Alternative Treatments for Dog Seizures

Discover how you can treat dog seizures with homeopathic and holistic treatments. While prescription medications do help some dogs prone to seizures, often the medications come with risky side effects or fail to work effectively. Alternative treatments often help a dog without relying on expensive, potentially harmful medications.

Types of Dog Seizures

There are four types of dog seizures:

  • Grand mal (dog collapses, moves limbs and often loses bowel and bladder control)

  • Petit mal (few signs, often just acts spacey and eyes may roll into the back of the head exposing just the eye whites)

While some seizures have a true cause, such as hypothyroidism, low blood sugar or ingestion of poisons, others have no true cause. When this occurs, it's important to learn how to keep your dog calm during the seizure and away from objects that could cause injury.

Dangers of Seizure Medications

Phenobarbital is commonly used in dogs prone to seizure activity. Side effects include excessive thirst, lethargy, loss of coordination, excessive hunger and being easily excited. Generally, these side effects by themselves are not dangerous, but a dog with a loss of coordination could easily fall off a deck or down a flight of stairs and seriously injure himself.

The bigger danger to regular use of phenobarbital involves liver damage. Dogs that use phenobarbital for more than three months may develop scars in the delicate tissue of the liver or develop liver failure. If the damage is caught early, most dogs survive. The problem is that some of the tests used to determine liver function do not show signs of damage until it's too late.

The second most popular dog seizures medication is Potassium Bromide. Potassium bromide takes months before it is effective, however, so it's generally the second choice of veterinarians. Common side effects include weakness, loss of coordination, nausea and vomiting. If a dog is given too high a dosage, muscle spasms can occur. In addition, potassium bromide poisonings occur most frequently in dogs with failing kidneys. You should make sure your dog's kidneys are in perfect health before giving him this medication.

Holistic Solutions

Due to the potential dangers of common dog seizures medications, many pet owners find that holistic and homeopathic remedies are as effective and safer.

Start by changing your dog's diet. Raw food or cooked food diets are usually the best option for dogs with seizures. If you simply cannot prepare your dog's meals in your kitchen, avoid foods with artificial ingredients, by-products and preservatives. Instead, choose dog foods that contain pure protein sources, no fillers and no dyes or preservatives.

Some researchers believe dog seizures may be caused by a lack of B vitamins. Look for a B-complex vitamin supplement that your dog can take.

Exercise is important to a dog with seizures. Make sure you take your pet out for at least an hour every day. Walking, playing fetch and jogging are great activities for your dog.

If your dog does have a seizure, turn the lights off and sit with him. Speak in a calm, reassuring voice. Make sure he doesn't hit any object like an end table that could create a chain reaction of another item falling onto him.