I was contacted by one of my friends, a couple of days ago, and was told that her son’s PTSD service dog had been having seizures. They were on their way to the vet to see what was going on with him but she wanted to get my thoughts on it. My first response was, “Get him to the vet’s office, immediately!”. I asked her to keep me posted.
The dog was diagnosed with Epilepsy. The definition of Epilepsy is, “a neurological disorder that causes dogs to have severe and reoccurring seizures.” This disorder is the same, or very similar, in dogs as it is in people. It can be caused by a number of different factors including brain tumors, trauma, toxins, an infection, blood issues, and or kidney issues. While Epilepsy is not caused by stress, the seizures can, potentially, be caused by a stressful or traumatic event. Trying to stay on top of your dogs stress triggers could be of great value to both you and your four-legged-love. (I will go into stress maintenance on Friday’s blog.)
The conventional treatment for Epilepsy, in dogs, is to give them anti-epileptic drugs, which will not cure the problem but will control the seizures. In order to cure this disorder, the problem needs to be removed; remove brain tumor, detox from toxins, treat the infection, etc.. Too many people are in the habit of putting a bandaid over issues like this instead of finding the core cause and fixing that. With that being said, there are some cases where the “cause” of epilepsy is unknown. Thankfully, there are homeopathic approaches that may be able to help: acupuncture has been shown to be one of the most successful treatments for epilepsy. It is imperative that your acupuncturist is well versed in animals and in epilepsy. Changing your pets diet, can also play a huge roll in helping this disorder; food allergies and toxic ingredients in foods can cause a whole myriad of problems. There are a few organic foods on the market, which can, admittedly, be a bit pricey and I understand that not every has the resources to spend that kind of money on dog food. At the very least, stay away from all processed dog foods that contain corn and wheat as those two crops are the most contaminated crops in this country. Corn is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a pesticide and wheat is being sprayed with glyphosate (round-up) to quicken it’s drying time so that it can be harvested faster. If you are having trouble finding dog foods that do not contain corn or wheat, you can always feed them an organic, home made diet, like discussed in one of my previous blogs. Chiropractic Care can also help a dog with epilepsy. Please ensure that the chiropractor is a veterinary chiropractor and has experience and expertise with epilepsy. Lastly, western herbs have been shown to help treat seizures; milk thistle, skullcap, valerian, oat straw, and ginkgo-biloba…please talk to a holistic veterinarian for the exact amounts that your dog would need.
There is a place in my heart for those who have pets suffering from diseases like epilepsy. We love our fur babies, like our children, and want to do the best we can for them. Do your research, find a holistic veterinarian in your area, or at least within driving distance, and don’t be afraid to ask for “thinking-outside-the-box” advise and remedies. You never know until you ask.
Many blessings to you and your four-legged-loves ~ Tammy