Food Brands to help epileptic shih tzu cross pug

Hi i am new to all about dog food but was wondering if you could offer any advice.
My dog has seizures and this year he has more than he ever has he currently on arden grange chicken and rice with wainwrights meat trays.
Ive read alot and it looks like a grain free diet with taurine and omega 3 and 6 is helpful and to avoid rosemary.
There is that many dog foods that i really dont know which to try him with hes a shih tzu cross pug very lazy also overheats easily so really want to help him. Trying to avoid medications and try changing his diet incase he has intolerances.
I would appreciate any advice.

Hello Vanessa - welcome to the forum. I have never had an epileptic dog so I don’t have any personal experience. I have previously read up about taurine but in relation to heart disease - cannot remember reading about epilepsy. As you doubtless know, taurine is an amino acid and Dogs Naturally has this to say about it:
“One of the effects of Taurine in the body is as a controller of nervous impulses, and supplementing your dog’s diet to give him higher levels can raise the threshold at which fits are triggered.”

According to Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels website it is considered to be a safe supplement, the dose being 200 to 1,000 mg. per day.

You asked about food containing taurine and I remember that it is mainly found in meat proteins so it might be worth considering something with a higher meat content. Arden Grange Adult has 27.2%. However, the Wainwright’s will boost that somewhat, dependent on how much you are giving.

There is an article about taurine on this this website here. At the bottom of the page there is a link ‘Find foods containing taurine’ and if you click on that there are three pages of dog foods to choose from. A few of them score 4 stars and above and have a high meat content. Applaws looked promising but contains Rosemary extract. The other ones that meet this criteria and which do not contain rosemary (as far as I can see) are:
**Alpha Spirit
Natures Way Mature and Light
Taste of the Wild
Ziwi Peak ‘Daily Dog’ **

Please check the recipes out yourself to be sure about the rosemary and to determine whether any of them would be suitable.

Raw complete may be worth considering because taurine is reduced by cooking so it follows that there will be more of it in raw meat and fish. If you do consider this then it would be best to discuss with the manufacturer.

As your dog gains weight easily you will need to be very careful about how much you give as these are high quality/protein products. Dogs often need quite a bit less in quantity. If you do transition to one of them then do it slowly and be sure to weigh the food using 1g divisions digital scales, be it dry or wet.

The only other thing I can think of is that with regards to the therapeutic dose of taurine (given above as 200mg to 1000mg) it might be that the taurine in these products do not meet that level. The amount per 100g is not given on the food label so you would have to speak to the manufacturer about it. I think it might be useful to discuss this with the vet and ask if it would be best to give taurine as a supplement. Obviously you should discuss any changes with the vet too.

Please post back and let us know what you decide and how your dog is. We are interested and the information might be of use to someone in the same position as yourself.

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Hello and welcome to the forum, I have not studied this in any depth but found out recently on training RE epilepsy in humans that a ketogenic diet has been shown to be useful in controlling seizures. Again I have not had any experience of this but it sounded like a diet similar to atkins which is high protein and very low carbs. The diet has to be quite strict to be effective.

I have no idea if this is the same for dogs but perhaps something you could discuss with your vet.

I did find this article which looks interesting.

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This link might be helpful to you.
I’m a big follower of this guy. He has written a couple of books, his new The Dog Diet Answer Book: The Complete Nutrition Guide to Help Your Dog Live a Happier, Healthier, and Longer Life book is on Amazon.
Greg Martinez is a vet in America and has success with a couple of his dogs regarding seizures by simply changing their diet. I’m not suggesting that you purchase his book, but check out the link. There is also plenty on You Tube.
Hope it helps
Anita :slight_smile:

Lily’s Kitchen mention Epilepsy on their website.

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Thank you for all your replies.
I contacted arden grange since their performance dry has been recommended for epilepsy, the response was that since i give my dog meat trays he would be getthing enough recommended taurine and by putting him on performance it could lead to him gaining too much weight.
So then as suggested i looked into high protein low carb diets which seem to have helped many dogs but again this would mean high fat content which can cause more problems in the long run especially with my dog as he prefers to pretend to be a rug most of the time lol.

