How Dog Food Affects Dog Seizures (Canine Epilepsy)

(This is a guest posting by one of our customers, Sandra DeMers, who had amazing results from changing the diet of her dog, Cory – GT)

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 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.

Ready to do the healthiest thing for your pet? Order Darwin's Natural Pet Food

  • june

    i have a 7 month old labrador retrievor and i am very very interested in feeding her all natural food . do u have a list of all natural foods i can safely give her? thank you so very much

    • Sandra DeMers

      Anything you could get from Darwins is natural and will be good for your Lab. I have written an article on canine nutrition on my website where I discuss foods that are commonly given to dogs that can have very ill effects; some of them are commonly used as training treats. Sandra @


      This food is the best. I started my guy on it and he looked amazing his whole life! I can't wait to get a new puppy and start the baby on Darwin's. The reason you want to go with Darwin's is it is perfectly balanced food. It is vet formulated. There is no figuring out the balance of nutrients needed as with home made diets. It can be really bad for a pup to do a home made diet when you do not now or understand everything he needs to grow healthy and strong.


    Excellent article! I posted on my FB page that has 3,500 people who can read it and do things differently!

  • Deborah Vaughan

    I totally agree with this. My big dog (Rottie/Husky mix) developed monthly seizures at age 3. I, too, spent a year researching causes and “cures” My vet wanted to put him on the medication which he was going to need for the rest of his life. This was over 3 years ago. I just didn't want that and my instincts told me there had to be a chemical/food component. I ran across the BARF diet in my research and thought, what the heck, what could it hurt. I switched him to raw and within months the seizures stopped. I was doing the BARF totally from homemade and it was very time consuming but worth it. My dog had no more seizures after the age of 4 years. Unfortunately at age 6 he developed osteosarcoma in his front leg and following amputation lived another year. It was at that time I switched him over to the cancer diet, high protein, low carbs, but still raw. I have 2 other dogs(4 and 3) that have been on and off raw during their lives and I've never been satisfied with kibble so I've always “supplemented with raw or homecooked” The BARF from scratch is very time consuming so I'm thinking about giving Darwin's a try. Thanks and I hope this helps someone.

    • Charles

      I know someone who has a dog on anti-epilepsy drug. No more seizures so far; however, I’m told the dog is “lethargic.” Pharmaceutical drugs, it is definite, never help without harming in other ways. Not acceptable. Make it the health food store, NOT the pharmacy.

