Good Dogs & Dental Health

Health

dog with toothbrush

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. This week I will be having dental surgery. I have a cracked tooth. It might be from chewing on a bone or I cracked it during a seizure. Regardless, it’s in need of repair. While I’m under I will also get a thorough teeth cleaning & will be xrayed to make sure the rest of my teeth are in good shape.

It just so happens all of this is happening now, in February which is National Pet Dental Health Month. Good oral hygiene is as important for us good dogs as it is for you humans.

In a previous blog post, I barked about a homemade toothpaste for good dogs. A small  toothbrush or a piece of gauze with a dab of toothpaste can help keep our teeth clean. Some good dogs may find it uncomfortable at first. Be patient & try to make it a positive experience. If it tastes good & gently massaging our gums feels good, it can be a rewarding bonding exercise.

My huMom cleans my teeth with a small finger sock that she made from scrap hemp canvas. I like the smell & taste, it’s soft, yet with a dab of Clean Teeth Gel it works wooftasticly. I didn’t like using gauze or other cloth so this was a big help for huMom.

Our good furriend Dista from Critter Comforts in Napanee, ON. did these two short videos for Knotty Toys for Good Dogs about brushing your good dog’s teeth.

My surgery will be on Wednesday morning, February 6th. Please send pawsitive thoughts. We both know I’m in the very best care but huMom will be anxious while I’m under anesthetic.

CEO Olivia

Seasonal Affect Disorder in Good Dogs

Health

dog looking out a snowy window

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. Today I’m barking about something called Seasonal Affect Disorder or SAD for short. It affects humans in the short days of winter but it also can affect your good dog. SAD is caused by a lack of sunlight & the vitamin D it provides. Symptoms are usually seen as having low energy & a low mood.

With a good dog, you’ll often see reduced activity levels & changes in their eating habits. Often times, a good dog will actually eat more in the winter months. You may also notice reduced playfulness & a “general malaise” as signs of SAD.

Light therapy is an excellent way to fight the effects of SAD. A full spectrum light inside combined with lots of trips outside during daylight can be very beneficial. Giving your good dog a vitamin D supplement is NOT recommended as it’s easy to reach toxic levels.

Toys & play time are also a good idea. Playing fetch or tug of war with a Knotty Toy is a wooftastic way to fight those winter blahs.

Do you get SAD? If so, what do you do to fight it? The sun is out so I believe I will go outside & lecture the squirrels on borders & territories.

CEO Olivia ❤

The Importance of Ice Packs

Health

CEO olivia with her ice pack

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. Today I want to emphasize the importance of having ice packs as part of your epilepsy preparedness kit.

During a seizure, the body temperature can rise rapidly & if the event goes on for more than a couple of minutes, there is a serious risk of overheating (hyperthermia). This can potentially cause serious brain damage. It’s vital to keep your good dog cool during or if possible before an epileptic event.

My huMom always has ice packs in the freezer ready to go. Our “go to” ice pack has a gel inside so it soft & is easy to conform to the shape of my lower back. Bags of frozen peas or corn are not recommended because they don’t get cold enough. In a pinch, use ice cubes wrapped in a towel or placed in a freezer bag.

The ideal location to place an ice pack is on the lower spine, ( see the chart below) just forward of the back hips.

where to apply ice packs on a dog's spine

If it appears I’m about to have a seizure, my huMom will apply an ice pack to my lower back & give me Ocular Compression Therapy. Sometimes the combination can stop a seizure from taking hold. Cooling can also lessen post ictal symptoms. When I do have a grand mal seizure, the ice pack is applied as soon as possible followed by a dose of my cluster buster ( Keppra) stuffed inside a small piece of chilled banana.

Further reading: Epilepsy, the Ever Changing Journey.

CEO Olivia