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Epilepsy in Dogs. Does the Keto Diet Help?

Seizures can be scary for you and your furry friend. But, can a ketogenic diet cure epilepsy altogether in dogs?

While it is mostly believed that epilepsy is genetic, no genetic tests have been successful in determining its cause. In fact, seizures are one of the most frequently reported neurological conditions in dogs.

It is the abnormal and uncontrolled bursts of electricity in your dog’s brain that cause the seizures.

In this blog post, we will talk about epilepsy in dogs and its relationship with the ketogenic diet in detail to help you understand the bigger picture.

Let’s begin, shall we?

 

What Exactly is Epilepsy in Dogs?

Did you know that, 0.60 to 0.75% of dogs are affected by epilepsy?

Epilepsy in dogs is a neurological condition that causes your doggy friend to have uncontrollable, sudden, and recurring seizures which can either come with or without loss of consciousness.

One of the most common causes of seizures in dogs is idiopathic epilepsy.

Other than that, there are the following conditions that cause epilepsy in dogs:

  • Eating poison
  • Liver disease
  • Low or high blood sugar
  • Kidney disease
  • Electrolyte problems
  • Anemia
  • Head injury
  • Encephalitis
  • Strokes
  • Brain cancer

How Epilepsy Is Treated in Dogs?

Treatment of epilepsy is an outpatient procedure as dogs are usually prescribed medication for the seizures. The vet monitors your pet closely and you may even notice some weight gain.

In some cases, your dog may even need to undergo surgery.

However, the seizures can only be treated—not cured with modern medicine. This means that your dog will probably need to take his medicine on the daily.

Dog Breeds Prone to Getting Epilepsy

Genetics play a major role when it comes to seizures and epilepsy.

And, as with many other diseases, there are certain dog breeds that are prone to getting epilepsy.

  1. Beagle: While Beagles are otherwise generally healthy, they are highly susceptible to seizures due to their genetic makeup
  2. Keeshond: These are the 85th most popular dog according to the American Kennel Club and are one of the healthier breeds but, they are prone to getting Idiopathic Epilepsy
  3. Belgian Tervuren: These intelligent working dogs suffer from seizures as well
  4. Golden Retriever: Golden Retrievers are #3 most popular dog have various health risks – including epilepsy
  5. Labrador Retrievers: These happy, faithful, and loving dogs are genetically-predisposed to Idiopathic Epilepsy
  6. Border Collie: This energetic, alert, and responsive working as well as herding dog is prone to getting epilepsy
  7. Boxer: The medium-sized short haired dog is is a devoted, friendly, and fearless companion. The dog is prone to various diseases including epilepsy
  8. Shetland Sheepdog: These dogs herding dogs are also prone to getting epilepsy
  9. Poodles: The Poodles are beautiful dogs but, because of their genetic makeup, this breed is prone to getting epilepsy and seizures
  10. Vizsla: This sporting dog which is one of the smallest of the all-round pointer-retriever breeds makes an excellent companion but, is prone to getting epilepsy

 

Ketogenic Diet to Treat Epilepsy in Dogs: Does it Work?

It has been found that eliminating carbohydrates altogether from a dog’s diet can improve his condition.

A recent study found that 48% of the dogs on a ketogenic diet had no seizures at all or had a 50% improvement in their condition while 13% dogs had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. 38% of dogs in the study also has less than a 50% reduction.

Isn’t that amazing!?

In fact, a diet which is high in a ketogenic diet has been linked to the reduction of seizures.  Because high fat helps reduce the excitability of the neurons while the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help in reducing the seizure intensity as well as frequency.

Dogs are carnivores and they don’t need carbohydrates in their diets.

A ketogenic diet isn’t everything, though.

You need to provide your dog with fresh food which is ideally cooked at a low temperature! This is because the food is rich in nutrients as compared to kibble while the animal-based protein provides the amino acids — L-taurine and I-carnitine — recommended for dogs with seizure disorders.

Carbohydrates affect your dog’s blood sugar levels which can trigger seizures.

