Taurine

Questions about the influence of diet and metabolism on seizures.

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CapsFan
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Taurine

Post by CapsFan » Tue Jan 30, 2001 4:14 pm

I heard recently that increasing the levels of Taurine and Vit. C in the diet have helped reduce the number of seizures in a friend's dog. Is there any scientific basis for this? Can increased Taurine levels be dangerous?

Ned Patterson DVM
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Post by Ned Patterson DVM » Wed Jan 31, 2001 1:17 pm

I have seen some "holistic" vets recommend taurine supplementation and hypoalllergenic diets for canine epilepsy. I have not seen any scientific articles or reliable reports of taurine supplementation decreasing seizures in dogs.

Taurine is an amino acid and possibly a neurotransmitter. Dogs and most other species can usually synthesize enough taurine from other amino acids in the diet. Cats can synthesize some taurine but most if not all cats need some taurine in the diet. Before 1987 many cat diets were deficient in taurine, and some cats with taurine deficients develop one form of heart failure.
The heart failure will often resolve with a diet that includes normal levels of taurine.

There is some evidence that Cockers Spaniels that have low taurine and/or carnitine levels can develop a specific form of heart failure also although this is less clear than the cat scenario.

There are a number of reports that taurine has mild anti-epileptic effects in people. A few rat models have also shown similar mild effects. However one recent study in rats actually showed that rats on a taurine deficient diet actually had less seizures.

There are a few anecdotal reports of cats on a taurine deficient diet having seizures that improved once on a normal diet.

At the University of Minnesota we can measure serum taurine levels. If you are really interested in this I would recommend trying to find a vet that can have taurine levels measured. If they were truly low it would be worth a try to see if supplementation might improve seizure control. If the levels are normal I do not see any physiologic reason why taurine supplementation would be likely to significantly improve seizure control.

I have not seen any scientific evidence or strong reports indicating that Vitamin C help seizures in dogs. Vitamin C has many effects including effects on collagen synthesis,carnitine synthesis, protection against free radical damage, nitrate scavenging, and a number of other purported effects.

Dogs can make all of the vitamin C they need under most cirucumstances and don't usually need a source from food. This is opposed to guinea pigs,fish, some birds, and humans that cannot syntehsize vitamin C, and therefore need a source in their diet to prevent scurvy.

Vitamin C is water soluble and extra can be secreted out in the urine, so a little extra should not hurt. It is controversial whether a large excess can cause problems in
general, and to my knowledge there is not any scientific evidence either way in dogs. A recent report in people indicated that high dose vitamin C supplementation is sometimes associated with an increased risk for heart disease.

[This message has been edited by Ned Patterson DVM (edited 01-31-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Ned Patterson DVM (edited 01-31-2001).]

My poor St Bernard
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Post by My poor St Bernard » Sat Apr 10, 2004 3:06 am

My St Bernard had 8 seizures in a very short amount of time today. A mobile vet came over and recommended I use Taurine along with Phenobarbital because the Taurine rids the liver of toxins helping to protect against liver damage from the phenobarb. This is the first I have heard of taurine but if that is true it will make me feel more comfortable about keeping him on the pheno. I guess if it aids the liver in ridding the toxins it would also work on ridding the body of the toxins that cause seizures, would be my guess. My main question is that I was wondering if anyone is using taurine as a digestive aid and if so how would we be able to tell if it is helping the liver?

Dad_2_Brady
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Taurine

Post by Dad_2_Brady » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:15 pm

This is the first I've heard of Taurine. But I did a search on another website and found the following info which may be helpful:

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... aurine.htm

The Epi Guardian Angels is a website that I found very useful. After reading the article above, click on the "Home" option and visit other parts of the site. This may be helpful.

I'm really amazed that you were able to find a mobile vet to handle your problem!! I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't get Brady to the vet when needed. Consider yourself very lucky.

Good luck and keep us informed of the status.
Last edited by Dad_2_Brady on Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

My poor St Bernard
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Post by My poor St Bernard » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:59 pm

Thank you for the link I think I am going to get some Taurine first thing tomorrow. Yes I am VERY lucky to have found this Mobile vet. I truly believe Edison would have passed yesterday if it wasnt for him. If anyone is in the Denver Colorado area I will be happy to give you his information. Dad_2_Brady thanks for your help. This dog means the world to me and any information I receive I am truly grateful, thanks again

My poor St Bernard
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Post by My poor St Bernard » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:59 pm

Thank you for the link I think I am going to get some Taurine first thing tomorrow. Yes I am VERY lucky to have found this Mobile vet. I truly believe Edison would have passed yesterday if it wasnt for him. If anyone is in the Denver Colorado area I will be happy to give you his information. Dad_2_Brady thanks for your help. This dog means the world to me and any information I receive I am truly grateful, thanks again

GoobyCop
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Post by GoobyCop » Mon May 03, 2004 12:17 am

My dog is on Phenobarbitone and Potassium Bromide to control his seizure. Recently he has lots of seizures (only focal seizures, not grand mal) so I tried to give him 500mg Taurine as a go since the vet is still waiting for his KBr level (he thought he might have KBr toxic that itself triggers the seizure). On the same day, I also gave him heart worm preventive pill too. Also, I found a flea at home after hiking so I applied anti-flea spray too. All these three things were done within 3 hours time.

