Home > Dog seizures > Foods That Can Cause Dog Seizures (Part 1)

Foods That Can Cause Dog Seizures (Part 1)

As anyone who follows this blog already knows, I believe that commercial dog food is a culprit for many illnesses in a dog, and that it contributed to or may even have caused Cory’s seizures.  The reason I came to that conclusion is that Cory’s seizures gradually were reduced once we stopped feeding him kibble and canned dog food, until they stopped completely over 5 years ago, without ever putting him on anti-epileptic drugs.  But, did you know that there are other foods that can harm your dog’s health, even causing seizures?   Some of these caught me by surprise!

  • Chocolate.  Almost everyone knows that chocolate can cause seizures and even death in a dog.  One day Cory got into Jayson’s stash of Halloween chocolate.  He had consumed quite a bit of it when Jayson discovered him, with Cory’s head deep inside the bowl of chocolate bars and his tail wagging with exuberant glee.  Jayson called poison control and was advised to pour Hydrogen Peroxide liquid down Cory’s throat, which made Cory vomit.  Happily I had Hydrogen Peroxide in the cupboard where I keep first aid supplies. Jayson took Cory outside for this messy task.  We were very lucky that Jayson found out about it soon enough so that no harm was done.  If you suspect your dog has consumed chocolate and you are not sure when it happened, call your veterinarian immediately.  If you catch your dog in the act, then try the Hydrogen Peroxide treatment.  Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate.
  • Onions or Products Containing Onion Powder.  These contain sulfoxides and disulfides which can cause damage to the red blood cells, resulting in the dog becoming anemic.
  • Raw Fish.  Especially here in the Pacific Northwest, salmon and other fish often carry a fluke which in turn carries a bacteria which can cause seizures and death if consumed raw. The danger is completely eliminated if you cook the fish first, although you have to be careful to get all the bones out of the cooked fish before allowing your dog to eat it.  I’ve been told that freezing the fish at a certain temperature will also kill the fluke & eliminate the problem, but I’m not enough of a scientist to know what that temperature is or how long the fish would need to be frozen in order to be comfortable feeding raw fish to my dog.
  • Nutmeg.  Not that it ever occurred to me to sprinkle nutmeg on Cory’s chow, but apparently it can cause tremors, seizures and death.  Just don’t share any of your cookies containing nutmeg with your pooch and you should be OK with this one.

Tomorrow I’ll post Part 2 of this series! I’m sure you’ll be surprised by some of the other foods that cause cause your dog to have seizures. Have you ever noticed a correlation between something your dog ate and a seizure? Leave a comment and let us know!

  • I feed my dogs a raw diet and did not know the danger about raw fish. Where can I find more information about this?

    • Sandy

      Here is a link to give you more info about the bacteria carrying fluke in Pacific NW fish. http://tdn.com/news/article_561021cb-75cb-5993-
      If that doesn't work, just google “Pacific NW fish fluke bacteria” My biggest problem with most websites that promote raw feeding is that they usually do not address this problem of feeding raw fish, which can be lethal.

      • Gracetaker

        Very helpful article – thank you! It sounds from the article that the danger is only in salmon (and related fish) from the pacific northwest. This might be why I haven't had a problem – I think most of the salmon we get here (midwest) is atlantic salmon. BUT I was just about to make a batch of food with a salmon I had frozen so now I will cook it beforehand, so I appreciate this information! I have noticed a lot of the raw feeding sites list jack mackrel and sardines for the fish component of food and I have wondered why not others. Maybe this is one of the reasons. Thank you!

        • Sandy

          You're welcome! I feed Cory canned fish (salmon, mackerel or sardines) about once a week. I think you are right about the atlantic salmon being OK to feed raw. Thanks for your comments!

          • Gracetaker

            Ok then, one more question! Do you worry about the salt in canned fish? I think it's not a problem for cats, but I've read that for dogs you have to be very careful to avoid salt since their bodies don't get rid of it easily (or something like that). The jack mackerel I bought today said “salt added, packed in water”

          • Sandy

            This is an excellent question. I do buy canned fish packed in water, and I have always rinsed the sardines in water before serving them. I have not rinsed the canned salmon or mackerel and have not seen any ill effects; however, if you are in doubt by all means rinse all canned fish before serving it. By the way, you don't need to worry about the bones in the canned fish, they are very good for your dog.

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