Canine Epilepsy and Seizures in Dogs

By Dr. Cathy Alinovi, D.V.M.

One of the worst experiences for pet owners is to watch their dog or cat have a seizure.  Canine seizures can range from mild ones that look like your dog was bitten by a bug, moderate muscle tremors and drooling, to full-blown laying on the side, screaming, arching the back, defecating and urinating on themselves.  Seeing this happen to your dog and not being able to do anything about it leaves the pet owner with a terrible feeling of helplessness.

What Causes Seizures in Dogs?

Most of the time seizures develop in adult dogs, although even puppies have been known to suffer from epileptic seizures.  There are various causes of canine seizures such as dehydration, heavy-metal toxicity, or a negative reaction to vaccines. Infection and diabetes can also cause seizures.  And yet, sometimes there is no known cause – this is what we refer to as idiopathic epilepsy.

Seizures are a problem when they happen repeatedly, occur with increasing frequency or duration, or have the potential for more life threatening problems.  The overwhelming concern is for a dog that goes into status epilepticus.  This is a condition where the seizures don’t stop and the body gets so hot that the dog’s brain cannot cool down, causing permanent brain damage. Sometimes, status epilepticus can even result in death.

Some dogs have seizures just once and then they never happen again. This is obviously preferable, but not always the case.  The usual preliminary diagnostics when a dog has seizures is to review their blood work and urinalysis results.  Infection and diabetes are two of the most common causes of seizures that can be found in their blood work.

How You Can Help A Dog With Seizures

Diet to treat seizures in dogs

Once all the preliminaries are investigated, I would start with making sure that dog is on a high-quality diet of real food.  For many dogs, it’s as simple as getting them off the kibble and getting them onto a raw dog food diet or a home-prepared diet that is free of grains, byproducts, and chemicals.

Phenobarbital to treat seizures in dogs

For some dogs it takes more work, like heavy metal or liver detoxification, herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies, or even western anti-seizure medications like phenobarbital or potassium bromide. The problem with these medications is they have significant side effects, especially phenobarbital.

Herbal medications to treat seizures in dogs

As far as herbal medications, I use formulations that depend on the individual patient’s presenting picture.  For some patients, a formula called “Di Tan Tang” works very nicely.  Di Tan Tang is an herbal blend that is very similar to phenobarbital in action, without the negative side effects of liver toxicity.  For other patients, herbal formulations that address the liver help very well.  I have used formulas like Liver Happy or Tian Ma to treat epilepsy in dogs.

Another example is the use of whole herbs to treat seizures.  Typically lobelia isn’t used for seizures, unless a respiratory issue is causing the seizure.  Lobelia is an asthma/respiratory herb.  More common herbs used for dog epilepsy include European Mistletoe, Passionflower, Lily-of-the-Valley, Black Hellebore, and Valerian (for calming).

In conclusion, for dog owners whose dogs have seizures and want to seek more natural therapy:

  1. Start with a great real food or raw dog food diet.
  2. Seek the advice of a veterinary practitioner who will look at your dog’s individual symptoms to determine the right natural treatment for your dog.

Dr. Cathy Alinovi is the owner of Healthy Pawsibilities in Indiana. Certified in Veterinary Food Therapy, Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, and Aromatherapy, Dr. Cathy’s approach provides whole body support through both the best in veterinary medicine as well as high-quality, all-natural foods, supplements, and health care products.  She offers phone consultation services as well as in-office appointments. Visit for more information.

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Angel Has Passed

Published on May 7, 2014 by in BARF


Recently our dear friend Lee had to put her beloved poodle “Angel” to sleep. Lee writes from her heart on this very difficult and emotional subject as she poignantly reflects on her life with Angel up to their last moments together.


The author Henry Beston perhaps described animals best:
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals…the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.”


We share Lee ‘s story below.


Your Team at Barf World


Angel Has Passed

By Lee Milteer

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s
soul remains unawakened.” -Anatole France

Hi from Lee,

This is a very hard newsletter for me to write. I wasn’t able to last week because I was in so much personal agony. I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life, to put my sweet dog Angel to sleep, who I have simply adored for 14 years.


I learned so much from this animal and she actually saved mine and Clifton’s lives when she was a puppy. Our home caught on fire but because we were both sick with sinus infections and couldn’t smell anything, and had taken medication to sleep, we didn’t wake up from the smoke. Somehow, this little 5 pound puppy figured out how to get on our bed and screamed t the top of her lungs to wake us up. If it weren’t for Angel, I suspect that both Clifton and I would have died of smoke inhalation. Needless to say, she earned our love!


