Can Dog Food Cause Seizures? Bad News

Can dog food cause seizures?

Your always happy-go-lucky pup seems to be unhappy, unsteady, and confused. Now your dog is having seizures. You may be wondering can dog food cause seizures?

Now the question is, can dog food cause seizures in dogs? 

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Another name for seizures is epilepsy and it is a nervous system disorder.

The straightforward answer to your question is that YES, dog food can cause seizures due to several reasons. No food directly causes seizures, but the combination of foods or some spoilage can cause seizures.

Can certain dog foods cause seizures?

There are several other causes of seizures, but none of them is our concern here. We are going to cover seizures that happen because of dog food.

Always make sure to read the labels on your dog’s food. Most of the time, these ingredients go unnoticed and cause different health issues.

  1. Toxic nutrients
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Food Contamination
  4. Pentobarbital
  5. Aflatoxins

What foods can cause seizures in dogs?

It can be surprising for you to know that nutrients can either be beneficial or dangerous for dogs.

But the point here is not about the nutrients causing the problem, but the number of nutrients available in food.

Deficiency and even excess of the nutrient can be harmful to the health of your darling dog. It is crucial to mention that a dog’s body can absorb nutrients at some specific level or up to a certain degree.

Some fat-soluble vitamins within the food can increase the toxic level and hence cause a seizure.

Vitamin D

Moving ahead in the list of the reasons why dog food causes a seizure. 

Just like nutrients, excessive levels of vitamin D is harmful to the health of dogs. You must check the percentage before bringing the food home.

There are some signs related to vitamin D poisoning, which directly affects the absorption of calcium.

The dog may suffer from kidney, liver, and heart issues. Blood vessel blockage is also a result of poor calcium absorption.

Some other issues are…

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or sometimes constipation
  • Drooling
  • Continuous water drinking and hence excessive urination
  • Weakness
  • Tarry stools
  • Amount of blood in vomit

Severe intoxication along with the toxic Vitamin D can lead to muscle issues and seizures.

Food Contamination

Contaminated dog food is not unheard of but it is mostly ignored. Contamination within objects along with spoilage is easy to spot.

However, some things are not as visible in dog food. Contamination, when ignored, can cause seizures in dogs.


Yes, it happens that Pentobarbital sometimes goes into the dog food and causes problems.

Pentobarbital is one of the sedatives which affects the brain and nervous system and slows down processing.

Within veterinary medicine, Pentobarbital is added for euthanasia.

Pentobarbital can get into dog food when it is present in the meat being used to make the dog food.

Even a certain amount of Pentobarbital leads to

  • Drooling along with vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ataxia
  • Neurologic issues
  • Lethargy
  • Coma
  • Collapse and even death

And yes, all these issues become the cause of seizures


Again, unacceptable levels of Aflatoxins cause series in dogs.

Aflatoxins are included in the class of poisons which is produced by fungi or molds. The fungi which produce the Aflatoxins grow in crops like wheat, corn, and white rice.

Primarily, Aflatoxins affect the working of the liver in dogs. In this way, dogs suffer from GI upset, jaundice, and as well as from anemia.

Most of the time, this dangerous poison becomes the reason for cancer in pups.

At the initial stage, dog owners can judge that their dog is consuming Aflatoxins by noticing the following signs.

  • Severe vomiting
  • No or less appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Bloody diarrhea along with jaundice

How can dog parents diagnose that their pup is in trouble and suffering from seizures?

For the sake of your help, I mention the common symptoms of seizures in dogs.

Signs of seizures in dogs

Aside from seeing your dog collapse from a seizure, there is a wide range of signs and symptoms that aids in determining that your pup has a seizure disorder.

  • Sudden jerking body movements in your dog are the first and most common symptom
  • Stiffening is also a sign of seizure due to dog food
  • Muscle twitching along with the drooling
  • Sometimes your dog shows a loss of consciousness
  • Chomping and as well as tongue chewing
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Sudden defecating or excessive urinating

Before getting a seizure, you may notice a sense of dizziness in your dog. Even most dogs stare at one point right before epilepsy.

Once a seizure hits your dog, it will appear disoriented. Not only this, but this painful condition also causes temporary blindness, which you may overlook.

Types of Seizures Common in Dogs

There is a wide range of seizures that affect the health and nervous system of dogs. The most common and popular kinds of seizures are focal, idiopathic, grand mal, and psychomotor.

Grand mal

From these types, grand mal is also referred to as generalized seizures. This specific type of seizure is happening due to abnormal electrical activity within the brain.

This condition can last from some seconds to even hours. Most of the time, the dog comes back to its normal state within a few minutes. Hourly condition is rare in dogs.

Focal seizures

Focal seizures are somehow similar to the grand mal condition, but the difference is their effect on one brain region.

There is a possibility that focal seizures may change into grand mal if they last for a long time. This means this condition can affect the brain entirely if not treated at the right time.

Psychomotor seizures

Psychomotor seizures do not cause the dog to collapse to the floor. Instead, this specific type of seizure causes strange behavior in a pup.

Your dog may start running around and may bite imaginary objects. Chasing its tail is also an effect of psychomotor seizures.

Most of the time, psychomotor seizures go unnoticed because there remains confusion about the dog’s behavior.

But you can detect it by noticing the same type of activities each time when seizures hit your dog.

Idiopathic epilepsy

Idiopathic epilepsy is mainly used for seizures for which there is no known cause. Dogs between six months to six years are more likely to have this type of seizure.

Also, the breeds which are more at risk of idiopathic seizures include

  • Australian shepherds
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • German Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Beagles
  • Border Collies
  • Collies

Now that you are fully aware of the signs and types of seizures, you should know your responsibilities. What to do when your dog is suffering from seizures?

What to Do If Your Dog has a Seizure

If your dog starts having a seizure attack, below are some suggestions for what to do.

  • Take a deep breath and stay calm.
  • Keep your dog away from the things which can cause injury
  • Keep in mind not to touch the dog’s mouth
  • Please do not put anything into the mouth of your dog when a seizure hits him.
  • Try to speak softly with him and try to keep him calm
  • Write down the time of the seizure; it will be helpful for the vet

It is crucial to mention that if seizures last for a long time, your dog may overheat. In this way, place a fan near your pup and serve him with continuous cool air.

Wrapping a cool and damp cloth around the paws can be an excellent way to cool him down.

Waste no time taking your dog to the vet. Call your Vet and schedule an appointment to provide a physical evaluation.

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