Helping Cells Regenerate

Cells are the smallest structures in a living being.

As you’re reading this, a few cells have died in your dog’s body while some have been regenerated.  Cell regeneration is a natural process through which your body (and that of your dog’s) gets rid of old, malfunctioning cells and replaces it with new ones.

For the process to be successful, the cell simply needs the right raw material to regenerate which they get from your dog’s diet.

A ketogenic diet speeds up the process of cell generation.

However, your dog still needs a diet which is free of toxins and contains all the essential nutrients.

Removing All The Toxins

The toxins present in your dog’s environment can also cause your furry friend to have seizures.

Toxins are present almost everywhere in your dog’s environment.

It is your dog’s liver that processes toxins in the environment and it’s the diet that assists your furry friend. A diet that can help combat seizures should be rich in toxin-free ingredients as well as ingredients that actually assist your dog’s liver in removing the toxins already present in the body.

For this to work you need a diet which is:

  • Made from organic ingredients
  • Is low in carbs
  • Not processed at high temperatures

Summing Up: Does the Keto Diet Help With Epilepsy in Dogs?

Yes, a ketogenic diet has been linked with reducing—and, in some cases, curing—epilepsy in dogs.

Epilepsy in dogs is a neurological condition that causes your furry companion to have uncontrollable, sudden, and recurring seizures which can either come with or without loss of consciousness.

This can be scary for you as well as your dog.

However, with the right diet, you can relieve the onset of seizures, their frequency, and even cure them. The high fat in a keto diet helps reduce the excitability of the neurons and the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help in reducing the seizure intensity and frequency.

But, for it to work, you need a diet which is free of toxins, made from organic ingredients, and is free of sugars.

Do you have questions? If so, leave them in the comments section, and we’ll get back to you shortly.

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7 Best Easy Tips To Fight Dog Cancer

Dog cancer is an awful experience. Our canine friends are more than pets. They are one of our close ones. The kind of being you can spend time conversing with and not feel judged. They are also loyal and protective. Hence, the sadness and crippling effect health threats in our dogs can have on us. I know this to be true after I almost lost my pet Lois to food poisoning.

One thing that happens in such occasion is losing hope. We bury ourselves in the negative facts of the situation that we deem the door of hope too far to pursue. The question is: is that what you should be doing? No. Far from it. What you should be doing is continue to fight. Below I have highlighted some practical ways you can keep fighting and give your canine the opportunity he or she needs to conquer the monster called cancer:

1. Be Emotionally Ready

What I do when any of my dogs get sick, aside from entering a state of hysteria, is to visualize the health challenge as a villain trying to take my friend down. That gives me the emotional boost to explore the different options available. You should do the same. Don’t sit back or embark on this journey with a failed mentality. Cancer cannot always win. With the tips I have gathered, you and your dog have more chances of winning!

2. Keto Diet For Dogs Works Wonders

Since the discovery of Keto Diet, lots of wonders have come from it. Just as much as it benefits us, humans, it benefits our pets. The first step to take after discovering your canine has dog cancer is to change his or her diet. A ketogenic diet for dogs is your best option! You can work out the plan with your vet, but it should observe the working principle of KetoPet Sanctuary. One, the edible should contain 80 to 90% of fat. You can get this from MCT, coconut, or Olive. Two, the protein should contribute 5 to 15 percent of the food. Your protein source could be beef for high-quality amino acid. And thirdly, it should own 5% of carbohydrate coming from vegetables.

Cancer monsters, both in human and animal love sugar, glucose. With glucose powering the body, it aids them to multiply rapidly. While our anatomy can choose a secondary source of energy, neoplastic cells cannot. That’s where Keto diet is our knight in shining armor to eradicate these harmful cells. Ketogenic dog food forces the body to switch from glucose as its fuel to glycerol derived from fats.

The cancer cells in your canine can’t thrive in a body powered by glycerol. Hence, when you switch your pet diet to a keto dog food, you are practically slowing or terminating the growth of neoplastic cells.

