Pooch n' Purr - Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Service
Canine Epilepsy & Seizures
Very important information to know if your dog has a seizure:
Remain Calm
(you MUST remain calm, no exceptions)
Talking in a Soft Voice to your Dog 
(they can hear as they are seizing) may help bring him/her out of the seize faster, (Do not touch your dog as you may get bit, your choice)
Put a Soft Pillow Near their Head
(to prevent injury to their head)
Timing the Seize is Very Important
(grab your cell phone and time the seize, etc. minutes, seconds... 3-5 minute seizures can be life-threatening)
Documenting the Seize is Important
(if they lost bladder control, date, time, length of seizure in minutes/seconds, what type of seizure)
Emergency Vet
(once your dog lab is out of the seize immediately bring them to the vet or emergency vet)
Ask Vet to Run In-House Blood Test
Very important!
Ask your vet to run a "Bile Acid" test first...
If you choose to put your dog on Pheno Barbitol, ask your vet to write a prescription and you can get it filled at Publix Pharmacy.
Find out what is triggering your dog's seizure (ex. stress, etc.)
Change Your Dog's Food
(see Healthy Adult Diet below)
Check if your dogs food contains ROSEMARY, which is linked to canine seizures. 
Please check out:
 Healthy Adult Diet

Below is a very simple diet for healthy adult dogs with canine epilepsy. It is easy to make and is also very balanced nutritionally. There is a success story at the end of this article. There are two ways of making this recipe.

1. Using a crock pot which cooks while you are at work or at night while sleeping.

2. Cooking all the ingredients separately.
3. For full supplementation, please read the list of supplements in the article "Supplements For Home Cooked Diet".

And if your dog has a weight problem, you will find the weight loss diet at:


1. Healthy Adult Diet - Crock Pot recipe

This can be put together in approximately 20 minutes and ready 8 hours later. It requires a crock pot or slow cooker, which can be purchased at any department store or discount chain. You can also order one through the internet for $25. Model# 3040-BC (4 quart) or Model # 33551-FW (5 quart) Here is the link:


Click on "Traditional Slow Cookers" and select the one best for you. Or, call The Rival Co. Consumer Help number is 1-800-557-4825.

You will need the following ingredients:

4 halved boneless, skinless chicken breasts - frozen (use any reputable brand that you would feed your human family). They are usually around $8.00 for a package of 10. Or you can use 4 cups frozen fish, or 4 cups frozen lean ground meat (about 2 lbs).

1 cup zucchini sliced thickly
1 cup sliced carrots sliced thickly
1 cup string beans cut up
1/2 cup white potato cut in 2" pieces
1/2 cup yam or sweet potato cut in 2" pieces

Combine all ingredients (leave chicken breasts frozen) in crock pot along with 4 cups of water. Put crock pot on "Low" setting and cook all day while you're at work or all night while you're sleeping, approximately 8 hours or until everything is tender. After the mixture is cooked, put it in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day, skim as much of the fat off the top as you can with a spoon.  Then you can mix and mash everything together so that the meat and veggies are well blended together.  (If your crock pot has a removable liner, put the whole thing in the fridge - if not, you can transfer the cooked food to another container to sit overnight.)  Once you have mixed everything together well, you should refrigerate the food - either in the container you have it in or divided up into individual meals.  Do not leave it in the refrigerator for longer than three days - if you have more than you will use in three days, please freeze the extra portions.  Be sure to reheat each meal in a microwave or at least bring it to room temperature.

2. Healthy Adult Diet - cooked separately

4 cups skinned and boiled chicken or fish or ground meat
1 cup zucchini (if zucchini is not available use summer squash)
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped string beans
1/2 cup white potato
1/2 cup yam or sweet potato

Skin a whole chicken (or 2 or 3) and put in a large covered pot with water almost to the top of the chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Drain the chicken in a colander and save the chicken soup in a bowl.
Put the chicken soup in the fridge and skim the fat when cold. You can add a little of the heated chicken soup to each meal. This gives trace minerals to the diet. Meals should not be eaten right out of the fridge but either brought to room temperature or warmed in a microwave.

Scrub the potatoes well and cut them up crosswise into 2" pieces so the skin circles the potatoes. OR, you can peel the potatoes before you cook them. Simmer the white potatoes in a covered pot for 30 minutes and then add the yam/sweet potatoes and cook both for another 30 minutes. When cooled, remove the skins.

If using ground beef, simmer in a frying pan with a very small amount of oil.  (If you dog is more sensitive to fat, you can also boil the beef, discard the liquid and then rinse it well with hot tap water.)
If using fish, simmer/poach in a frying pan with a small amount of water until the fish is white.

