Ask Our Vet: Rosemary and Seizures

Q: I’ve heard that rosemary can cause seizures in pets. Is this true?

A: Rosemary is listed by AAFCO as generally recognized as safe. It is known for its natural antioxidant properties and has been used in pet diets for many years.

Additionally, Greg Tilford, a leading expert in veterinary herbalism, actually uses rosemary (the herb) as a treatment for seizures. He has a very good chapter about seizures in his book, Herbs for Pets.

Other sources I have read list the rosemary extract, not the herb, as an ingredient that might lower the seizure threshold (meaning, increase seizure potential) in an animal. In an animal that already has the potential to have seizures, you would want to avoid the essential oil or extract. But in an animal that does not have seizures, rosemary in any form should be fine.

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