This is the Archive for the ‘Dog seizures’ Category. It contains all blog posts related to Dog seizures.

Foods that Can Cause Seizures in Dogs

March 11th, 2013 No comments

When I was a young girl growing up in Alaska, our family dog was a lovely, white toy poodle named Mitzi. Mom claimed that Mitzi occasionally had seizures. They were infrequent enough that I was fortunate to never have had to witness one. One day I came home from school and Mom said that Mitzi had one of the seizures again that day, after “getting into” the chocolates. We did not have the internet in those days and so it took years for me to make the connection between chocolate consumption and canine seizures. Today, almost everyone knows that chocolate can cause not only seizures, but other serious neurological disorders in dogs. I’m happy to say that Mitzi lived to an old age and that she did not die as a result of her sweet tooth.

But this made me wonder about other foods that might be harmful to dogs. What a relief it would be to find that the reason for a dog’s seizure or other illness could be something as simple as what he eats! Although it is by no means a complete list, what follows is a list of common foods that can cause health problems in dogs.

Cat Food

For those households which are home to both dogs and cats, beware of letting the dogs get into the cat’s food on a regular basis, because it is too high in protein and fats for dogs to eat, resulting in potential digestive problems. Cat food is also denser in calories than dog diets, so it can lead to obesity in dogs.  I used to let Cory “lick the kitty’s plate,” which won’t hurt anything if the kitty has eaten well, but just keep in mind that cats and dogs have their own unique nutritional needs and they should not be allowed to eat the same food.

Raw Fish

Here in the Pacific Northwest, salmon and other raw fish can carry a fluke which in turn carries a bacteria, which can cause seizures and death if consumed raw. By cooking the fish, the danger is completely eliminated, although you must 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 comfortable with taking any kind of a chance when it comes to the health and well being of my dog, since I do not know if my freezer can get to the correct temperature or how long the fish would need to be frozen to make the raw fish safe to consume.


Nutmeg is a spice which I have seen in recipes for homemade dog food and treats, but it is a food which dogs should actually never eat. Nutmeg has been known to cause seizures, tremors and even hallucinations in dogs.

Apple Seeds

Apple seeds and other pits from peaches, cherries and plums contain the poison cyanide, which can also cause seizures, obstruct the small intestines and cause painful inflammation for dogs. Although horses can eat their apples whole, core and all, dogs should never be allowed to eat the apple cores.

Grapes and Raisins

I first learned, via the internet, that grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, seizures and even death in dogs at about the time I was reading a training book for dogs that actually advocated giving raisins as treats!  I contacted the author with my concerns and she was quite defensive. I was concerned enough to follow the internet links about this frightening claim, and I found it to be confirmed by Snopes as being true.

Other foods that are commonly on the list of what not to allow your dog to eat include:

  • macadamia nuts
  • onions
  • egg whites (the whole egg is just fine for the dog)
  • some of the species of wild mushrooms

Early signs that your dog is having an adverse reaction are vomiting and hyperactivity, followed after about a day by lethargy and depression.  If your dog has consumed anything on the list above, and exhibits any such behavior, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

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Treatment Options for Canine Epilepsy

March 11th, 2013 1 comment

If your dog is having seizures, and the diagnosis is idiopathic epilepsy, then you will want to know what your treatment options are as soon as possible. After Cory’s first grand mal seizure (which I describe in detail in Chapter 1 of Cory’s Story), I was terrified and wanted the veterinarian to put Cory on drugs immediately. We live in a society where medications are quite often the first place we turn to whenever something goes wrong with a body, be it human or canine.

Patience & Vigilance

I am so glad that Cory’s vet did not acquiesce to my pleas; but instead, he gently told me that in some cases, the drugs cause more harm for the dog than good. He told me to start a “seizure diary” where I listed all of the information I could about each of Cory’s seizures, including the date, time of day, what Cory had just been doing, and even the phase of the moon. As I look back over that seizure diary, I do see hints that there were certain triggers that seemed to be present for many of Cory’s seizures.

It was frustrating, however, because there was no black and white cause and effect. While swimming in a lake for hours often led to a seizure for Cory, it did not always lead to one. In any case, keeping a diary gave me a tool, and it helped me feel like I was doing something for Cory. I kept it up all of his life with the hope that one day I would find the clue that would pinpoint the reason for his seizures.

