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

What Dog Owners Need To Know About Dog Crate Training

Why should you use the dog crate training method?Is the dog crate training method humane?You... Read More

Parrot Keeping

Parrots are becoming more popular as pets with each passing day. This is evidenced by... Read More

Spaying or Nuetering Your Dog-Get The Facts... Be Responsible

Bringing a new puppy or dog home is a huge commitment and a three-fold responsibility.... Read More

Defend Your Dog and Stop that Hurting Paw!

Of course, we humans use shoes to protect our feet. We insist on it! But... Read More

Helping Your Pets Cope With The Stress Caused By Loud Noise

Which is the noisiest species of all? Nope, not the lions, or the elephants, or... Read More

General Information, Caring For & Breeding Silkworms

BackgroundSilkworms are the larva of a moth (Bombyx mori) native to Asia that spins a... Read More

Immune System Booster for Your Pets

Many chronic diseases commonly seen in pets result from immune suppression. Diabetes, allergies, breathing difficulties,... Read More

How To Choose A Professional Dog Trainer

1.) Versatility- A good dog trainer will use techniques and training styles which are compatible... Read More

The Truth About Declawing

There seems to be an alarming trend to have cats declawed...whether it's due to personal... Read More

West Highland WhiteTerrier Grooming - Key Considerations

Whether you intend to show your Westie, or keep him for a household pet, the... Read More

Puppy Basics: Potty-Training, Reprimanding, and Rewards...

Potty Training Your Puppy:Make sure you feed your dog at regular times every day as... Read More

Taking Care of Your Sick Dog

Just like humans, dogs are subject to diseases and illnesses. If your dog gets sick,... Read More

Dogs Get More Human Every Day

First pet stores began selling clothes for pets. Then kennels upgraded from a wire cage... Read More

How To Grow Daphnia For The Aquarium

The benefits of feeding live food to fish in a community tank are many: live... Read More

The Cure To Stop A Horse From Kicking

I get a lot of horse training questions about stopping a horse from kicking. The... Read More

Who Let The Dogs Out? Pointers For In Home Dog Training

Who let the dogs out?Remember this song which gave birth to a rather popular phrase... 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

RecoveryPets.Com Helps Recover Lost Pets

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

All Natural Dog Cookies ? Because Your Dog?s Health and Happiness is So Important

Traditionally, a doggie treat was just that, a treat that to be savored, which offered... Read More

Choosing the Right Size for Your Dog

Dog fashions are all the rage and have become quite affordable for anyone and everyone... Read More

Natural Horsemanship Patientis: The 4th Of 6 Keys To Developing A Partnership With Your Horse

The 4th Of 6 Keys To Building A Life Long Partnership With Your Horse.In Natural... Read More

How to Increase Your Fishkeeping Fun

Do you really get the fullest amount of enjoyment out of your fish?, or is... Read More

The One Dog Trick That All Dogs Must Know - The Hand Shake Trick

The first dog trick that is generally taught a dog is to shake hands, and... Read More

Caring for Your Dogs Teeth

A dog, like a human baby, experiences the world through his mouth, by tasting and... Read More

Whats the Best Diet for a Pregnant Cat?

Pregnant cats have to eat for two, three, four, five, even six cats. So her... Read More

What You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Unfortunately, there are a number of household items which we tend to take for granted... Read More

How to Litter Train a Cat

For most cat owners, training their cat to use the litter is a relatively painless... Read More

Grapes, Nuts, and Your Dogs Health -- Foods that Fido should Avoid

"Magoo was a big, playful Labrador retriever who often got himself into sticky situations..."So begins... Read More

Tips & Guide To Looking For A Good Dog Trainer

Dog training is definitely not rocket science and is easier than you... Read More

Successful Dog Training

Dog TrainingSo, we've got a new best friend that needs some dog training. No different... Read More

Puppy Care 101

Puppy CarePuppy care can be a lot of work, but is also quite rewarding. This... Read More

Lemon Tetras

Glassily transparent, the lemon tetra (hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis) could appear to be just a sunbeam flashing... Read More

No More Stillborn Kittens ? Know How To Care For A Pregnant Cat

'I named all kittens, although they were all stillborn.' 'My pregnant cat has a bloody... Read More

What About a Newfoundland Dog

Ok, so everyone who stays on top of the show dog world knows that a... Read More

Growing Adult Brine Shrimp

General Info.Brine shrimps, or artemia, are a zooplankton used mainly as fry food, but they... Read More

How to Crate Train Your Puppy

One of the most difficult hurdles that any new puppy owner faces is housebreaking or... Read More

Westie Rescue Centres

The aim of a Westie rescue centre such as the one at: http://www.westierescuescheme.org.uk/ is for... Read More

Owning a Wild or Exotic Cat; Information, Laws, and Advice

Have you ever dreamed of living with a bobcat or having a pet tiger? You're... 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

Mabeke: Gorilla Teacher

Mabeke is a young gorilla who was born in captivity and then returned to the... Read More

Clipper Experiments: A Tail in Two Parts

Poor Dog. Subjected to my most ambitious experiments, she still falls for the old line,... Read More

Kids and Pets, Will it Work?

How can my child benefit from having a pet?1.Social skills and self-esteem. Feelings and positive... Read More

Boston Terrier - Special Concerns For This Adorable Breed

Beautiful as they are, Boston Terriers have some genetic traits and defects that you must... Read More

How to Create Your Own Monster

"You've created your own monster, you know", my mother said ominously. My Rex cat, Houdini,... Read More

The Dangers of Canine Parasites

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

How to Housebreak Your Dog or Puppy

Dogs are creatures of habit; and once they develop a habit, breaking it can be... Read More

Our Pets

Having a pet is an experiance that I think everyone should have. It reaches us... Read More

Pet Owners Are The Majority Population In The U.S.

According to recent statistics, an astounding 65% of all U.S. household have at least one... Read More

Dog Food - Which Diet is Best for Dogs?

Why The Food You Give Your Dog Matters!If you're like most dog owners, you probably... Read More

Potty Training Your Puppy

A new puppy is a joyous addition to any home. Who can resist that cute... Read More