Taurine for Dogs with Epilepsy

The seizures experienced by dogs with epilepsy are hard to manage. However, the amino acid taurine can be beneficial to your epileptic pet's health.

Canine Epilepsy

An epileptic attack occurs when the brain cells are over stimulated. As a result, major movements of your pet are adversely affected. Epilepsy is hard to diagnose and is usually confirmed only after all other disorders are ruled out. There are two types of epilepsy that occur in dogs, namely primary and secondary epilepsy. While primary epilepsy is idiopathic (the cause remains unknown), secondary epilepsy can be caused by several factors.

Factors that Cause Epilepsy:

  • Genetic factors
  • Trauma to the head
  • Toxins 
  • A diet deficient in essential vitamins such as B6, B12 and folic acid

Types of Seizures

Dogs with epilepsy can experience two types of seizures. These include partial motor seizures and major motor seizures. While partial motor seizures affect only a group of muscles, major motor seizures affect the entire body and can even cause unconsciousness.  

Diet and Epilepsy

Research has shown that diet modification can help manage your pet's seizures and epilepsy. It's crucial that your pet's diet is fortified with vitamins and includes orange and green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage and celery. These help reduce the frequency and the severity of the epileptic attacks.


Taurine, an amino acid, is an anti-convulsant that stabilizes nerve cell membranes. It plays an important role in the functioning of the nervous system. It's a non-essential amino acid that's primarily the building block of all other amino acids. Animal protein (chicken meat in particular) is the only source of taurine for your pet. This is because chicken meat contains the requisite amount of essential amino acids.

Taurine for Dogs with Epilepsy

Taurine is released during a seizure and has a protective effect during the event. Since it's an inhibitory compound, it allays seizures and reduces their frequency. A diet deficient in taurine can therefore cause epileptic seizures. Besides this, taurine is a metabolic transmitter that regulates the blood sugar levels in pets. This is particularly important because incorrect levels of blood sugar are related to a higher incidence of seizures.

Taurine also has a protective effect on the brain, and a deficiency of taurine in the developing brain of a puppy may be a cause of epilepsy in an adult dog.

Taurine Supplements

Taurine plays an important role in regulating the levels of other amino acids. Since the levels of amino acids in epileptic dogs are irregular, taurine supplements are beneficial for them. Taurine supplements should also be administered to pets that aren't epileptic. Generally, 200 to 1,000 mg per day of taurine should be administered to your pet, but it's best to administer it as prescribed by the vet.

A regulated intake of taurine can help your pet lead a normal life, because it controls the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures that develop.