Seizures in Dogs: Foods that Can Cause Seizures

Published: 11th August 2010
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Some believe that commercial dog food is at the heart of many different illness in canines, and I think it may have contributed to my dog's seizures and may have even caused them. The reason I came to that conclusion is that Cory's seizures gradually were reduced once we stopped feeding him kibble and canned dog food, until they stopped completely over 5 years ago, without ever putting him on anti-epileptic drugs. Were you even aware that there are other foods that can also cause seizures in canines and harm your dog's overall health? There are a few of these that really took me by surprise.

* Chocolate.

Nearly all pets owners are aware that chocolate can lead to seizures and to death for dogs. My dog, Cory, ate some of my son's chocolate candy from Halloween. He had consumed quite a bit of it when Jayson discovered him, with Cory's head deep inside the bowl of chocolate bars and his tail wagging with exuberant glee. My son contacted the poison control center and was told to get Cory to drink some Hydrogen Peroxide. This caused Cory to throw up. Happily I had Hydrogen Peroxide in the cupboard where I keep first aid supplies. My son performed this emergency procedure outdoors. Cory is fortunate that my son caught him eating the chocolate in order to get it out of him in time. If you think your dog has gotten into some chocolate, and you do not know how much time has passed, you should contact a vet right away. Otherwise, if you see your dog eating it, you can use the Hydrogen Peroxide solution. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate.

* Foods that Have Onions or Onion Powder for Ingredients

Onions have disulfides and sulfoxides in them that can lead to the destruction of red blood cells, which makes dogs anemic.

* Raw Fish is off limits.

Especially here in the Pacific Northwest, salmon and other fish often carry a fluke which in turn carries a bacteria which can cause seizures and death if consumed raw. If you make sure the fish is fully cooked, this bacteria is eliminated, but you still need to take care to remove every single bone from the fish prior to giving it to your dog. I am no scientist and don't have the specific formula, but I have heard it said that if you freeze the fish at a certain temperature, the extreme cold will kill off the fluke and destroy the bacteria, thus eliminating the problem, you'll have to do the research for length of time and the required temperature before you try this.

* Nutmeg is another to avoid.

It never really crossed my mind to put nutmeg on Cory's food, not even at the holidays, but it has been shown to cause tremors, seizures, and yes, even death. No more sharing those cookies with your buddy unless you are sure that they don't contain nutmeg, I think you'll be just fine on this one.

* Mushrooms can be dangerous.

There are mushrooms out there, especially the ones found in the wild, that contain toxins that have been shown to cause problems for canines. I knew this and was alert to keeping Cory away from mushrooms on our walks. You should teach your dog the words "leave it" while he is still a puppy.

* Cat food.

Poor Cory, he loves to lick the plate clean after our kitty's done eating, and now that I found out about this one, he won't be able to anymore. Cat food is made with too many fats and too high a protein content for dogs to eat. You might still let your dog eat the crumbs left over from your cat, but you should not replace your dog's food with cat food.

* Seeds of Apples

Apple seeds and other pits from fruit contain the poison cyanide, which can cause seizures.

* Raisins and Grapes

When I first learned that grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs it was at the same time I was reading a training book for dogs that actually advocated giving raisins as treats! I contacted the author with my concerns and she was very defensive, saying that she had always used raisins as training treats for her dogs. All I can say is be aware of the risks and do more research before giving grapes or raisins to your dog.

* Egg whites.

You are certainly able to give your dog full eggs that include both the whites and the yolks; however, it is not safe to allow him to eat just the whites. This is because egg whites include a protein called avidin, which takes important B vitamins away from your dog's body. The good news is that the yolk contains the antidote to this protein, and so serving the egg in its entirety is nothing to concern yourself over.

Sandra DeMers is the author of Cory's Story, the story of how one dog conquered canine epilepsy that will absolutely AMAZE you. Visit her website for a wealth of knowledge and resources, including the 4 stages of dog seizures.

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