  • Bonniemoyer

    I reaaly injoyed reading your story! I’ve learned in the future, if I have a dog with this problem, I will know what to watch for. My Pup had an allergy to Corn! it was awful! I was giving him Pro Plan! Finding out it was filled with rubber base products! Posion!!
    not only, but another dog was also sick form this food! The Adds on TV I learned sometimes want you to buy not only dog food but other items that poject a good image and are truly bad for you!! I then gave him food from the Vet & that had helped him trermendiously! As he grew old at his young age of 15, acting like a 5 year old.. This past year, I had noticed that he was staring into space! I called his Vet & they said it was old age & did nothing! But only said to watch him. I did & I slightly noticed this was becomming more-so. Then he began drinking exceeivly amounts of water over the 2-3 month span! He used to drink a gallon of water every 6 weeks that decreased to 2 weeks! He had gone potty excessivly. The vet perscribed some meds for an infection & this was not the problem So futhur tests were taken, kidney Tests, Heart, Liver, Pancrests all came back as a strong bill of health!! NO Problem!! Then he was perscribed Baytril & in 3 days he had side effects conssting of sleeping longer, not eating, whining & from a deep sleep he would awaken, run despertly to a dark cornor as of a place to hide! Then wake up later, and throw up!! I went to see the vet with Butch and only to find that he thought this was FUNNY..
    but had decreased his pill to a 1/2th not the 3/4th’s every 12 hours! As sympthons progressed he became more restless & his heart increased to a rapid beat with exhaustion! Another side effect from the Baytril! Although I had taken Butch off the pills for 3 days and his sympthons had slightly improved as he didn’t sleep as much and had began eating a little more. At that time I felt the right thing was to do, was take Butch completly off the Baytril, but then her potty problem would increase and be back to where we started, that wasn’t the answer. Yet (What I saw..Butches sympthons improve I knew what should really be done, but I wan’t the vet!) Then I tought, well maybe the 1/2 dose would level out his sympthons of the side effects & his potty would also level out. But that wasn’t what happened. Just 2 days later he had developed a rapid heart beat & when the Vet was called at 10:00 A.M. He couldn’t see him until 1:00 P.M. that same day!! I felt wasn’t right and Butch should have been seen RIGHT AWAY!!! They had other appointments!!
    Well, as 1:00 p.M. Butch had seen his Dr. He had give’n her a shot for his heart & Vetmedin. He said Butch should be better, but is a sick little guy!! The next day he had shown a little improvement, but not much! At 4:00 P.M. Butch had an attack, where he had streighted our his front paws, he stopped breathing momentairly & then barked. His heart still racing! Later that day we gave him some watered down beef broth, fed him with a baby spoon. It was something in his stomache! It seemed to help a little, but not enough! The next day I was holding him, feeding him (Just a few drops of beef broth, Then afterwards I sat down to comfort him (As I did the past 3 days & nights) As I held him in my arms..he began running with his front paws in mid air! His head circled. Soon white fluid had came from his nose & mouth! He had gasped & Moms little guy, moms precious Buddy had died in her arms on Dec. 22nd 2009. I had hoped for a Christmas miricle. And for Butch to see Santa if only it would have been! He loved Santa & had his picture taken with him every year! And not to also mention he also oppened all of his christmas gifts every year by himself!…………………………………………….Now I am going to tell you ALL…(Those of whom are reading) When I & Butch went to see The Vet, I saw the signs that Butch was having..I didn’t know what they were?? I went their for answers As I knew their was something majorly wrong!! My friend advised me to go on the net and check out what Baytrils side effects were, as the Vet never told me!! Well now I know! The net said, “He had Grand Mal seizers!” Also I looked up Vetmedin & it said not to give to dogs unless they have congestive heart failure..{He did not!} I Feel it was The Baytril that made his heart rate increase! He had suffered Seziers from these meds! In the very begining I found out that the little stares were Petie Seizers,! Meds could have been given! If he would have recieved the proper meds, he would have been able to see Santa, & open his gifts.I’ll always love my Special little guy..moms Special Buddy. I miss him so much!!!!!!! It has been 2 years now and I have another little puppy and I love HER so much, but Marcie will never take the place of my little Buddy. He will always remain a special place in my HEART & now I’ve found another VERY SPECIAL PLACE for Marcie in my HEART! And I love her, like my Buddy!!

    • Charles

      Veterinary drugs, on the whole, are the devil’s own delight, as “cruelty is the first attribute of the devil.” My dog gets Halo brand dry food.

  • Ken Anderson

    Thanks I re-posted this info, thanks.

    Naturally fresh organic food delivered to your front door within 1 to 3 days of harvest.

  • cchelb40

    Thank you for your reassuring blog, it has me hoping it will do the same for Hershey my 12 year old Chihuahua. We almost lost him this week to a cluster of seizures. We are still trying to get him stablized. He only ever had a few in his life and now this… I started looked today and ordered my first shipment. I pray I never have to do this painful week again!!!

  • Georgiahensley

    I wish I would have known all of this before my lil long haired chihuahua “Bandit” who passed away from epileptic seizures when she was only 8.

  • Blair

    Greetings!  Please see the international dog shock incidents on StreetZaps; please disseminate this vital public service to preclude more injuries or tragedies. Many thanks for all your commendable work and stay safe!



    Just so you know, I confer with Con Edison’s Stray Voltage and Public Affairs Units and contribute to Wet Nose Guide and New York Dog Chat.


    Blair Sorrel, Founder
    Contact voltage is a chronic hidden hazard that can readily victimize an unsuspecting dog, walker, or both. No dog lover could possibly observe a more horrifying scene than witnessing his beloved pet instantaneously maimed or tragically electrocuted. When you exercise your pooch, please exercise greater prudence. Common outdoor electrical and metal fixtures may shock or even kill your vulnerable dog. And depending upon the current, the walker will be bitten and like poor Aric Roman, suffer permanently. But you can, indeed, self-protect.

    Just start to adopt this simple strategy — EYEBALL THE BLOCK, AND AVOID A SHOCK. Take a few seconds and make your trajectory toward generally safer, free standing, non-conductive  surfaces, ie., plastic, wood, cardboard. Intuit your dog’s cues and if it’s resistant, change directions. Work site perimeters may be live so try to elude them. If necessary, switch sides of the street or your hands when leading to skirt hazards. If you traverse the same route, you may memorize locations of potential dangers. Carry your pooch when in doubt. Consider indoor restroom products like PottyPark when external conditions are chancy or RopeNGo’s hardware-free leash and harness. And don’t rely on dog booties as a palliative as they will actually put your pet ateven greater risk since the dog can’t tell you they’re leaking! To learn to more, please see StreetZaps. A safer walk is yours year round if you are willing to open to your eyes and mind to it.

