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Epilepsy and Seizures in Animals

Epilepsy/Seizures – Causes, Predisposing Factors and Treatment

Brought to you by William Pollak D.V.M.
and the Fairfield Animal Hospital

“Holistic & traditional approaches to support the best of animal health.”

Epilepsy is a non-diagnosis. It is a term used to mean “fits” (or seizures) due to unknown reasons. The term epilepsy is used when available laboratory tests cannot account for the abnormal clinical signs. Causes of seizures are very often not known, but can be due to metabolic abnormalities, low calcium in lactating animals and low sugar in puppies and kittens; toxins (internal or external), tumors, central nervous system inflammation, injury, malformations and food poisonings. Most commonly, seizures in younger and middle-aged animals are due to parasites combined with a poor diet.

WHAT IS A SEIZURE?


Seizures arise when a localized area of brain activity is allowed to resonate through the rest of the brain unchecked by normal inhibitory mechanisms. This results in waves of uncontrolled nervous/electrical discharge migrating throughout the Central Nervous System (CNS) affecting the entire biological system.

An active electrical network surrounds the physical body in all sentient beings. The CNS is constantly generating this network; this is the subtlest functioning of the DNA relationship. This non-physical energy of the relationship of matter resonates with the electrical fields of all other resonating bodies. When there is some threat; real or otherwise, the electrical system responds by either short-circuiting or overloading to some degree. This is a signal to the physical body to respond. If the body does not succeed, the imbalance is physically manifested. These cues help gear the body to the anticipated threat. Frictionless flow between the body and its electrical field allows for ideal responses to the changing environment. When the physical body is incapable of an adequate response, symptoms of disease become manifest. A seizure is an obvious instance of electrical overloading, without the appropriate physical response.

During seizures the electrical body cries out with unrelenting fervor in its attempt to maintain it’s flow with the surroundings. In the electrical mode of operation, it is all or nothing and, as a result, the electrical body must shut down the senses and deal with the internal surges of its own imbalance. Another way to look at this is that the chemical imbalances of the physical body are so disturbed it is asking too much of the electrical body to compensate. The result is massive discharge, shut down and restarting. This is likened to rebooting a computer to fix all sorts of problems or, in a more normal pattern, the cycle of sleeping. Every night it is necessary to refresh and restart the system for another day. The unconfined surges of seizures need to quickly be stabilized by periods of deep rest. If this is not possible due to continued seizures the system breaks down.

Seizures often begin with an “aura” or a period of reduced awareness of the environment, followed by some pattern of muscular discharge seen as muscle spasms. This period can last several seconds or minutes and can be accompanied with urination or defecation. After this period there is usually some fatigue, either mild or severe depending on the duration of muscular contractions. Almost always the seizures subside within one to two minutes. Repeated seizure episodes are deadly, as they are extremely exhausting and rapidly drain the needed biochemicals necessary for orderly nervous/electronic flow.

Abnormalities seen lingering after the seizure period often give an indication of the source area of the CNS involved; if there is one. Dragging of a leg, falling over to one side, head tilt or asymmetric ataxia (uncoordination) is sometimes seen after the seizure period. Knowledge of the anatomy of the CNS along with these signs is vital in pinpointing this source area initiating the electrical imbalance.

UNDERLYING ROOT CAUSES OF SEIZURES


In the vast majority of cases, the cause of seizures is not known and there is no source area. Seizures are serious clinical signs. Awareness of the environment and body is lost, a serious aberration of normal function. The internal check points and homeostatic mechanisms are ill-functioning, thus allowing these periodic surges of uncontrolled discharge to propagate through the nervous system.

Rather than having a specific cause, seizures are most commonly due to a combination of factors that build up and inhibit minimal acceptable functioning. The cause of seizures can be attributed to chemical imbalances and chemical deficiencies of one kind or another. The complexity involved in pinpointing the imbalance(s) in each individual case is beyond analysis capabilities at this time, as the imbalance is usually transient and slight. As metabolic parameters go beyond acceptable values; the electrical body can no longer sustain itself in its normal relationship to the environment.

The most common direct cause of seizures seen in clinical practice in our pets is parasitic infection combined with nutritional deficiencies based on 100% commercial pet food feeding.

The most common major factors that layer upon each other and predispose the nervous system to seizures are: Parasites along with the extensive feeding of a solely commercial pet food diet, along with over-vaccination and over-treatment of chemical-based medicines.

