(From Dachshund Station). 3: People food. Do you know how to get the most out of your visit? Most owners wouldn’t know what to do, especially if there are no easily identifiable causes, and your dog has no known health conditions. Grapefruit juice and pomegranate juice do not trigger seizures, but they can make the side effects of some epilepsy medications more likely, including carbamazepine, diazepam and midazolam. Without zinc, neurotransmitters fire erratically which is how a deficiency can lead to seizures. “All the information and money” you gave him was so he could determine what testing to do to diagnose your dog and prescribe treatment. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian and when to seek a second opinion. Essential fatty acids: These include omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. WOW. Share the story of tackling your dog's health challenge for a chance to win a free copy of Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog. Aspartate is a salt form of its counterpart, aspartic acid. This condition in dogs is characterized by uncontrollable shaking or twitching that may last one whole minute or even more. Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production and it is also essential for the brain. Foods that are safe for human consumption can be poisonous to pets, and some can even cause dog seizures. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, the ingestion of toxins found in food is one of the most common causes of dog seizures. When my Siberian Husky, Harley, suddenly had her first grand mal seizure at age 12, which at that age, is typically not Canine Epilepsy,” explains Wills-Raftery. 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This free access to different foods and chemicals, when you’re not looking, may also lead to potential poisoning accompanied by seizures. My first thought was the dog food. Listed below are the various dog food chemicals or ingredients identified as seizure triggers: Xylitol is a common ingredient in processed foods claiming to be “sugar-free” or “low-calorie.” Usually found in mouthwash, toothpaste, breath mints, and even baked goods, it is often used as a substitute for real sugar. Additionally, the Veterinary Health Center at the University of Missouri says dogs with the onset of idiopathic epilepsy will experience their first episode between one and five years old. Some foods can also be toxic and cause seizures. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. I have a number of friends who were able to achieve seizure-free life working with an integrative veterinarian. It is important to note, though, that rosemary, which is often used to substitute chemical preservatives also seems to increase the risk of seizures in epileptic dogs. With that said, do you know what could be the possible causes of these epileptic episodes in your dog? Nutmeg has been known to cause seizures, tremors and even hallucinations in dogs. These diets often promote the use of high-protein, gluten-free, and wheat-free ingredients, as well as amino acids and omega fatty acids, specially made to address the nutritional needs of dogs. Habits that lead to an uneven blood sugar level include eating fruit, drinking fruit juices, and consuming all other sugary foods and beverages. Most of you are probably asking if there are specific dog foods that can actually trigger a seizure. Canine seizures often emerge when a dog's body is lacking certain vitamins and minerals. Epilepsy causes seizures that result from abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain. Commercially prepared dog food and treats that may contain BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, as well as MSG-containing foods, are also common culprits. Proper diagnosis of a child can bring a number of underlying causes that may trigger a seizure in a child. An episode of seizure can occur at the most random time without any obvious cause. However, if your pet … The typical signs of vitamin D (cholecalciferol) poisoning stem from its effect on calcium absorption and the consequent impact on kidneys, liver, GI tract, heart and blood vessels and include: With severe intoxication, vitamin D toxicity can lead to muscle tremors and seizures. However, insufficient levels of thiamine in the diet are not the only way a dog can become deficient. Since dogs don’t need gluten in their diet, avoiding it won’t interfere with their nutrition needs. Some people with epilepsy avoid certain foods if they seem to trigger seizures. After the episode, the dog may seem unsteady, disoriented, and temporarily blind. There is some indication that some amino acids can be seizure-protective. Mucus in Dog Stool: What Is The Slime in My Dog's Poop? She further adds that the darker the chocolate, the more of the said toxin is present. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. It should be enough but it often is not. Several food triggers may cause seizures in dogs. white hard to miss, such as diarrhoea, vomiting. “I am so fortunate that my vet team is open to both traditional and holistic therapies for seizures and Canine Epilepsy. Uncontrolled seizures can lead to brain damage, not to mention the suffering and confusion the dog experiences. Pet Poison Helpline’s Associate Director of Veterinary Services, Ahna Brutlag, says measuring the toxicity of chocolate is often gauged by the amount of theobromine it contains. Pro-inflammatory ingredients include foods that might trigger allergies or intolerances. A variety of human foods also contain ethanol, and these include alcohol or liquor-infused foods and beverages, fermented fruits, and raw bread doughs. The dog pills (example Comfortis) that are for fleas can also cause seizure as they use a neurotoxin that causes the fleas and ticks seizures. Upon receiving the first dose, a canine must receive continuous doses for the duration of its life. Excessive Hunger in Dogs: What If Your Dog Acts Like They're Starving? There are many causes of seizures. I have heard of Rosemary extract (that is found in pet foods) that can cause seizures to sensitive type pets. A seizure occurs when the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain, functions in an abnormal way. Regardless of how they end up introduced into the dog food, molds, in general, can cause seizures as well. The most common cause of seizures … This may result from diseases that actually cause changes in the brain itself or from diseases that originate elsewhere in the cat's body but affect the brain adversely by changing the way the brain's metabolism … “If you are not sure if your dog has a zinc deficiency, contact your vet to run some tests.”, Source: FiveSibes “The Sibe Vibe” Show on Dog Works Radio “The Link Between Zinc Deficiency and Seizures”. Do you know the possible causes of dog seizures and how to avoid them? Seizures that lost longer than five minutes or repeated seizures in which the dog does not regain consciousness are a medical emergency, and immediate veterinary care is necessary. With dogs already susceptible might have a lower tolerance to sugar fluctuations. In contrast, Blue Buffalo received mediocre ratings amid mixed reviews regarding the product. Gluten. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Foods That Can Cause Your Dog to Have Seizures July 1st, 2010 Jayson Leave a comment Go to comments As anyone who follows this blog already knows, I believe that commercial dog food is a culprit for many illnesses in a dog, and that it contributed to or may even have caused Cory’s seizures. Is there enough reliable data available? We thought we were getting a healthy dog. ", -D.Rae Worden, Fergus Veterinary Hospital. If your pet was recently exposed to any of the said toxins and are showing any of the clinical signs mentioned above, please make sure to contact a veterinarian so that proper measures to remedy the situation may be applied. However, its occurrence is a clear sign that something is affecting your dog’s brain function. Can Food be a Trigger for Seizure? With Gibson, I eliminated all of those things from his diet as a preventive measure once he was diagnosed.“. Zinc deficiency too occurs in a number of ways: “Zinc deficiency is something that is not uncommon and can certainly trigger seizures especially in northern breed dogs, such as Siberian Huskies,” states Wills-Raftery. I had to learn and I had to learn fast. There is also ongoing research on new anticonvulsants such as levetiracetam and zonisamide. Some fat-soluble vitamins, for example, can rise to toxic levels easily. Seizures can be a sign of serious health issues in your pet. Wow, I didn’t know that the Rosemary ingredient could can seizures. Dogs with food allergies are also more prone to experience seizures, primarily as a result of allergic reactions brought about by commercially processed, low-quality dog food. Dog owners must ensure the proper use of medications for the treatment of dog seizures. She is the creator of the FiveSibes™ blog, founded the #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness & Educational campaign, and partnered with The Anita Kaufmann Foundation for her #Paws4Purple educational program. While Gibson was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy (cause unknown), after this discovery, it is quite possible it was due to genetics. 2. What a relief it would be to find that the reason for a dog’s seizure or other illness could be something as simple as what he eats! In some cases, you will also see dogs that fall on their sides while making paddling motions with their limbs. Diagnosing Seizures in Dogs. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. The implementation of a prescription diet is also commonly used by dog owners to combat various health conditions. But some things are not visible. It should be enough, but it often is not. Dogs who already have diabetes, thyroid issues, liver or kidney disease and other health issues that can lead to seizures need careful monitoring. This step will give you an idea of the type of seizure happening. seizures in healthy dogs with no prior history of seizures, increase in the likelihood of seizures in predisposed breeds or dogs already diagnosed with a seizure disorder, increased risk of seizures in dogs with existing medical conditions which can result in seizures, congenital abnormalities/idiopathic causes, they get easily destroyed during processing, diets containing sulfur dioxide or sulfite preservatives, presence of nutrients that interfere with absorption, foods that cause blood sugar fluctuations. Also, the occurrence of at least three seizures within 24 hours is a cause for concern. Some research indicates that this type of seizure can cause damage to your dog’s brain. The cause of the seizure may affect when it occurs. More importantly, steer clear and avoid touching your dog’s head, as