  • San Mtz

    i have a 7 years old golden retriever, and like a year ago, she started with the “Dog seizures” i done test, change her food for another comercial food, i tried all the options, and like a 5 months ago i change her food for BARF or naturall food, and her epileptic seizures had a separation up to 4 weeks, so i vote 100% for the narutall food…:D

  • Pat Carroll

    I read about certain Tibetan Terriers who have lived to be 20 years
    old, I resolved to be proactive and do everything I could to keep Augie
    as healthy as possible. Not only would I NEVER feed him sweets or table
    food as I had once done with my beloved cocker spaniel, Lady; I would
    also be proactive and feed him the best
    diet, in the right amounts, so as not to cause weight gain. Also, after
    months in a shelter, Augie’s coat was dull and dry, and he scratched, so
    I knew he had dry skin. I read about foods to treat his skin and
    decided on a natural, grain-free, raw food diet–nothing but raw meat
    and fresh vegetables. We started feeding him Darwin’s about a year ago.
    The food looks and smells amazingly fresh and delicious. Now his coat is
    silky, soft, and beautiful, he never scratches. Best of all, I know I
    am giving him the best diet possible to keep him healthy. Now if only I
    could be as disciplined about my own diet!

  • Fanta9s9tic

    thank you for this post it really helped me confirm my thoughts on
    a diet change i made with my 12 year old dog who has been on the raw diet for most of her life fit as a fiddle. i found a new kibble called nutrisca
    that was grain and potato free. within a few weeks the seizures started daily when she would get excited. i just threw the kibble in the trash and
    hopefully going back to simple unprocessed no cauterized vitamins or minerals that i have heard the body can not assimilate will correct the
    fang’s dad

  • Cory

    You should not blame a pet owner for trusting a vet’s advice and “reach for anti-epileptic medication first.”  Think about it. A pet owner loves his/her dog so much, seeks “medical” advice, and acts accordingly.

    • Charles

      Vets can misdiagnose. 2 vets told me my older dog’s walking problem was hips. He had $1200 glucosamine shots, no improvement. When I pushed on his back near the tail area, he cried out. They did NOT do this simple test! I shaved his fur and applied topical DMSO (they told me there’s no topical treatment) the results were curative, not therapeutic, with ONE treatment, he walked like a champ. How? DMSO is a solvent—he had spinal gout causing pain in walking–the DMSO dissolved the gout crystals. $12 DMSO worked where the $1200 injections failed. But, they did NOT “fail,” they transferred money from me to the vet and the RX manufacturer! DMSO is all over greyhound and horseracing tracks, boxers use it. Not one word from two degreed veterinarians! A vet urged surgery on my dog’s spleen as a mass had grown on it. The dog died 96 hours later. Spleen surgery is VERY risky, especially afterwards. Bioflavonoids to strengthen the vessels to protect against rupture, and curcumin to stop new vessels forming was what he should have had. But vets will urge expensive surgery when they know your dog has a high risk of death, to get at your money. They know they can hide behind their State Board afterwards. Still another dog died of kidney failure after too many rounds of Prednisone, another suffered severe ulcer after ONE Rimadyl. A check of the average reported lifespans of dogs in the New York Times index, 1851 through 1900, will consistently show longer lifespans BEFORE veterinary medicine became widespread. Yes, they do SOME good, be very judicious and intuitive however as to veterinary treatments.

  • KG

    I couldn’t have said it better.  I put my Lab/Rot mix on a grain free, no wheat, corn, or soy 5 months ago and he has not had a seizure.  The brand I buy is Taste of the Wild…it’s not the easiest to find in stores but he loves it.  I completely contribute his issues to cheap dog food.  This is the one thing we as owners can control so it’s definitely worth it.

  • Jen Ramos

    great article…thank you!

  • Marykay

    The seizures are caused by low thiamine, Vitamin B1. This is because the high level of calcium in commercial dog foods change the pH of the intestines so the dogs can not absorb the thiamine, even though it is added as a supplement. If your dogs seizures, test for thiamine deficiency.

