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Old 02-25-2006, 12:35 AM   #1
nic188
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Diet for dogs with epilepsy

My dog has epilepsy and i have been doing some reading on the internet and have read that a dogs diet can have an affect on their epilepsy. Does anyone know anything about this subject

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Old 02-25-2006, 09:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nic188
My dog has epilepsy and i have been doing some reading on the internet and have read that a dogs diet can have an affect on their epilepsy. Does anyone know anything about this subject

Sadly, I do have plenty of experience with K9 epilepsy. Yes, grains, dairy, soy, & glutens can be seizure triggers. After Ricky was diagnosed, I switched all my dogs to a totally grain free diet. They are now on Natural Balance sweet potato/fish (they also make a potato/duck formula...but I couldn't get my kids' poo to firm up on it). Many herbs also can trigger seizures. For Ricky, we must be sure he gets nothing with rosemary/sage. Most epi dogs can tolerate extracts of these herbs, but cannot tolerate the raw herbs or herb oils. Other known seizure triggers are scents, especially things like cleansers, solvents, air fresheners, etc.

I highly suggest you visit www.canine-epilepsy.com and join their email list. Without this site and its wonderful members, I would have been totally lost on how to help Ricky.

Ricky was diagnosed in late June 2005 and we are just now really getting a handle on his seizures. He is on 64 mg phenobarb (pB) x 2/day and 300 mg of potassium bromide (Kbr) x 1/day. It wasn't until we added the Kbr and it got to therapeutic levels that we really started controlling his seizures. We've got him down from 3 grand mal seizures per week to one or two pet mal seizures every 3 weeks. We had a bit of a set back this month, with 4 small (very small) seizures in a 3 week period, but after his last one this week when I checked my epi journal I realized both times I had accidentally put Missing Link in with Ricky's food. ML is a great supplement, but has too many grains in it for Ricky.

Keep an epi journal....it is a Godsend. Note everything in it, what time of day, how long the seizure lasted, the symptoms exhibited, how long the post-ictal stage lasts and its symptoms, anything & everything the dog ate or came into contact with on that day. It is the only way to really find causal connections (such as I did with the ML).

If your dog has not already been started on meds, I recommend you try everything you can such as diet change before starting meds. Once they start the meds it's kinda like there's no turning back. It will take weeks (in Ricky's case months) to even out on the meds and it can take many different dosages before you finally hit the right combination. During Ricky's worst time I got very depressed because he literally did nothing but sleep & eat and I really struggled with quality of life issues. Thankfully, all my friends from K9 epi list kept reassuring me that it will pass and to hang in there. They were right, Ricky is by no means back to his pre-diagnosis self, but he has WAY more good days than bad now and for that I'm so grateful.

The side effects from the meds can be awful. Ricky went from a svelte 12 lbs in July to a whopping 22 lbs in just about 3 months and I cannot get hte weight off him even though I've cut his food intake by more than half. The pB causes excessive thirst & hunger so you must be very careful cuz they literally think they are starving and you might catch them eating some of the craziest things (Ricky liked dirt). He still suffers from ataxia from the Kbr and must wear rubber soled booties on his back feet in order to be able to walk on our hardwoods.

The University of Missouri is also doing a K9 epilepsy study. Ricky is the only Chinese Crested in the study to date. There's a link to the study at the link I gave you above. You simply complete the questionnaire and then submit DNA samples to them. If you can get DNA from siblings &/or parents they prefer it, but they also take dogs such as Ricky who becuase he's a rescue we know nothing about his breeding other than he came from a puppymill in Arkansas.

Just remember, epilepsy is not a death sentence, many epi dogs go on to live normal lives and even return to competing in agility, flyball, etc. Feel free to email me privately anytime.
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Old 02-25-2006, 12:29 PM   #3
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Chloe, my 5 yo standard poodle, had a grand mal seizure almost 3 yrs. ago. We were quite pleased that she had no more episodes. Then about 4 months ago she started having seizures again. In a little less than 3 wks she had 3 of them. Our vet wanted to do some tests and recommended that she go on pheno for at least a month which I agreed to. At the same time I did quite a bit of research on-line and also found that Natural Balance potato/duck seemed to have excellent results in either diminishing or stopping seizures when they were due to diet so I also switched her food at the same time. I kept her on the pheno for the month together with the new food and then we didn't continue with the pheno. So far so good - no more seizures. I am hopeful that the new food continues to have a good effect and that it isn't just coincidental as needless to say, I really prefer not to have to have her on pheno if at all possible.

I wish you & your furpal the best. I know a couple of people whose dogs are on pheno & they are doing well for a number of years now.

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Old 02-26-2006, 01:41 AM   #4
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Chief is nearly four years old and is a black lab x kelpie. He was diagnosed with epilepsy in Jan this year but he had a seizure back in November and we had know idea what was happening and rushed him to the vet. He seemed okay after that and the vet (not our normal vet) warned us that it could be epilepsy but as it was the first seizure we had seen was unsure.

Everything seemed okay again until January when he had another two seizures within 10 minutes of each other. The vet said that all symptoms seemed like it was epilepsy. Because he had cluster seizures the vet put him straight on to phenobarbitone.
We believe he may have had a small seizure since then but did not see it only from his behaviour that we think it may have happened.
So far all his seizures that we have seen seem to occur between 10.00 and 12.00 at night.