Most times I hear people who have read of Keto diet discrediting it due to its adverse effects. I have conduct research on the topic and have found it to do more good than harm. The side effects are minimal and tolerable. With the guidance of your vet, you can work out a diet that works for your canine.

3. Chemo and Surgery

Conventional chemo and surgery is another option you could work with. Though expensive, it could resolve the issue for your canine. With the assistance of your vet oncologist, you can tackle the tumor cells in your dog. The drugs administered will target the malignant cells and kill them. The only issue that can result from this solution is that the vile villain could come back to life! That is, after spending close to $30,000 for both procedures. Yes, it is that expensive, and the size of your dog adds to the price. However, the chance of the tumor cells not returning still exist. So, you might want to go for it.

4. Avoiding Toxin Is A Good Practice

Your dog is sick, and you wouldn’t want to do things that will worsen his or her condition. I know this to be true. However, when you utilize materials that house poisonous chemicals around your canine, you are doing just that. To ensure that your dog doesn’t get in contact with toxins, you should empty your home, yard, and surroundings of these harmful products. Things like his or her shampoo, your lawn fertilizers, pesticides and a few others may contain harsh chemicals. If they do, it is time for a change. Go for tools, products, and accessories that are more bio-friendly. You can always buy a biopesticide for your yards and shampoos that are mild.

Don’t surround your cancer dog with PVC materials. I know we have some PVC dog products. While they might have you fascinated, remember that PVC is a carcinogen, a great promoter of tumor cells. Also, remove materials with the following chemicals: paraben, phthalate, and sulfate. They are all carcinogens.

Smoke is another toxin you need to keep away from your dogs. That’s both for those who aren’t suffering from cancer malady. The fumes that come from your automobile and cigarette can severely harm your pet. Mostly, the sick one. The closer it is to their nostrils the worse the situation gets. The father it is, the better.

5. Oxygen Or Ozone Therapy Is Worth Considering

Ozone therapy is not like Keto diet for dogs or Neoplasene, but it can help you tackle several kinds of cancers in your dog. These tumor cells don’t like oxygen. Hence, they won’t thrive in an environment with high levels of oxygen. Also, there is little to no side effects in this health practice. From the response of your canine, like coughing, the vet doctor knows its time to stop. However, it can assist you in taking care of inflammation, improving the immune system, among a few others.

6. She Or He Needs More Exercise Than Before

Now that you have learned of your dog’s health challenge, you might relent in her or his workouts activities. Wrong move. Voltage, which is the electricity in a healthy cell is critical for the recovery of your canine friend. You don’t get it by forcing him or her to rest. No. You get it by encouraging her or him to go out some more, to jump, use her or him reflexes, runaround. With a healthy exercise, you aid your dog to rebuild her muscles. That stops her from looking fragile and being depressed.

Also, we all know that workouts promote our immune systems. That’s the same for dogs, if not more. With a 20 miles a day workout scheduled for your dog, you encourage healthy cells. You keep her or him out of the traps of depression. And, you help her or him to sleep better.

Perhaps, your canine has issues moving. That shouldn’t stop you. There are productive methods to aid mobility. One of these methods is biomodulator. It helps both man and animals to relief pain and recovers movements. It is affordable too! So, you might want to read on it.

7. It’s Time To Grow More Caring

I know for every pet lover, at this kind of moment when your pet is ill, you grow more emotional. I do too, scared even. That’s good. They need it. Help her or him enjoy a comfortable life. Speak to her or him in a lively and comforting manner. Always show positivity and mean it! Tell her encouraging words. She or he hears you. Also, surround her or him with fun toys and the tunes she or he loves. While at that, try to ensure that your canine leads a less stressful life at these moments.

As a bonus. More like as an essential knowledge some of us canine lovers should be aware of, below I have listed the symptoms that come with cancer. That way, you and I can identify the threat wherever we see it.

