View Full Version : Cavalier with Seizures: update

10th August 2008, 12:24 AM
I posted a while back about a Cavalier owner who had come into the store with a Cavalier who was having seizures almost every day. He came from a reputable breeder and the vets were having trouble pinpointing the cause. This is the thread:


Anyway, I told his owner about RAW the day she came in and she tried some. She came again a few days ago so happy and said the seizures have just about stopped happening!! He has been on RAW for about a month now. I believe she is still planning to follow-up with a neurologist. I did send her the info about EFS and she watched the videos but said his seizures looked nothing like that.

Another lady came in who also feeds RAW and said her Golden, years ago, was having seizures and nothing helped. She did some research and started feeding RAW they stopped almost immediately.

Coincidence?? I don't know...

10th August 2008, 10:33 AM
Unless there was some ingredient that was causing seizures, which is kind of unlikely, it is most likely coincidence. But there could have been a situation where some chemical in the food or treats or whatever was causing the dog to seize.

You have to look at it the other way around. 99.99999% of dogs fed a commercial or home cooked diet do not have seizures. So a commercial or cooked diet vs raw is very unlikely to have much significant effect unless the dogs have some sort of severe problem triggered by a single food ingredient/component, which could very well be in a dog with a malfunctioning digestive system or endocrine system. Simply removing the ingredient, regardless of whether that be in a raw, cooked or commercial diet, would do the same job.

Also you would need to set up and test every single other thing that possibly changed and could possibly have reduced or gotten rid of seizures, or the fact that some dogs grow out of them (especially EFS related seizures).

10th August 2008, 06:10 PM
This might be of interest -- lists many common causes of seizures and notes vitamin deficiencies and some additives can cause them. So the wrong diet/low quality food etc could definitely cause problems. This site recommends trying a home cooked diet. Of course a raw diet also enables better control -- but as with home cooked, people do need to research them carefully, be sure they cover the nutrition bases, be aware of the risks, and decide if this is the right choice for their dog and if they can commit to hygienic preparation and storage.


10th August 2008, 07:10 PM
That's really interesting, Karlin. Thanks for posting that. It seemed so coincidental that the seizures stopped once she changed food. She was not feeding a high quality diet to begin with--lotsof grains and byproducts.

Another customer came in yesterday (I've been working for the summer at a pet supply store that is huge on nutrition) with a mix pup who is having the same problem-- unexplained seizures. He is under vet care but they can't identify the cause, apparently. She, too, was feeding a low-quality food. She bought a bag of Primal Raw and a grain-free kibble to try. I am really interested to see if she has good results.

It's incedible how owners come in with dogs who are having all kinds of issues that magically disappear or get much better after a month on a high-quality diet, rather than the junk they were eating. I am finding that many people have no clue that there are better foods out there for their pets!

Cathy Moon
10th August 2008, 07:51 PM
That's really good news the seizures stopped.

I can see how low quality foods would cause health problems. I wonder how many vets know which foods are poor quality. I'm glad there are so many pet supply shops that carry the higher quality foods.

What a great summer job, too!

10th August 2008, 09:12 PM
I can see how low quality foods would cause health problems. I wonder how many vets know which foods are poor quality. I'm glad there are so many pet supply shops that carry the higher quality foods.

You wouldn't believe how many people come in and say they are feeding Science Diet, Nutro, or Purina because that's "what their vet recommended"... and then they are shocked to hear about the wheat, corn, soy and byproducts in the food and can't understand why their vet would recommend it. Some people will switch to a higher quality food, but then there are others who take it as gospel truth because their vet told them it was a good food.

Lots of people come in with itchy dogs who have scratched themselves raw and are on all kinds of meds from the vet. We get them on a better food and all that other stuff goes away.

I have always fed good food (well, since I have known there was such a thing), but since working at this store, I have become a huge believer in the power of food and healing from the inside out.

I can't help but wonder if *some* (not all, I know there are great vets out there) vets know better but still recommend junk food because healthy dogs don't bring in business. I can't believe that vets don't know better. If we, average Joe pet owners know, then why don't they when this is their area of expertise??

Yes, it has been a great summer job!! So much fun. I have learned a lot about nutrition and dog behavior. I'm still going to work a few hours once school starts...tomorrow!

Cathy Moon
10th August 2008, 09:27 PM
Best wishes for your 2008-2009 school year. :thmbsup:
Keep up the good work with dog nutrition! :thmbsup:

10th August 2008, 09:29 PM
Best wishes for your 2008-2009 school year. :thmbsup:
Keep up the good work with dog nutrition! :thmbsup:

Thanks, Cathy! I'm sure it will be hard to sleep tonight... first day jitters even though I have been doing this for 10 years! :)

Cathy Moon
10th August 2008, 09:37 PM
I know what you mean - Colin's daughter is in her 3rd year of teaching Kindergarten, and she goes through that too. It is very challenging when you don't know what the classroom dynamics will be like, and in her case she has had to adjust to different teacher's aides.

