The Importance of Protocol

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. My huMom was recently asked about what she meant when referring to following a protocol when the dog gone ugly epi monster comes lurking about. Today I will explain.

First thing I need to point out is our interpretation of the word protocol has been slightly modified from it’s original meaning. The Merriam Webster dictionary states a protocol is, “a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette & precedence”. My huMom uses the word protocol to describe the steps we take during an epileptic event, based on passed experiences.

I fought off the monster just the other day, so I will use that event as an example of our protocol. At the first sign of an imminent attack by the monster, huMom begins the protocol.

First step is to get the ice pack & apply it to my lower back. Next step is to get my cluster buster into me. I take Keppra, usually in a slice of banana or in my veggie mix. She will also do OCT (Ocular Compression Therapy) if possible. Sometimes the monster attacks so quickly there is no time to try & “Prevent an Event”, regardless our protocol is followed as closely as possible.

When I do have a grand mal, huMom is with me, applying the ice pack & doing what she can to keep me from injury. She will talk gently to me with reassuring words as I come out of the seizure.

Once I come around, I’m usually frantic. I may also be temporarily blind. Another step in the protocol is to make sure I have room to dash without getting hurt. For example she closes off the stairs so I won’t try to go up them. The laundry room door will be shut because I might end up behind the washing machine in my frantic state. This limits me to the living room & kitchen where huMom can be with me.

Next, food is given because I will be famished. A seizure is like running 20 miles full speed. My blood sugar needs to be stabilized. I get a spoonful of unpasteurized, pure raw honey along with a “breakfast”. I will next be offered a kong filled with coconut oil. huMom will hold the kong while I lick at it. This gives me something delicious to focus on & will calm me down until the Keppra kicks in.

Once the event is over & I’m resting, huMom will make notes in my seizure activity journal. This is important for my vet to see. huMom will make note of the weather, the moon phase & if anything out of the ordinary has happened. This can help spot patterns & possible triggers that we can try to avoid.

Having our protocol helps give a sense of control & focus. It’s very hard for any human to see their furbaby/best furiend go through an epileptic event. Keeping to a strict protocol means your focused on something other than your emotions.

Do you follow a protocol? I’d be interested to hear about how you fight the ugly epi monster.

CEO Olivia

Are You New To Canine Epilepsy?

News

CEO Olivia

You’ve adopted a good dog, that’s wooftastic. You’ve enriched three lives, yours, the new good dog & the good dog you just made room for at the shelter. But when adopting, often the history of the dog may not be known. What if your new dog has epilepsy? Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Hello, my name is Olivia & I live with canine epilepsy.

My huMom had worked in the veterinary field for many years & had some limited experience with epileptic dogs, yet my first seizure was still terrifying for her. Don’t feel bad if your frightened. At the first opportunity after that first seizure, you should get your good dog to the vet for an assessment. If you get the diagnosis of canine epilepsy, don’t despair, it can be managed. Ask your vet lots of questions & if you’re not satisfied, seek out a vet more experienced with canine epilepsy.

Having a good dog with epilepsy requires devotion, patience & a huge heart. Strict regimes must be followed for medications. Those regimes may change several times over the years as may the medications. Finding the right cocktail may take time & what works now may not work later.

You must be prepared for an event 24/7. A degree of selflessness is always required when caring for a companion animal, more so if this includes battling epilepsy. It’s not about you, in fact, you must leave your ego behind & your emotions in check because you have to remain focused, calm & attentive.

Knowledge is power, so learn all you can, there is an abundance of information out there & research is ongoing. There are many support groups that can be found on the internet.  Many families are fighting the same fight as you.

Follow me on my Facebook page, Oh the life of Olivia. There you can connect with other epi-warriors like myself & their families.

The Wally Foundation is our charity of choice because they help qualifying families with the cost of epilepsy medications & medical costs.

Canine Epilepsy Resources is a site with an abundance of information.

You can also download my free eBooks, there are more coming soon.

Just remember, you’re not alone. There are many, many dogs living with epilepsy. Reach out, educate yourself, be flexible to change. Your good dog is depending on you.

CEO Olivia

 

How Many Spoons?

News

dog spoons

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. Today I’m going to explain something called spoon theory & how it applies to us good dogs. So first, what is this spoon theory. With humans it works like this, every morning, a human with a chronic illness wakes up with a certain number of “spoons.” Spoons represent the number of activities or interactions that they can handle in a day. Once they run out of these spoons, they need to relax & recharge. If they don’t, it could result in a physical or mental crisis.

The big difference between dogs & humans is humans can chose how they “spend” their spoons. They can plan the day to manage how the spoons will be used. Dogs don’t have this ability. For the most part our humans decide which path our morning walk will take, what & when we eat, who we can interact with & so on.

How many spoons a dog starts the day with really depends on the individual. Happy dogs may have many more spoons than say a fearful dog. A spoon is removed from a good dog’s collection every time they are expose to a situation that makes them uncomfortable.

Stress signals may include:

  • Stiff body
  • Ears pinned back
  • Whale eyes (wide eyes with lots of white showing)
  • Leaning away from you

If a good dog has run out of spoons it may react badly such as biting. But it’s not the dog’s fault, it’s reacting to being stressed beyond it’s abilities to cope.

As a dog parent, it’s your job to recognize stress signals in your dog & try to prevent situations (or people) that cause them anxiety. For your dog, this may mean scheduling your daily walk for a time when fewer bicyclists are on the trail, or leaving your dog home instead of taking them to the store with you. It could mean giving your dog “me time” when they can relax with a Knotty Toy or enjoy a nap.

Most importantly, it means being present with your good dog & knowing when to remove them from a situation. A dog isn’t able to say, “Hey, I’ve got one spoon left & if this kid pulls my ear one more time, I’m done!!” You are your dog’s spoon-monitor.

My huMom & I would like to thank the Facebook Group, “Naturally Ally“, for posting about this interesting topic. The group is run by the huMom of a fallen epi-warrior & focuses on natural & holistic approaches to fighting canine epilepsy.

CEO Olivia