Is There a Link Between Canine Seizures and Diet?

Canine seizures are neurological disorders frequently observed dogs and occur due to disruption of normal functioning of the brain. Nutritional deficiencies are linked to the occurrence of seizures and diet can play a major role towards the management and control of canine seizures.

Symptoms of Canine Seizures

  • Incontinence
  • Excessive salivation
  • Changes in behavior
  • Confusion
  • Contraction of all the muscles
  • Violent movement of the limbs
  • Running in circles
  • Trembling
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Temporary paralysis

Foods that may Trigger a Canine Seizure

Chocolate can cause canine seizures and if given in large quantities, it can prove fatal. Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous. Macadamia nuts, nutmeg, raw fish and hops can also cause seizures in pets. Apart from this, products that contain the sweetener Xylitol can cause a fall in the blood sugar level and trigger a seizure.

Is Diet Linked to Canine Seizures?

Nutritional deficiencies such as mineral deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies and amino acid deficiencies can cause canine seizures. Hence, it’s important to feed your pet, home cooked food or a raw food diet. If that isn’t possible make sure you feed him high quality commercial pet food. This is because the process of preparing commercial food destroys the vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are present natural sources of food.

Kibble should be free of preservatives and chemicals. Dogs that are prone to seizures are usually found to be deficient in key nutrients such as taurine, magnesium, zinc, calcium, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin B6. Low blood sugar can also trigger a seizure.

Protein Deficiency

Dogs require proteins to meet their recommended daily intake of food. Although commercial dog food products have large amounts of protein, the bulk of the protein content is comprised of plant proteins. Thus feeding your pet commercial dog food can lead to animal protein deficiencies. Conversely, raw food diets or home cooked meals can supply the required amount of animal proteins. If you must feed your pet commercial food, make sure it contains animal proteins in substantial amounts. A deficiency in animal protein can lead to a resultant deficiency in amino acids as they are derived from animal proteins.

Dogs produce the non-essential amino acid, Taurine, by utilizing essential amino acids obtained from their diet. Taurine is an anti-convulsant that can control and prevent seizures.

Dogs also make another non-essential amino acid, Carnitine, which is linked to the control of seizures. If your pet is deficient in any of these amino acids, need to supplement his diet.

Vitamin Deficiency

You can cure vitamin deficiency by feeding your pet a proper diet or supplementing his food with vitamins like Vitamin A that corrects nerve function, and Vitamin B Complex that wards off seizures when administered in the right amount. These vitamins are destroyed by heat and are hence absent in commercial dog food. You should also read package labels to find out if any given multivitamin contains Vitamin D and Vitamin E.

Mineral Deficiency

Deficiencies in minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, selenium and zinc can also cause seizures. However, mineral supplements can address these deficiencies.

Feeding home cooked food to your pet can resolve nutritional deficiencies that can trigger canine seizures. You should also conduct a vet check soon after the dog experiences a seizure and administer all vet prescribed medication on time.