Anti-Epileptic Drugs

Along the way I spent hours reading everything I could find about other people’s experiences with canine epilepsy. I wanted to know what drugs were available, what the side effects were and how effective they were. One must keep in mind that the purpose of treatment for canine epilepsy is to reduce the frequency and intensity of the seizures, and that in many cases the seizures will continue in spite of the treatment.

At that time, Phenobarbital was usually prescribed by veterinarians as the first drug of choice to treat seizures. If that did not sufficiently reduce the frequency of the seizures, then Potassium bromide was usually added; although I did see instances where Potassium bromide was also used alone. For some dogs, these drugs (independently, or in combination) were effective enough to reduce the seizures, although I did not often see where the seizures were eliminated entirely.

Another drug, valium, was often prescribed in order to immediately treat a dog where the seizure lasts for 5 minutes or more, or when the seizures would come in clusters. Valium is usually administered by an owner rectally, rather than by injection. During Cory’s entire life, once he was diagnosed with epilepsy, I carried several vials of valium everywhere we went.

Change of Diet

I was fortunate to have been made aware of the connection between feeding a raw, natural diet and the reduction of seizures before we got to the point where we needed to start Cory on anti-epileptic drugs. Although it seems strange to include a dog’s diet in an article about treatment for canine epilepsy, it was exactly this that led to our success in controlling the seizures.

As I’ve shared Cory’s Story with others, including some veterinarians, I’ve been told that Cory must have had an allergy to the commercial dog food I’d been feeding him, and it was not the raw, natural diet that helped him, but rather the elimination of the dog food that was an allergen for him. I cannot agree with that assumption, however, because there was not an immediate cessation of the seizures when I began feeding the raw diet to Cory; in fact, it took five years for them to stop completely. If the cause of Cory’s seizures had simply been an allergy, then once he stopped eating commercial dog food I would have expected that his seizures would have also stopped.

Gold Bead Implants

Other treatment options which I would have considered for Cory, if not for the fact that we got such great results from the diet change, include Gold Bead Implants, which involves placement of gold beads into acupuncture points, which must be done by a highly trained specialist. I heard happy accounts from relieved owners of many dogs with epilepsy who received complete relief from seizures once this treatment was received.

Homeopathic Remedies

I also sought the expertise of a holistic veterinarian who prescribed homeopathic remedies for Cory. Although I used them for years, I also stopped using them from time to time, and I cannot say with any assurance that I saw a difference in the frequency or severity of Cory’s seizures. I did see dramatically positive results with the homeopathic remedy arnicaid, which I would give to Cory when he was a senior and would be experiencing muscle aches and pains, so I cannot rule out homeopathy altogether; it’s just that I’m not sure it had any effect on Cory’s seizures.

Common Causes of Seizures in Dogs

March 11th, 2013 1 comment

If your dog has a seizure, the first thing you’ll want to do is find out what might be the cause.  The purpose of this article is to give you a few of the common causes, because the treatment will be dependent upon the reason for the fit, (as they are called in England), or seizure, as we call them in the United States.  Both terms refer to the state where the brain temporarily loses control of the body.

Environmental Toxins

The environment contains many toxins which can cause seizures in dogs. If your dog has a seizure the first thing you will want to do is take a look at where the dog has been.  Do you see poisons such as rat bait?  How about leaked antifreeze?  Have you recently put a flea collar on your dog or used flea powder or insecticides in your home?  If you find any of these culprits, you may have good news, because most dogs can fully recover, with quick medical intervention and treatment, if the reason for the seizure is found to be an environmental toxin.

Brain Tumors

A diagnostic test, such as an MRI or CAT scan, can determine whether or not your dog has an abnormal growth on the brain.  Brain tumors, especially those in the cerebrum, can be a common reason for seizures in older dogs, but they are rarely the cause of seizures in younger dogs.  The highest incidence is found among the short-nosed breeds such as the Pug, Boxer, Bulldog, and Boston Terrier.

Tick-induced Diseases

Dog seizures can be attributed to several poisons that can be transmitted by ticks, such as Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Check your dog’s body to see if there are any ticks.  Fortunately, with early treatment such as antibiotics, most of these conditions are reversible, and the dog will make a full recovery from a tick-induced disease.


Distemper, a virus, can cause seizures as the disease progresses.  Puppies are especially susceptible to distemper, around the age of about 3 months, when their bodies no longer have the protection of the antibodies which they received from their mother.  This debilitating disease is preventable if the dog receives a vaccination at about 8 weeks of age.  Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, discharge from the eyes and nose, followed by a dry cough, diarrhea and dehydration. Distemper must be treated by a veterinarian; in fact the very life of the dog can depend upon how quickly the dog receives medical intervention. Although antibiotics have no effect on the distemper virus itself, they are used to prevent secondary bacterial infections.  Anticonvulsants or sedatives are used to control seizures.  The best prevention against canine distemper is vaccination.

Ideopathic Epilepsy

Perhaps the most common cause of dog seizures is idiopathic epilepsy. If everything mentioned above is ruled out, idiopathic epilepsy is usually the diagnosis.  It is attributed to either a genetic or congenital disorder, causing the dog’s neurological system to be vulnerable to a chaotic electrical discharge of neurons in the brain, resulting in seizures.

The Best Way to Stop a Dog Seizure

March 10th, 2013 No comments

Just as in humans, a seizure in a dog is an episode when abnormal electrical triggers fire in the brain. As the effects of this electrical triggering spread, it affects the dog’s mental and physical functions, causing jerky movement and loss of physical control. If your dog is epileptic or has another condition characterized by seizures, it is important to be able to identify the seizure and handle it in the way that is best for your dog.

In dogs, a seizure typically starts with an aura, which is a set of pre-seizure behaviors. A dog in the aura stage often acts in a way that is totally the opposite of its normal behavior. Dogs that are usually sweet might become withdrawn and snappish; dogs that are laid back may become strangely anxious; and dogs that tend to be aloof might start to demand affection.

An aura can last for up to an hour before the seizure. Suddenly, your dog will collapse, with all four legs rigidly extended. Then the dog will kick its legs or move spasmodically, and he or she might bite at nothing. The dog may also lose control of its bowels and bladder. The seizure may last for several minutes, and leave your dog shaky and disoriented. The confusion following a seizure may last for several hours.

When your dog has a seizure, try to move it to a place where it will not do any harm. Pull it away from anything that could get knocked over and fall on top of it. Try to keep your hands away from the dog’s mouth, because he or she will lose control over the biting reflex during the seizure.

Talk soothingly to your pet, especially if it seems to respond to your voice. Dogs are acutely tuned into the way we say things; you must do everything you can to keep your dog calm. If you can help the dog stay calm, you can reduce the amount of agitation and potential physical damage it suffers during this unpleasant experience.

One way to help a dog move out of the seizure stage is to apply ice to his or her lower back, just above the tail. Keep a sealed plastic bag of cold ice in your refrigerator at all times so you can apply it when your dog starts to have a seizure. The cold pack can help your dog come out of a seizure very quickly. It also reduces or completely eliminates the post-seizure haze.

If your dog has a seizure, it is essential to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. This is important even if your dog experiences seizures on a regular basis, because you can never know when actual damage has occurred. If your dog has never had a seizure, you will find it even more imperative to talk to a professional.

Remember that seizures can result from many things, including poison and kidney failure, so consult a professional after your dog has had a seizure!

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Two Heartwarming Emails I Received: Podge and Coco’s Stories

May 12th, 2011 No comments


Every now and then someone writes to me after reading “An Owner’s Guide to Canine Epilepsy” or “Cory’s Story”. I received two wonderful e-mails this week that I wanted to share with you. The first was from a woman named Terri who is the founder of American Cocker Spaniel Rescue in Spanaway, Washington. She told me about becoming a foster to a darling little chocolate cocker named Coco who had been found abandoned in the woods. She said, “Coco had the most violent seizures imaginable – he would wake me up, out of a dead sleep….it sounded as though someone was banging on the inside of his crate with a hammer. They were just awful. It broke my heart every time he had a seizure.”

