What is Ocular Compression?

Health

When it appears that the epi-monster is lurking about, that is, when I show warning signs of an impending seizure, my huMom uses a technique on me called Ocular Compression Therapy. She learned of it while researching canine epilepsy.

Have you ever rubbed your eyes when your stressed? People do this naturally as a way of calming down. By applying gentle pressure on one or both eyes, you stimulate the Vagus Nerve which then triggers a release of Gamma-Amino Butyric acid (GABA) which acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, calming nervous activity & if done in time, can shut down “messages gone out of control”, i.e. seizures, before they hit.

Applying ocular compression on your good dog is quite simple. Begin ocular compression as soon as signs of an impending seizure are present. You may be able to prevent a seizure from occurring.

Here’s how it’s done.

First, you will need to stabilize the head as best you can. Initially my huMom would sit in a chair & cradle my head on her lap. I’ve since become used to receiving ocular compression & have come to enjoy it. Now she can apply it any time, even out in the car.

If your good dog has already gone into a seizure, ocular compression may not be possible right away. It’s always important to avoid getting too close to a seizuring dog’s mouth as it may bite unintentionally.

Apply pressure – Once you’ve gotten the dog’s head stabilized, close the eyelids with your fingers or thumbs & apply firm, but gentle pressure. You should be able to determine the amount of pressure to apply. You should be just a little firmer than what it takes to read a pulse. If your dog resists you may be pressing too hard. Pressure should be applied for 5 to 8 seconds.

Release & repeat – Release pressure for another 5 to 8 seconds. Begin the pressure cycle again, releasing & repeating until you sense the dog’s relief from the seizure. Applied after a seizure, ocular compression can reduce post seizure effects.

Here is a short video that briefly shows how to do ocular compression therapy.

Here you can read a comprehensive article on Ocular Compression.

CEO Olivia

Non epileptic seizures ~ possible causes

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. I live with idiopathic canine epilepsy which causes me to have seizures. Sometimes a seizure can be caused by something other than epilepsy. Today I will give some examples.

The liver is responsible for removing toxins from the blood. When it starts to malfunction, toxicity can build & spread to other organs, including the brain. This can lead to what is called hepatic encephalopathy, which is the result of too much ammonia in the body. Some of the symptoms to look out for include being confused after meals, disorientation, head pressing, sudden aggression, lethargy, dark urine, vomiting, diarrhea, & yes, seizures.

Kidney disease or failure can also lead to seizures. Kidney failure can be caused by disease, urinary blockage, diabetes, lymphoma, genetics, & even some medications. Along with seizures, there may be weight loss, depression, diarrhea & vomiting, blindness, blood in the urine, & increased thirst.

Seizures can also be a symptom of a thyroid imbalance. Thyroid issues in dogs is often caused by a low functioning thyroid gland. ( Hypothyroidism). An exception would be in thyroid cancer which may, but not always, produce signs of Hyperthyroidism.

Being poisoned might also cause a seizure. It’s important to dog proof your home. Substances such as antidepressants, tobacco, aspirin, alcohol, marijuana, drain cleaners, gasoline, insecticides, & furniture polish can induce seizures when ingested.

Dogs do require some amount of sugar in their blood, in order to maintain the functions of the brain. Chronic low blood sugar – known as hypoglycemia – can be treated once diagnosed. The brain has a very limited ability to store glucose, & will be affected when blood sugar levels becomes too low. When this happens, a dog might experience a seizure.

Seizures may also be caused by a brain or spinal injury, a tumor or a disease like Encephalitis or Meningitis.

Finally, there is one cause of seizures that is preventable & that’s heat stroke. Never leave your good dog alone in the car on warm days. Nor should a dog be left outside on warm days without adequate shade & access to water. Heat stroke can occur quickly & can be fatal.

CEO Olivia