Comparative Studies in K9 & Human Epilepsy: Triggers, Trials & Tribulations. Can Solar Flares, Lunar Phases & Weather Trigger Seizures?
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A solar eclipse. A full moon. A lunar eclipse. Severe storms. Devastating hurricanes. Geomagnetic or Solar Storms.Tonight - May 15, 2022, the full moon will also be a "Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse"~ which could be a double-whammy for dogs who experience seizures.
Lunar Eclipse & Full Moons
While the effects of such lunar activity seems to be debatable, people who have Epi-dogs that have been triggered know different. According to Meaghan Callahan, DVM, MS, CVA (Veterinarian and Acupuncturist at Pebble Creek Animal Hospital in Tampa, Florida) in an article in Heavy.com, "There is, in fact, anecdotal evidence revealing changes in animal behavioral dating back over 700 years. There is so much we, as scientists, do not yet understand about the interactions of the solar system and it’s effects on the animal kingdom, however in my opinion, there is a direct correlation,” Dr. Callahan explained.
Is it just a belief or reality?
According to the National Library of Medicine in the Lunar phases and seizure occurrence: just an ancient legend? paper, "The authors retrospectively reviewed all neurologic records of an emergency unit from 1999 to 2003 to identify a potential association between lunar phases and seizure occurrence. Overall 859 patients admitted for seizure occurrence were divided into the four quarters of the synodic month according to moon phases. A significant clustering of seizures around the full moon period was observed, supporting the ancient belief of periodic increased seizure frequency during full-moon days.
In September of 2017 (when this post was originally written) according to NASA, “Two solar flares were released by the Sun (on September 6), on which was the most powerful flare recorded since 2008.” What are solar flares? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center reports that “Solar flares are large eruptions of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun lasting from minutes to hours” and, while they do occur periodically, this powerful one set a “strong geometric storm watch” in effect for several days.
What Does All This Mean For Those with Epilepsy?
According to NeuroResearchProject.com, from a medical hypotheses on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) PubMed.gov, “Admissions of 762 patients for epileptic seizures and 1,553 for dizziness were studied for the connection with the level of monthly and yearly solar activity in the 11-year solar cycle and with four levels of daily geomagnetic activity levels (400 epileptic patients and 802 patients suffering with dizziness). Conclusion: Admission of patients with epileptic seizures and dizziness are related to geomagnetic and solar activity.“
Really interesting that humans and canines share some of the same triggers! Also, that dogs sense major weather and environmental changes. I know cats also really pick up changes as well. I remember during Hurricane Sandy there were reports of the cats in Atlantic City at the boardwalk leaving a day before the storm and returning a day after the storm. They seemed to know it was coming.ReplyDelete
Yes, for sure...I never underestimate the instinct of an animal. When I had horses, they always alerted me to things way beforehand. Animals are truly so amazing.Delete
What a thorough invitation to understand epilepsy better in both pets and humans! Your discussion about the disease and its connections to outside factors like weather and solar flares helps make clear how complex managing it can be...and how much we still need to study. Great job with providing followup and resources as well.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Susan! And thank you and Paws to People for being such a valued resource for both pets and humans.Delete
This is such a great post. Luckily Buster has only ever had 3 seizures, but they happened 100% identically. When I started researching and looking into it, I was finding the same things about how seizures in humans and dogs are very similar. I then read the book Pets on the Couch by Dr. Dodman, and it is such a thought-provoking and incredible book. I will definitely check out that webinar! It's interesting that are looking at GI health. In Chinese medicine, GI health is often considered the root of a lot of skin problems, and a lot of the herbs that are beneficial for skin problems are also beneficial for seizures/calming, etc. Interesting how that works!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Alix! Yes, the "gut" can be the root of many health problems - for me, my acupuncturist and chiro help me keep my GI healthy in my battle with RA and Fibroymyalgia, and IBS. I used a combination of both traditional and holistic for controlling beloved Epi Gibson's seizures and also I did alternative therapies to treat side effects of medication, without adding more medication. I am *so* glad that your Buster only had three seizures! May he never have another!Delete
