Category Archives: Epilepsy

Monday Moanings

Ugh, is it really Monday already? We’re…umm…feeling a bit sluggish after the weekend. Following Elsa’s torture spa treatment, she had a tiny little seizure on Saturday. She’s fine now but I’m closely monitoring her since this was the smallest seizure she’s ever had and I don’t know how it figures in going forward. We received maybe 16 flakes of snow Friday and it was quite windy and cold. The extreme weather may also have been a factor with Elsa’s seizure on top of the stress of listening to a hyper-barking dog. On the plus side, she  looks and smells amazing. I think the little Pomeranian that was waiting for its huMom to pick it up and barked non-stop for 45 minutes with a high pitch yapping may have left Elsa feeling overly stressed out…heck I was stressed out with that racket. It gave me a headache and left Elsa frazzled. Poor thing wouldn’t even eat any treats for being so good for Rebecca, our groomer and Elsa never passes up a treat. Ever. Looks like I’m going to need to try to maintain the cut better so she’s not subjected to any future rounds of a screeching banshee.

Aside from looking good, there was enough hair left on the floor to make a whole other dog. To bad I don’t knit. Guess she really was resembling a Muppet bear before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re gonna kick back today, get our paws under us and prepare for a visit to West Pines later this week. How was your weekend? 

Live, love, bark 🐾

 

Medical Monday and Purple Day

Many thanks to all the many well wishes last week while I was recovering from my ailment. I am beginning to feel better. There is still some follow-up appointments with the doctor but I am feeling at least like a half-way participant in the human race once again. Finally. The medical staff was incredible and made themselves available 24/7. Without them, I shudder to think how I would have been able to survive.

‘Dogtors’ Sam and Elsa

Today is also Epilepsy Awareness Day, aka “Purple Day” and since we are personally touched by epilepsy, we support these efforts to increasing awareness worldwide and invite you to wear purple today. If you or your family are impacted by epilepsy, feel free to find valuation information at the Epilepsy Foundation website or at on the ‘About’ tab at PurpleDay.org website.

Live, love, bark 🐾

Throwback Thursday~Yeah…we’ve been away a while

Hi-ya, ‘member us? It’s me, Sam. You know, Chief Knucklehead and Standard Poodle Extraordinaire from the Ranch. Lately it’s been a rough time here. We lost a couple of beloved pups in our extended family (R.I.P. Aria, aka Big Dawg and cutie pie Wriggly-we hope you’re running free and enjoying life at the Rainbow Bridge-we hope to have a better memorial post once we can locate a couple of photos) and Mom’s been out of town for too long handling a family emergency with her mom that we hope, (fingers crossed) has been resolved. Can I get a woof, woof?! Mom came back Tuesday evening and boy am I and my goofy Ninja sister thrilled. I haven’t stopped wagging my tail and won’t let her out of my sight for a second, which has made her trips to the water torture room kind of interesting. 

We hope to be back full-time blogging after mom decompresses catches her breath like we used to, so we hope you’ll be patient with all of us. And I know she is ever so grateful for those of you who have reached out and asked what’s up with us. We appreciate your kindness, concern and fur-iendship. In the meantime, look what I dug up out of the archive backyard. My predecessors, McKenzie, Eliot and Crosby. I know, I hear your ‘awww’s through the screen and admit they were pretty adorable. I think McKenzie looks like he could have been the Ninja’s older brother. Eliot always looked like a giant stuffed toy and Crosby was mom’s first dog when she moved to Denver who also had the dreaded Epi-Monster visit him way too many times. I think mom might have been able to treat his condition better now days than she did back in those olden days. She’s learned a lot with Elsa which seems to make a difference since the monster hasn’t visited her for a number of months. We hope you’re all doing well, staying warm, safe and cozy. So what have we miss?

L to R McKenzie, Eliot and Crosby (circa 1997)

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Epilepsy Awareness Month

Even though it’s the last day of the month and I admit to being remiss about noting that November is Epilepsy Awareness Month before now, I did want to bring attention to it on this last day of November. Purple is the color for Epilepsy Awareness and we’ve been wearing our purple bandana all month in support of canine Epi-Warriors.