involuntary biting my occur. Don’t forget that excessive levels of vitamin D are so dangerous it is used in some rodenticides. It may be best to keep his diet simple, maybe even a little bland, as certain foods, preservatives and chemicals may be actual triggers. Dogs are known to have a number of possible triggers including foods, chemicals, weather, and environmental changes. It could be terrifying for a pet owner to witness their dog switch from energetic and attentive to confused and unstable. Such diets include the use of raw food and natural ingredients that may help lessen the occurrence of epileptic episodes. She does not have to be on medication because I was able to successfully identify her main triggers. That’s when we went to an animal shelter and fell in love with the most adorable little rescue pup. Endless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. http://www.corysstory.com It's important to stay educated about what's healthy and what's not for your dog. http://www.arctichousepublishing.com/book-store.html, What’s Wrong With Gibson? Vet was unable to determine cause after bloodwork; although I refused to put her on phenobarbital because of possible side effects, we did use another med to help relax her after she had a seizure; (that too was more than I wanted to use)... she was … Apple Seeds. Deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals that are involved with neurological function can possibly contribute to seizures as well. Not all food groups lead to seizures in dogs as there are many other factors as well. Can certain dog foods or treats cause seizures in your dog? I truly believe that it was through a combination of medication, nutrition, and natural remedies, that my Gibson was able to live the last seven years of his life seizure free!”. What should be a cause for concern is when several prolonged seizures are happening in a row, with each episode lasting more than five minutes. Alarming indeed. To get you the best information possible, I brought in Dorothy Wills-Raftery of FiveSibes™ to collaborate on this article. Witnessing your dog like this, especially if it’s their first seizure, is both disheartening and terrifying. Therefore, I have divided the causes of dog seizures into different sections. Dog food rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids is ideal for dogs that suffer from epilepsy, as these acids help deter the occurrence of seizures. 5 Of The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu (Never Skip... Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol for Vomiting? What these dogs go through is absolutely heartbreaking and very tough emotionally on the human family.”. Aug 4, 2020 - Can Dog Food Cause Seizures? Although my dog has never had an issue with his food I need to be more careful about cleaning out his food container regularly to avoid mold and other contaminants. My name is Mathew Barham and I’m the editor in charge here at M-Dog. Before we dive into the details, let’s break the issue down into some categories. Follow your vet’s instructions to the letter. Our tap water had gone bad once before from someone opening the wrong inlet in Lake Michigan, so I switched to bottled water. I had no idea there were so many potential triggers for epilepsy in dogs. Which ingredients those are can be individual to each dog. Seizures can occur in dogs for many different reasons. There has been an extensive recall of various Hill’s Pet Nutrition canned dog foods due to excessive levels of vitamin D. (You can keep up with recall updates at petMD, Alerts & Recalls.). Unfortunately, there isn’t specific dog food you can apply to this condition. Such items may usually come across dogs that rummage through garbage. Both types of the above seizures can be known as “cluster” seizures. Variety is the best way to avoid issues that build up over time. Many vitamins and minerals are important to the normal function of the nervous system. There are no specific nutrients required to deal with dog seizures as the exact cause of the condition is unknown. Some people with epilepsy avoid certain foods if they seem to trigger seizures. Common causes of seizure. Foods That Can Cause Your Dog to Have Seizures July 1st, 2010 Jayson Leave a comment Go to comments As anyone who follows this blog already knows, I believe that commercial dog food is a culprit for many illnesses in a dog, and that it contributed to or may even have caused Cory’s seizures. Listen to your vet regarding diet recommendations, I didn’t avoid any particular foods. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. Yes, it did happen that pentobarbital made its way into dog food. Additional behaviors during an episode may sometimes include uncontrolled pooping or peeing. I am a graphic designer by day, dog health advocate, dog writer, member of the Dog Writers Association of American and an award-winning author. The main culprit seems to be fish-based ingredients but it doesn’t mean that other foods are free of contamination. A seizure occurs when the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain, functions in an abnormal way. One important thing to remember is that dog exposure to ethanol may lead to intoxication and other serious complications. “Gibson had a frightening experience when the compounding lab reformulated the capsule his Potassium Bromide was in without notifying the vet or the public. Seizures may also often be a