These four factors not only severely weaken the functioning quality of the nervous system, but also have done tremendous damage to the overall health of our pets. These factors chip away at health by removing the foundation of health (a raw food diet); unnecessarily abuse the immune system through excessive unnatural stimulation (over-vaccination) and condition the system to regularly overreact to medicines too strong and too frequent (routine chemical treatments). Their combined effects add violence, disorder and fear along with the well-intended therapeutic effects for our pets.

The poor diet in these pets predisposes the body to seizures due to the migrating larvae (immature stages of the parasites) that roam throughout the body, including the CNS. The nutritionally compromised system (on a solely processed diet) overreacts in a disjointed fashion to this disturbance. Animals fed a natural food diet better limit the parasitic numbers and are much less likely to seizure in response to them.

The weakened health of our pets strives to maintain balance in an adverse environment of nutritional lack and over-chemical stimulation. Nature responds to this limping health by producing signs of disease:

* Recurrent gastro-intestinal and skin problems
* chronic worm loads with poor long term responses to deworming remedies
* allergies- severe over-reactivity to all kinds of harmless environmental substances
* deep rooted behavioral problems

SEIZURE TREATMENTS


Today’s modern approach to dealing with these problems is the administration of more chemicals, injectable or otherwise, and even greater processed “prescription” diets. Seizures are masked by giving chemicals that profoundly dull the CNS, slowing it down and confusing it to reduce the likelihood of another seizure. These chemicals often do not work and further confuse the biological system. The underlying imbalance is not directly addressed. Deranged metabolic disorders due to chemical shortages or imbalances are superficially addressed by further limitations in the diet; i.e., even more severely processed foods. These efforts, though well intended, are short-sighted and short-lived. After a brief period of lessened clinical signs the system restabilizes at a lower level of health due to the continued lack of essential natural materials. This results, at best, in the reoccurrence of the disease and, at worst, in a deeper set of symptoms (“another” disease that is really the same disease) or death.

Feeding a natural raw food diet or a natural premium food such as Life’s Abundance, and treating for intestinal worms, especially targeting whipworms (Trichuris sp.) and tapeworms (including both kinds of tapeworms, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia pisiformis) will often eliminate seizures in our pets. These treatments, to be effective, must be done at least twice for tapeworms at 18-day intervals and at least four times for whipworms at 23-day intervals, while the animal is on a natural food diet.

Natural treatments for worm removal will be more effective as health strengthens on a natural food diet. Chemical dewormers can be given in this case due to the serious nature of seizures. Talk to your veterinarian for specific remedies. Controlling the exposure rate to these worms is also necessary. Removal of fleas (carriers of tapeworms) and making areas infested with parasitic eggs in the stools off limits for at least 6 to 8 months will severely reduce your pet’s exposure to these parasites; and reduce the likelihood of seizures returning. If raw and natural foods are not instituted or the cleaning up of the defecation area is not performed, worms (and likely seizures) will continue to return.

Feeding a natural food diet is vital to maintaining the health of your pet, and to keeping ideal immune function alive and well. Many times after eliminating seizures through improving the diet, seizures return after commercial pet food is re-instituted. Genetic and physical predisposition to seizures become expressed when poor diets can’t provide essential raw materials.

Once the pet is on a natural food diet and some prolonged attempt is made to limit the parasitic loads, natural herbs and foods can be given. Internal cleansing using honey, with or without sesame seeds and flaxseeds will be helpful. Giving grape juice and black molasses will also help. Herbs that will help balance the system against seizures through gentle nourishment are wood sage, skullcap, hops, rue and rosemary. Adding raw lettuce and mint to the diet on a regular basis will also be useful.

Seizures are very serious and can be life threatening. They are also an indication of deep-rooted imbalances in the core structure (CNS) of the living system. Chemical treatments given; designed to dull and suppress the system so as to reduce the likelihood of continued seizures without addressing the deeper issues discussed here, is a short sighted superficial approach that only furthers chemical dependence and more confused and deranged biological functioning.

The two approaches (chemical and natural material support) can go hand in hand if the understanding and the power of nature are not yet fully appreciated. Nature will wait and is patient for the return of human attention to the powerful healing intelligence of natural, whole products from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms. And so too, must our four-legged friends wait for the gentle healing and unfolding of lasting health given through proper diet and natural support.

About Us

My name is Bree Weasner, and I’ve been bringing pet owners like you valuable information on pet nutrition and natural holistic alternatives to conventional pet care since 2001.

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