  • Sara San

    I had been feeding my shiba inu, Sachi, raw dog food from age 9 mos – present. I was feeding him Nature’s Variety for about 2 years, until Sachi eventually started losing his fur and his tummy turned dark grey. I went to Pet Supply Warehouse in Irvine and was lucky enough to speak with a woman (who happened to be a cat/dog allergist). She led me to Darwin’s. Sachi’s fur is perfect as ever and he no longer has a grey tummy. Sachi LOVES this food too!

  • CasOne

    I’ve had a theory that there may be pesticides used on the grain that’s put in the dog food, and that may be causing the seizures. My friend and I both lost our dogs within a year of each other, due to cancer. Vets act as though this is a natural cause of death. I find that unacceptable. It’s natural for canines to be carnivores, so it makes sense to feed them grain-free food. If the food weren’t so expensive, I’d switch to grain-free with hopes of giving my dogs a longer lifespan. 

  • Skye

    Great article! I have a 4 years old male Rottie, good thing he doesn’t like dog foods, he doesn’t seem to like things that is not good for dogs like chocolate, which is good. And I have always thought that commercial dog foods causes cancers and epilepsy to dogs, just a gut feeling I’ve always had. 

  • Carol

    I am so happy  to  know all the  information I  have  learned  on  your  web  site! I have a small dog, having horrible seizures, lasting a half hour, going in n out of grandmal type several times in that time. I am sure they will kill her! My large dog, is allergic to many things. No doubt, I’m changing both of their diets today!  Thank you

    • Sncjean

       I am another Carol – and believe me – you will not regret the change to Darwin’s !! My 11 yr old Min Pin – had bad skin when I rescued him and bouts of diarrhea that I could not pin point a cause. Skin was flaky, hair was thinning – we did many scrapings for mange –   never found a thing. My daughter feeds Darwin’s and gave me a couple of 8 oz pkgs. Then I placed my order – even before the order arrived I saw an improvement in Rudy.
      As of today, no diarrhea in almost a month, hair is filling in and is very shiny, his energy level is 100% better. I am so glad I found Darwin’s

  • Kabie

    my husky Harley started having seizures last week, & we always fed him commercial dog food,never gave him people food, & never had a problem, but about a month ago we moved to my grandma’s house and she’s been feeding him people food nonstop, & hes already had 2 in the past week. & im thhinking that maybe her suddenly giving him all this food is a key factor in all this.. is it possible that a sudden change in a dogs diet can cause these seizures to happen?

  • Deelberger

    My Aussie, Gracie, who will be 6 in June, started having seizures at the age of 4.  2 weeks after receiving her epilepsy diagnosis, I switched her (and my 2 other dogs, both American Eskimo dogs) to a raw prey model diet.  Her seizures did not stop so the decision was made to put her on as low a dose as possible of phenobarbital.  We did try Potassium Bromide but she could barely function on it, even after we’d cut her already low dose in half, so we stopped it altogether.  Over the last year, she’s developed a tolerance for the phenobarbital and has had to have the dose raised up a few times, and she’s at the maximum dosage.  We’ve just added Kepra b/c her seizures are becoming more frequent and lasting longer.  She’s still eating (and loving) her raw diet though.

    I do believe that if she were still eating commercial dog food, she would be having more seizures than she already does.  I should have mentioned, she has cluster seizures, always seizing more than once in a 24 hour period.  

    I must say that your article has given me a lot of hope that with more time, we can get her seizure to stop by continuing her on a raw prey model diet!  Thanks so much!!!

    • Lee Anne Greene

      My Aussie ( Kosmo )will be 6 in October  and he started having seizures at 4 years old as well. We have been feeding him pototoe’s, green beans, carrots and boiled chicken.  He is so sweet and it breaks my heart to see him having seizures.  He is on 1 1/2 Phenobarb morning and night & we just started him on Potassium Bromide ( once dailey 2mm) – Kosmo seems to have them on or very close to the full moon and usually always around 2 or 3am.  He does seize for about one minute and then after that he will have cluster seizures usually lasting no more than 30 seconds and he is so very hungry afterwards – he could eat the house.  LOL  We just switched vets and I will ask her about these raw prey model diets.     

      • Sjcourson

        Very same with my dog (lab).  Almost always around full moon and in the early am.  Weird. 