As you may know, canine epilepsy hit very close to home for me. The beautiful black standard poodle, affectionately known as the ‘Ninja’ aka Elsa, came into my life last September. Two weeks after her adoption, this beautiful girl started having seizures. She was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy which means the vet isn’t sure what is the cause. A strong factor as to why she started seizing most likely would be genetic as she was a puppy mill survivor and her lineage is uncertain. Initially it was a little tricky getting the right dosage of anti-seizure medication with CBD oil but I am happy to report that she has been seizure free since late May {knock on wood}. Having a dog with seizures can be a terrifying thing to witness.  Even with treatment it’s no picnic in the park and I knew there would be some challenging days. Despite a few hiccups along the way this past year, Elsa is living a full and normal life (just ask her brother who it seems she just loves to torture. Sam: “Mom she’s touching me again!”) Her treatment is specific, can be expensive at times and must be administered at the same time twice a day but it’s been totally worth it for the joy she brings.

Elsa’s condition has inspired me to learn as much as I can about canine epilepsy and I am grateful for loads of online information from our friends at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs and Five Sibes who provide amazing resources. Remember epilepsy is not a death sentence by any means and having the right information is critical in treating it. There are various epilepsy websites including Canine-Epilepsy as well as generalized info found at the Epilepsy Foundation for educating oneself if it ever happens to you or your pet. I’ve certainly learned a lot since that first seizure and hope, with proper nutrition and the right balance of medication, the Ninja can live a long and happy life. If chewing on eyewear is any indication of happiness, she’s in hog heaven since another pair bit the dust earlier this week. #OhThatDog!

Still I love her to pieces and every day I can witness her enjoying a happy life makes me smile. I know, hard to believe this innocent face is such a pill!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

When Your Vet is a Star 🌟

Dr. Jeff Young, ‘Star’ Vet

We all think our vets are ‘stars,’ right? Well, we should. When you are entrusting your beloved fur-kid, you definitely want them to be a star. I mean, who wants to drop a house payment on a vet you have no confidence in when your pet needs critical care? But in my case (house payment aside), my vet really is a star. A TV star that is, as in Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet currently airing on the Animal Planet network. These days our vet stars are Dr. Amy (who treats Elsa for her seizures) and Dr. Baier (who tends to Sam’s health) who work at his clinic, Planned Pethood Plus. And I’m very happy with all of them. By the way, if you haven’t seen the show, I strongly recommend it so you can see how this pillar of the community has made a difference in the lives of so many people and their pets. Here’s a link to a recent episode. Dr. Jeff also shares my passion regarding puppy mills and is a firm believer that you shouldn’t have to declare bankruptcy in order to take care of your pet. We all know treatment for pets can be limited by an ability to pay for it so he does everything he can to make treatment affordable.

My association with Planned Pethood did not begin when discovered the show which now has around a million and a half viewers each week. Established back in 1990, the clinic was located not far from where I currently live although I had been going to his mobile low-cost vaccination clinics for over 20 years.  With a seasoned staff of some 30 professionals, some who have been with him since they were hired out of high school where he has also been a cross-country track coach for the school, he is one of the busiest vets in the country with 100,000 clients. Dr. Jeff is driven by two simple underlying missions “significantly reducing companion animal overpopulation throughout the world” and “thinking globally: acting locally.” His passion for curbing pet overpopulation is paramount to his practice, with all rescues treated being spayed or neutered. In fact he has probably performed over 160,000 spay and neuter procedures in the Denver area, as well as providing all manner of veterinary care with his mobile unit throughout the Rocky Mountain region and internationally through Planned Pethood International clinics located in Bratislava, Slovakia and Merida, Mexico. 

Having a vet who just happens to be a TV as well as our personal vet star isn’t always rainbows and unicorns though. Because of the sheer number of clients, there are times when it can be frustrating waiting for a return call and it can be challenging keeping one’s expectations for instantaneous care in check. Like most people, I’m impatient when it comes to the care of my fur-babies. Yet I know the work performed is always in the best interests of their clients when they need treatment (did I mention he has 100,000 clients?) and know they always provide quality, affordable care. In 2016 just prior to the season finale, Dr. Jeff made the shocking announcement revealing a diagnosis of B-cell Lymphoma and that the landmark clinic would be moving from the Highlands neighborhood to a new location a few miles west in the suburb of Wheat Ridge. He cut his signature shoulder-length hair in an episode that was hard on the staff and all who know and love Dr. Jeff. While you can never be certain of a long-term prognosis with cancer, he seems to be doing well and continues his work with the same passion as always. We certainly wish him all the best.