Preparing for Angel’s departure was emotional torture since we both loved her with all of our hearts and souls. Human relationships are complex, but your relationship with your pet is purer and simpler. When you need comfort, your dog doesn’t need the full story on how awful your day has been, it just knows you are upset and stays nears you. Dogs relate to you with unconditional love. Anytime there’s a cross-species interaction, you are in the presence of something sacred and meaningful. Anyone who owns or has owed animals experiences this deep bond, which makes it very challenging to let them go.


Angel had just turned 14 and in the last few months, her health had started to seriously deteriorate. She was no longer living a quality life. We extended her life as far as we could with medical and holistic care but we couldn’t fix her medical issues. A stroke left her almost totally blind and deaf and sadly, she had Dementia, which I didn’t even know dogs could get until a few months ago. Her kidneys were failing, and old age had just set in to the point that Clifton and I were literally carrying her outside every hour.


Even when you know it’s time to let your pet go it is so painful and hard. I knew we were doing the right thing but my heart was breaking to have to make the tough decision and do the right thing for her.


I had a friend of mine gift me with an animal communicator session a few days before we let Angel go. If you haven’t worked with an Animal Communicator for your pets I will honestly say it is an amazing and enlightening experience. I have done this on and off for years with my many dogs, cats, and horses. It is real and they have profound information that is valuable to know. Once I couldn’t figure out why Angel was throwing up. The communicator told me she was allergic to eggs and when I removed all eggs from her diet she was fine. During the last session Angel told us it was time to let her go, that her body could no longer support her staying. Even thought Angel couldn’t hear on a physical level, I know she could hear me on a spiritual level. We assured her we loved her more than anything and wanted her to go to The Rainbow Bridge where she can join me when I cross over in the future. There is no time on the oth er side. The session actually helped me realize I had to release the stress of trying to control this situation and I had to surrender and put it in God’s hands.

Description: Lioness_Saved.png

This is a photo of Angel when she was about five years old sitting in my living room on the top of the sofa.
I love it because she really looks like the Angel she was and now truly is.

We found a wonderful Hospice Vet who came to our home last Friday at 4:30 pm and assisted Angel’s transition. Angel left the Earth plane after a great steak and mashed potatoes dinner in her own bed surround by Clifton and I holding her. I had agonized for weeks about when to have the vet come to the house. Was I doing this at the right time? The quality of her life the last week made it crystal clear that the time had come. She no longer played or enjoyed her outside walks. She clearly let me know her body had worn out. She passed very peacefully to the other side. The Cremation service was waiting for her. It was all very surreal and happened so fast but in my sad heart I know we did the right thing for Angel.

Life is so different now: She is no longer there at the door when I come home to be so excited to see me. The house is painfully quiet and neat since her toys aren’t scattered everywhere. I keep thinking I hear her but it’s my imagination. It was so hard to remove all her food, toys and beds. I will miss her more than words can say because she was such a great little light in my life.

Author Marjorie Garber summed it up well with her quote: If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.

I am in heartbreak right now. It would have been selfish of me to keep her going when there was no way we could turn about the physical limitations she was facing. I know she is in doggie heaven and no longer in pain which gives me comfort. She was the sweetest most profound dog of my life, and I have had many dogs. I do not believe in death, I believe the spirit lives on, just sadly not with me on the earth plane now. Angel taught Clifton and I many life lessons. We will always love and miss her and are very grateful for our short 14 years together. Our cat is also in mourning that Angel is no longer here.

We will get another puppy for sure after we move into our new home sometime late this summer.

I want to personally thank everyone who reached out to me. It is amazing how when you are in deep grief the gesture of notes, flowers, books about dogs mean so much. I am very grateful to everyone who has reached out. It has been comforting and healing that “Animal People” understand the pain of losing your beloved pet. If you have never lost a pet it is hard to comprehend the bond.

I will leave you with this quote from Dr. Seuss and I will be honest that I am not there yet, although I will be soon. Please hug your Pets for me!

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Love and Light to you,


Lee Milteer

Copyright ©
2014 Lee Milteer Inc. All Rights Reserved.

ggggDame Lee Milteer is an Internationally known and celebrated Entrepreneur, Visionary, Best Selling Author, Award winning Professional Speaker, TV Personality, and Intuitive Business Mentor. Lee provides business and success advice and resources to nearly 250,000 people around the world. She is the founder of the Millionaire Smarts® Coaching program which supplies coaching for other coaches and businesses. Lee is partners with GKIC (Glazer-Kennedy Insider Circle) and runs the Peak Performers Implementation coaching program for entrepreneurs.

