Weighing in on Epilepsy

My previous dog, Ojai, was a Vizsla/Lab, a mix of breeds susceptible to epilepsy yet she did not suffer from it and died “naturally” in my arms at home, age 15. I grew up with a beagle (prone to epilepsy) who lived to be 18, and suffered severe epileptic seizures throughout most of his life. He was a St. Patrick’s Day surprise puppy named Lucky.

I sympathize with Camilla Mortensen’s experience with Aksel, yet her overall approach left me feeling impatient and flustered. Most notably is the absence of any holistic options! She states she’s “not freaking out” as much, yet her continued anxiety is clearly present, which is projected onto Aksel and does him no favors.

“We added the third medication, pregabalin, and Aksel is just a little more dopey and unbalanced than he was before.” Who is? Get rid of the drugs! They are inherently more dangerous, unhealthy and expensive than a healthy diet!

Remain calm, don’t project your fear of death. When Lucky had his convulsions — limbs rigid, eyes ready to explode, foaming at the mouth, looking like he’d die — my family covered him with a blanket, calmly petting and consoling him through it. No drugs. This is a dog who, years older, (twice!) found his way back to our original house, miles away and over a mountain, because his best memories were there.

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats has two pages related to epilepsy. I’d recommend using it.

Sean S. Doyle


Editor’s note: Some dogs with epilepsy have only a couple seizures a year. Most veterinarians don’t prescribe medication unless the dog starts to have seizures more than once a month. To not medicate a dog like Aksel, who is prone to clusters and multiple seizures a week would essentially be a death sentence. The essay addresses the use of MCT, a natural dietary option, as well as CBD. Acupuncture is also an option in conjunction with the recommendations of a neurologist.