Reducing Stress In Epileptic Good Dogs

Health

Happy dog face

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here.

Stress & anxiety are recognized to be major triggers in epilepsy, both in humans & us good dogs. Not only can they trigger a seizure, they can make the event worse, with possible clustering. It is believed dogs can be triggered by their human being stressed out.

Methods to reduce stress & improve the emotional state of people with epilepsy include relaxation exercises such as yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback & cognitive behavioral therapy. Some of these techniques can be adapted & may prove beneficial to dogs as well.

Trigger management is basically the recognition & avoidance of seizure triggers. A detailed journal is an effective way to identify triggers. Once a trigger is identified it may allow for their avoidance, or the use of behavioral therapy to eventually desensitize  the dog to the trigger using controlled exposure if possible. For example, maybe your walking route goes by a busy intersection that stresses your good dog. Selecting a quieter route may eliminate a trigger. The overall health of your good dog is important.  Any health issue or change in routine could create stress for your Epi Warrior.  Cats used to cause me a lot of stress; I can’t tell you why but they did.  Now that Jerry Underfoot is here my feline furiends do not create stress for me.  He helped to desensitized this issue for me.

The use of behavioral therapy principles can improve the mental health of dogs which also leads to less stress.  Simple things like daily snuggles or play time can keep stress at bay. Regular massage is both relaxing & a good bonding exercise. A dog who knows they are loved is a happy dog. Any training should be reward based not punishment-based. A shock collar should never be used. A steady, daily routine can instill  feelings of control in a good dog which may also reduce overall stress.

Dogs with epilepsy usually exhibit behavioral changes before a seizure event (preictal).  These changes may include restlessness, clinginess or fearfulness. It’s possible that  relaxation based interventions during this pre-seizure stage may be effective in shutting down an impending seizure. Ocular Compression therapy is a good example as it releases chemicals into the brain that instill calmness.  Calming music, essential oils like lavendar & frankincense can also help create a calmness in your environment

To sum it up, Dog’s like myself, who live with epilepsy may require a more calm & gentle life with a steady routine. Reducing stress & anxiety can possibly lower the frequency of seizure events.  Personally, my huMom is always aware of possible cause of anxiety in me & we do our best to avoid stressing me.

We would love to hear about your strategy for keeping your Good Epi Warrior calm.

Have you sniffed out my  free eBook Keep Your Emotions In Check?

CEO Olivia

8 thoughts on “Reducing Stress In Epileptic Good Dogs

  1. Our reference is the book: Four Paws Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz, DVM – A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs. We follow the Liver Meridians (Plate L) from belly to back toes and hold pressure points in the back paws – all with light touch. Ruby shows she’s relaxed and cooling when it works by dropping her tail between her legs and stretching her front legs – “reaching for the sky.” We do this every night before sleep time.

    Something else we’ve been trying: Bach Flower makes Rescue Remedy. One ingredient in Rescue Remedy is Star of Bethlehem – specifically for trauma. A drop of Star on her tongue seems to be helping pre- and post- ictal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wagnificent!
      Sounds similar to huMoms approach & my reaction to 💜
      Thank you so much for sharing this wooftastic reference book. I’ll have HuMom fetch a copy.
      Bach Flowers are wagnificent!
      We had the whole kit before the fire (we lost everything) . We consulted with the charts & used it frequently. Thanks for the reminder🐾
      💜nose nudges💜

      Like

  2. THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Relaxation is SOOOO important and so often over-looked. We use daily massages – especially to cool my liver. Did you know that an over-active liver can cause seizures? Relaxation should be lesson #1 for every new Epi-Warrior parent and instruction included from every vet. It also creates a very positive bond between human and Warrior. Thank you, Olivia. Ruby the Therapy Dog.

    Liked by 1 person

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