Dog Health Questions? Ask a Dog Vet for Answers ASAP
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
I am sorry to hear that Bee has seizures.
Seizures are rhythmic, repetitive, muscle movements which the dog is unable to control and often loses consciousness during. Many dogs will repeatedly have chewing motions and/or leg motions and may lose urine and stool control.
There can be several reasons for seizures.The most common is idiopathic epilepsy. That means that we don't know why but acircuit of sensitive neurons in the brain gets stuck repeatedly firing.Epilepsy occurs most frequently for the first time in dogs 6 months to 6 years of age so she is in the right age range for this to be the cause of her seizures. We do believe that there is a genetic basis for dogs to have epilepsy as certain breeds are more commonly afflicted and siblings will often have them as well.
Other causes of seizures are toxin exposure, viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections, metabolic diseases leading to waste products building up and affecting brain chemistry, low blood sugar, or even granulomas or masses in the brain.
Most of the other disease processes that cause seizures cause other symptoms, those dogs are sick or abnormal other than during the seizure. If she is normal outside of her seizures, eating, drinking and eliminating normally, no change in personality or behavior then epilepsy is the most likely cause of her seizures. It is true that an MRI will rule out more serious diseases but, unless there is a tumor present which would be amenable to surgery, it wouldn't change what you do for her. Some dogs with lower than normal seizure thresholds will seizure in response tobeing exposed to artificial colors, preservatives or gluten. So you might wish to feed her a diet without artificial dyes or flavors and one that is wheat free. Blue Buffalo purports to produce these sorts of foods.
Omega 3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories and are good for tissue health in general. I recommend supplementing them based upon the EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) portion of the supplement as if you do that the others will be properly balanced. Give 10mg to 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight daily. If the supplement doesn't break down the fatty acid components and list amounts it is likely not a quality supplement and I would choose another.
Decreasing stress is also a way to avoid seizures so if you know an event will be stressful for her avoid it if possible. You can also use calming sprays such as DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) or pheromone impregnated collars to keep her calm.
Exercise should be kept at normal levels. Exercise is a great way to naturally relieve stress and increase positive endorphin levels in the brain.
In a patient with seizures I would have your veterinarian examine her, check a biochemistry profile to look at organ health and a complete blood count. We do want to make sure there are no underlying problems.
If her seizures become more frequent than once a month or more than one happens in a day, even if it has been several months since the last one, I would discuss medication to prevent them. The reason for that is the likelihood of status epilepticus (one seizure after another) and possible brain damage is higher with those scenarios and we wish to avoid that.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.