  • Chihuahuas3

    I have a dalmation that for years has been eating some kibble, but I feed raw meaty bones several times a week.  He started having seizures about 3 hrs after eating the raw meaty bones.  It is only on a vegetarian diet and phenobarbital that we are able to control his seizures.  If he swipes a bone from the Lab and eats it before I can get it away from him, several hours later, he will have a seizure.

    • Charles

      Can the dog get a complete protein only on vegetables? Cats placed on vegetarian diet are at risk of taurine depletion in the retina, ending in blindness.

  • Dfldanielle

    I switched my dog to Grain free Taste of the Wild and the difference in my dog is UNREAL! Great company, great product! Now my family and my roommate have also switched to Taste with the same results. My roommates dog is epileptic and it has made a huge difference in his health.

  • Sal

    Our Brittany Prince started having Seizures on 3/16….one day after turning 1. He has to be on anti-seizure meds to get them under control…but the plan is to wean him off meds and on to Chinese herbs…This is exactly why we are switching his diet to Darwin..

  • JoAnn McCarthy

    My dog Sophie was on dry food to her 6 1/2 I know it is healthy for her teeth..then I decided her teeth were strong enough…and decided to put her on can food…which she devoured with passion….Shortly she started having spells…..almost every day…shaking, pacing…bought a thunder the meds prescribed by the vet.etc…..I took her off the can food….it took about a month or so…she is now free of the spells. The vet didn`t think changing her from can to dry food was the answer…However I know it is…without a doubt.

  • ilovegoldens

    My 6 year old Golden retriever, Beckett, has had seizures since he was 2 years old. We have changed his diet repeatedly, moved, had MRIs, CT scans, and a multitude of chemistry panels done all to no avail. He has to have phenobarb and potassium bromide in huge doses every 8 or so hours to avoid status epilepticus (which he went into once while being boarded at his vet’s and was blind and had to be carried outside until his brain swelling went down over a two week period and we found he could re-learn activities he once loved). Epilepsy is terrible illness. In some dogs it may be attributed to diet, but not all. Even if you feel like you have tried everything, don’t give up. I love my dog more than anything. He has good days and bad, but I relish in the good days and watch him play and swim and be happy. I love to watch him be a Golden even if I can’t make everyday perfect. 

    • Dave’s-Mummy

       Just want to wish your lovely Beckett well xxx   We have a 5yr old , much loved Black Labrador called Dave. He too has seizures and we give him a wheat free diet to control it. I know exactly what you mean about your feelings for Beckett. Dave is a member of our family and as such we would do anything for his wellbeing and happiness. We love him unconditionally and receive that love back from him 100%.  xxx  Best wishes and good health to you xxx

  • Mary Ironmonger

    I feed raw, and my dog has only recently started having seizures. Do you add any vitamins or supplements to your raw food? I add broccoli and probiotic yogurt, but that is all right now. Should I be adding more?

  • Bronte0112

    Thank you for the info…my chihuahua is suffering from seizures and we had tests done to make sure it was a brain tumor…I started making his food instead of buying the commercial brand…he’s only 5 lbs so something toxic can cause more then seizures to him….same for the dog treats….will be making my own from now on!

    • Charles

      If there’s a growth associated with the brain, I read that boswellia strongly counters that problem. I wish my Aunt Opal could have had that instead of doctors taking scoops of flesh and bone all over her head like she was a package of ice cream.

  • Rhonda

    My 4 year old Lab-Rottie mix started having seizures at age 2. After doing much research on diets I started him on a high protein, no grain, all organic, holistic food (Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe – a great alternative to raw). My dog stopped having seizures within a week of starting on this food and has been seizure free ever since! For anyone who doubts it diet DOES make a difference!

  • Vicki

    I have a 2 1/2 year old Austrailan Sheperd that has seizures, the vet thinks it is epilepsy.  He is on medication that has reduced the number of seizures he is having.  I have herd that there might be a diet that can help as well. 

  • Alex_e_p

    i have a one year old bulldog and he just recently starting having seizures and they tested for toxins, and his blood and have him on phemobarb which isnt helping and no tumors could electricity in the houselike too much of it cause his seizures we recently just got a new soundbar and it is when seizures started happending..please someone help if possible he has a all natural food already and we arent sure why seizures are just happening now..any suggestions?

  • Charles

    Reduced L-glutathione removes toxins from the body. My dog goes on this for several days before, and for 1 week after the insidious state mandated rabies shots.

