Five more causes of epilepsy in dogs discussed
If you have not read the previous articles, I suggest you CLICK HERE. Otherwise, read on.
In PART 2, I explained the first four causes of epilepsy:
- Trauma to the head and neck
- Excessive chewing
- Neck and collar Injuries
- Nutrient deficiency
I also suggested supplements that can be effective for the treatment and prevention of epilepsy.
I also mentioned that not using a collar could also reduce the frequency of seizures.
In PART 3 of the epilepsy series you will learn about other important factors that may be the causes of epilepsy in dogs.
5. Toxin and heavy metal build up
It may surprise you that a large portion of epileptic dogs stop having seizures completely when they go through a heavy metal cleanse.
Let me share a story a with you. My dog Skai’s sister Peggy lives with my very good friends. About a year ago, Peggy had an epileptic attack. We were all shocked. However, I felt for some time that something wasn’t right. Her coat was coarser than Skai’s and bleached out and she was becoming increasingly stiff.
Blood work results showed no abnormalities, but when her HairQ test came back, I saw very high mercury and strontium levels. I learned that Peggy was fed fish frequently including sardines. I often see elevated mercury in dogs on a fish diet. However, the strontium was a puzzle. Strontium is not a naturally occurring element. It is commonly released in radioactive accidents, such as Fukushima.
The story became even more interesting when I learned that small fish, such as sardines, are more likely be the source of strontium contamination. Strontium usually deposits in bones and sardines are usually eaten with the bones still in! Since Peggy’s diagnosis, I have seen many sardine-fed dogs with elevated levels of strontium.
People usually think that feeding ‘local’ sardine brands are safe, but this may not be correct. The problem is some canneries frequently purchase sardines on the international market, including Japan. These canneries do not need to put the origin of their sardines on the label.
It is now known that Strontium 90, a radioactive isotope, has been leaking into the environment and water from Fukushima since the 2011 nuclear plant meltdown. More research still needs to be done. However, because Strontium 90 is not a naturally occurring element, there is a very likely a connection between Fukushima and higher than normal levels of strontium in dogs eating sardines or getting fish oil.
The good news is that Peggy is doing fantastically well after discontinuing fish and doing a general body cleanse. She has had no seizures since.
This story is not unique. I have seen several dogs with epilepsy having high toxicity levels. That is why it is essential to take every dog with epilepsy through the following protocol:
- HairQ test to detect heavy metals
- Liver cleanse
- Blood and spleen cleanse – chlorophyll complex
- GreenMin, which pushes out toxins by providing the competing good minerals.
Preventive plan for healthy dogs with no history of epilepsy:
- HairQ test to determine the levels of heavy metals (yearly)
- Essential mineral, amino acid and phytonutrient supplement - GreenMin
- Naturally-cultured, certified organic multivitamin and organ balancing supplement – SoulFood
- Omega Oils – mercury-free certified and human grade
- Liver cleanse (once every six months) - Livton
I should also mention that it comes without saying that processed foods are often the source of toxins and impurities and should be replaced with an all-natural, raw or cooked diet.
6. Infectious agents
Infections are not common in cases of epilepsy in dogs. However, some diseases such as distemper, toxoplasmosis or tick-born diseases may cause central nervous system abnormalities and seizures.
Distemper is relatively rare and if you follow my holistic approach to vaccination protocol, your dog should be safe from this disease.
The best way of preventing infections is to keep your dog well fed on a natural diet that includes essential supplements that will keep your dog’s immune system in good shape.
In some cases, vaccination can trigger seizures in a susceptible dog. I have seen this with the rabies vaccine, but also with other vaccines. The opinions about the reason for such reactions varies. Some people believe that vaccines create an imprint of the disease's symptoms. Others believe that excessive stimulation of the immune system can result in auto-antibody production, which may lead to neuron inflammation and seizures.
While the mechanism of vaccine-induced seizures is unclear, following a minimal vaccination protocol is the best way to go. If you suspect that your dog has been affected by excessive vaccination, I first recommend running a HairQ test to check their mercury levels.
- If HairQ test results come back with elevated mercury levels, I recommend using a homeopathic preparation Mercurius Vivus 200 C - two doses 12 hours apart.
- If the mercury levels are not elevated, you may start with homeopathic Thuja 200 C – a remedy that is known to address many side effects of vaccines. Give two doses 12 hours apart.
- If you suspect or know that your dog’s epilepsy started with a rabies vaccine, it is safe to administer homeopathic Lyssin 200 C - one dose and see what happens.
8. Flea, tick and heartworm medication
Once in my practice a patient, who had never had a seizure before, suffered a full grand mal seizure within 30 minutes of the application of topical Advantage. While this is relatively rare, the reports of epilepsy after the use of flea and tick medication continue and are in fact listed on the USDA website.
One always has to remember that any foreign chemical agent can cause a metabolic disturbance that may result in epilepsy.
9. Brain Tumour
A brain tumour is the most feared differential diagnosis. Unfortunately, I have very close personal experiences with brain tumours. My brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour after he had his first epileptic attack and my brother-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumour without ever having an epileptic attack.
Before you jump to the conclusion that your dog has a brain tumour, it is reasonable to wait and see if the attack repeats and observe the frequency. If the periods in between attacks become less frequent with treatment, it is less likely that a tumour is present.
Summary of causes of epilepsy:
As you can see, there are many possible causes of epilepsy and an epileptic dog may be affected by several of them.
The best way to start treatments is to observe, evaluate your dog’s progress and see what else can be done before opting for an MRI.
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