result of the ingestion of poisons, consumption of foods with harmful toxins, the occurrence of low or high blood sugar, liver disease, kidney disease, head injuries, stroke, anemia, encephalitis, and brain tumors. Pay close attention to dog food recalls, and ingredients for the formula you’re feeding. Veterinarians often resort to prescription diets or veterinary recipes for canines with seizures. For this reason, vets may prescribe prescription diets for the liver or hypoallergenic diets. We can’t limit it to one category. Chocolate can cause canine seizures and if given in large quantities, it can prove fatal. Often accompanying these seizures are symptoms of unusual hyperactivity and restlessness, vomiting, elevated blood pressure, high heart rates, arrhythmia, elevated body temperature, and collapse. Foods that are left on countertops, tables or open garbage receptacles pose a high risk because they are accessible to pets and may not be recognized as a poison by their owners. Read articles by Jana Rade edited by Dr. Joanna Paul BSc BVSc. The longer your dog stays untreated, the complications of aspiration and brain damage become higher. Some types had been linked to cancer. She called us to see if we might know the cause. Keep in mind the harmful additives and toxins that may trigger episodes, and be sure to check the nutritional label for the list of ingredients. Dogs may experience ethanol poisoning when exposed to industrial chemicals such as dyes, inks, disinfectants, paints, and gasoline. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. If your canine is near the stairs or somewhere unsafe, slowly move your pet to safety as carefully as possible. She began advocating for Epi-dogs (dogs with epilepsy) once her own Siberian Husky, Gibson, was diagnosed shortly after his third birthday with idiopathic Canine Epilepsy. However, if your pet is already taking medications, then they can put extra stress on his liver and cause side-effects. What you think is a harmless amount of Xylitol in that dog treat may prove to be incredibly toxic, especially to small dogs. Listed below are the standard measures to prevent the occurrence of seizures in dogs: The use of potassium bromide and phenobarbital are traditional practices in treating dogs with epilepsy. The information is provided for educational and illustrative purposes and to give you an idea what to research and what questions to ask your veterinarian. If possible, monitor the length of each episode and the intervals. When choosing the best dog food to stop seizures, it is crucial to consider the vitamin and nutrient content of the product. A simple reformulation of a capsule caused him to have sudden severe ataxia that almost was his demise. Growing up, my parents had a huge backyard and lots of animals. Older pets that eat copious amounts of high-quality dark chocolate may experience a sudden onset of cardiac arrest or even death, especially dogs that have preexisting heart conditions. You just need to look for dog foods that can improve the brain health of your dogs and you are good to go. Very informative article. An imbalanced pH. *Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates. It is hard to determine what can cause a seizure to your dog … Are you taking your dog to a vet for a wellness exam or because they’re ill? I saw a huge change when I started educating myself on dog food and feeding her right and lowering stress/ excitement triggers as well. Get your FREE Veterinary Visit Checklists and maximize your veterinary visits. I had a dog with seizures that lived to old age on a daily low dose of phenobarbital. The cause of this malfunction may be a result of an abnormality located within the brain itself, or it could be the result of a disease that starts in another part of the body but is still is able to affect the brain. Heavy metals can be introduced into dog food with the ingredients. For instance, having a diet too high in sodium can lead to salt toxicity, which can cause seizures and pancreatitis. Wheat and barley also accumulate increased levels of heavy metals. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Some breeds, such as Huskies and Malamutes are especially susceptible to zinc deficiency but other breeds can be affected as well. If an owner is certain that their dog has recently ingested a poisonous food product, inducing vomit can … Finding a safe and healthy dog food and dog treats really is a challenge with so many labels to check out, it is exhausting. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. Don’t forget that improper storage can introduce mold contamination as well, though. Pinpointing one reason may be hard as seizures can either result from acute conditions or long-term ones. The dogs need to do the liquid formula on the skin on their backs. Dogs prone to seizures should not consume any potentially inflammatory ingredients, including foods that trigger allergies or intolerances / sensitivities, such as chemical additives, wheat, corn, soy, beef or cow’s milk products— but remember that it can also include any food that causes a problem for an individual dog. Diagnosing Seizures in Dogs. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Preventive and curative measures are necessary for frequent seizures, cluster seizures with short intervals, and severe grand mal seizures. Will share. (Tips and... Be sure that what you’re purchasing for your pets are made from the highest quality natural ingredients. During severe seizures, the vet may inject Valium onto your dog intravenously to deter the seizure. Furthermore, a diet high in sodium often leads to an inflammation of the pancreas, as well as seizures. As discussed earlier, liver failure can lead to seizures. Although it is known to be a disease passed on genetically and often seen in younger canines, its real cause remains unknown. A condition that is characterized by seizures, epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures in dogs under the age of five. Can certain foods cause seizures in dogs? The cause of the seizure may affect when it occurs. Seizures often occur when a severe dose of chocolate is ingested by the dog, resulting in an episode usually accompanied by muscle tremors, and in worst cases, heart failure. The manifestation of a seizure in a healthy dog may be a telltale sign of the presence of toxins in the body. Move your dog to a safe, comfortable, and well-ventilated space. That results with GI upsets, anemia, and jaundice. I even think it might be a conjecture why my dog has seizures. Extremely dark chocolate contains a high concentration of theobromine, around 130 to 450 mg per ounce. However, it is worth noting that a licensed vet must prescribe the use of anticonvulsants. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Man’s (Best Friend and Shellfish): Are Dogs Allergic to Shrimp. Together you should determine whether that is a likely cause and should be reported and submitted to testing. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best dog food to stop seizures: Often, seizures are not life-threatening. Taurine and carnitine are amino acids. Dangerously high or blood sugar levels can cause seizures in any dog. Sufficient concentration of pentobarbital can cause: Yes, neurologic issues here include tremors and seizures. This article will tackle all of that and more. #LiveGibStrong and The Anita Kaufmann Foundation #Paws4Purple Educational Program, 12 Important Tips if Your Dog Has a Seizure. This is when your dog has two or more seizures within a 24-hour period. Do not aggravate your pets further by invading their space or touching them. Foods that may Trigger a Canine Seizure. Feline seizures can be caused by many different diseases that cause the cerebral cortex (or at least part of the cerebral cortex) to function abnormally, leading to a seizure. With Jasmine, it took five years to finally get a diagnosis for her initial issue. I learned the hard way that simply seeing a vet is not always enough. Also Melatonin helps with seizures… Food allergies are also common triggers of seizures in dogs, brought on by processed, low grade dog foods. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. Managing their health problem should help prevent resulting seizures as well. With unknown onset seizures, the beginning of the seizure … Further reading and listening:Review of Seizures/Epilepsy in Animals. These triggers also include low and high blood sugar, electrolyte imbalances or other metabolic reasons. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. A considerable amount of dark chocolate in the system may cause restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive urination, increased thirst, and panting. I remember tearing my hair out trying to figure out what could have caused her seizures since usually cross breeds were supposed to be healthier than purebreds. In regard to the dogs, I believe we need to consider the following distinctions: As it concerns the food, I would break it down into the following categories: “There are so many possible seizure triggers in Epi-dogs,” notes Wills-Raftery, “Even stress, over-heating, allergic reactions, certain essential oils, environmental toxins (think pesticides, candles, room fresheners, even perfumes), flashing lights, the TV, fireworks, even weather and atmospheric changes such as storms, lunar activity and eclipses, and solar flares. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous. There are certain food products formulated to address nutritional deficiencies and restrictions often brought about by the health condition. Avoid touching them - they may unknowingly bite. Cat Food Thank goodness she is healthy and my vet is very happy with her diet but told me to stop with the apples because of the sugar which I have done. The tricky thing about this subject is that there isn’t a whole lot of reliable data. In other cases, a dog may experience seizures due to a condition called idiopathic epilepsy. According to the ASPCA, cacao seeds that are used to make coffee contain methylxanthines, toxic components that can cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, and worse. This is helpful, informative (and quite scary). Seizures happen when brain cells (neurons) get electrically overloaded or "short circuited," which leads to a change of consciousness, collapse and usually convulsions. It is also important to choose dog foods that contain other essential nutrients that may strengthen the heart and boost the immune system. Some level of contamination is, unfortunately unavoidable. Calm your dog by talking to using a soft and reassuring tone; immediately call your vet as soon as the seizure ends. Gluten, in particular, is listed to be avoided by numerous sources. The seriousness of the dog’s clinical condition depends vastly on the amount of chocolate consumed by the pet.