Seizures

Seizures In Dogs: Natural Options That WORK

If you’ve ever seen a dog have a seizure you know how scary it can be.

It happens more often thank you think, and almost all dog owners are NOT prepared for it.

And if you think this doesn’t apply to you, it just might one day (especially if you give your dog monthly or yearly preventative medication).

A Review of 3 Common Seizure Management Options

1. Conventional Seizure Medications For Dogs

First, let’s review the prescription medications that your vet will most commonly reach for and perhaps even ones that your dog is taking now.

Keppra (levetiracetam)

 This is a newer anti-seizure medication, introduced over the last few years that has been used for human seizure management for a number of years.

It’s likely the one your vet will reach for if your dog is newly diagnosed or has been on phenobarbital ( we cover this soon) for a long time.

It’s a safer long term option than some older medications but it still has it’s pros and cons … so let’s review those.

The benefit of this drug is that it is processed by the kidneys and not the liver. Making it a safer option for liver disease patients.

Another plus is that it can be used with other anti-seizure meds … helping to lower the doses needed of each.

Keppra does have disadvantages though. One that affects pet parents most is its need to be given 3 times a day … tricky depending on how busy your schedule is …

… but there are now some longer-acting versions available … so check with your vet.

I mentioned earlier that it’s better for the liver … but because the kidneys filter this medication out of the body you do have to be careful and make dose adjustments if your dog has kidney disease.

Although your dog won’t require a lot of frequent recheck blood work with this drug … you will need to Keep a good seizure journal.

This is due to your dog’s ability to build up a tolerance over a period of time … meaning the dose that works for him right now may not always be enough.

Phenobarbital

There a few pharmaceutical companies that manufacture this product so you may not it by a few names.

If your dog has had seizures for a few years this is likely a medication you have heard of.

It’s no longer a go-to medication for seizures as it so many disadvantages and risks to your dog.

Phenobarbital is processed by your dog’s liver and long term use can lead to permanent liver damages …. so regular blood work is required to have time to intervene.

Your dog will also need regular bloodwork to ensure that he has appropriate blood levels and for drug monitoring … as this is a Controlled Substance IV … due to high additions rates.

By now you have likely made the connection that this drug is a not a good choice if your dog has any signs of liver damage or disease …. and really other than seizure control

If your dog has any other health issues like thyroid disease or Cushing’s disease… this drug is not a great choice.

Because it interacts with a number of medications and can even change some blood test results … making it tricky for your vet to monitor all of his health issues.

Are there any pros that make you feel comfortable about adding it to your dog’s prevention plan?

Potassium Bromide

Potassium bromide is an “old school” anti-seizure medications but there are good reasons why it’s still a commonly prescribed medication.

It’s known to be one of the most reliable anti-seizure medications for many years … and in a little bit, you will also see that pop up on our Remedy list.

A major benefit of potassium bromide is that it can be used alone or in addition to the other two medications we’ve listed above … often to lower the dose of Phenobarbital…

… and it’s equally as effective either way!

It helps control seizures in a unique way … it competes with chloride ions for access to brain tissues.

By increasing the level of bromide in your dog’s brain the chloride level drops. The electrical activity is inhibited which makes it difficult for a seizure to start.

There are a few downsides if your dog is on any diuretic medications …. as it will flush the bromide out of his body faster… running the risk of a seizure.

If your dog is currently on potassium bromide you also need to be mindful that you don’ stop it abruptly … as it does not stay in the body long and may cause him to have a seizure.

If you miss a dose, just give it as soon as you can again but don’t double it up… just resume his normal dosing.

2. CBD Oil

You may be wondering why CBD oil is listed in its own category… but the truth is it can’t be placed in just one box…. and I’ll explain why.

Research is constantly finding new ways in which CBD oil can impact diseases … and seizure management is a big one.

This is because seizures have a profound effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It uses a process called “external modulation,” to reduce and in some cases remove this impact on the ECS. 

And as added bonus, CBD may also have the ability to affect receptors that can calm the neurons that fire during a seizure …

…  but these studies are far from confirmed as there is still a large amount to research.

Even though scientists need to dig deeper into the details of how CBD provides control of seizures … the FDA approved a CBD product for human use for two severe forms of seizures in 2018.

But there’s even more reason to reach for  CBD oil for seizure dogs … It’s going to help support his body as a whole for better health. 

It can reduce chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease, prevent and kill cancer cells .. two known causes of seizures.

Along with many other great benefits to your dog!

3. Homeopathic Remedies

 

Remember that seizures and epilepsy are the result of chronic, long-standing disease.

Unlike conventional medicines, homeopathy won’t contribute to your dog’s toxin buildup … giving him the very best chance of saying goodbye to seizures forever.