Seizures in Pets

Witnessing your precious dog or cat having a seizure can be a most frightening experience. During seizures pets often lose control, fall over, chomp their teeth, salivate or drool, whine, paddle with their feet, and begin to urinate or deficate on themselves. Their eyes become large (dilated) and unresponsive. A pet caregiver feels panicked and helpless while watching it all happen.

Hopefully, you and your pet have never, and will never, have to experience this shocking event. But, if you have, or if you experience it in the future, this article will help you to understand what causes seizures, what you can do while your pet is having a seizure, and the various treatment options available.

What causes seizures? Epilepsy is one cause. Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to epilepsy. These include: cocker spaniels; poodles; collies; german shepherds; irish setters; golden retrievers; dachshunds, labrador retrievers, saint bernards, miniature schnauzers, siberian huskies, and wire-haired terriers. Veterinarians are not sure what causes this "hereditary" epilepsy.

In cats hereditary epilepsy is unusual. Vets can normally find the cause of seizures. These include chemical toxins (which includes chemical preservatives used in many pet foods), brain tumors, feline leukemia, feline infections, peritonitis, feline AIDS, head trauma, and problems with the liver and kidneys.

In dogs there are many causes of seizures besides hereditary epilepsy. Allergies to food and the chemicals, preservatives, and artificial flavors put into the foods can cause seizures. Other causes include liver and kidney disease, tumors, poisonings, and low blood sugars.

What can you do while your pet is having a seizure? Try to stay calm. This is hard to do, but using a calm, reassuring quiet voice will comfort your dog or cat. Move any furniture or other objects on which your pet could hurt itself. If you're unable to move the object, place pillows or wrap blankets between the pet and the object. Slide something soft under your pet's head, but be sure to keep your hands and face away from his head so that you don't risk a possible bite. You can gently stroke his hip or side, but position yourself opposite the side of the feet and toenails as the muscle spasms make the feet curl into claws that can gouge or rake your skin. Dim the lights, and keep the environment as quiet as possible by turning off the TV and loud music.

If possible take notes about the seizure so that you can give details to your vet. Jot down the time of day it occurred, the length of each seizure, and the time in between each seizure if they are recurrent. Your vet will also want to know whether your pet urinated or deficated, if the seizure hit suddenly or progressed from mere body twitching, whether your pet regained consciousness, and how long it took before your pet appeared normal again. In addition, you'll need to figure out whether there were any possible triggering events. These include loud noises such as fireworks, unusual items that were eaten, and excessive playing or exercise.

After the seizure, pets usually appear lost or drugged. This drugged state can last a few minutes to several hours depending on the severity of the seizure. Your pet may respond to you, but do so in a very slow manner. Since seizures are exhausting for your pet, he will probably want to sleep afterwards. It is best to allow him to sleep, but check in on him occasionally without disturbing his rest.

If this is your pet's first seizure, call your vet as soon as possible. Some vets will want to see if another seizure occurs, while others will perform a variet of blood tests to check for anemia, liver & heart functions, calcium, glucose, & electrolyte levels. Your vet may even run a screen for possible toxins, take x-rays, or perform an electroencephalogram.

The test results may not indicate the specific reason for the seizure. In this case, your vet may wait to see if another seizure occurs or he/she may suggest medications. If the diagnosis is epilepsy, pets have an excellent chance to live a normal life as long as proper medical care and follow-up are provided.

If you discover the cause of the seizure, you may be able to eliminate future seizures by eliminating the seizure's source. For instance, if the seizure is due to chemcial toxins, make sure your pet remains as free of toxins as possible. Provide human grade food and treats that do not contain chemical preservatives, fillers, or byproducts. Clean your house with chemical-free products. Also, use more natural flea, tick, & heartworm prevention products as some of these products may lower your pet's seizure threshold and make seizures more difficult to control. Avoid products containing organophosphate insecticides. For safer heartworm prevention, use products containing interceptor and filaribits.

