for nervous system support. A holistic vet is your best option to determine the correct herbs and dosages for your dog. Your dog might also require less prescription medication when using herbs or supplements, so you should monitor it carefully.

Toxins

Epilepsy might be worsened by or linked to toxins, so reducing or eliminating medications used for parasite control can help control seizures. Dr. Roger Clemmons, of the veterinary school at the University of Florida, advises using filaribitis or interceptor for heart worms and Frontline for fleas and ticks, as those medications seem to be safer for seizure-prone dogs. You should also avoid using insecticides around the home. Dr. Schoen suggests there is evidence to support reducing the frequency of annual vaccinations as well.

Acupuncture

Dr. Shoen uses acupuncture on some of his epileptic patients. One treatment is sometimes effective for stopping seizures, though many dogs will require frequent acupuncture treatments for seizures if it proves to be a viable treatment method for the animal.

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