Pennee is a little dog I had been treating for a few months. She had been to two vets. The medication she was prescribed made her groggy and disorientated. They hadn’t stopped the seizures, so were eventually stopped.
Gemma brought her to me.
When a homeopath takes a case, we examine everything we can in the life of the patient. On examining Pennee’s diet, Gemma assured me she was feeding her a raw diet with a chicken neck every day.
I prescribed a homeopathic remedy based on the details Gemma gave me.
Things did improve for a while, but then slid downhill again.
Not wanting to go back to a vet, and not being able to cope with managing Pennee, Gemma asked me if I could take her on.
I like to get to the bottom of a problem as I know there is always a reason, so I agreed. Before handing her over, I asked for any peculiarities I should know about. It transpired that Pennee was now only getting a chicken neck once a week, because more ‘was making her constipated’. She was also being given dry biscuits. And milk. And she was incontinent.
For two weeks, Penny seemed normal. No seizures. Only one accident and that was in the early days, so was understandable.
I wasn’t giving her any remedies as I just wanted to watch and see. She was only getting raw meat and chicken wings. Every day.
Then she started to vomit her meaty meals. At first, I thought that was because her routine had been changed. I was feeding her in the morning rather than her normal evening time.
But she started to refuse the meaty meals at any time of the day. However, she WAS eating her chicken wings, with gusto. Without vomiting. And she kept asking for food. So I gave her some bare sheep bones.
For a little dog, she really tucked into them, leaving hardly a trace.
I was getting beginning to ‘get it’ and it was all coming together.
There was no trace of seizures in her family history. She was a breeding dog and the seizures had started with her first littler of puppies. She was having seizures around the stud dog.
As a puppy, she herself had been a little small for her age. Perhaps she was the runt of the littler.
Putting it all together, I felt she had a chronic calcium deficiency all her life, starting with her puppyhood. Then, with the high demands on her body for calcium, during pregnancy and lactation, it was being robbed from her own bones and teeth, causing the seizures.
I assume the seizures around the stud dog were because she somehow knew another litter would cause her more problems.
It’s well worth listening to your dog (or cat or child), to their body language. When we can get past our arrogant superiority, we can learn so much.
Pennee wasn’t getting enough calcium on a daily basis. Natural calcium. Not the calcium you can get as a supplement, which had helped her after whelping in an acute crisis. That isn’t in natural balance. She needed calcium from bones.
The stopping of the daily chicken necks had contributed with her increased seizures.
In nature, raw meat comes neatly packaged with bones for a reason. It’s essential for digestion. Without them, calcium is pulled from their own bones or teeth. Every meaty meal, or every day, dogs need bones.
Not only is it vital to feed everyone the right way, to provide the right nutrients for them, in natural balance, everyone is different. The other dogs in the family were not affected the way Pennee was. She is more sensitive to a deficiency.
Seizures from a calcium deficiency are a reality. Pregnant and lactating dogs need a lot more. For a small dog like Pennee, at least four a day would be a start, at these times.
Bones never cause constipation. And Pennee wasn’t constipated at all with me. When you feel there is an issue, give some grated raw veggies, which she was getting.
A calcium deficiency (also known as hypocalcemia) can also be caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight. Sunlight is essential for calcium absorption.
Please don’t think that the inclusion of milk in the diet provides required calcium. Milk is for baby cows. Not dogs (or humans), not adults, who are weaned. Certainly, there is calcium in milk and dairy products, but it is only available to the babies it was made for.
Other causes of hypocalcemia can be from an endocrine deficiency, but that can also be caused by the wrong diet. Calcium deficiency is common in people, and I suggest, common in dogs.
Calcium, being a macro mineral, is essential for good health. Seizures aren’t the only consequence of a deficiency, by a long way. Other physical signs can include muscle cramps, muscle twitching, muscle weakness, lightheadedness, heart problems. Mental signs can include anxiety, confusion, depression, hallucinations.
What was a little disturbing, is that the extensive tests both vets conducted didn’t show this up. I am well aware that veterinary tests (and medical) can be unreliable, but they should have shown a chronic calcium deficiency.
Be aware that seizures from a calcium deficiency are very real, especially in breeding dogs who are not fed a balanced diet. And the cause, the calcium deficiency, is unlikely to be picked up by your vet.
Pennee is now a healthy dog, no seizures, no health issues.