Sharing What We’ve Learned

News

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. Over the past few years my huMom & I have written a lot of blog posts about living with canine epilepsy. We want to share what we’ve learned with others who also live with this complicated disease. So we have decided to compile several blog posts into a series of eBooks. We intend to offer them free to download either from here or on our store. In them we will include all the articles we have written as well as helpful links to epilepsy related web sites.

But before we do that, my huMom wants to offer a free, New to Epilepsy Starter Kit. This will be for families who are new to living with canine epilepsy. When I had my first seizure my huMom had no idea what was happening to me & having no understanding as to what to do was terrifying. Since then she has learned so much it seems right to pass this knowledge on.

At the moment we are planning to include information such as, for example, how to apply Ocular Compression Therapy (OCT). But we will also include a checklist of items to have ready for an epilepsy event so you will be able to spring into action when the epi-monster strikes. It’s important to keep your head & stay focused & being prepared is key to that. When everyone knows what to do & how to act, it makes an event much less stressful.

Now, we would like your input. If you are new to living with canine epilepsy or even if you are seasoned like us, we would like your suggestions as to what our “New to Epilepsy Starter Kit”, should have. Email us your suggestions at knottytoys4gooddogs@gmail.com or post your ideas below.  You can even reply on our Facebook post linked to this article. Help us help others living with canine epilepsy.

CEO Olivia

Advertisements

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

Keeping Emotions In Check

News

May 28 2015

Through my Facebook page I have met many, many dogs who live with canine epilepsy. There is often sadness because far too often I learn of yet another epi-warrior who has fought the Epi-monster. Epilepsy takes an emotional toll & requires a special kind of courage that many don’t know they have until it’s needed.

We dogs are very tuned in to what our humans are feeling emotionally. So when I have a seizure, no matter how difficult, it’s necessary for my HuMom to remain as calm as possible. If she is panicking it can stress me out which could lead to another seizure.

It was five years ago the first time I had a seizure at home. It was in the middle of the night. My HuMom did not yet know I had idiopathic epilepsy & she was terrified. Since I had not yet been diagnosed there were no meds to help me. I was off to the vet early next morning but it was a long & frightening night for her which she has not forgotten.

Over the years, my HuMom has learned to keep her emotions in check (to a degree) when the Epi-monster attacks me. She knows she must keep calm & focus on protecting me from injury during the seizure & getting my cluster buster into me as soon as possible after. Focusing on what needs to be done, putting herself aside & following our established protocol helps her cope. An ice pack is applied to cool me down, Ocular compression therapy is given, I’m fed to stabilize my blood sugar & refuel me. I’m often agitated after a seizure,  so my HuMom gives me a Kong filled with coconut oil because it gives me something to focus on & that calms me down (it’s also good for my brain). We keep the lights low & the room quiet.

My heart goes out to all who live with epilepsy be it dog or human. It’s not easy, but there is a lot of love & support out there. Network with others, learn all you can & know you are not alone.

Canine Epilepsy Resources

The Wally Foundation

CEO Olivia