  • An abnormal swelling that doesn’t recede or that continues to grow
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Infections or wounds that do not heal
  • They emit an offensive odor
  • They lose appetite
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Loss of stamina
  • Some part of their body becomes stiff
  • They grow lame
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in defecating
  • Urinating is a problem.

 

When you see these symptoms, in your canine or your friend’s the wise thing to do is check with your vet. Let’s know if it is time to grab our cancer guns.

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5 Essentials For A Raw Dog Food Diet

Do you want to switch to feeding a raw dog food diet but don’t know where to start? Raw feeding is the healthiest and most natural diet you can offer your dog, but it’s important to make sure they are getting a complete and balanced diet that contains all of the right components to keep your dog at his optimal level of health.

Here are 5 essentials for balanced raw dog food diet:

  1. Muscle Meat & Organs
  2. Fish
  3. Fats
  4. Calcium
  5. Veggies

Let’s explore these in more detail.

 

Why feed a Raw Dog Food Diet?

Everyone has a different reason for deciding to switch to raw feeding. Some believe that because a dog is an animal they should therefore eat what an animal would be eating if they were living a wild and natural life, eating as nature intended, one might say. This means offering a diet that resembles as closely as possible what a dog might hunt in the wild. Raw meat, organs and bones would be your dog’s natural instinctive choice.

Perhaps you are concerned about the impact that kibble could be having on your dogs’ general health and in particular their teeth if you don’t brush them regularly with a toothbrush. Gnawing on raw meaty bones is considered to be like natural flossing for dogs and keeps the breath fresh. Feeding a ketogenic dog food diet is also considered to be an anti-cancer dog diet!

The fact is that raw feeding is the best way to ensure that your dog’s health is the best it can be. So if you have decided that this is for you (and for your dog) congratulations, and welcome aboard. Unfortunately many people are put off raw feeding, not only because of all it’s gory glory, but also because it can seem pretty complicated if you are at the beginning of your journey of discovery and learning.

It is important, if you want to do this, that you do it right. Your dog can only reap the rewards of raw feeding if they are fed a balanced diet. Luckily we can break this down into five easy to remember components, so that you can make sure that your dog is getting a bit of everything they need, in the right proportions.

Muscle Meat & Organs

Muscle Meat is the foundation for your dog’s new healthy and natural raw diet. This is where their protein is going to come from. Muscle Meat is essentially good quality lean raw animal meat, which should make up between 50% to a third of their diet. Protein is essential for strong tissue growth and has an important impact on the hormones and enzymes your dog needs in order to function at their optimal health.

Muscle meat can be sourced from a variety of different animals, and the more variety your dog gets the better. When you measure out your muscle meat you need to take into account any bone as this will affect the weight of the meat content. Your dog may not be getting enough of the actual meat if your don’t.

Here are some ideas for the muscle meat component of your dog’s raw diet:

  • Chicken Breast & Thighs are a popular option because they are easy to purchase and inexpensive.
  • Ground Beef, Beef Cheek & Stewing Beef are also easy to find and affordable.
  • Turkey Meat is a good alternative to Chicken, as is Duck.
  • Lamb and Pork are other popular options.

You should also include organ meats, as these are the nutrient rich parts of animals that your dog needs to have in their diet. Don’t be tempted to skip out the organs just because they might be more difficult to find or more expensive. You should be feeding between 10% to 30% organs depending on what you are able to find.

Be careful not to feed too much liver though, as this is very rich in vitamin A, and may leave your dog with an upset stomach. If you are only feeding liver as an organ meat you should stick to just 10% or less. If you are able to find some of the following options, feel free to include more of a variety, and increase organ meats to make up to 30% of your dog’s meals:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Lung
  • Testicles
  • Brain
  • Pancreas
  • Thymus

If you are looking for pancreas and thymus, you might have better luck asking for “sweetbreads” as they are more commonly known in supermarkets and butchers.

