Saturday, September 26, 2009

Seizures and Allergies--Is there a link?

Q: My 10 year old GSP started having seizures and tremors just in the past week. The vet has ruled any Lyme disease and her blood work shows that her liver and kidneys are fine. She has been on the steroid Temril P for several years to control chronic allergies. My husband is concerned about her suffering more seizures and the vet has prescribed phenobarbitol. I am very hesitant to start giving her this. I am wondering if there are any supplements or diet changes we could try 1st.
September 24, 2009 2:22 PM

A: So sorry to hear your dog is having seizures and tremors. I know how frightening this must be to witness. It is terribly upsetting to see our beloved pets experience seizures and tremors. There is a lot you can do to help your dog from a natural, holistic standpoint. You are right to be concerned about rushing to use medications when you may not have explored all of the natural options first.

We work with many patients that have epilepsy and seizures and there is a definite link with allergies. Food allergies can definitely be a trigger for seizures. No question--feeding a hypoallergenic diet free of preservatives, byproducts, artificial ingredients can help any pet, especially when a dog is having seizures. While some dogs have such severe allergies that after exhausting every possibility of using holistic care (e.g. changing to a low carbohydrate, hypoallergenic diet and using supplements such as Amazing Omegas, Myco-zyme, Notatum, Proaller) and still no improvement in allergy symptoms (unlikely.....)....then the use of a steroid-antihistamine drug long-term such as Temoril P may be warranted. But, too often, in my experience, there is a rush to find a quick fix for the itching and unfortunately pet owners like yourself end up committing your dog to a long-term program of medications that can have side effects. It would be highly advisable for you at this point to consider speaking to a holistic veterinarian or scheduling a telephone consultation with Dr. Gordon and myself to learn what you can do to help your dog. There are many treatment options we can teach you about but without reviewing your medical records and speaking to you in depth, it is hard to know the exact regimen that would be best for your dog. We can offer you an enhanced diet to address your dog's allergies and seizures, detoxification supplements and other treatment alternatives that will help. Seizures are a symptom that your dog's body may be overloaded with toxins and and while using medications such as phenobarbital to treat the symptoms may be necessary as a last resort for quality of life, you first need to stop exposing your dog to chemicals and allergens that are possible triggers. Thus, you need to look at both conventional alternatives (for treating symptoms) as well as holistic veterinary treatments which will help improve your dog's health and address the underlying health issues.
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