This entry was written by Gary Tashjian, posted on October 22, 2010
I recently found myself Googling “dog seizures” and visiting the websites on Google’s first page to see what may be new. I was surprised, and also delighted, to see that practically everyone is now talking about the connection between feeding commercial dog food and dog seizures. Truth has a way of floating to the top eventually, even if it takes generations. I think that what has made the difference in seeing so many articles along these lines is because access to the internet has allowed those of us who have found our own solutions to conquering canine epilepsy to share our stories with thousands of people; whereas before, all we could do was tell our friends, family and neighbors if we stumbled onto something good.
There is no question that changing our dog Cory over to a raw, all natural meat on the bone diet was the reason that his seizures stopped. But even so, I still wonder why that is. Is there something in the make up of a dog that has a low seizure threshold and causes the dog’s system to react negatively to the grains, such as wheat, corn or soy in commercial dog food, so as to cause an allergic reaction resulting in seizures?
Or could it be that the culprits are actually minerals called phytates that are common in commercial dog food? They are said to block absorption of important nutrients, so that the dog’s central nervous system is starved of those nutrients and rendered unable to function properly, thereby resulting in dog seizures. Or is it that essential vitamins and minerals necessary to support the dog’s well-being so that it doesn’t fall below the seizure threshold get cooked out of processed commercial dog food, even if you choose a high quality one?
Whatever you believe, (and I met with a veterinarian last week who expressed his own opinion that favored the “your dog must be allergic to something in the kibble” option), I don’t understand why people don’t simply start with a change of diet for their dogs if they are having seizures. What could it possibly hurt?
Why do some people reach for anti-epileptic medication first? Or, worse yet, why would people throw away money to buy a product from a website that boasts that you, too, can join millions of other pet owners who have reported success by buying their product, which is of course an all natural blend of herbs, vitamins and anything else that sounds impressive, and is marketed under reassuring names such as EPILEPSY X or some such, while continuing to feed commercial dog food to their dogs? I mean, if there is something in commercial dog food that inhibits absorption of the necessary nutrients, what good will it do to feed any supplements, no matter how wonderful they may be?
I know that not all dogs will be completely cured of canine epilepsy simply by a change of diet to either a home-cooked or a natural raw diet; and many dogs’ lives will be saved by anti-epileptic drugs. These are decisions that must be made on a case-by-case basis by a loving dog owner and a trusted veterinarian who does not have any other agenda, such as commercial dog food to sell. The point of this article is to ask anyone who is seeking answers that could help restore their dog’s health by reducing or eliminating seizures to stop feeding kibble or canned commercial dog food. The only commercial pet food I would choose is one that is based upon the raw meaty bone diet, which is free-range and organic, such as Darwin’s Natural Selections with free-range meat and organic vegetables.
It took 5 years from the time I started feeding Cory the raw meaty bone diet until his last seizure, so be aware it doesn’t happen overnight. But his seizures did become less and less frequent over that 5 year span, until they stopped completely; that was now over 5 years ago.
I wish all of you who are struggling with the pain of dealing with canine epilepsy comfort and support in your own journey to find answers that will work for you. Cory and I hope our experience can help you fit together some of the pieces to the overall puzzle of reducing or even curing your dog’s seizures.
Sandra DeMers is the author of Cory’s Story, the true story of how one dog conquered canine epilepsy that will absolutely amaze you. Visit her website at www.corysstory.com for a wealth of information on dog seizures and to learn Sandra’s secret to good canine health. Hint: raw dog food played a crucial role in Cory’s recovery.