  • little beards 06

    our miniature schnauzer has just recently started having seizures, he has only had 3, two were within a month so blood tests were done and everything has come back clear. the vet is happy to put him on epilepsy medication however we are not yet convinced he needs it. all 3 seizures have happened after he has eaten something out of the ordinary. after his first seizure we changed his food completely due to another problem he had at the time. the vet suggested a natural diet BUT a natural anti allergy diet, he was not to be on chicken, beef, lamb, and not to have any grains for six weeks. he has responded so well that he has been on it ever since and each seizure has been because he has licked/chewed/eaten food out of this program. he is such a sensitive dog that i fear his little body would not cope with constant medication he would need to have if we were to put him on epilepsy medication. as this is a new condition he has developed we have decided to just wait a while longer to see how he goes. if there comes a time he needs medication then so be it but for now we are just being vidgelant about what he has access to eat and playing it day by day.

  • Bowie&Falcon

    My rescue cattle dog/aussie/border collie mix had her first seizure last summer out of the blue at 4 years old. Later I realized that I had changed her diet around that time and had been testing a freeze dried raw food on top of her Blue Buffalo food. She didn’t have another seizure until I switched her over to I believe it was Wolf King Solid Gold, and the product was bison. Both the raw food I fed her and the bison are high in protein. Well I decided to read about human epilepsy and found that it’s recommended that people eat a low protein/high fat diet when they’re epileptic (or, depending on what you read, a high fat and low carb diet), so I decided to go to my local natural pet food store and find a food that fit this description of low protein and high fat. I have two dogs now, the other is a border collie puppy, so i opted for Canadae’s “All Life Stages” formula so i could feed both dogs the same food. My dog was completely seizure free on this food for several months, but then unfortunately because of life circumstances I had to leave my dogs with someone for 6 weeks, and unfortunately it turns out I could not trust this person to properly care for my dogs because when I picked them up after 6 weeks they were being fed PEDIGREE! I would rather my dogs ate shoes than Pedigree. Sadly, the first day I had my dogs back after those 6 weeks my epileptic dog had a seizure and I was certain it was caused by a combination of the food and exercise. My dog’s seizures always occur after only about 15-20 minutes of running, even though she’s a very fit and healthy dog. But on Canadae she was able to run for hours without even one seizure. So now I have to keep her at a low energy until I’m able to fully transition her back to the Canadae.

    I hope my negative experiences with high proteins and positive experiences with high fats are useful to someone else with an epileptic dog. If your dog is epileptic, please do research on how humans are being treated for epilepsy because there are possible correlations.

  • michelle

    my dog is a male jack russell terrier. his seizures started 2 weeks after 3 immunizations all in the same day. After 5 grand mal seizures in 2 weeks, i decided i better take him to the vet and a new one at that. He was put on phenobarbital, and 2 weeks later, he had another, but milder but then 3 weeks after that he had 5 grand mal seizures in less than an hour…status epilepticus and foam was spraying out of his mouth. Since he was 5 weeks old i have had him on my own diet of boiled chicken breast and rice or hamburger/rice with the hamburger being boiled. i think the immunizations caused the seizures. I am adding pureed carrots, celery and zucchini and all my dogs love it when added to their meat. however just yesterday, Johnny (my jack russell), had 5 grand mal seizures in less than an hour. i was afraid for his life. he was spraying out foam and his eyes were bloodshot, i was told his blood pressure was up. i finally broke down and elected to put him on potassium bromide (as i turned it down earlier). he was also given valium (diazepam) rectally. The next day (today) he had two more grand mal seizures. I had also been giving him b3, b6, magnesium and manganese and omega 3 fish oil. Now, I am at a loss, maybe it just hasn’t been enough time (approx 2 months since his first seizure), but as bad as his seizures are, I don’t want to waste any time. I am now seeking acupuncture.It has been said it can reduce the number of seizures. Also to help others, what helps stop the seizures is an ice pack on the mid back (this has been proven effective in a study of all the dogs in the study). I also give some honey after his seizure i rub it on his gums, I also just learned to use acupressure points, by putting pressure (using your finger) on the back of his paw and/or on shen men area..the inner flap of the ear and another area of the ear you can read it about it here:

    If anyone has any suggestions for me, please I am open. You can email me:

