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Piper's Journey // Seizure Management for Dogs

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by Tami Nantz | 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Piper squirrel watching in Denton, TX

Piper is our 10-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer and Art of the Pet mascot.  Our logo is in Piper's likeness.   We got her as a puppy in 2009 and she was high energy, “Lassie” smart, well-mannered and an extremely sweet dog.  GSP’s require tons of exercise and so we not only take her to daycare 4 days a week, we go on hikes, walks and to the dog park.  She requires exercise 7 days a week even at the age of 10! 

Piper getting dirty on the hiking trails- "this is what I do"  In 2014, Piper experienced her first seizure while on the hiking trails and ended up having 2 more during 2014. The vet prescribed a seizure medication for the short term since they had happened a few weeks apart.  Lucky for us this worked, and Piper was seizure free until May 2017 which occurred while she was sleeping. Fortunately, she didn’t have any more seizures in 2017. To recap from 2014 to 2017 she had 4 seizures, and all were very short and though scary to witness, she was fine.

In 2018, this is when her seizures started to become much more frequent.   She went through a period of having one or two seizures per month.  We decided to take her off all the flea medicines that she had been taking as I had conducted some research to find that topical flea meds can lead to seizures. In addition to this, we contacted a holistic vet that analyzed her blood work and conducted an allergy test.  We came up with a fully holistic “get well plan”.

The get-well plan included: Cannabidiol (CBD) oil twice per day, Neuroplex, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar.  We also detoxed her using Zeolite.  All of this helped decrease the seizure frequency.  Not only that, we used all-natural flea and tick shampoo.  We went down from 1 or 2 seizures per month to 4 months without a seizure.  We were thrilled! 

Fast forward to January 6, 2019.  Piper was sleeping and had a severe “cluster” seizure.  A cluster seizure is when there’s a series of seizures happening one on top of the other. This type of seizure is hard on the dog to recover as it elevates their body temperature.  

Since we had never witnessed a cluster seizure, we consulted a local vet who offers Chinese acupuncture.  We got great guidance from Dr. Hartai from Spot on Wellness in Dallas who did a full analysis of Piper’s blood work and added goji berries and Chinese herb Yang Yin Xi Feng to her diet.  

 Piper went 4 months without having a seizure.  We found that that the sweet spot seems to be every 3rd week for acupuncture.  The one time we went 4 weeks she had a cluster seizure.  We are 5 months into the new year, and she’s had 2 seizures vs 6 last year (that we witnessed).

Thinking back to the two times this year she had the seizures, we forgot to give her the CBD oil before bedtime.  Not 100% sure if this triggered her episodes; but we now make sure we don’t forget to give her the dose.  Typically, the episodes happen while she’s asleep.  

Hopefully, this article helps others whose dogs are having seizures.  Praying that we will be able to keep the frequency down to a minimum with this holistic plan.  Yes, it’s a lot of work, but we love Piper so much we will do anything to give her the best quality of life.

Relaxing... Update as of July 6, 2019 still no seizures since 4/7/19. Piper has continued acupuncture, CBD 2x per day, Neuroplex, fish oil (we use zesty paws salmon oil) and we added Goji berries and a chinese herb known to help with seizures: yang yin xi feng (small dose 1/4 scoop/ 2x per day)