Terri’s story about Coco had a surprising ending. Although Terri found a permanent home for him, she stayed in his life, babysitting him whenever his people went on vacation. Eventually Coco’s vet diagnosed him with a brain tumor, estimating that he might live only 6 to 9 months. Coco made it another 12 months before it was clear to everyone that his quality of life was no longer acceptable. He was senile, stumbled and fell down, was deaf and blind and he stopped eating and drinking for 2 days. The surprising ending is that Terri offered to have Coco put down while his family was away! She took him to the vet and held him in her arms as he was helped to cross to the Rainbow Bridge. She told me that she cried so hard she could not hold up her pounding head. She said, “Coco was such a great dog and it’s just not fair that he was plagued with seizures…..If I love to be 170 years old, I will never, ever forget dear Coco.”

Coco and Dad

Coco and Dad

Then Terri thanked me for writing Cory’s Story and making the Owner’s Guide available as a free download for anyone. She said “I know for a fact that it will be very helpful to many people.” I read those words with tears running down my face, having shared a sacred moment with another dog guardian who knows first hand just how scary and heart-breaking it is to live with and to love a dog with a seizure disorder. I was deeply moved by Terri’s offer to be the one to take Coco to the vet for his last earthly journey, when he wasn’t even her dog! Having gone through that experience of being with Cory when he crossed to the bridge, I can tell you that it is one of the most wrenching things a person can go through. I told Terri that I believe she is one of the rare Earth angels we hear about from time to time.

The next day I got an e-mail from Gail in North Wales. She told me about her border collie bitch “Podge” who started having seizures just 4 months ago, when Podge was 3 years old. She began her message to me by saying, “Can I thank you for taking the trouble to put Cory’s story on line, as it gives owners hope. Too many times in the past few weeks I speak to people whose dogs have been put down because of epilepsy.” She went on to tell me about how Podge’s seizures escalated to the point that even a trip to the vet and a valium injection didn’t help. Podge was having about 4 seizures a day and paced relentlessly. Gail said, “mentally I said goodbye, because I couldn’t watch her suffer.” “To take my mind off her discomfort I started to search the internet for clues and when I read the first chapter of Cory’s Story I realized I wasn’t alone in the sheer panic and the helplessness, just willing our lovely dog to survive and get better!”



Gail took action, realizing that there were things she could do for Podge! She came to terms with the fact that her dog had epilepsy, (not a blood sugar issue as she kept telling herself). She got Podge in to see a vet who put her on anti-epileptic drugs and she modified her diet so as to provide Podge with fresh cooked vegetable and meat casseroles, replacing her tinned dog food. Gail reported positive results and has hope that she may be able to get Podge off of the anti-epileptic drug eventually, if her new diet can control the seizures as well as it did for Cory.

I encouraged Gail to take a look at replacing the cooked meals with raw meaty bone meals eventually, which I believe will provide Podge with the maximum nutritional benefits. Gail said she will do that and promised to give me an update some day.

I cannot describe the pleasure I get when I hear from people like Terri and Gail, knowing that Cory’s Story has helped them in some way. Cory was a very special dog and it was his life’s purpose to share his experience, through my writing, so that other dogs would have the


Podge looking yonder

opportunity to live healthier (dare I even dream “seizure-free”?) lives.

The Different Types of Canine Seizures

December 23rd, 2010 2 comments

One of the most common things I hear from people, when I explain that my dog is epileptic, is “Oh, I didn’t know that dogs could have that disease!”  How I wish it weren’t true!  Dogs can and do have seizures. There are many causes of seizures, such as epilepsy (which is often an inherited disease with no known physical cause), brain tumors, toxins, or illness such as distemper or tick induced diseases, to name just a few. The purpose of this article is to briefly visit some of the most common symptoms of a dog seizure. It is possible for a dog with a seizure disorder to experience all of these symptoms at different times.

What just happened to my dog?  Was that a seizure?

The following symptoms are associated with these various kinds of seizures.

ABSENCE SEIZURES a/k/a PETIT MAL SEIZURES. These seizures are the most difficult to assess, because nothing dramatic happens; you just get the sense that your dog is somehow “off.”  These seizures are also sometimes called “focal seizures” because the dog has a blank stare and may lose control of its bladder or bowels. If this is the only kind of seizure your dog experiences, you will likely not recognize it as a seizure.

PARTIAL SEIZURES. These occur when your dog has seizure activity in only one part of the body, such as in the face or just on one side of the body.  Typical symptoms are ataxia (i.e., the dog will try to walk but is unable to because the legs cross themselves causing stumbling, as if the legs have had their blood supply cut off putting them to sleep) or muscle spasms. The dog may fall over on its side and lie still until the seizure passes.

