Sam was originally going to provide a ‘pupdate’ on Elsa but his draft was so absurd and ridiculous, I decided to pen it instead. I think that dog has been watching too many presidential debates and thought that outrageous comments are the norm and to be expected. Well I hate to break this to you dawg, but…yeah…no.

Any way, back to Ms. Elsa. She’s now been with us 5 weeks. Things were progressing as well as could be expected given the diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy and the reset 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, two weeks after the original diagnosis, she suffered another seizure cluster. Fortunately they were not nearly as severe or intense. That’s the good news. As is often the case though, there is some bad news. Elsa’s medication had to be increased. Yes it should control her seizures but Phenobarbital is a very strong medication and can have serious side effects related to liver function. Her blood levels will need to be closely monitored and adjustments may still need to be required. The ‘dogtor’ recommended we also add CBD oil as an additional med.

What is CBD oil you ask? Sure, we live in the Mile “High” City and while Colorado was the first state to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana, CBD is the non psychoactive ingredient from hemp that can be administered without prescription. Research suggests some very remarkable results in terms of treating various medical conditions. I’ve learned CBD could also be given to Sam for his anxiety when riding in the car should a long road trip be in the near future, with no negative effects. It can help dogs manage pain with arthritic conditions and can treat issues associated with cancer.

Medical Properties of CBD


Antiemetic Reduces nausea and vomiting
Anticonvulsant Suppresses seizure activity
Antipsychotic Combats psychosis disorders
Anti-inflammatory Combats inflammatory disorders
Anti-oxidant Combats neurodegenerative disorders
Anti-tumoral/Anti-cancer Combats tumor and cancer cells
Anxiolytic/Anti-depressant Combats anxiety and depression disorders

It’s hoped with the addition of CBD oil, our little girl will continue to blossom as a dog.

finalAnd speaking of blossoming, let me give you an idea of how her disposition and personality are starting to emerge. Elsa is a very sweet dog and now actively seeks attention, even from many strangers and dogs. She desperately wants to engage her big brother in dog play though Sam’s attitude is not yet fully on board with rough-housing because he’s (a) either a total wuss (b) has no idea exactly how to play or (c) a combo of both (a) and (b). She’s now convinced before we go for our morning walks that I’m a suitable chew toy substitute. My 4 year old is experiencing puppyhood for the first time!final

Despite unseasonably warm weather, early mornings have been fairly crisp this week with leaves turning fast and falling even faster. The cooler temps have provided both dogs with a lively spring to their step as they breathe in cool air. In fact, those cooler temps have seemed to inspire Ms. Elsa to turn into a Springbok antelope bouncing along and dragging me along on the ride. It has occurred to me I am no longer walking the dogs but instead parasailing, with me being the sail. Being a human kite finds me laughing hysterically as I “sail” down the street until I can no longer breathe. When I stop collapse she turns and looks at me as if I’m sort of a light weight and then once I’ve caught my breath, she starts another session of Springbok-ing with me hanging on for dear life. I’m convinced I have been lifted off the ground each time in order to keep up with the speedy miss. At the very least, I know my heart has been soaring with the joie de vivre this little girl has discovered since coming to live with us.

Let's go parasailing!
Let’s go parasailing!

My little black Ninja is becoming far less reactive to sudden moves and follows me around like a shadow but is extraordinarily stealthy. I often wonder where she is and then suddenly she materializes. One second she’s not there, I glance sideways to see if I can locate her and then poof! there she is. It’s almost eery. Her tail isn’t tucked all the time now either and occasionally give soft puppy kisses.

We’ll keep a watchful eye on her and keep you posted about her progress. Assuming all goes well with the increased dosage, we’ll go back in a month and have her blood levels re-checked to be sure its is appropriate. We’re keeping our fingers and paws crossed there are no more seizures and she continues to improve on all fronts.

Source: The Epilepsy Foundation
Source: The Epilepsy Foundation

Till then we will continue to learn more about canine epilepsy from various sources (especially the Epilepsy Foundation) and earnestly start obedience training to further Elsa’s successful integration into the post puppy mill dog world.


Live, love, bark! <3

33 thoughts on “Pupdate

  1. I had no idea. I’m sorry that I haven’t been keeping up with everything. It sounds like you’ve got a great handle on her health issues. I have some suggestions for the liver levels, not sure if they work the same with epilepsy, but I’ll throw them out for you. Milk Thistle and SAMe (Sah-me) are the key components in Denamarin, which is often given to dogs with elevated liver levels. Milk thistle in particular is a great, natural liver cleaner. Because of Delilah’s elevated liver levels (probably hepatitis) she is on Livton Complex, which has helped keep her levels down. If you want to chat some about it, hit me up on Facebook. P.S. I’ll try to be better about checking in. 🙂

    1. Yes, I’ve been researching the whole milk thistle thing and plan to get her started on that once we know where her blood levels are at. Thanks for the tips. Always good to hear from you. Ear scratches for Sampson and Delilah.

  2. Thanks for the update. Somehow I missed she had seizures. I hope you can control them and interested in hearing how the new oil works in helping her. I just had my friend in Canada tell me she knew someone who was giving pot to there seizure dog and it was helping.

  3. Sending prayers for Elsa….we feel pretty confident that this treatment will work! We are sooo happy that she is adjusting well……..Sam will come around, he is just playing hard to get! (((hugs)))

  4. I hope Elsa will do much better with the addition of CBD. She is such a beauty. We had a German Shepherd that was a retired police K9. He did not know how to play but we eventually got him to loosen up and have some fun. He never would catch a ball or Frisbee though. LOL!

  5. Thank you for this update – we’re all rooting for Elsa. CBD oil sounds like a great idea for her! And Sam. And just about anyone. 🙂 Is it a prescription?

  6. We are hoping that the right balance of meds can help out beautiful Elsa. Sounds like she is really starting to blossom!!

  7. Glad to hear the seizures are lessening – it’s pretty scary for everyone. Sounds like Elsa is a wonderful dog and showing her true, suppressed personality more every day. Sam had better up his game!

  8. I’m happy to hear that there are good options available for Elsa. I think Sam doesn’t know how to play. He’ll come around. Maybe he needs your help, though. Like maybe give Elsa one end of a rope or stuffless toy and Sam the other. *Ear licks*

  9. Elsa in full bloom puppyhood..what joy to experience
    chewed up shoes and all. and she’s giving kisses..i’m just a puddle of aww. nose smooches to both.

  10. It makes me cry a tear to think about her joy in life now. She is so pretty and it must be a sight to see these two poodles pulling a monika down the street

  11. Poor Elsa, she’s having a difficult time of it, but she is with the right people to love and care for her and guide her through the difficult moments and all being good, she will respond to treatment and, we hope, no more seizures. Just remember you can’t leave it all to mama and dad – you will have to take part and help too, Sam.

  12. to use CBD is a very good idea, we saw a lot of good results as we used it for our husky girl :o) my dad knows that humanoid kite feeling, it sometimes leads to a visit at the PT guy … he maybe could need some cbd too :o)

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