Because Lafora dogs cannot metabolise starch into sugar, it makes sense to keep starch in the diet to a minimum. As the symptoms progress, you may find that your dog is less able to exercise and will therefore have a tendency to put on weight.
At Laforadogs, we do not recommend any one proprietary dog food as being particularly good, but the following general principals may help you decide how best to feed your dog:
- avoid any complete food with a high grain content (wheat, oats, rice etc). That includes even the most popular ‘high quality’ foods recommended by vets – some contain up to 50% grain! Check the ingredients carefully.
- don’t feed grain based snacks (e.g. Bonios, biscuits etc.) – try green beans, lightly cooked carrots etc.
- Look into foods that are naturally high in anti-oxidants, such as fish etc.
- Consider raw feeding – there are convenient, pre-prepared frozen options available that are low in starch, high in protein
- Consider home cooked. Dr Jean Dodds is a US based vet who has developed a home cooked recipe designed especially for epileptic dogs on medications that may adversely affect their liver.
Dr Clare Rusbridge, the UK’s leading expert in Lafora says:
“Anecdotally there is some evidence to suggest that dogs with Lafora’s disease are improved on a low GI diet – in other words a diet which is low in simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates e.g. glucouse and starch are easily and quickly digested and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream. There are many proprietary dog food diets that that have a low GI-index and/or are low in carbohydrates (look for a low grain content) and some owners use homemade diets however, remember that before changing your dog’s diet you should seek the advice of your veterinary surgeon. Starchy/sugary treats may aggravate Lafora’s disease and should be avoided.”
We also recommend ‘Canine Nutrgenomics: The new Science fo Feeding Your dog for Optimum Health’ by Dr Jean Dodds, the top US canine Nutritionist