Then, he starts seizure, grand mal one, and also clustering. He's still having cluster seizures every few hours. I'm just wondering what triggered the seizure? Taurine? Heartworm tablet? Anti-flea spray?

My poor St Bernard
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Post by My poor St Bernard » Mon May 03, 2004 10:59 pm

Sorry to hear about your baby. I don't know much about heartworm tablets but my guess is that it was either that or the flea spray or a combination of both. I have heard that if taurine doesnt help it will not do any harm. So that is my guess. Let us know if you get it figured out.

GoobyCop
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Post by GoobyCop » Tue May 04, 2004 4:14 am

Thank you.

I did contact the vet the next day after the seizure episode started. He also suggested it was the spray that triggered the seizure, or with the heartworm prevention too. He asked me to bath him completely. But it was a day after the spray so I didn't think it'd of much help.

The only thing I can do now is to get hold of valium and thanks God he's not getting worse (fingers crossed).

yellowdog
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Post by yellowdog » Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:24 pm

Just my own expereince with taurine.....I started giving it to my dog in combonation with his KBr. I can report that he has not had a seizure now in over 15 months. Is it the taurine??? It's anyones guess really but it's too big of a big coincidence to disregard. True weighs 72 lbs and I given him 500mg BID

Sandy&Skye
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Taurine

Post by Sandy&Skye » Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:02 am

Hi - I thought you might be interested to know I took my Epi Boy to a Homeopathic vet 3 weeks ago. Along with 3 Homeopathic remedies (Tarantula, Agnus Castus & Phosphorus), Skye has been prescribed supplements of CoEnzyme Q10, Skullcap/Valarium tabs, Royal Jelly (product called Royale for Animals - 2 days a week only) one called EPITAUR 500 - A Nutritional Aid in Epilepsy for Dogs and Cats.

It says on the label: "Nutritional supplementing is important for animals with epilepsy. Epitaur 500 is specifically forumlated to provide optimum levels of specific deficient nutrients that are normally associated in epilepsy. High concentrations of taurine are found in the central nervous system, tauring is an essential building block for all other amnio acids. Taurine has a protective effect on the brain, particularly if the brain is dehydrated. In the nutritional world taurine is used in cases of anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, poor brain function, and most importantly, siezures.

Skye weighs 28 kilos and has 4 x 500 mg daily with his supper.

I feel much better knowing that he has this supplement.

The website for this product is: www.vetriscience.co.uk

Personally, I don't understand why this product wasn't offered to me by my conventional vet. It seems common sense to me that surely brain health and a healthy immune system is of paramount importance with an epilectic animal.

I am so glad we sought a Homeopathic input to Skye's epilepsy as well. Out of interest due to his conventional medication being increased his nose went like sandpaper. Now he has the supplements his nose is back to being a nice shiny 'blackberry'! I am told it is likely to be the zinc which has helped with this.

Sandra & Skye (with the Blackberry nose - ha ha)
SANDRA

kara
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Taurine

Post by kara » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:21 pm

In the process of trying to find out more about epilepsy, I have been searching for an alternative diet for our pup. I thought you might like to know that Innova puts taurine into their dog food. Their products seem to be pretty natural - the list of ingrediants is made of up a variety of foods not chemicals. Apples, carrots, potatoes, rice, etc.

jenadam
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Post by jenadam » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:02 am

In addition to taurine, I am also giving my dog Vit C at the recommendation of the neurologist. He is getting 500mg 2x a day. Does anyone know if this would cause an increase in urination? For some reason, my dog can't hold his bladder as long as he could before.

Thanks
Adam

Finndog
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Post by Finndog » Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:58 am

1000 mg per day seems aweful high for a dog, if its not being absorbed, its just being pee-ed away. this may be causing more frequent urination, not sure.

Innova is good stuff.

I would love to hear from the folks going the miracle-cure route via the homeopathic remedies (which are not scientifically tested)on the status of their dogs. I got sucked into the money making scam from one of my vets. Any idea how much all that crap costs? A 3 week supply for a 50# dog is roughly $50.00!

Finn just had more seizures and they got more severe and more frequent.
Finn, Irish setter
First Seizure 2/2/05
Last Seizure, 10/27/06
Lost my boy on 12/10/08

mgklly
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Taurine

Post by mgklly » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:53 am

We have started Buzz on Taurine about the time we increased his KBr and he has improved a lot. I don't know for sure what is working but I am not about to remove the Taurine to find out since even if it does not work it is completely safe.
We talked to our vet before starting it and she gathered some info from a vet neuro, he said that there is not much research done on this but has seen a case where as soon as the dog started on Taurine he went 10 months seizure free until its owner ran out and the dog had a seizure the next day, coincidence? It was enough information to convince me to try it.
Buzz
Gone but never forgotten
Dec 28/06 to Oct 27/08

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