Wash the zucchini (or string beans/summer squash), carrots and celery and cut up and steam or cook in a covered pot until very tender.

Mix all the above ingredients together until it is well blended. This will give you approximately 8 cups of food. Depending on the size of your dog, you can double or triple the recipe. One recipe can be made with chicken and the next time you can make it with ground meat for variety. You should only need to make this recipe once a week.

Try and feed in 3 or 4 small meals (depending on your schedule), the last one being at bedtime. Smaller meals spread apart will burn more calories. Put one meal portions in baggies and freeze what you won't use in 3 days. Then you can put them in the fridge the day before and they will be thawed out. You should be able to cook once a week and freeze what you don't use. This recipe will stay fresh for 3 days in the fridge.
For supplementation, use an Infant's liquid multi vitamin (use the dose for the body weight recommended). Or alternatively, you can give 150 IU's of Vit E and some raw calf or beef liver. 1 oz for each 10 lbs per week. Cut the liver up and freeze it and give pieces as a treat. Not more than 1 oz per 10 lbs a week. This gives lots of natural A and B. Or for full supplementation, please read the list of supplements in the article "Supplements For Home Cooked Diet".


W. J. Dodds, DVM
Healthy Pets - Naturally newsletter

*Dodds WJ, Donoghue S. 1994. Interactions of Clinical Nutrition with Genetics. In: The Waltham Book of Clinical Nutrition of the Dog and Cat, Pergamon Press Ltd., Oxford, England.
If you are switching from kibble, and/or canned dog food, to home cooking and your dog is on potassium or sodium bromide, please be aware that there is considerably less sodium (salt) in home cooking than kibble or canned (which can have large amounts of sodium). Sodium, or salt, in the diet "uses up" the bromide and less salt in the diet could raise bromide levels substantially which would cause bromism. After switching over to home cooking, if your dog has weakness in its legs, gets "wobbly" or loses it's balance, your vet can reduce the bromide dose slowly and in small amounts. W. Jean Dodds, DVM, recommends reducing the dose of bromide slightly or by 1/3 to see if the signs of bromism go away or are lessened. In a month, have the bromide levels checked to make sure they are in the therapeutic range. Don't worry about lowering the bromide as long as it stays in therapeutic range. Less bromide and home cooking will be healthier for your dog in the long range.
Home Cooking Has Reduced Bear's Seizures by Mary Kearney
pet sitting, pet care, dog waking, wadog lke
Abbreviations ... Bloodwork
ACT = activated clotting time
ACTH = adrenocortiotrophin hormone
ALB = Albumin
ALP = Alkaline phosphatase
AMY = Amylase
APTT = activated partial thromboplastin time
BUN = Blood Urea Nitrogen
CA = Calcium
CDV = canine distemper virus
CHF = congestive heart failure
CHOL = Cholesterol
Cl = Chloride
CNS = central nervous system
CPK = Creatine phosphokinase
CPV-2 = canine parvovirus type 2
CREAT = Creatinine
CSF = cerebrospinal fluid
DIC = disseminated intravascular coagulation
FDP = fibrin degradation products
FPV = feline panleukopenia virus
GGT = Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase
GI = gastrointestinal
GLOB = Globulin
GLU = Glucose
IMHA = immune mediated hemolytic anemia
K = Potassium
LDH = Lactate dehydrogenase
LIP = Lipase
MLV = modified live virus
MS = multiple sclerosis
MV = measles virus
Na = Sodium
PHOS = Phosphorus
PI = postinfection
PT = prothrombin time
PTE = pulmonary thromboembolism
RV = rabies virus
RBC = red blood cells
SGPT = Serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase
SLE = systemic lupus erythematosus
TBILI = Total Bilirubin
T4 = Thyroxine
TP = Total Protein
T3 = Triiodothyronine
Normal Hematology Values for Dogs
Hematocrit (PCV) % 40-59
Hemoglobin /dl 14-20
Red Blood Cell Count x 106/µl 5.6-8.7
White Blood Cell Count/µl 6,000-17,000
Neutrophils/µl 3,000-12,000
Lymphocytes/µl 530-4, 8001
Monocytes/µl 100-1800
Eosinophils/µl 0-1,900
Basophils/µl <100
Platelets/µl 145-440
Whenever you find yourself in the veterinarian’s office with a sick dog, be proactive and ask the doctor if doing a blood chemistry evaluation would be helpful. You would want it done for yourself, wouldn’t you? And expect that a blood chemistry profile would be required prior to any elective anesthesia or surgery. You would be surprised how many elective procedures are put off until the reason for a previously unnoticed medical problem is evaluated. Many animal hospitals are providing annual Older Pet Evaluations where results of blood and urine testing are vital in making a proper health evaluation of the patient; so if your dog is eight years of age or older an annual physical exam with laboratory tests can be a very rewarding practice.
Blood work should be done on senior friends at least every six months Consult your vet for more details!
A Complete Blood Count indicates the number and type of cells in the dog's blood. This standard test can identify anemia and leukemia, as well as the presence of many infections. A Serum Chemistry Profile includes a variety of tests that examine the functioning of organs, such as the liver and thyroid. If these tests indicate any abnormality.