What can you do if your pet's seizure condition cannot be cured and you realize you and your pet may have to live with the seizures? In the past, the only treatment options available were strong anticonvulsants that could have serious side effects. These still may be your only option. But, more natural approaches have been found to help some pets, either prior to stronger medications or in addition to them so that you may be able to lower the dose. There are a variety of treatment options that include a natural diet, acupuncture, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, herbs, and conventional medications.

As mentioned above, give your pet a human grade diet, free of chemicals and additives. Also, remove other toxins from your pet's environment. Clean with natural products and use more natural flea, tick, and heartworm prevention measures.

Minimize stress in your pet's life. Try to avoid sudden changes in his environment, loud noises, and other stressful situations.

You can also try herbs that act as sedatives. These include valerian root, kava, skullcap and oatstraw. Note that when using herbs and supplements, you may need to lower the dosage of other anticonvulsants.

Several supplements appear to help in preventing seizures. Try an antioxidant combination of Vitamin C, E, B-6, and selenium. Your vet can recommend the dosage for your pet. Magnesium and DMG (dimethyl glycine) are other helpful supplements.

Acupuncture is another helpful option which has helped to control seizures in many pets. Sometimes just placing an ear acupuncture tack in a dog's ear will stop seizures, and this only requires one acupuncture visit.

If the ear tack doesn't work, gold implants can be placed in different locations under a pet's head. Or your pet can be treated with traditional chinese acupuncture.

As you can see, there are many natural approaches to treating seizures in pets. These should help your beloved pet to live a normal and comfortable life.

Deena Caruso, author, teacher, & distributor of natural pet products Helps pet owners create healthy, happy pets. To receive FREE "Pet Pointers" Newsletter, go to: http://www.healthyfoodforpets.com deecaruso@cox.net Ph: 760/758-7963, 877/877-0665

A Horse Training Secret From The 1800s To Teach A Horse To Drive Without Lines!

Horse owners who are history buffs may recognize the name Jesse Beery. Beery was an... Read More

4 Ways In Which You Can Show Your Dog How Much You Love Him

Do you have at least one framed photo of your dog somewhere in your house...... Read More

Small Dog Travel Guide

Advice!!!-Pet products that are useful, fun and enjoyable will make the pet and owner equally... Read More

The ABCs of Beaks

Beaks, Bills, Face Knives, Beakers - whatever we want to call them, they are an... Read More

A Cat Tale

My son and I have a cat. Her name is Princess, aka Sugar Bear or... Read More

The Need for Pet First Aid Kits

Even if you have the perfect first aid kit for you and your family, it... Read More

Dogs and Old Age, How To Care For Your Aging Canine

Now that you're dog has shown you so much love and brought you so much... Read More

Breeding Piranhas

Piranhas are unique creatures that have gained popularity not just because of their appearance, but... Read More

RecoveryPets.Com Helps Recover Lost Pets

Making our lives better includes protecting our families, and also included in this category is... Read More

Thats No Paris Hilton! An Overview of Dog Obedience Training Videos

Mention the word "video" and different people would come up with different ideas. Some would... Read More

One Of The Benefits Of Using RecoveryPets.Com

One of the benefits of registering your pet with a pet recovery service is that... Read More

Westies Puppies - How to Prepare for Your Westie Puppy

Just like when you bring home a new baby, you will need to prepare before... Read More

My Fathers Daughter

My dad was an avid animal lover. We grew up with all kinds of animals... Read More

Filtration Methods For The Discus Tank

Good filtration is the prime priority in the discus tank. Basically, there are three types... Read More

The 7 Stages of Puppy Development

Let's take a look at the different stages, but before we do, keep in mind... Read More

Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath?

"Doggy breath" ? that unpleasant odor emanating from the mouths of Rover and Boomer ?... Read More

Train Your Buddy To ?Walk? & ?Dance? - Warning: Not All Dogs Can Do It!

Standing and walking on the hind legs are tricks that put an abnormal strain upon... Read More

Buy Dog Supplements Online

Dog SupplementsA good nutritional program of dog supplements is just as important for your best... Read More

Does Your Dog Miss You Too Much?

