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The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself. ~Wallace Stevens


Preventing Seizures P


Natural Dog Remedies Can Outdo Drugs by Dr. Shawn Messonnier


eople often seek out a holistic veterinarian due to concerns about conventional medications. One new client recently inquired about her 3-year-old female poodle diagnosed with epilepsy last year. The traditional veterinarian’s prescription for phenobar- bital was helping to control the seizures, but the owner questioned the long-term consequences of feeding her pet the drug for the rest of its life. Surely, she thought, there must be a natural alternative. There are many causes for canine seizures, with epilepsy being the most common. Epilepsy is the term used when the cause is unknown, so testing is needed to ensure other factors are not present. These might include tox- icities, especially in younger dogs and puppies (may include vaccines); brain tumors, more common in older dogs and certain breeds such as boxers and Boston terriers; infections, as in menin- gitis, or immune disorders such as the neurologic disease granulomatous me-


32 Hudson County NAHudson.com


ningoencephalitis, or GME; parasites, including aberrant heartworms; and regional diseases such as tick-borne illnesses like Lyme or ehrlichiosis. Common testing includes a physical examination, food hypersen- sitivity and blood tests, tick serology, urine, fecal and cerebrospinal fluid analyses and a brain scan, which is usually a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Not all tests are needed on all pets because the veterinarian will rule out issues during the process. If other causes are ruled out and the problem is labeled as epilepsy, phenobarbital can be helpful, although side effects can occur as a result, including liver disease. In every case, the animal should be examined at least two to four times a year for possible complications from the drug, starting with a blood profile and urinalysis. It’s always best to supplement such treat- ment with natural remedies to help


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