Hello everyone, Canine Executive Officer Olivia here. I live with canine idiopathic epilepsy. That means I require a little more care than your average good dog. There is no cure for epilepsy yet, but it can be managed through medications & a healthy diet. It’s a challenge but in my case, it doesn’t prevent me from being a happy dog enjoying life.
Here are a few of my thoughts that I like to bark out to those new to living with epilepsy but also for veterans like myself.
Having a good dog with epilepsy requires devotion, patience & a huge heart. You must be prepared for an event 24/7. A degree of selflessness is required when caring for a companion animal, more so if this includes battling epilepsy. During an event, you must leave your ego behind & your emotions in check because you have to remain focused, calm & attentive.
When working with your vet don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions. Your vet may not have experience with epilepsy so don’t be afraid to share information with them as well. If you’re not achieving good management, maybe seek out another vet with more experience. Seeing a neurologist can also be very helpful. I’m fortunate to have a vet who has experience with epileptic patients. She regularly consults an animal neurologist on my behalf.
There are many different drugs to help manage epilepsy but sometimes finding the right dosage & combination of medications can be a matter of trial & error. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the right cocktail right away. Also, what works now may not work down the road. Although this isn’t always the case, my medications have had to be adjusted or changed several times over my lifetime.
Epilepsy can also be costly. The Wally Foundation ~ Canine Epilepsy, our charity of choice, help qualifying families & organizations such as shelters & rescues with the cost of epilepsy medications & medical costs. They also redistribute donated medications.
Knowledge is power, so learn all you can, there is an abundance of information out there & research is ongoing. There are also many support groups that can be found on the inter-webs (see below). If you don’t already, come follow me on my Facebook page, Oh the life of Olivia. There you can connect with other epi-warriors like myself & their families.
There are many, many dogs living with epilepsy. Reach out, ask questions, educate yourself, be flexible to change & always remember, in the fight against the monster that is epilepsy, you’re not alone. I’ve got your back.
CEO Olivia ❤