Organ meat may be difficult for your dog to consume at first due to the unfamiliar flavors and textures – they may just not like it! Organ meat is also very high in nutritional value, which can loosen your dog’s stool if they are not used to eating it. It’s best to start them off slowly, and if your dog refuses to eat it at first, you can fry it off slightly in a pan, or mix it in with the muscle meat so that the taste is altered or disguised.

Fish

You can also offer your dog raw fish. It is best to feed a whole raw fish once weekly rather than slathering fish oil over poultry for their daily meals. Fish oil turns rancid too quickly. It is also a heat-processed product, which isn’t exactly natural or environmentally friendly.

Mackerel, sardines, herring and smelts are all good options for feeding a whole raw fish once per week. Alternatively you can add smaller fish to your dog’s meals more regularly. In order to balance out fats, fish should make up about 5% of your dog’s overall diet.

Fats

Contrary to what we as humans like to believe for our own diets, it is important to include fat in your dog’s raw feeding. It is also important of course to watch how much fat your dog is consuming. Fats are great for healthy skin, nerve and immune function.  Just remember that fats contain very little in terms of vitamins and minerals and twice as many calories as protein, so be careful with quantities.

Be aware that cheaper cuts of meat contain a lot more fat. You should aim to include less than 10% fat, but don’t be tempted to cut all of it out. Fat is still a healthy part of your dog’s diet. Keep in mind that the more your dog consumes, the less they consume of the good stuff, and so it’s good to keep things balanced.

Go for chicken necks or chicken and turkey (light turkey meat, not dark) without the skin, or cut the skin away before serving. Choose lean ground minces. Opt for Pork loin instead of pork belly. Avoid domestic duck, and feel free to feed rabbit, most fish and most wild game (minus the duck).

If you are able to feed whole fish or animals with the bone in, this is your best option, as they provide the perfect balance of all components. But often you will find carcasses in the butchers or supermarket with the organs removed, in which case you will have to replace them to make sure the meal is balanced.

Calcium

Calcium is an essential part of a raw diet for your dog. Bones are an obvious choice, and they contain both calcium and phosphorus, which are essential minerals that work closely together for your dog’s health.

Meat is also high in phosphorus, but low in calcium. If you only feed your dog meat in their diet they will certainly develop bone and nervous system deficiencies. Growing puppies in particular need enough calcium to help their developing bones and joints grow properly. If you are opting to include raw meaty bones as a main source of calcium, they are also great for oral health, and you can aim to feed them for about a third of your dog’s diet.

Did you know that you could also feed eggshells? If you feed the raw egg with the shell you will be providing the perfect ratio of calcium and phosphorus. Some dogs will lick out the sticky contents and leave the eggshell behind. If your dog does this you can easily grind up the shell and add it to your dog’s main food. It is important to use only farm eggs, as eggs bought from the grocery store will have had their shells sprayed with a toxic substance that could make your dog ill.

Fruit & Vegetables

Vegetables and fruit are a source of fibre for your dog, but whether you want to include these in your dog’s diet is a personal choice. Your dog won’t need you to add fruit and vegetables to their diet in order for them to survive and thrive. In the wild they would probably eat a certain amount of vegetation including grasses and berries. Much of the greens they ate would have been contained within the stomach of an animal that they have hunted down to eat, and will have already been partially digested.

However, fruits and vegetables can provide benefits that can’t be found in meats. For example, in your dogs gut live tiny bugs (probiotics). Indigestible plant fibres feed these bugs, which play an important role in your dog’s health. So go ahead and feed your dog some healthy fruits and veg with their meals.

To help your dog digest any greens that you would like to feed to them, you can juice, blend or lightly steam the veggies, which will help your dog to get the most out of the their nutrients.

To Summarise…

If you stick to these five guidelines you can have great satisfaction knowing that you are giving your dog a safe and balanced diet that mimics what they would choose to eat naturally in the wild.

You will be protecting them from all kinds of health issues and keeping them strong and vibrant, with healthy teeth and a gleaming coat.