  • Karen S

    Wow! I couldn’t believe your entry on epilepsy in dogs! My 2 year old Shar Pei (back in 1999) began having seizures after what I believed to be over-vaccination (which still may be part of the issue), but at the time she was eating VERY commercial dog food. My vet wanted to give her medication that would eventually destroy her liver, and he couldn’t assure me that her grand mal seizures would ever go away completely. I went to another vet….same diagnosis. The third vet virtually said the same. I began reading about the ingredients in the standard commercial dog food and began to be sick to my stomach….I was “killing” my dog! One thing led to another (never did give her the meds that the vet recommended), and I began to feed her raw food. Back then I was buying it from small businesses that sold it locally. Within two years my girl was seizure free. She passed away, after living a very healthy life, at the age of 11 (a pretty long life for a shar pei!). Since then, my dogs, my son’s dogs, and my daughter’s dog have eaten nothing but raw food too. I am CERTAIN there is a connection between a dog’s diet and epilepsy. Just ordered your food for the first time (wanted to switch over from my old brand to try something new) and am excited to see how my dogs enjoy yours! Very interesting article…..I’m feeling even more vindicated now when people look at me a little strangely after I tell them that my dogs eat ONLY a raw diet. Thanks!

  • Chelly

    My Chihuahua, Hershey, occasionally would have a seizure, maybe 1 every 6 months. Well one Sunday he started early morning and it continues all day and night. we ended up taking him to emergency, very $$$!!! They started him on Phenobarbital and it made him loopy. They said he would be on it the rest of his life. I researched dog food and causes of seizures, 1st cause was food allergy. Looking at the ingredients in the food I was giving him made me ill!! I was actually killing my dog! I think that’s what happened to his momma too! I immediately switched his food to Darwin’s and Hershey has been seizure free now for 4 years, he is now 13 years old and doing wonderful. I wish I would’ve known sooner, I really believe his health would be much better today!!! All of my animal get the best, Darwin’s!!!

  • DAY8293A

    I have a Boston Terrier that started having seizures after being exposed to flea powder and Adams dog spray. They both had permethrin in them. He was having terrible seizures, and the vet even had him on phenobarbital, which did not stop the seizures. I had to take all my carpets out of the house, and keep him away from permethrin, and he stopped having seizures. But in the last few months, my wife started him on Blue Buffalo dog food,and he has started having seizures again. I am going to take him off this crap now, and start him on some real meat and his old dog food. I will let you know if it helps. This stuff is even bad for people. If you start having “adult seizures” see if you are getting exposed to some of this stuff, permethrin, and even the termite poison Termidor from Terminix can cause seizures.

  • Joe

    Fed my 15 year old Golden/Dalmatian mix a can of Alpo Prime Select with Chicken in Gravy. I figured with her old teeth that, the Purina Bentiful she was having a hard time chewing, the canned Alpo would be good for her. Boy was I wrong! Within 24 hours of eating it, she had her 1st Grand Mal seizure. Then 11 hours later she had another full blown one. Of course both times when she was postictal, she was very confused and would snap at me. Probably since she knew who gave her the crappy food! I talked to a friend who runs a pet store and they said that many dogs are subject to that from the chicken. I should have known better. I don’t eat chicken because of all of the antibiotics they have to use in them. If I do, it’s free range only!
    So watch out for the chicken in the food!

    But since I put her back on the Bentiful, no seizures have occurred.

  • Linda

    When our dog first began having seizures we put him on a natural diet made up by a University Vet Program – chicken breast, brown rice, vegetables, a powder supplement, fish oil, 1/8 t of salt and fish oil. He is also on potassium bromide. Funny, he still has seizures but they always happen when we are fixing his food. I have taken him to work with me for 6 years, he never has food there, but at home when he smells that chicken – that is when he will have a seizure. Sometimes I think he’d be better on a dry dog food he didn’t like so much :-)

  • amber

    My yellow lab started having seizures at 2 years. I took him to the vet and right away they put him on phenobarbital. For 2 years he was on it, 1pills twice a day. At a check up his liver enzymes were up because of phenobarbital and I questioned my vet if I should chanhe his diet from dog chow to something else. They said no and told me to give samE with pheno. I did that and his enzymes got better but I hated giving him a drug. If he didn’t get his pills everyday he would have a seizure. One day I started thinking about organic dog food and see if a better diet possibly would help and I stated him on all organic dog food by Castor & Pollux. He has been on this dog food fot at least 5 months and at the start of the dog food change I slowly weaned his pheno from 2 pills a day, to 1 pill a day, to 1/2 pill a day, finally, down to zero pills a day and for months no seizures. He used to get seizures all the time if we forgot a pill on his old food. So his new diet is helping him possibly be seizure free. I wonder if it was solely the old dog food and/or the heatworm meds given monthly. But so far he is seizure free with this organic dog food change.