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) - An enzyme that becomes elevated with liver disease.
Albumin (ALB) - Produced by the liver, reduced levels of this protein can point to chronic liver or kidney disease, or parasitic infections such as hookworm. High levels indicate dehydration and loss of protein.
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALKP) - An enzyme produced by the biliary tract (liver). High levels indicate bone disease, liver disease or bile flow blockage.
Amylase (AMYL) - The pancreas produces and secrets amylase to aid in digestion. Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic and/or kidney disease.
Bile Acid Tests - Bile acids are produced by the liver and are involved in fat breakdown. A pre and post meal bile acid test is used to evaluate the function of the liver and the blood flow to the liver. All dogs on Phenobarbital should have a bile acid test done at least every 6 months. Your vet will ask you to fast your dog for 12 hours prior to the first blood draw. Your dog is then fed a high fat meal such as canned dog food. Another blood sample is drawn two hours (may vary according to the lab your vet uses) after eating. These two blood tests will measure liver function when the liver is at rest and when the liver is challenged with a fatty meal. Please be careful during the fast as even a small amount of food can affect the fasting blood test. As a general rule medication can be given during the fast, however, they must not be given with food.
Blood Glucose (GLU) - High levels can help diagnose diabetes and can indicate stress, excess of the hormone progesterone, an overactive adrenal gland. Low levels can indicate liver disease, tumors or abnormal growth on pancreas, an underactive adrenal gland.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) - BUN is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Decreased levels are seen with low protein diets, liver insufficiency, and the use of anabolic steroid drug. Increased levels indicate any condition that reduces the kidney's ability to filter body fluids in the body or interferes with protein breakdown.
Calcium (CA) - Blood calcium levels are influenced by diet, hormone levels and blood protein levels. Decreased levels indicate acute damage to the pancreas or underactive parathyroid. Muscle twitches may occur in decreased level. Increased levels can be an indicator of certain types of tumors, parathyroid or kidney disease. Dr. Goldstein mentioned in his book, Nature of Animal Healing that low calcium level may indicate deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, and high calcium level may indicate poor metabolism of fats and protein.
Cholesterol (CHOL) - Decreased levels are found in an overactive thyroid gland, intestinal malabsorption. Elevated levels of cholesterol are seen in a variety of disorders including hypothyroidism and diseases of the liver, kidneys, cardiovascular, diabetes, and stress.
Complete Blood Count (CBC) - The complete blood count measures the number and type of cells circulating in the bloodstream. There are three major types of blood cells in circulation, red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC) and platelets. White blood cells include neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils. Blood cells are produced in bone marrow with the exception of lymphocytes, which are produced in the lymph glands throughout the body. Red Blood Cells are decreased when a patient has anemia. An increase usually indicates dehydration. Neutrophils can be decreased in dogs with bone marrow disease, some viral diseases or from cancer chemotherapy drugs. Neutrophils are increased in dogs with inflammation or infection of any part of the body or from the use of cortisone-type drugs. Lymphocytes may be increased when infection is present and decreased from severe stress, diarrhea or the use of certain drugs such as prednisone. Monocytes may be increased in dogs with chronic infections. Eosinophils and basophils are increased in dogs with allergic diseases or parasitic infections such as worms or fleas. Low platelet counts occur if the bone marrow is damaged and can't produce them or if the platelets are destroyed at a rate faster then normal. Packed Cell Volume (PCV) is another measure of red blood cells, which compares the number of cells to the total volume of blood.
Creatinine (CREA) - Creatinine is a by-product of muscle metabolism and is excreted by the kidneys. Elevated levels can indicate kidney disease or urinary obstruction, muscle disease, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes. An increased BUN and normal creatinine suggests an early or mild problem. An increased creatinine and increased BUN with elevated phosphorus indicate a long-standing kidney disease.
Electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium, Chloride) - The balance of these chemicals is vital to health. Abnormal levels can be life threatening. Electrolyte tests are important in evaluating vomiting, diarrhea and cardiac symptoms.
Gamma-glutamyltransferase GGT - Circulating GGT is considered to originate from the liver. Elevations are caused from the use of glucocorticoid therapy or liver disease.
Globulins (GLOB) - Decreased levels indicate problems with antibodies, immunodeficiency viruses or risk of infectious disease. Increased levels may indicate stress, dehydration or blood cancer, allergies, liver disease, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes.Glucose: is only accurate if a proper fast has preceded the blood draw. The most common cause of elevations in glucose levels is improper fasting. If glucose levels were high with a proper fast it would indicate diabetes mellitus, steroid therapy, acute pancreatitis or hyperadrenocorticism. Low glucose levels indicate hypoglycemia, liver insufficiency or insulin overdose.
Hematocrit (HCT) or Packed Cell Volume (PCV) - Provides information on the amount of red blood cells (RBC) present in the blood. Decreased levels means anemia from hemorrhage, parasites, nutritional deficiencies or chronic disease process, such as liver disease, cancer, etc. Increased levels are often seen in dehydration.
Hemoglobin (Hb) - The essential oxygen carrier of the blood. Decreased levels indicate the presence of hemorrhage, anemia, and iron deficiency. Increased levels indicate higher than normal concentrate of RBC, B-12 deficiency (because there are fewer cells).
Lipase - elevations indicate pancreatitis.
Lymphocytes (L/M) - These smooth, round white blood cells increase in number with chronic infection, recovery from acute infection or underactive glands and decrease with stress, or treatment with steroids and chemotherapy drug.
MCV - Measurement of the average size of the RBC. Elevated volumes can be due to B-12 folic acid deficiency and reduced volumes are from an iron deficiency.PH Levels - It should be 6.2~6.5, little on the acidic side.
Phosphorus (PHOS) - Affected by diet, parathormone and kidney. Decreased levels show overactive parathyroid gland and malignancies, malnutrition and malabsorption. Increases with underactive parathyroid gland and kidney failure.
Platelets (PLT) - Play an important role in blood clotting. Decrease in number occurs in bone marrow depression, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, systemic lupus, severe hemorrhage or intravascular coagulation. Increased number may occur with fracture or blood vessel injury, or cancer.
Red Blood Cells (RBC) - Responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. Iron deficiency will lower RBC count. In more reduced count, it may indicate hemorrhage, parasites, bone marrow disease, B-12 deficiency, folic acid deficiency or copper deficiency. RBC lives for 120 days so an anemia of any kind other than hemorrhage indicates a long-standing problem.
Reticulocytes - Immature red blood cells. Decreased count is usually associate with anemia. Increased count is associated with chronic hemorrhage or hemolytic anemia.
Total Billirubin (TBIL) - A component of bile, bilirubin is secreted by the liver into the intestinal tract. High levels can lead to jaundice and indicate destruction in the liver and bile duct.
Total Protein (TP) - Increases indicate dehydration or blood cancer, bone marrow cancer; decreases indicate malnutrition, poor digestion, liver or kidney disease, bleeding or burns. Triglycerides: are another form of fat and are responsible for gross lipemia often seen in serum or plasma samples. Elevations are caused by insufficient fasting prior to blood sample, hypothyroidism and diabetes mellitus.
Color - Normal color is yellow to amber. Red is caused by Blood, Dark yellow to brown with yellow form are caused by bilirubin, reddish brown is caused by hemoglobin / myoglobin. Gravity - 1.007 ~ 1.029 occurs with diabetes mellitus, insipidus, overactive adrenals, excessive thirst and pyometra. A pet with kidney failure has a specific gravity of between 1.008-1.012. In cats with normal kidney function, the Gravity should be greater than 1.034, in dogs it should be greater than 1.025. However, over 1.040 can occur with high fever, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, vomiting, diarrhea and severe hemorrhage. Transparency- Normal is clear. Crystals, cells, blood, mucous, bacteria or cast, cause cloudy urine.
White blood cells (WBC) - The body's primary means of fighting infection. Decreased levels may indicate an overwhelming infections (viruses), or drug / chemical poisoning. Increased levels indicate bacterial infection, emotional upsets and blood disorders.
Many times, the results of the CBC when combined with a good physical exam and history make diagnosis easy. A female dog was in heat 2 to 3 months previously, her water consumption is elevated, and she seems weak in the rear quarters. The veterinarian is thinking she may have a severe uterine disorder called pyometra. The CBC comes back with a grossly elevated WBC count of 45,000 and the diagnosis is virtually confirmed.
When the results of the CBC are available to us, we are better equipped to determine the overall health of the animal. It will help us determine if an infection is present and to differentiate if it is viral, bacterial, or parasitic. A CBC can diagnose or help confirm other disorders such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, anemia, leukemia, and many others.
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