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WATCH: Flying Vet Saves Lioness And Her Cubs

Published on May 1, 2014 by in BARF

By Amber Keiper

You may have noticed, as I have, the news of late has been more depressing than usual: the drowning deaths of hundreds of high school students from South Korean; the kidnapping of over 100 Nigerian schoolgirl… most of them still missing and the ongoing hunt for MH 370.  The “bad news” seems to overshadow anything positive out there in the media and it’s pretty depressing.  So this week, I wanted to share a story that, for once, has a happy ending in hopes that it brings you some positive energy and puts a smile on your face.

Survival of the fittest is the law of the land in the African savanna of Kenya.  But with poachers depleting the natural population of prey animals, food scarcity makes the savanna’s carnivore hunters desperate to find food to stay alive.

Siena, an 11-year-old lioness, was out hunting to feed her cubs when she was severely impaled by a bull buffalo.  Her left hindquarter was ripped open, exposing the soft tissue and muscle.  Though she was alive and able to limp along with her pride, the injury was so severe that medical intervention was necessary in order to keep her alive.

Click here to watch the amazing rescue effort.

Description: Lioness_Saved.png 

With less than 35,000 wild African lions in existence, wildlife organizations, such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife trust (DSWT) do what they can to preserve the lion population.  DSWT and the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) work together through the Sky Vet initiative to quickly deploy veterinarians to hard to reach field cases throughout Kenya.

Sky Vet coordinated KWS veterinarian, Dr. Njoroge, and his team boarded a plane to respond to call for emergency medical treatment for Siena.  Dr. Njoroge’s team darted Siena, and herded her pride away as they quickly began to work on treating her massive injury.  The operation lasted 1.5 hours and involved cleaning the area with a saline solution, suturing the wound, and applying a green clay compound to help speed up the healing process.  Thanks to their efforts, Siena is now safe and reunited with her cubs and her lion pride!

Stories of life-saving rescue and intervention –from the smallest to largest of species in the animal kingdom are always heart warming.  Please send us any of your stories or videos of animal rescue to share with our readers!

ggggAmber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is “mom” to two animal rescues – a spoiled Havanese mix named Chewy and a sassy tabby mix named Chiquita. For more holistic pet health, nutrition and wellness tips, go to or sign up for the FREE weekly newsletter, The Intelligent Pet.

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Super Dogs Save Endangered Species From the Brink of Extinction

By Amber Keiper

As a fellow animal lover, I’m sure that you despise the mistreatment of animals as much as I do.  One method of animal cruelty that has been around for years is the illegal hunting practice called poaching.  Poaching is the indiscriminate hunting and killing of animals that dramatically reduces the population of the species.  This practice is one of the main causes of extinction within a species.  Unfortunately, poaching is BIG business; often times more profitable (and less risky) than selling drugs or gold.  Rhino horns, for example, which are used by some cultures as traditional ornaments or for medicinal use, can be sold for upwards of $30,000 a pound on the black market.

With only a little over 5,000 black rhinos in existence, the Ol Pejeta Conservatory in Nanjuki, Kenya works tirelessly to preserve this endangered species.  But even for them, the threat of poaching is a very serious concern to their habitat of African black rhinos.  Poachers have been known to storm the compound, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, shooting at anyone who stands in their way, in an effort to get ahold of the precious rhino horns.

Fortunately, Ol Pejeta has Daryll Pleasants on their side.  A former military dog trainer for the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Pleasants trains various dog breeds, including bloodhounds and Dutch-Malinois Shepherds to patrol, track, and if necessary, attack poachers that invade the compound.

Description: Anti-Poaching_Dogs.png

The anti-poaching dogs are outfitted with special James Bond-type gear that protects them from punches, kicks, stabs and bullets.  They also wear the latest in FIDO headgear equipped with camera equipment, GPS navigation and night vision to help them on the hunt.

Says Pleasants, “What these dogs will do is they will search for a carcass or associated items and bring the anti-poaching team in on the carcass. From the point of the carcass, they will then track after the intruders or the poachers and then, should they need to, can apprehend the intruder as well.”

Score one more for the fight against animal cruelty!

ggggAmber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is “mom” to two animal rescues – a spoiled Havanese mix named Chewy and a sassy tabby mix named Chiquita. For more holistic pet health, nutrition and wellness tips, go to or sign up for the FREE weekly newsletter, The Intelligent Pet.


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above with all links

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