It’s no secret that seeing your dog having a seizure is a rather scary and emotional experience. You see him suffering so badly, you can almost feel his pain. Your feeling of helplessness during those moments is probably the worst part. So now we have some extremely good news for you- There are a few things you can do to reduce and manage epileptic seizures in dogs!
What are epileptic seizures?
A seizure is a temporary, abnormally excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain, usually accompanied by uncontrollable muscle activity. Epilepsy is the official term used to describe the repeated episodes of those seizures.
Why seizures? What's causing them?
Seizures can occur due to a variety of reasons, the most common one is idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy is most likely an inherited disorder, but in other cases the underlying cause is still unknown.
Many dog have the potential to have a seizure, but there are some breeds at higher risk. Breeds such as Beagle’s, Keeshon’s, Belgian Tervuren’s, Golden Retriever’s, Labrador Retriever’s, Vizsla’s, and Shetland Sheepdog’s are more likely to have one.
Basic stages of a typical seizure
A change in the dogs’ behavior may indicate that he is about to have a seizure. If the dog is acting nervously, being restless, hiding, shaking, whining, etc, he is in the Pre-ictal stage, or Aura.
The Seizure phase, also called Ictus, can last a few seconds or up to 5 minutes. During this period, your dog may experience uncontrollable muscle activity such as twitching, drooling, foaming at the mouth, urination, defecation and more.
The post Ictal or the Ictal Phase is mostly characterized by disorientation and confusion. The dog may also experience restlessness or even damaged hearing or temporary blindness. This phase can last up to several days.
Status Epilepticus- Beware!
Status Epilepticus is a dangerous, life-threatening situation. These epileptic seizures can last more than 5 minutes. If your dog has Status Epilepticus, you must seek immediate treatment by a veterinarian or your dog may suffer from severe brain damage or even death.
What can I do to help my furry friend?
Even though seizures may seem horrible for an outside observer, seizures are not that painful or dangerous to your dog. If controlled and treated correctly, your dog can experience less panic and confusion for your dog.
If you noticed that your dog is having a seizure, it is extremely important that you stay calm and comfort your pup. It is best to create a quiet and dark environment for your pet by eliminating bright lights and noises. This will help your furry friend during his seizure.
When should I begin treatment?
- Identifiable structural lesion present or prior history of brain disease or injury;
- Acute repetitive seizures or, status epilepticus (ictal event ≥5 minutes or ≥3 or more generalized seizures within a 24‐hour period)
- ≥2 or more seizure events within a 6‐month period; and prolonged, severe, or unusual postictal periods.
Conventional medications for seizures?
At this time, there are a number of treatment options that can be prescribed by vets to treat seizures. There most common anti-epileptic drugs are Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide (KBr). If those are not effective for your dog, there are other options as well known as “new generation” drugs. These include Felbatol (felbamate) , Zonisamide, Levetiracetam (Keppra), Pexion (imepitoin), Zonisamide , Topiramate. Treating your dog with any anti-epileptic drugs require routine veterinary check-ups to ensure the drugs’ effect and efficiency.
Why not then?
Although conventional anti-seizure medications may help in treating some forms of epilepsy, there are potential side effects to these medications. They can elevate liver enzymes, cause liver dysfunctions, or create GI and pancreatic issues. There are even various short-term effects as well such as weakness, nervousness and lack of coordination. Most importantly, withdrawal from any of these medications (once you finish the treatment or decided to stop) takes time and must happen gradually. Also, the “new generation” drugs are very expensive, which is an issue for those who cannot afford these medications.
In addition, studies have shown that, unfortunately, approximately 30% (!) of the dogs are not experiencing the best results with conventional medications. All those side effects for nothing? Seriously?
Natural treatments for Epilepsy and CBD
These days, holistic methods are rapidly growing, earning a respected status among both experts and users. CBD treatment for epilepsy in kids is already authorized and used as the main treatment. A recent study conducted at Colorado State University assessed the effect of oral cannabidiol (CBD) administration on seizure frequency in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. CBD-infused oil treatment showed “significant decrease in seizure frequency by 33% with no side effects” (as reported by owners during the 12-week study period). CBD is said to have medicinal properties as well, and users report innumerable cases in which CBD has helped their pet significantly. The CBD in this study was not a substitute for prescribed medications. Instead, it was given as an add-on treatment. Nonetheless, in some cases, it can lower the amount of anti-epileptic drugs prescribed to your pet dramatically.
CBD oil is 100% natural and has little to no side effects when it comes to Epilepsy treatment. The oil contains less than 0.2% THC which means it doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, which means the consumer will not get “high” by using it.
Keep it simple
To sum it up...
We all know how horrible it is to see our furry children suffer. That is exactly why we want to help and advise you, from one loving parent to another. Although seizures can be a hard and confusing experience for a dog, it is a very heart-breaking experience for his owner. There are many ways to treat your pet without having to use harmful conventional medications which can put your pet in danger from serious risks of side-effects.
Natural alternatives are gaining popularity around the world and, here at Weedley, we are proud to offer you the best option to help your loved one with our all-natural products. We truly believe in this new wave of thinking and usage of natural products. We hope to increase awareness of natural products to help improve both humans and animals’ lives.
If your dog epileptic, Check our shop to find the right product and exact dosage that suits your dog.