When I began drafting this post, I realized Dr. Jeff isn’t the only vet star I’d been fortunate to have taken care of my fur-kids. Back in the 90’s when I lived out east in the suburb of Aurora, my first dog had epilepsy, too. Our neighborhood vet did not have 24 hour care when Crosby’s Grand Mal seizures began and recommended he be transported over to Alameda East, a couple of miles away where he was successfully treated and where all my other pets were treated as well. Back then, the TV series ER was hugely popular and Animal Planet contacted Dr. Robert Taylor, the founder of Alameda East Veterinary Hospital about producing a reality show showing the treatment of animals and thus the show Emergency Vets began airing in 1998. The show ended in 2002 just before I moved to the west side of town once I realized Dr. Jeff’s mobile clinic had a permanent location close to the house.

Dr. Fitz with a couple of patients

While we were clients at Alameda East, our vet ‘star’ was Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, who was a reptile specialist and who coincidently happened to be a well-known local stand-up comedian in his spare time as well as a TV star.

Doesn’t it seems kind of ironic that both of my vets have been TV stars? Not that I’m complaining, mind you. But you have to admit it is interesting they both have silver hair and mustaches and are ‘stars’ in multiple ways.

Maybe there is something special about the thin air of the Mile High City that produces such terrific stars both on TV as well as for providing great care to my fur-kids.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Purple Day for Epilepsy

Today is Purple Day® for Epilepsy and World Epilepsy Day™ and in honor of all epi-warriors, either 2 or 4-legged, I proudly support this event by showing our colors and wearing purple. As Elsa is a puppy mill survivor with unknown lineage who seemed to contract epilepsy shortly after she was rescued 6 months ago , supporting epilepsy awareness and education seemed like a no-brainer. I am committed to learn as much as possible about this terrible condition and how to effectively treat it while providing a safe and loving home for this sweet little Ninja. And Sam is doing his part by being a supportive and loving big brother.

So today, I say wear your purple proudly and support those organizations like The Epilepsy Foundation whose mission is to provide information, education and support for those impacted by this disease.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Celebrations

We humans are a strange lot. We love to celebrate even the smallest events from birthdays to anniversaries annually and indeed, sometimes events even more frequently. It gives our lives texture and activates serotonin centers in the brain when those celebrations and anniversaries memorialize happy times. Today was supposed to be one of those days where I slip head first into mushy celebration of an anniversary of sorts.

Six months ago today a strange, shy little blank slate of a Ninja came into the my life. Elsa, the puppy mill survivor touched a special spot in my heart and I knew I needed to bring her home with me. She held so much promise. Little did I know what that promise would entail.

It would have been two months ago to the day that Elsa suffered her last seizure, even though it a very small one that was stemmed quickly with a healthy dose of Valium. Naturally as soon as I drafted this post, what happened? She has another small seizure over the weekend that I was once again able to stem with the administering of Valium and ice packs. *Heavy sigh*

Still, despite this recent set-back, she continues to bring smiles to my face and tugs at my heartstrings. Here are just a few of the things that make me grateful this little NInja wormed her way on to the Ranch and into my heart on this date 6 months ago.

  • The way your tail is beginning to wag more often which tells me you’re learning to be a happy dog. The fact that you’ll never be able to compete with a certain Knucklehead is of no concern. You are your own adorable pup who is deeply loved for her own individual distinctiveness.
  • I love it when you go out first thing in the morning and bounce like a Springbok antelope in the dog run. Your exuberance makes me giggle like a school girl. And I’m secretly cheering you on when you give the nasty next door Akitas the what-for through the fence. You go girl!

    Springbok imitating Elsa

  • The way you stand perfectly motionless over a toy with front paws spread and then simultaneously pounce and utter the strangest high-pitched yip directly at said toy. I can hear you anywhere in the house and it ALWAYS makes me smile and laugh. I can’t help but wonder what it is you’re saying to that toy.
  • The way you lower your head and creep like a stealthy panther when you spot a squirrel 20 feet ahead of us then rapidly move race toward it like you were fired from a slingshot. Silly girl, you cannot climb the tree after it but you try every. single. time. frequently making me your unwilling kite.
  • And who can forget your organizational skills moving toys and bones from room to room?
  • Your persistent and never subtle nose nudges ‘informing’ me that no, in fact, I am not done petting you.
  • Your snoring that’s guaranteed to wake the dead. You do know you’re not one of the brachycephalic breeds, right?
  • And while I complain I can never see your eyes against your dark fur, you made me realize in this picture when you decided I needed a face wipe against my thigh that you do in fact, have lovely brown eyes without a special app. P.S. Thank you for the dog slobbers and whisker tidbits. I live for those on my pants. Truly. 

And so my dear sweet fur-child, happy 6 months ‘half-iversary.’ The serotonin you provide is alive and well in this upright.

Do you celebrate events as often as possible?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