COMPLEX PARTIAL SEIZURES.  The behavior of the dog is suddenly erratic. He may run around the house as if being chased by an unseen demon, or he may appear to be frightened or even frantic and then fall down. Some dogs may find themselves stuck in a corner, unable to get out.  He may bite at the air as if he sees flies, or stand rock solid with his eyes fixed on nothing and drool.  He may stare into space as if he can see into the next dimension, and be unresponsive to your voice or even your touch. Dogs who experience these kinds of seizures will be unable to hear or see you while they are in the midst of the seizure. Complex partial seizures can escalate into Grand Mal seizures, or they can just as easily leave without a trace, and the dog will appear as if nothing happened, leaving you wondering if you can trust your own senses as to what you think you just witnessed.

GRAND MAL SEIZURES, a/k/a TONIC-CLONIC SEIZURES. These are the seizures that can be mistaken for a heart attack or a stroke, but there can be no question that something horrible is happening to the dog. The dog loses complete control of its body, falls to the ground and may lose consciousness. The dog may actually stop breathing for a few seconds. When breathing resumes, the dog’s body will convulse and the dog may lose control of its bladder or bowels. These kinds of seizures involve the entire body, whereas partial seizures affect just one part or side of the dog’s body. These seizures can become either STATUS EPILEPTICUS or CLUSTER SEIZURES. The status epilepticus seizure is a GRAND MAL that is not over after five minutes, and it can be life-threatening. Dogs experiencing cluster seizures will come out of one seizure for a time, only to have another a short time later.

After the seizure is over, depending upon its intensity, a dog may appear to be drugged, confused or very tired. If the dog did not lose bladder or bowel control during the seizure, he may need to relieve himself urgently. Some dogs experience temporary blindness, and pacing is also common following a seizure. Many dogs will be ravenous or thirsty because the massive neural and physical activity during a seizure releases hormones and consumes glucose.

Once you have determined that your dog did have a seizure, it is important to get the dog in to see a veterinarian in order to have a full examination done. The exam should include a full panel blood work-up to check for a possible thyroid imbalance, hypoglycemia, low serum calcium levels in the blood, tick borne diseases such as Lyme or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever disease, distemper, and kidney or liver diseases. If everything is ruled out, then you will likely get a diagnosis of Idiopathic Epilepsy, which usually has a genetic link in the dog’s ancestral chain, and should be brought to the attention of the breeder, if known. With proper canine nutrition and under the care of a veterinarian who is experienced in treating epilepsy, the odds are in your favor that your dog will be able to live a long and happy life despite the seizure disorder.

The 4 Stages of a Seizure in a Dog (Part 2)

July 28th, 2010 1 comment

Good morning! Here’s part 2 of yesterday’s article:

The Aura. This is the period of intensity of the pre-ictal symptoms, just before the seizure starts.  The dog may be restless, apprehensive, begin pacing, or even try to hide.

The Ictal Phase, also known as the “Ictus.” Ick is the word indeed, as this is a period of intense neurological spasming resulting in a disruption of brain activity that explodes in a chaos of mixed signals flooding the dog’s body.  Most seizures last for 1 to 5 minutes.  Any longer than 5 minutes and you have a prolonged seizure that may require medical intervention.  During this phase most dogs fall onto their side and are either stiff-legged with rigidity, or paddling uncontrollably while convulsing.  Sometimes the dog will lose control of its bladder or bowels during this phase.  The best thing you can do for your dog is to act like you are remaining calm, turn off the lights and any noise, keep the dog from hitting his head on something, and perhaps ocular compression will help lessen the duration or intensity of the seizure.  If your dog has already been diagnosed as having epilepsy, your vet will probably have given you several syringes full of valium which you can use if the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, or if one seizure quickly follows another.

The Post-Ictal Phase. Once the seizure has ended, the dog may appear to be dazed for several minutes to several hours.  Many dogs pace frantically.  Some are temporarily blind and will bump into walls.  Your dog will most likely need to go outside to eliminate, and then you should help replace the glucose that will have been depleted by the seizure.  A spoonful of honey on top of some natural, preservative-free vanilla ice cream will help restore the blood sugar levels quickly, and your dog will appreciate lots of fresh, filtered water to drink.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful! To see other resources I’ve written about dog seizures, visit the resources page. Stay tuned for more posts soon, including an update on the progress of the book!

