Seizure disorders generally occur in about 1 to 2% of dogs, but the incidence in certain breeds can be as high as 15 to 20%. A seizure is a reproducible change in behavior which represents a paroxysmal, uncontrolled, transient electric discharge from the neurons in the brain (Clemmons, 1997). Seizures disorders may be categorized as idiopathic epilepsy, acquired epilepsy or active seizure disease.
Inherited (idiopathic) epilepsy, which is due to an inborn biochemical defect of neurons, is related to Kidney Jing Deficiency causing Wind. Acquired epilepsy, which is due to the presence of an old injury, is related to Stagnation causing Wind. In both cases, the epilepsy leads to abnormal electrical activities in the brain. Of these, idiopathic epilepsy is a common cause of recurrent seizures in dogs.
Epilepsy represents a seizure disorder where the seizure is the disease and treating the seizure treats the disease. Alternatively, active seizure disease is defined as a seizure disorder where the seizure represents only one symptom or manifestation of the true disease process (i.e. metabolic disorders, infections, neoplasia, toxicities, and various systemic diseases). In this case, treating the seizure only treats the symptom, not the disease; thus, one must ascertain and treat the underlying pathologic condition to heal the patient.
In TCVM, "seizure" is called Chou-feng and "epilepsy" is called Xian Zheng. Both seizures and epilepsy belong to internal wind syndromes. Su Wen (General Questions) contains some of the earliest written discussions on epilepsy:
Why epilepsy occurs? Its etiology traces back to the fetus in the mother's uterus. When the mother was frightened/scared, her Qi flowed up but was unable to descend. Qi and Jing stayed together (Jing was consumed); consequently, her child would have epilepsy.
Western Medical Indications:
Internal Wind due to Wind-Phlegm
Loss of consciousness
Possible urinary and fecal incontinence
Screaming and foaming at the mouth
Pulse: Wiry and slippery
Tongue: Red or purple, white greasy coating
Caution during pregnancy
Dosage for Horse:
15 g twice daily as top dressing on feed
Dosage for Dog/Cat:
0.5 g per 10 to 20 lb body weight twice daily
Use as needed up to 6 months
Chinese Principles of Treatment:
Expel phlegm, extinguish Wind, open the orifices, and stabilize seizures
Ding Xian Wan from Yi Xue Xin Wu (Medical Revelation) by Cheng Guo-Peng in 1732.
Ban Xia-Pinellia, Chen Pi-Citrus, Chuan Bei Mu-Fritillary, Dan Nan Xing-Arisaema, Dan Shen-Salvia,
Deng Xin Cao-Juncus, Fu Ling-Poria, Fu Shen-Poria, Gan Cao-Glycyrrhiza, Gan Jiang-Zingiberis, Hou Po-Magnolia,
Jiang Can-Bombyx, Mai Men Dong-Ophiopogon, Quan Xie-Buthus, Tian Ma-Gastrodia Elata, Yuan Zhi-Polygala Zhu Ru-Bambusa