I'll bet the pet supply business is really low stress and very enjoyable, but much less of a challenge! :-D

11th August 2008, 11:57 AM
I have heard (don't know for a fact) that years ago Hill's (who makes Science Diet, which vets HEAVILY push and is very expensive) cornered the market on sponsoring veterinary nutrition classes.

This is very important and so I will repeat it as a general caution (and again, ask people to read the info on libel, please, in the Getting Started section!): it's a good idea not to post rumours and hearsay on a public board,especilly if the comments are potentially defamatory. People need to do their own detailed research first please -- make phone contact with reliable sources and confirm them directly (eg here, vets or the companies involved), if comments have any implication for the reputation of a person or company. First off, this is how a lot of misinformation circulates as fact on the web and I always encourage people NEVER to believe what they read on the web (and that includes self-appointed dog food rating websites that refuse to publish who they are and what their own connections are. Anyone can set up a website and say whatever they want -- it is important to verify the reliability of the source of the information). Sometimes posts about companies or individuals can be libellous and defamatory -- leaving individuals and people like me, who run boards, open to prosecution. Many people are not aware that if, for example, Hill's felt this comment was defamatory, and wished to take you to court for defamation, you would have to either get a lawyer and spend thousands for your defense, OR pay damages that could figure in the tens to hundreds of thousands as an out of court settlement. When you post a comment to a board it is legally the same as publishing in a newspaper because of the audience your comment receives and thus everyone who posts is theoretically as open to being sued as any journalist or newspaper.

In summary: it is fine to have a discussion on the merits of good diet. It is not OK to jump from there to post rumour and hearsay about what companies, professionals or individual people do or do not do without confirming this as FACT. :thmbsup: Even then I may pull comments because I do not wish to go to court to prove someone else's facts are facts. In the case of things I have posted about individuals (eg questionable puppy sellers) this is my own decision based on published fact about these people and I also have legal advice and support for the website and do not take such decisions lightly.

On a separate issue -- I think it is very, very important to separate out what MOST dogs can eat with no problems and what a tiny proportion cannot eat. Grains do not at all bother the vast majority of dogs or cats, and wild canids DO ingest grain rgeularly by eating the stomachs of dead animal as well as eating grass, something most dog owners and cat owners regularly obeserve! Grain is used as a binder for most food and treats so is extremely common and I have seen many people who avoid grains turn around and feed diets with, say, pasta -- which many of us who homecook include for our dogs and causes no problems at all for the vast majority. But many who avoid grains actually then feed other things just as likely to cause reactions in susceptible dogs and cats, believing them to be healthy choices.

If you read he information on allergy on UC Davis's vet school website, you may be surprised that several ingredients people believe are amngst the healthiest for dogs are *just as likely as grain* to set off reactions -- including milk products and eggs! That means YOGURT -- which a lot of people add to their dog's diets daily!! -- and eggs -- which are in a lot of raw diet mixes -- are just as 'bad' as wheat or corn or soy.

See for example:


where I have an article that notes:

The most common proven allergens in the dog are beef, chicken, milk, eggs, corn, wheat, and soy; in the cat, fish and milk products.

Many raw and holistic diets are based on beef, chicken, eggs, dairy.

I've never had a dog with any issues with corn, wheat, or soy.

I agree that a quality food is important but this can be defined in many ways. Grain to me makes little difference in the food unless the animal is showing clear signs of allergy or intolerance. What I look for is a good quality protein source and no artificial colours or preservatives. :thmbsup:

One note on Hill's: it makes sense that many vets carry a range of their products because many carry their prescription diets -- as far as I know only two companies in the US and Europe make prescription diets for animals that must be bought through vets, and these are Hills and Royal Canin (which bought a smaller company that sells these last year). Thus Hill's has a strong existing relationship with many vets. Some vets also sell other foods but as this isn't their primary area of business, and storing food is a pain and requires a big storage area if you start to carry a broad range of products; that is a more likely reason why vets continue to offer pretty much just Hills. I can buy dry food at wholesale ad breeder prices myself, and can say that there wouldn't be much profit per bag for vets for the hassle of carrying it either -- it isn't like most items where retailers double or more the wholesale cost. The margin on food is more like 20%, very tiny. Quite a few Irish vets also offer Burns, a very good food. Burns donates foods to rescue as does Pedigree. All these foods are nutritionally complete though some are not what I would choose to feed. I don't like Hill's myself because I prefer better protein sources but it is certainly a better food than many from a supermarket. Yet I know many cavaliers that have lived to old age on supermarket food (as did our family pyrenees, with never a single health issue in 13 years, an ancient age for a Pyr), and many fed on good foods that have succumbed early to disease. Feeding is probably one of the most contentious areas of dog care. I often think if we put a fraction as much time into improving our own diets we would all be far healthier ourselves! :lol:

11th August 2008, 09:51 PM
I removed it, Karlin. Thanks for reminding me!