Olivia’s Annual Checkup Part 2

News

Hello everyone, this week I’m barking about my blood work, my results & huMom’s post check up phone call with my vet. They had a very long, detailed conversation where my vet answered all huMom’s questions as well as discussed how to move forward with my medications.

First I need to bark proudly that I am in excellent health. My Heartworm test came back negative.  This is a relief because we do not use prescriptive heartworm preventative medication due to the neurotoxic drugs in their make up. Instead we use Herbacoat which contains neem oil & citronella oil known insect repellants. My phenobarbital & Potassium Bromide levels  are well within safe range. This indicates that they are not in the toxic level & that if needed we could increase dosage but thank dog that’s not necessary.  Have I mentioned that currently I’ve have 75 seizure free days!  When going over my Wellness Geriatric Profile with T4 Canine & 4Dx Plus Screen-Canine Add-on results there were a couple levels that concerned huMom. Overall as I bark above I am in wagnificent health.

A CBC or Complete Blood Count  is the most common blood test pawformed on us good dogs & cool cats. A CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, & the ability of the immune system to respond.

Blood Chemistry are common blood serum tests that evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels, & more. They are impawtant in evaluating senior animals,  dogs & cats with vomiting & diarrhea or toxin exposure, those of us receiving long-term medications, & health before anesthesia.

T4 (thyroxine) is a thyroid hormone. Decreased levels often signal hypothyroidism in dogs, while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.

You can download this PDF – understanding your pets bloodwork

Getting back to my results & of course the levels that had huMom concerned, I should point out that huMom had not received a copy of my blood work when my good Vet Dr. Jodi called on late Saturday afternoon.  She called the following Monday & they were emailed immediately.  Dr. Jodi, as I mentioned was pleased with all the result except one.  An alkaline phosphatase level test measures the amount of alkaline phosphatase enzyme in the bloodstream.  Abnormal levels of ALP in the blood most often indicate a problem with your liver, gallbladder, or bones.  My ALP level was at 290U/L; remember I did not have my regular testing last year due to the pandemic & turn over of the Vet clinic so we had to go by the 2 previous years ( levels were 92U/L in 2018 & 104U/L in 2019).

We know that phenobarbital is hard on the liver & can cause liver disease & for this reason huMom immediately inquired into lowering with the intention of removing my phenobarbital medication.  Dr. Jodi listened to huMom’s concerns & said that we could but she would like to research scheduling a safe reduction for Olivia.  She would call huMom the following Wednesday with more.

I won’t lie, that call shook huMom even though she tried to stay calm for my sake.  She called her sister for support immediately & then reached out to several Epilepsy Warrior Moms who she is close with.  Having this support network pawsitively helped huMom to take a clearer look at things & feel pawsitive in her decision making & moving forward. Support is key.

Next week I’ll be barking about not only the second phone call but also the third call with Dr. Jodi. They were wagnificently interesting & impawtant.

Until then, stay safe.

CEO Olivia

My Liver Supplement

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. I want to continue my discussion on the supplements I take to help me cope with my AED’s (anti epilepsy drugs) & to keep me in top health. In today’s environment, all good dogs & cool cats can use a little help, not just us epi-warriors.

Today I’m barking about my Liver supplement. My medications can be harsh on my organs, especially my liver. Three times a year, my huMom gives me Liver Tone which is made by Omega Alpha. For healthy dogs & cats, Omega Alpha recommends a twice a year cleanse as sufficient but we do it three times due to my medications.

Urban dogs & cats are exposed to toxins every day. Car fumes, second hand smoke, food contaminants, pesticides & flea, tick & heartworm preparations & common drugs such as anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) just to name a few. They breath in toxins, they absorb them through the skin & ingest them. Eventually the liver has to deal with all these toxins, so a regular cleansing boost is key to a healthy good dog or cool cat.

Our liver is the primary organ for detoxification. In my case, it get’s stressed out by my medications. For example, one of my medications, Potassium Bromide can be described as a salty brine & I take a dose twice a day. Liver Tone is a natural herbal liquid based on both Chinese & western medicine. It provides antioxidants to the liver while it gently cleanses & provides a boost to it’s functions. It helps prevent fatty liver disease & boosts bile excretion.

Every good dog & cool cat will benefit from taking Liver Tone.

CEO Olivia

Note : We have been using Omega Alpha products for several years now & sell their products in our store but we are not being paid to endorse them.  We simply believe in their effectiveness.  My blood work & lab reports support this.

 

Canine Epilepsy & Cognitive Impairment

News

pug dog playing chess

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. I have a confession to make. I’m not always obedient & sometimes I may appear to be ignoring my HuMom.

The Royal Veterinary College of London may have an explanation. They have conducted several studies on the connection between cognitive function & epilepsy in canines. It seems that dogs with epilepsy may find it harder to obey commands, are slower to learn new tricks, have spatial memory deficits & are easily distracted.

In one study, when measured against non epileptics, dogs with epilepsy found it harder to obey a sit or stay command, were slower to learn new tricks, were more easily distracted by interesting sights, sounds or smells, & were less likely to pay attention to their human. Anti-epileptic drugs were found to worsen behavior, particularly potassium bromide & zonisamide, along with the use of multiple drugs simultaneously.

In another study, dogs with epilepsy more commonly failed to recognize familiar people, had difficulty finding food dropped on the floor, & paced or wandered without direction or purpose ( speaking personally, my meds make me pace a lot). Within the group of dogs with epilepsy, those with a history of cluster seizures or a high seizure frequency were most likely to show these signs, which may reflect progressive brain damage.

In the most recent study, dogs with epilepsy were found to show reduced performance in a spatial memory task. While most control dogs were able to immediately find a food reward in a room after a short period of ‘forgetting time’, dogs with epilepsy spent longer searching for the reward. These results are published in Veterinary Record today.  

The researchers, following the conclusion of these studies, recommend using reward-based methods when training a dog with epilepsy, & engage in brain-boosting training activities to improve their cognitive abilities.

My HuMom has always looked for ways to keep my brain sharp. I’m pretty smart & we want to keep it that way. That’s why I have puzzle games & sometimes I do a routine for a treat. She also feels all training should be reward based which is wooftastic for me. Besides, adverse training methods, such as using bark-activated collars, prong collars or verbal punishment are not effective & do more harm than good.

In closing, if you have a good dog who lives with canine epilepsy, just remember, he or she may be a bit slower & less focused than other dogs. You will need more patience, understanding & treats. Emphasis on the treats. BOL!

CEO Olivia