Feeding a healthy raw dog food diet doesn’t have to be confusing or stressful, and the best thing is that you will know exactly what is going into your dog’s body, because you will be designing each meal yourself, and this will be reflected by what you see on the outside – a happy, healthy dog!

P.S.

If your dog suffers from a severe health problem, for example, cancer, diabetes, or obesity, we recommend to try out a ketogenic diet, which is not only low carb, but also has extra healthy fats.

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Ketosis VS Ketoacidosis

Couple years ago after our family vacations, our daughter got Ketoacidosis. At that time, I didn’t know anything about ketosis. But I remember reading somewhere that every time a woman hears “ketone bodies” they go crazy and get scared.

I still remember the moment when I told my wife that I was planning to experiment with a ketogenic diet. She said I was crazy and that I would die as it was very dangerous, etc. And I got a bit confused at that moment….

I carried out some deep research on the keto diet and could not find any evidence about the danger of ketone bodies. I even went to see our family doctor and asked what she thinks about ketosis. And while she was explaining to me what ketone bodies are, she mentioned ketoacidosis. “You mean ketosis”, I double checked. “No, I mean ketoacidosis”, she answered.

I went back home to investigate. It turns out ketosis and ketoacidosis (actually it’s called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA) are different things.

Here are the basics you need to know about ketosis and ketoacidosis (spoiler alert: ketosis is good, and ketoacidosis is dangerous). First, let’s break the terms down….

Ketosis

A metabolic state where the body is primarily using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Burning carbohydrates (glucose) for energy is the default function of the body, so if glucose is available, the body will use that first. But during ketosis, the body is using ketones instead of glucose.

This is an amazing survival adaptation by the body for handling periods of famine or fasting, extreme exercise, or anything else that leaves the body without enough glucose for fuel.Ketone bodies are released during ketosis and are created by the liver from fatty acids. These ketones are then used by the body to power all of its biggest organs, including the brain, and they have many benefits for the body we’ll get into later.

Ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

An extreme dangerous metabolic state that is most commonly seen in people with type 1 diabetes and sometimes type 2 diabetics if they aren’t properly managing their insulin and diet.

Many people, including doctors, can still confuse ketosis as DKA or assume they’re the same thing. But they aren’t. With DKA, the ketone amount in the body is extremely high, leading the blood to turn acidic.

“While low-carb diets are a great way to get into ketosis, they generally won’t induce ketoacidosis, a severe form of ketosis typically seen in people with poorly controlled diabetes. Dietary ketosis is harmless, according to a 2004 review published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, while ketoacidosis is not.

That’s because people in ketoacidosis produce ketone bodies so quickly they overwhelm their natural buffering systems, throwing off their delicate blood pH. Because your organs only work at a certain blood pH level, ketoacidosis can cause coma or even death. If you’re noticing early signs of ketoacidosis, like vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive thirst and frequent urination, seek immediate medical attention.”

(Source: Live Strong)

And this infographic below answers all questions about difference between ketosis and Ketoacidosis …

 

Dogs

Nothing much to add. All information above applies for canines too. However, dogs can’t talk so it is very important to see symptoms of ketoacitosis.

The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis can resemble the warning signs of a diabetic condition, which also requires medical attention. The difference is that diabetic ketoacidosis is the body’s final effort at survival before succumbing to diabetes. Here are several symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis in dogs.

  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Dehydration
  • Sweet breath
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Unhealthy, rough coat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dandruff
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden impaired vision
  • Jaundice

And don’t forget to leave out a bowl of fresh water all the time. And if your dog is on a ketogenic diet don’t forget the minerals too, like zinc, magnesium and potassium.

P.S.

I’m still reading about ketosis online in one those fancy cafes that are everywhere nowadays. I just ordered an overpriced (would prefer cheaper of course) glass of sparkling water with lemon. Asked for salt and they offered me Himalayan salt (that’s cool). I then sprinkled the salt on top of the bubbles. The water started almost boiling twice as normal. Mixture was consumed at once. Now I am ready to walk my dogs!

P.S.2

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR MINERALS AND WATER TOPPED UP.