The reason i was asking about diet was because he also has a skin problem which has only began since about October last year. It comes and goes and he gets really itchy and this time he has really lost alot of hair of his belly and front. He used to be all shiny and have a beautiful coat.
He is currently on Pedigree Dry and Tinned food. He also gets a meaty bone once in a while. I have recently been reading about adding vegetables and other things to his food. I also read that wheat is not good for them but i find it all confusing as one person will say one thing then someone else will say not to.
Chief and Bo (5 and a half, lab x kelpie) have been eating Pedigree all their lives and both doing really well untill now.
We are due to go back to the vet next week for a check up and everything so will see how he goes.

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Old 02-26-2006, 08:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nic188
Chief is nearly four years old and is a black lab x kelpie. He was diagnosed with epilepsy in Jan this year but he had a seizure back in November and we had know idea what was happening and rushed him to the vet. He seemed okay after that and the vet (not our normal vet) warned us that it could be epilepsy but as it was the first seizure we had seen was unsure.

Everything seemed okay again until January when he had another two seizures within 10 minutes of each other. The vet said that all symptoms seemed like it was epilepsy. Because he had cluster seizures the vet put him straight on to phenobarbitone.
We believe he may have had a small seizure since then but did not see it only from his behaviour that we think it may have happened.
So far all his seizures that we have seen seem to occur between 10.00 and 12.00 at night.

The reason i was asking about diet was because he also has a skin problem which has only began since about October last year. It comes and goes and he gets really itchy and this time he has really lost alot of hair of his belly and front. He used to be all shiny and have a beautiful coat.
He is currently on Pedigree Dry and Tinned food. He also gets a meaty bone once in a while. I have recently been reading about adding vegetables and other things to his food. I also read that wheat is not good for them but i find it all confusing as one person will say one thing then someone else will say not to.
Chief and Bo (5 and a half, lab x kelpie) have been eating Pedigree all their lives and both doing really well untill now.
We are due to go back to the vet next week for a check up and everything so will see how he goes.
Has your vet run a thyroid panel? Many times dogs with hypothyroidism will have seizures. This would also account for the skin issues & loss of hair. It's really important to get him off that food immediately, Nic. It is nothing but grains, crap meat by products & other needless junk fillers & preservative chemicals and is mostly likely causing more damage than good. There are several different premium dog foods that are 100% grain free. I chose Natural Balance because it's the easiest for me to get. It's not cheap like Pedigree and you can't buy it your local grocery store, but Petco does carry their product line. IF you'll go to the Natural Balance website they have a store locator. Get him off the Pedigree and onto a totally grain free diet and you quite possibly may be eliminating his source of seizure triggers as well.

As for the time of day when seizures hit, Ricky's always hit him at night as well. Rarely does he seize during the daylight hours. Please go visit the www.canine-epilepsy.com site....it has very valuable information about diet, seizure triggers, complex partial seizure symptoms & how to recognize them, various homeopathic approaches, and discusses thyroid issues as well.
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:36 PM   #6
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I found a site for natural balance dog food in Australia and found one for Hypo Allergenic. This is what it said.
Natural BalanceTM Super Premium dog food has been carefully formulated using Australian grown lamb and rice as the main ingredients. This formulation may assist dogs that develop a hyper-sensitivity to traditional wheat, beef and poultry based dietsll

The ingredients that i found listed are Rice, Australian lamb, corn gluten meal, tallow, Omega MagicTM essential oil blend, oat bran, FOS, yucca extract, sodium HMP, natural flavours, vitamins A D3 E K3 B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B12, Folic Acid, Biotin, Copper (from Sulphate), Copper Chelate, Zinc (from Sulphate), Zinc Chelate, Manganese (from Oxide), Manganese Chelate, Iron (from Sulphate), Iron Chelate, Selenium, Iodine, and Calcium. Product protected by natural mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract.

Is this what i should be looking for.
Unfortunately they sell this on the other side of the country and from what i can find i would have to order it over the phone. Is there any other foods that you can recommend. I know it might be difficult being from other countries but we never know.

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Old 03-07-2006, 12:18 AM   #7
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Hmm... I don't have experience with the epilepsy part- would wellness or eagle pack be a suitable sub? What about solid gold?

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Old 03-07-2006, 11:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nic188
I found a site for natural balance dog food in Australia and found one for Hypo Allergenic. This is what it said.
Natural BalanceTM Super Premium:

The ingredients that i found listed are Rice, Australian lamb, corn gluten meal, tallow, Omega MagicTM essential oil blend, oat bran, FOS, yucca extract, sodium HMP, natural flavours, vitamins A D3 E K3 B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B12, Folic Acid, Biotin, Copper (from Sulphate), Copper Chelate, Zinc (from Sulphate), Zinc Chelate, Manganese (from Oxide), Manganese Chelate, Iron (from Sulphate), Iron Chelate, Selenium, Iodine, and Calcium. Product protected by natural mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract.

Is this what i should be looking for.
Unfortunately they sell this on the other side of the country and from what i can find i would have to order it over the phone. Is there any other foods that you can recommend. I know it might be difficult being from other countries but we never know.
No it's not. I've bolded the products in the ingredient list that need to be avoided. You want to get him on a totally grain free diet, no rice, no corn, no wheat, no oats. You need a sweet potato/fish or potato/duck formula that is grain free. I have no idea if Natural Balance is available in Australia. Here's a link to their site: http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dogformulas/home.html There are quite a few grain free dog foods on the market, I just haven't a clue what's available in Australia. I could find out easy enough from some CC friends who live in there.
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