  • Moira

    I all, I decided I must share this with pet lovers. After 2 yrs of struggling with a pet with and OCD of compulsive licking I had tried every possible Vet food including the allergy food . Nothing helped. Eventually I put them onto raw mince and cooked chicken with a very small amont of kibble too make sure there teeth are kept clean (I found that the bones I gave them cause them to fight over them every now and again so I used the Kibble.. Well it took one month and I noticed an improvement. I feed my dogs a mixture of raw mince and cooked chicken and a very small amount of Kibble…not the VET products. Everything was going very well. Then I purchase some new PINE floor cleaner and used this for about 2 months when one night my other dog had a seizure. As you know this is a terrible thing to experience. After reading about PINE cleaner I realized this can cause seizures so I immediately stopped using this. My husband who is a food Technologist informed me that they are not allowed to use any for of PINE cleaners in the food factory as this can cause allergies in people. I also reintroduced a little dog Kibble during this period. No problems at all. THEN I decided to introduce ROYAL CANIN. Well my dog with the OCD took 2 weeks on this before I noticed she had started licking herself again and causing a lick granuloma. I immediately went back the natural diet and changed her kibble back the cheaper one I had been using. It took too weeks for her to stop her obsessive licking. The one that had the seizure has not had another one yet its been 2 months, so only time will tell. I do know one thing , there is something in these expensive VET dog foods that cause problems. So I keep them on 80% raw mince and cooked chicken with a small amount of the Kibble I get from a local supplier. I also add FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUSE EARTH to their food every day and I will never go back to any of the Vets foods again as this has happened twice where I had changed to Hills previously and the same thing happened with my OCD dog. As for Jessie the one who had the seizure I’m just hoping it was the PINE cleaner because so far so good. I also no longer use any poisons on my dogs like Tick and Flea collars and only use the Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth as a pest control. As for the PINE CLEANER now that I know what my Husband told me I will never use any form of Pine Cleaner again. I hope this helps some of you :-)

  • josephines-mom

    Hi there, I have a terrier whom not only has or should i say has been diagnosed with food allergies. She has began having seizures the last two months and they are getting to be much more often. I have switched her diet to rayne clinical nutrition kangaroo food. She seems to do well on this food however still seizing every other day, before i go ahead and put her on the anti seizing meds (kepra) I thought of maybe switching her diet although i cant find one with a totally different source for duck, rabbit, and others has not proven well in the past. If anyone out there knows how to go about this please help. She has done good on kangaroo however with my search and vets being no help with an actual wholesome diet, I believe kangaroo in a raw form is pretty impossible. any thoughts?

    • 5an20Alpines

      What was she eating when her seizures started? Usually food allergies come from dry processed foods and even though they might be allergic to a chicken based dry food, they wouldn’t be allergic to raw chicken. I would try raw meaty bones (like chicken wings) and maybe also a ground meat mixed with Honest Kitchen’s Preference that has been soaked. My Chihuahua’s get raw pasture fed hamburger mixed with the Preference a couple times a week. A chicken wing a couple times a week. And I have my own dairy goats, so they get some rolled oats and Preference soaked with raw goats milk and either raw hamburger or a free range egg added to it. Variety is the key.

  • applemoon

    I have a min schnauzer and border terrier mix and through countless search engines and reading I have realized he may in fact have Spike’s disease and not epilepsy. He has been on phenobarbital for awhile and I decided to not only stop this med but switch his food to a higher quality. He has been off the meds for awhile now and he has had no episodes. I also give him doggie massages whether or not that helps I’m not sure but I know he loves them. Phenobarbital took away his personality and caused him severe weight gain and now he is not only back to his normal weight but he has his playful personality back.

  • Mooncher64

    I just happened upon this site. I changed my dog to boiled chicken and for the  vegetable matter i use Sojo or Grandma Lucy’s. You can get it thru Amazon. I also give him Easesure. This is hebal drops you can put on (wheat/corn/soy) free treats. Has been doing very well(knocking on wood) not one fit. They started in Feb.2011 has not had one in 4 months. So far so good.

  • love my dog

    What kind of dog food do you use?  We switched to Diamond Naturual dog food and it seemed to help for a couple of years, however recently our dog had three seizures in a week.