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Foods That Cause Seizures in Dogs

Updated: Jun 29


epileptic dog being given foods that cause seizures in dogs

In the management of canine epilepsy, understanding the impact of food on seizures is crucial. Certain foods, can potentially trigger or worsen seizures in dogs.

The Link Between Food and Seizures in Dogs

The food we feed our dogs can have a profound impact on their overall health, including their susceptibility to seizures. While canine epilepsy is a complex condition influenced by various factors, including genetics, environmental triggers, and neurological abnormalities, certain foods can trigger or exacerbate seizures. While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, there are a few ways in which certain foods can potentially contribute to seizures in dogs with epilepsy:


  • Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may have food allergies or sensitivities that can trigger an immune response. Allergic reactions can lead to inflammation in the body, including the brain, which may increase the likelihood of seizures. Identifying and eliminating allergenic foods from the dog's diet may help reduce the frequency or severity of seizures in these cases.

  • Metabolic Imbalances: Certain foods or dietary imbalances can affect the metabolism and biochemical processes in a dog's body. For example, deficiencies in certain nutrients or electrolyte imbalances can disrupt normal cellular functioning, including in the brain, potentially increasing the risk of seizures. Proper nutrition and a balanced diet are important to ensure the dog's overall health and minimize the likelihood of metabolic triggers for seizures.

 

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Managing Canine Epilepsy extends beyond medication and vet visits; diet plays a pivotal role in controlling seizures. It's essential for pet owners to be aware of foods that cause seizures in dogs and make informed choices to support their dog's health.

Problematic Diets and Ingredients for Dogs with Seizures

  • Artificial Additives: Synthetic preservatives, colourings, and flavourings in some pet foods may increase seizure activity. Opting for products with natural preservatives can be a safer choice.

  • Gluten and Wheat: Gluten and wheat may trigger seizures in sensitive dogs. A study in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition highlighted the potential benefits of a gluten-free diet for reducing seizure frequency in susceptible dogs.

  • Chemical Sweeteners: Xylitol, a common sweetener in human food and some pet treats, can induce hypoglycemia and seizures. Always check ingredient lists to avoid xylitol.

  • Stimulants: Caffeine and theobromine, found in chocolate, are well-known to be toxic to dogs, potentially causing seizures among other health issues.

Beneficial Foods for Dogs with Epilepsy

For pet owners managing Canine Epilepsy, understanding the diet's impact is crucial. While certain foods may trigger seizures, incorporating supportive foods into your dog's diet can play a significant role in managing the condition.


  • High-Quality Protein: Sources like lean meats, fish, and eggs are rich in essential amino acids crucial for brain health and overall well-being, supporting the proper functioning of a dog's body and mind.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Anti-inflammatory by nature, omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseed, and chia seeds can have a positive impact on brain function and are thought to potentially reduce seizure frequency.

  • Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Incorporating berries, leafy greens, and colourful vegetables into your dog's diet can help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, thanks to their high antioxidant content.

  • Vitamin B6: Essential for brain health, Vitamin B6 can be found in foods like poultry, fish, bananas, and sweet potatoes, offering nutritional support that may benefit dogs with epilepsy.

  • MCT Oil: Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oil has garnered attention for its potential benefits in dogs with epilepsy, providing a direct energy source to the brain that could help manage seizures. For an in-depth exploration, consider reading our article dedicated to MCT oil and its impact on Canine Epilepsy here.

  • CBD Oil: With emerging research suggesting its potential to reduce seizure frequency, CBD oil is becoming an area of interest for pet owners and veterinarians alike. For more detailed information, refer to our article on CBD oil for dogs with epilepsy here. 

 

Need Support?

Join our online community of epileptic pet owners who can help you through this journey. We know how stressful it can be caring for an epileptic dog, and we are here to help.

 


Conclusion: Foods That Cause Seizures in Dogs

Consulting with a vet or canine nutritionist can help when managing epilepsy through diet. A ketogenic diet, high in fats and low in carbohydrates, has shown promise in reducing seizure frequency, echoing findings in human epilepsy management, according to the Epilepsy & Behavior journal. Navigating foods that cause seizures in dogs is crucial in epilepsy management. By understanding the role of glutamate, avoiding high-risk foods, and incorporating beneficial nutrients, pet owners can better support their dogs' health and well-being.

 

References

  • Berk, Benjamin A., et al. "A multicenter randomized controlled trial of medium‐chain triglyceride dietary supplementation on epilepsy in dogs." Journal of veterinary internal medicine 34.3 (2020): 1248-1259.

  • Law, Tsz Hong, et al. "A randomised trial of a medium-chain TAG diet as treatment for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy." British Journal of Nutrition 114.9 (2015): 1438-1447.

  • Patterson, Edward E. "Canine epilepsy: an underutilized model." ILAR journal 55.1 (2014): 182-186.

  • Potschka, Heidrun, et al. "International veterinary epilepsy task force consensus proposal: outcome of therapeutic interventions in canine and feline epilepsy." BMC Veterinary Research 11 (2015): 1-13.

  • Löscher, Wolfgang. "Dogs as a natural animal model of epilepsy." Frontiers in veterinary science 9 (2022): 928009.


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