Humans and animals have more similarities than people realize. This was a very interesting read. This is a good resource for pet owners who have pets with epilepsy.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lola. In my Gibson's name, I hope to continue to bring info and news that will help other Epi-dog families on their journeys so they never feel alone.Delete
First. congratulations / Mazal Tov on being a finalist - WOWReplyDelete
I never realized there were similarities and this post was such an eye opener for me and you are such a great resource on this subject, thank you
Thank you, Ruth! There are so many factors that come into play with Epilepsy, and I'm so glad to see the comparative studies and research being done. Maybe...one day...we can cure this seizure monster once and for all.Delete
I'm just reading Dr. Dodds' book on hypothyroidism; I wonder whether anybody did a study about how those two might correlate.ReplyDelete
Hi, Jana. Yes! Excellent pondering. There most definitely is a correlation. My Gibson was treated for hypothyroidism, which I've discussed in the past on my show and here, and Harley recently had a seizure, which we believe was due to the same. (I actually wrote a blog about hers here: https://fivesibes.blogspot.com/2017/08/an-unwelcomed-visit-from-old-foe.html). And this is Dr. Dodd's article on it over on the Canine Epilepsy Resources site: http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/Lowthyroid.htmlDelete
Thanks for being such a wonderful advocate! We enjoyed reading about the good things going on.ReplyDelete
You are very welcome!Delete
Wow I never knew their was a relationship between having seizures and solar activity. When I had an epileptic dog, she would have about 4 seizures a week and they mostly occurred when she was sound asleep - no pacing or pre-seizure anxiety. Very interesting study.ReplyDelete
Seizures are wild card. There are many types and it can be very nerve wracking figuring out (if one can) what causes them. My Gibson had his in his sleep, which is most typical, and also when awake. Thank you for your kind words about the study. Hopefully, it will help others.Delete
I know cats are very sensitive to changes in pressure. We find them coming indoors here when there is a big change. This also chimes in with what I heard about the polydactyl cats at Hemingway's House. before the Hurricane arrived they ALL headed indoors!ReplyDelete
I can see that such changes in weather can also make a big impact on the life of a sensitive dog.
They sure can. Not to mention, I do believe animals have a keen sense when something is changing or danger is ahead.Delete
I've never known a pet with epilepsy, so I had never thought about how some dogs will be Epi-Dogs. What fantastic resources you have here. The similarities in how seizures may begin is striking.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Irene. I hope the resources can help others seeking information to help them in their journey with a dog with epilepsy.Delete
This is really fascinating! I can't believe so many things can trigger a seizure, especially atmospheric happenings. I always wonder about flashing lights - it irks me that there is so much of that everywhere you go these days, I can imagine how many people get seizures just because of that! Our town has flashing camera lights on main roads that are SO distracting! I honestly don't know how they are even allowed to do that.ReplyDelete
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Cathy, you are so right! Flashing and strobing lights has a huge impact on both humans and animals with epilepsy. And we do have so much of that today; it seems any where you look, something is flashing!Delete
What a great resource for anyone wanting to know more about canine epilepsy!ReplyDelete
I had no idea that there was a correlation between sun flares and seizures, of course, now that I think about it, it makes sense.
My pets are mostly inside animals and they don't seem to be very sensitive to weather patterns. Of course, living in Central New York, we don't have a lot of big storms, except snow storms.
Thank you, Beth! We are very fortunate living in NY with reference to less storms than other areas. So many things can trigger a seizure, but thankfully, there are some ways of hopefully helping to either lighten them or hold them off. Although, that is not always the case.Delete
Thank you for sharing the webinar link. I hope to be able to attend that call.ReplyDelete
I hope you were able to tune in!Delete