So im still confused on what to feed him but im thinking avoid grains, rosemary and other high allergy ingredients and go for a more natural good amount of quality proteins with omega 3&6 food. I was looking into aatu or eden but thought the protein content may be too rich from reviews and id rather not upset his tummy too.
I also checked out applaws but saw the rosemary :frowning:
I will have a look at lillys kitchen…

Oh ive also been reading about a supplement dorwest scullcap & valerian which says is used for epilepsy.

So no conclusion yet still debating what to use.

… i have just found out that arden grange use rosemary oil but i dont see it listed in their ingredients so i will definitely need to change his food asap.
Why cant all dog food just be natural and actually good for a dog especially with the price of some ‘premium’ products. Hoping to find a match for him soon :frowning:

It is a bit confusing and you have the added problem of the weight gain. As I mentioned before, if you go for a high protein/fat product you will have to watch the quantity very carefully in view of the weight problem. I’ve just found some cold pressed foods that don’t have rosemary. They don’t have added taurine but these products are not extruded at high temperatures so there should be less destruction of it.

Just wondering if it might help to try one of these and add home cooked food to raise the protein/taurine e.g. beef, lamb, dark chicken meat, eggs etc.

The fat content in cold pressed foods is very moderate and weight gain should not be too much of an issue as long as you are careful in giving the right amount. The products are:

  • Markus Muhle NaturNah and Black Angus. The latter is beef based and as you probably know, this is considered to contain good amounts of taurine. If you want more information about these products, please contact Gentle - details are on their website. * Gentle - I don’t see rosemary in their original formula or the new fish one but have a look yourself to be sure.
  • Guru - Guru Full on Feast doesn’t appear to have it either and that one is grain free. Their original Surf and Turf does have rosemary.

Raw meat is fairly rich in taurine but cooking reduces it. However, I see your point about it being high in fat. I find that by giving slightly less than the RDA of cold pressed food a small amount of raw can be given three times a week. I manage this by using Natures Menu Country Hunter nuggets which are grain free. Egg, raw or lightly scrambled as a substitute meal once or twice a week would also give additional taurine.

You can use the Dog Food Directory to filter out foods containing rosemary. If you need help with this, please ask.

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Seaweed - just spotted your link to Lily’s Kitchen. It is very useful so thank you for that. Have to say that it seems a sensible appraisal of a suitable diet for any dog, not just ones with epilepsy. One of their products would be worth looking at.

Vanessa - Natures Menu produce some wet foods that are lightly steamed so should (in theory) retain more taurine. As with a lot of quality wet foods the protein and (more importantly) the fat is high but as long as the food is weighed and given in the right quantity it might work. The recipes are very simple and they do not contain rosemary. I had my dogs on the adult pouches for a little while and they did not gain weight but I gave somewhat less than the RDA. It is a while ago now but IIRC my 8kg dogs were given circa 200g per day (two thirds of a pouch) but I ended up having to increase it to a full pouch for one of them as she lost weight. I find that weight gain becomes a problem if there is high fat coupled with high carbohydrate. As with raw, NM pouches have high fat but low carbs so this might be the reason why my lot did OK on them. In fact I could even give them treats! This food can easily be bulked up with suitable cooked vegetables.

You have made a lot of progress in narrowing down the criteria so hopefully you will be able to come to a decision fairly soon. I would be very interested to know how your search progresses and how your dog is on the new food. Please would you keep in touch?

Vanessa - I have been thinking about your little dog. Just wondering how he is. Did you come to any decision about his diet? I do hope that you are able to update the thread.

Hi, Vanessa, my dog has seizures too :confused: I sent an e-mail to Arden Grange to ask them about rosemary extract and their nutritionist Ness Bird answer me that the substance of rosemary, causing seizures is removed. It is safe to use their food, my dog eats pork and rice formula, now switching to salmon and rice. Raw feeding is problem for our dogs because it is to heavy for them, if you want you can cook meat and veggies, my GSP loves baked common carp and steamed veggies( carrots, zucchini, celery, potatoes) :wink: