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

Massages for Good Dogs Too!

Health, News

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Like humans, a dog can benefit get a great deal from a regular massage.

Massage is the practice of applying structural pressure, tension, motion & vibration to the soft tissue of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, joints & lymphatic vessels. Massage is a form of therapy which can be applied to parts of the body or successively to the whole body, to heal an injury, relieve psychological stress, manage pain, improve circulation, generally to promote well being on both the physical & emotional level.

The Many Benefits of Massage
  • increases circulation & lymphatic drainage to improve overall health
  • prepares body for surgery & reduces recovery time after surgery
  • stimulates muscles, increases flexibility & range of motion
  • relaxes endorphins that work as the body’s natural pain killer & provides a feeling of well being
  • reduces inflammations & swelling in the joints caused by arthritis & relieves pain from hip dysplasia, luxating patella, spinal problems & other ailments
  • relaxes intestinal muscles
  • reduces stress & relieves emotional pain caused by separation anxiety, vet & groomer visits, loss of another pet, prior abuse, etc
  • improves tone & elasticity of skin & maintains shiny coat

Who Would Benefit from Massage

    • every dog regardless of age or breed
Puppies & Young Dogs
      • Helps them accept handling by vets, groomers, etc.
      • Improves socialization
      • Increases trust of humans
      • Eases tension of new growth stages
Adult Dogs
      • Maintains optimum wellness
      • Slows developing problems of old age
      • Detects early changes that may signal injury or disease
Elderly Dogs
    • Helps maintain mobility
    • Stimulates circulation
    • Reduces pain

When is Massage Not Recommended

  • Animals with open wounds or blisters, with recent fractures, or animals with a fever should not be massaged

Massage can also address canine behavior issues. Jonathon Rudinger who has been instrumental in the development of the field of canine massage & is recognized as an authority on the subject says in his experience treating dogs who are fear-biters, food- or dog-aggressive, or who have separation anxiety, he first works with the stomach meridian around the mouth, the belly & the tail, & then takes the dog for a walk.  With time, these dogs pick up on Jonathan’s energy as a healer, & they become more confident in themselves, which in turn can correct a number of undesirable behaviors.

Overall, massaging your dog & or including message therapy into your dogs health practice is simply a good thing to do. Who doesn’t like a good massage?

CEO Olivia

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More Info:

International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork/Association of Canine Water Therapy.