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Holistic Treatments for Epilepsy in Dogs
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Homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies work on the premise of “like cures like.” They contain tiny amounts of substances that, if given to a healthy animal, would cause symptoms similar to those you are treating. Choosing the perfect remedy for your pet’s illness is a complicated process and requires an experienced homeopath; however, once a proper remedy is given, it can stop a seizure in its tracks. Commonly prescribed remedies include Belladonna, Aconitum and, in cases of vaccine-related seizures, Thuja. It is always best to consult a homeopath before giving a remedy.

Flower Essences: The Bach flower essence Rescue Remedy can be used when you suspect your dog is about to have a seizure, or as an overall stress reducer to prevent future seizures.

An Ounce of Prevention
Avoid vaccinations once your pet has been diagnosed with epilepsy. Over-vaccination can aggravate the condition.

Avoid exposing your dog to toxins. A chemical-free environment helps protect your pet against contaminants—such as car exhaust, cigarette smoke, polluted drinking or swimming water, flea-control products, and food additives and preservatives—that can irritate brain tissue.

Create a happy, stress-free environment for your pet. Many cases of epilepsy follow a stressful event, such as a prolonged stay at a boarding kennel, moving to a new home, long periods of time alone and boredom. Keeping your dog happy, relaxed and well-exercised will help prevent stress.

Epilepsy can be a frightening and frustrating illness to diagnose and treat. Once a diagnosis has been made, however, there are many safe and easy holistic options that can be used to both treat and prevent seizures. In some cases of refractory cluster seizures (a more serious condition that can require hospitalization), low doses of medication may still be necessary to control episodes. Overall, however, the holistic approach can help you assist your dog to gently heal.

If you are interested in pursuing a more holistic, integrative approach, including any of the treatment options listed here, please consult your veterinarian, or seek out a holistic veterinarian who can help you make the best treatment choices for your special pet. Contact the AHVMA and IVAS to find veterinarian near you who offers acupuncture and holistic alternatives.

 

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 36: May/Jun 2006
Jenny Taylor, DVM, is a graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and has advanced training in acupuncture, homeopathy, and Chinese and Western herbology. Founder of Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center in Oakland, Calif., she lectures regularly and has made television and radio appearances on holistic alternatives to veterinary care. creaturecomfort.com

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