The 4 Stages of a Seizure in a Dog (Part 1)

July 27th, 2010 No comments

The first time Cory had a seizure he was only about 5 months old.  I woke him up from a sound sleep and he started walking as if his legs had gone to sleep, crossing over each other in the front and wobbling as if he’d been drinking alcoholic beverages.  We laughed, thinking it was funny.  I checked in with Cory’s vet a few days later, who shrugged it off as nothing to be concerned about.  This incident happened a few years before Cory had his first grand mal seizure, when we finally understood that the curious symptoms leading up to it meant that he had been having small seizures and suffering from epilepsy all along.  I wish I had been better educated about what to watch for, as I believe if I had known to suspect that Cory was having pre-epileptic episodes we might have possibly avoided that horrific grand mal seizure which I describe in the first chapter of Cory’s Story.

The following article is to help educate you in knowing what to look for in your dog’s behavior, in order to assist your veterinarian in making an accurate diagnosis with the information which you observe.

Cory’s seizures began as curious moments when he would lose muscle control and be unable to walk correctly, or he would assume a blank look and stand as if he were a statue, staring into space with drool running out of his mouth.  Those periods did not last long enough to cause us much concern, especially when we’d get the assurance from various veterinarians that nothing was wrong.  Unfortunately, seizures can gradually worsen over time and eventually become serious to the point of being life-threatening to the dog.  All seizures should be taken seriously, because whatever is causing them is not likely to disappear on its own.  With the increased frequency of the seizures comes the potential for the stage which is known as status epilepticus, a state of continuous seizures with infrequent or no periods of consciousness, which can lead to death without medical intervention.  Therefore, you need to know about the four basic stages to a seizure.  They are:

The Prodome, or “Pre-Ictal” Phase. This is a period of time which may begin moments before a dog’s seizure or even as much as 24 hours prior to a seizure, where your dog’s behavior will be markedly changed from what it is like normally.  In Cory, we saw him become worried and he would run to one of us and want to cling to us for reassurance.  You may also see the vacant look I described above, and excess salivation or drooling.  Your dog may start to tremble or whine, as if knowing that something dreadful is about to happen.  There are two things you can do during this phase – administer Rescue Remedy or give your dog a small amount of preservative-free vanilla ice cream, and give your dog as much assurance and comfort as you can.  With Cory’s early episodes, this phase did not progress on to the next stages for several years.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 (of 2), in which I’ll describe the other 3 stages of seizures in dogs.

Foods That Can Cause Dog Seizures (Part 2)

July 20th, 2010 No comments

Hi everyone! Here’s the rest of the list of foods to avoid giving your dog to avoid dog seizures (and if you missed Part 1, read that first!):

  • Mushrooms.  Some mushrooms contain toxins that can cause problems for a dog, especially wild ones.  I knew this and was alert to keeping Cory away from mushrooms on our walks.  “Leave it” is a great command to teach your dog early.
  • Cat food.  Cory is not going to like it that I found out about this one, as he loves to lick the kitty’s plate after she finishes her canned food.  It turns out that cat food is too high in protein and fats for dogs to eat.  OK, maybe he can still lick the kitty’s plate, but don’t substitute cat food as meal for your pup.
  • Apple seeds.  Apple seeds and other pits from fruit contain the poison cyanide, which can cause seizures.
  • Grapes and Raisins.  When I first learned that grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs it was at the same time I was reading a training book for dogs that actually advocated giving raisins as treats!  I contacted the author with my concerns and she was very defensive, saying that she had always used raisins as training treats for her dogs.  All I can say is be aware of the risks and do more research before giving grapes or raisins to your dog.
  • Egg whites.  It is OK to feed your dog a whole egg, but there is a danger in splitting the egg whites off and feeding them without the yoke, because they contain a protein known as avidin, which can actually deplete your dog of one of the essential B vitamins. Apparently the yoke contains the antidote to this protein, so if the egg is served whole, there is nothing to be concerned about.

I hope that this has been helpful.  I would love to know if anyone has anything to add to this list.  If you have something to add, please also tell us why the food is harmful to dogs.

Foods That Can Cause Dog Seizures (Part 1)

July 19th, 2010 6 comments

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!