Purple Friday ~ 2021

PurpleRather than post more images of snowy urban scenes with emerging spring bulbs (you’re probably as tired of seeing my spring storm photos as I am posting them), today we will be joining and supporting our ‘fur-iends’ from Knotty Toys for Good Dogs and the Five Sibes in a blog hop (click on the links for additional info), by participating in the annual international grassroots effort known as “Purple Day” which was created to increase awareness about epilepsy worldwide. If you make a donation of $5* or more at The Wally Foundation (who provides financial assistance to the owners of canine epileptics and dog rescue groups to obtain medications and veterinary services), you will receive a Purple Ribbon decal  in the mail (*minimum donation of $6 outside of the USA).

Elsa

As the parent of an epi-warrior, I have found a supportive and diverse network of people, dogs and informational resources since Elsa’s diagnosis just 2 weeks after she was adopted. Although I have owned dogs who suffered from epilepsy over the years, I’ve become far more educated about treatment for these special pets and no longer feel totally isolated. Educating myself to help Elsa has been a passion and both Knotty Toys for Dogs and the Five Sibes blogs have provided tremendous information that has definitely improved her life with  ‘pawsome’ tips I never knew about previously.

Epilepsy
The Ninja ‘reading’ “What’s Wrong with Gibson”

Life with an Epi-Warrior can have its ups and downs but it  doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy life like any other pet. Elsa may has her quirks due to her years of life in a puppy mill, but she still enjoys life being a sweet snuggler who loves playing with certain toys (apart from the well documented eviscerating of others).

Elsa

Every year on March 26th, people from around the world are invited to wear purple and participate in events that support of epilepsy awareness. It is estimated that as many as 50 million peeps and 4% of all dogs have epilepsy. By bringing awareness to this disease, those who participate with Purple Day events hope to bring much-needed info to those who need it. There are many groups who can provide informational resources, such as The Wally Foundation and The Anita Kaufmann Foundation, among many others. Please check them out and support their efforts providing information to sufferers of this dreaded disease. We hope you’ll join us as we rock purple today.

Epilepsy

Live, love, bark! 💜

International Epilepsy Day ~ 2021

EpilepsyWelcome to Monday where I usually share a smile but since today is International Epilepsy Day (a joint initiative created by the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the International League Against Epilepsy), I wanted to shed awareness on the condition since epilepsy has personally touched the Ranch  and to encourage everyone to advocate for legislation guaranteeing the rights of all those who suffer from epilepsy. International Epilepsy Day is a global event which is celebrated annually on the 2nd Monday of February. It’s also the day when those who live with epilepsy share their experience with a global audience and encourage and remind anyone who lives with this condition to live life to their fullest potential.

ElsaYou may recall that shortly after adopting Elsa (read her adoption story here or another post about some of the trials and tribulations here) from the puppy mill she had been in, she started initially having severe life threatening Grand Mal seizures. The diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy was personally devastating, however I was determined to make her life better after all she’d already endured. Epilepsy can be managed. Elsa’s on anti-seizure medication as well as receiving multiple doses of CBD, spread throughout the day. It has taken many months to get the dosage for both appropriate in order to reduce the frequency and intensity of the seizures. With epilepsy there can be lots of trial and error. Once the anti-seizure medication dose seemed appropriate, her vet recommended adding CBD. Initially, she continued to experience seizures at the rate of about every 6-9 weeks although the intensity was reduced. After switching to a locally sourced organic CBD, her seizures came far less frequent and were minor in their intensity.

Once a year Elsa has her blood levels tested to determine the impact of the medication on her liver. While reducing the number of seizures, CBD is metabolized the same way in the liver as anti-seizure meds so her blood is monitored closely. For the most part, they’re fairly good and she had been been seizure free for 15 months but then suffered a minor seizure last month so the clock restarts but the vet is reasonably pleased with her progress. We’re working on her diet to help her shed a few pounds and to reduce slightly elevated cholesterol levels. Overall she’s doing well, giving her brother a run for his money and bringing joy to me with her sweet ways and always entertaining behavior with toys where she frequently stands over them, barks and then pounces, as if trying to cow them into submission.

Elsa is the second dog I’ve owned as an adult who suffered from seizures and while I’ve  learned a lot since adopting her, I certainly don’t have all the answers. Luckily there are many online resources and forums available to help epi-warriors’ families with ongoing questions and tips.