Your dog seems to be driving you up the wall lately, exhibiting serious behavior problems... Read More

How To Raise A Goldfish

Did you know that your goldfish can live for over 10 years? Under the right... Read More

Herding and the German Shepherd Dog

Once other animals such as cattle, sheep and goats became domesticated, man became aware of... Read More

6 Common Dog Emergencies

Sure, you may be a master of human First Aid. But do you know what... Read More

Unusual Breeding Behaviour in Wild Caught Archocentrus Sajica

I would like to write a few words about my experiences breeding wild caught Archocentrus... Read More

Five Powerful Reasons Why Owning A Pet Could Make You Live Longer

You may have heard that pets have been scientifically proven to increase your chances of... Read More

Westie - West Highland White Terrier Puppies - Fragile and Needful Of Protection

Have you ever held any Westie puppies? These tiny creatures are cuddly and white furry... Read More

West Highland White Terrier - Picking the Right Breeder

Do you want a Westie as a pet? What are your expectations? What do you... Read More

GPS Pet Tracking

If you have a dog or cat that is an escape artist with cross-country travel... Read More

With Understanding Comes Success

One of the reasons I strongly encourage horse owners to train their own horses rather... Read More

The Dangers of Canine Parasites

When you get a puppy, one of the first things that you need to do... Read More

Why Should We Get Kittens as Pets?

Kittens are and have always been adorable creatures. Of course, these youngsters are also playful,... Read More

How to Keep Your Cat Free from Diseases with This Quick Guide to Cat Parasites

Parasites are organisms that survive by feeding off of other creatures. Among cats, parasites generally... Read More

7 Good Reasons to Have Your Cat Spayed or Neutered

Every year, many cat owners decide to get their cat spayed or neutered. This decision... Read More

Puppy Training that is Safe for Your Puppy

Puppy training can and should begin the day you bring your puppy home, but only... Read More

Tips on Easy House Breaking Your Puppy

If you are lucky enough to get a 7-week-old puppy, there is no excuse for... Read More

What You Need To Know To Keep Your Dog Safe In Your Car

Man's Best Friend is a great companion around the home, but Rover will love joining... Read More

Okay Lets Do A Poodle Again

My wife and I have been married for 32 years. In that time our pets,... Read More

Love of Horses

My love of horses began at the age of 11 when I worked every summer... Read More

How To Load A Horse Into A Trailer - Easy As Pie!

If there is an art to getting horses to load in a trailer, then this... Read More

Symptoms of Pain and Illness in Dogs

Dog owners, who recognize the early signs and symptoms of illness or pain in their... Read More

Seeing Past Cuteness When Selecting the Best Dog Breed For You: Part 3 of 3

Are there so many great dog breeds out there that you just can't decide where... Read More

Treating Dog Arthritis With Natural Supplements

Dog arthritis is one of the most common diseases that affect canines; especially large breed... Read More

5 Things to Know about Animal Rescue Groups

Over the past decade, breed rescue groups have become a major force in dog adoptions.... Read More

My Dog Won?t Stop Digging - What Can I Do?

Lonely, bored, tired of eating that same old stick, then maybe you would like to... Read More

The Dreaded Vet Visit: 5 Ways to Comfort Your Dog

Uh-oh, it's that time again. The dreaded vet visit, and Barkley will be whimpering all... Read More

Puppy Crate Training -- Fast Track to a Contented Dog

Puppy crate training is one of the most effective ways to housebreak your new puppy.Puppy... Read More

Animal Behavior: What is My Dog Saying?

Dogs are quite amiable creatures. Much like our human counterparts, their speech is often amplified... Read More

Is A Boxer Dog The Right Pet For You?

Having a boxer dog as a pet, although low-maintenance, require your consistent attention, exercise, human... Read More

You Cant Fool A Horse

By Jeffrey Rolocopyright 2004 AlphaHorseIn the dating world many men and women put their potential... Read More

A Dog Name is Something To Be Chosen Carefully

How important is a dog name? Well let's think about this.How often do you call... Read More

Lyme Disease Treatment in Pets

Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, because the disease is caused by a bacterium... Read More