Remedies for Dogs With Seizuresby Maureen Malone
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that may exist on its own or may have an underlying cause such as lead poisoning.
Witnessing your dog convulse, fall down and even start foaming at the mouth while having a seizure can be a scary experience. There is little you can do during the seizure other than stay calm and reassure your dog when she regains awareness. Although seizures cannot be cured, medication and other remedies can help control seizures in your dog. Your vet will help you select the best course of treatment for your dog.
Antiepileptic medicines are the most common treatment for dogs with epilepsy. The first choice is usually phenobarbital. Initially, this drug may cause drowsiness, increased appetite and lack of coordination, but these effect are usually short-term. Your vet may adjust the dosage if your dog has more than two seizures per month. If phenobarbital is not working well on its own, your vet may prescribe potassium bromide in addition to the phenobarbital. Although these are the most common seizure medications, other options exist if your dog does not respond to these drugs. Some other antiepileptic medications include diazepam, levetiracetam and gabapentin. You and your vet may decide to add additional alternative treatments to supplement the medication.
Many dog owners seek acupuncture treatments to help control seizures. Although the scientific community does not conclusively support the effectiveness of acupuncture, it has been used to help many dogs. Acupuncture is applied by inserting thin needles into specific pressure points. For long-term treatment, gold beads may be inserted into the skin at the acupuncture points. If your pet's epilepsy is related to a head trauma, regular chiropractic treatments might help to seizures.
Depending on the underlying cause of the seizure, adjusting your dog's diet may help control seizures. In some cases, food allergies are a contributing factor to epilepsy, so feeding a hypoallergenic food may help your dog. Supplementing your dog's diet with omega-3 and -5 fatty acids also may help decrease the frequency of seizures.
Homeopathy and Herbs
Homeopathy and herbal medicine may help some dogs. Acupuncturists may prescribe Chinese herbs as part of the acupuncture treatment. Some Western herbs that you can try include chamomile, milk thistle and valerian. Some homeopathic medications that might help include Belladonna and Aconitum. Speak with your vet before beginning herbal treatment to avoid any negative reactions with your dog's antiepileptic medication.
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