Did you know one in every 100 dogs is affected by epilepsy? Idiopathic epilepsy (the most common cause of seizures in dogs), is an inherited disorder, yet its exact cause is unknown. Other causes may include liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumors, brain trauma, or toxins. Onset in dogs usually begins sometime between 2-6 years. Elsa’s first episodes were quite severe, life threatening in fact that required emergency vet intervention but are now mostly well managed. Her life is relatively normal, all things considered and when the epi-monster hits, I know how to proceed to treat her. Do you know  anyone who is epileptic?

In honor of International Epilepsy Day, I hope you’ll wear something purple today to honor and support anyone who suffers from this condition, be they two or four legged.

Elsa

A partial list of resources:

Canine Epilepsy Network (http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/basics/basics_index.html)
The Wally Foundation (https://www.facebook.com/thewallyfoundation/)
The Epilepsy Foundation (https://www.epilepsy.com)
AKC Canine Health Foundation (https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/top-health-concerns/epilepsy/

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Purple Day ~ March 26, 2020

EpilepsyToday is Purple Day,® a global grassroots event created to increase worldwide awareness of epilepsy and to dispel common myths and fears of this neurological disorder. Purple Day® attempts to reduce the social stigmas associated by the many individuals afflicted and provides assurance and advocacy to those living with epilepsy by letting them know that they are not alone. This day occurs annually every March 26 in honor of all epi-warriors, whether they are 2 or 4-legged. Once again, we proudly support this event by wearing purple. As you may know, Elsa, as a puppy mill survivor with unknown lineage, was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy shortly after she was rescued nearly 4 years ago (you can read her story here). Supporting epilepsy awareness and education is a no-brainer and I’m committed to learning as much as possible about this condition and how to effectively manage it while providing a safe and loving home for this pill of a dog. I can {knock on wood} report Elsa has been mostly seizure-free for almost two years through a combination of anti-seizure medication and organic, locally sourced CBD oil.

Elsa
You woke me up for this?

So on this year’s “Purple Day®“, we invite you to wear purple today. If you or anyone in your family are impacted by epilepsy, check out the Epilepsy Foundation’s website or check the “About” tab at PurpleDay.org website for valuable information.

Word Cloud

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

A Dogtoring We Will Go

For the next couple of days, we’ll be dogtoring at hospital, hospice and West Pines but first I have to practice my skills on the Ninja. After yesterday’s squirrel roundup, I think her blood pressure is a bit on the high side. I know mom’s was.

DogtoringWe probably won’t be able to respond as much as we’d like over the next few days, we will try to do our best. Thank you for all your kind comments regarding yesterday’s crazy goings on. PayPal is taking its sweet time responding to us. Mom topped off the day with a trip to the dentist to replace a crown that fell out over the weekend. Does she know how to live or what? Worse than that, I had to endure the dreaded water torture for today’s hospital rounds. Luckily I get over it when kind peeps say I’m handsome.

On a serious note, today is Purple Day, the international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26th annually, people from around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. It is estimated that as many as 50 million peeps and 4% of dogs have epilepsy. By bringing awareness to this disease, those who participate with Purple Day events hope to bring much-needed info to those who desperately need it. There are many groups who can help with informational resources, like the Wally Foundation. Our good friend Olivia, from Knotty Toys for Good Dogs hosted a “silent” Auction for The Wally Foundation- canine epilepsy We hope you’ll check it out and support Olivia’s efforts to benefit The Wally Foundation. So get out there and rock your purple today, I know I will.

ELMC Sam

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System & Hemp

Healthful relationships play a large role in the quality of our everyday existence. From our family bonds, the environments in which we live, the food we eat, how we physically feel, to how we see ourselves. Certain connections are critical for balance to make it all work together. This is particularly true for our body, which has a life-essential regulatory system based on biochemical relationships that helps us maintain equilibrium, despite life’s up and downs. These connections comprise the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Hemp has a unique and interactive lock and key relationship with ECS. 

Cannabinoid graphic
The ECS “Power Couple”

What exactly is ECS? Discovered in the 1990s, ECS is thought to be one of the most vital yet vast receptor systems for sustaining good health. ECS affects many biological processes in humans, in fact, it affects all vertebrate animals, as well as some invertebrates.

ECS contains cannabinoid receptors or “locks,” while the group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, should be viewed like “keys.” The body produces various endogenous cannabinoids, most notably anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and are found in the immune system, the central nervous system, brain, various organs, connective tissue, and glands.

Since hemp contains elevated levels of Cannabidiol (CBD), active phytocannabinoids work in concert with other secondary phytocannabinoids and compounds (i.e. terpenes and flavonoids), and works well with the ECS in order to unlock the receptor locks. Think of hemp as the ‘key’ to the receptors.

The major function of the ECS is to maintain system homeostasis by providing a state of internal stability necessary for survival, despite fluctuations in the external environment. The ECS is also involved in many physiological processes like appetite, sleep, digestion, mood, memory, metabolism, neuro-protection, hormones, and heart function.

The ECS has a series of receptors in cells throughout the body that binds the cannabinoids found in hemp extract oil. Two main kinds of receptors are cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) and they receive three types of cannabinoids:

Endocannabinoids – Cannabinoids made in our body
Phytocannabinoids – Derived from natural plant cannabinoids
Synthetic Cannabinoids – Synthetically created

CB1 is mostly found in the brain, as well as in the lungs, kidney, liver, bones, heart, male and female reproductive organs. This receptor is more keyed into THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main cannabinoid in marijuana. CB2 however lives in the immune system, with a significant presence in the spleen as well as the lungs, liver, bone and muscle. Metabolic enzymes, FAAH and MAGL, are used by the ECS to accelerate chemical reactions and efficiently break down cannabinoids once they’ve served their purpose.

Understanding the relationship with the Endocannabinoid System and homeostasis is key. It’s essential as to how we thrive, heal and function for body and mind wellness. Through science additional answers will continue to reveal why our body is responsive to hemp and whole-plant cannabinoids as much still appears to be unknown.

Hope this introduction provides you with a better understanding how CBD works in the body. We offer only locally sourced, Certified Natural Grow CBD products from our supplier in 300 mg, 600 mg potency and are pleased to now offer a 1200 mg strength for those who need a stronger dosage. While the labels have changed, it’s still the same quality product and formulations we’ve carried since the shop went live. Check the K-9 store for product details and prices. Products are always shipped free when you place your order and are sent out ASAP (same day as ordered presuming the post office is open). Feel free to contact us with any specific questions.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Catch Up Tuesday

Returning from a wonderful vacation, I’m more behind than ever so this week may not see a lot of blog action but don’t be alarmed if I don’t comment on your posts. The WiFi situation (along my international data plan) were inadequate to keep fully on top of things but rest assured, I will read every blog post that arrived in my inbox, even if I don’t leave a comment.

Suffice to say the trip was worth every sun-filled moment. What’s not to enjoy and love when there’s good company, good food, and good drinks? Oh, and a gorgeous view that will remain in my memory banks for a good long time.

On a less happy note, just a week shy of being six-months seizure free, Elsa had a small seizure last night. She’s fine and back to her normal self and resting right now. While I was gone, she apparently learned how to amp up the motor that controls her tail wag speed because when I walked in, I had never seen it wag so fast. It fills my heart with such joy to see this once shut-down precious Ninja expressing canine glee. In looking back over her seizure log last night, I noted this has been the longest period of time she hadn’t had an episode which I attribute it to the switching of CBD oil brands to Black Dog Botanicals (which can be found in the e-shop here in both canine and human strength). Her blood values will be screened sometime over the next couple of weeks and I should have a better sense of her progress then. The vet said if we could limit her to a couple a month, she’d be happy, so I’m sure this will merit some pawsitive note in Elsa’s medical file.

Sam, Elsa and I  send our very best Happy Thanksgiving greeting to you and yours. We’ll see you soon!

Live, love, bark!🐾

The 411 on CBD

CBD is getting a whole lot of press these days and for good reason. From pain management to managing anxiety responses and a whole lot in between, CBD oil is making quite the name for itself with numerous opportunities for medical benefit. CBD is a natural way of regulating the body’s endocannabinoid system. So what is this CBD oil all about, you ask?

Cannabis sativa is a species of plant with well over 60 active agents called cannabinoids, the most well-known of which are THC and CBDTHC is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, while CBD is non-psychoactiveCBD, derived from industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Cannabinoid receptors are normally found throughout the body in both human and canine nervous systems, glands and organs and all mammals rely on the endocannabinoid system to regulate the immune response. Use of CBD is a natural way in regulating this system.

According to PetCareRx, 20% of all dogs will suffer from some developmental or degenerative joint pain during their lives. Whether it’s caused by genetics or age, joint pain will definitely reduce the their quality of life. Starting out as mild discomfort, it can progress to chronic pain. CBD can target receptors throughout the body and reduce any inflammation or nerve-related pain.

CBD is also an effective treatment for anxiety. Triggers like a trip to the vet, a thunderstorm, separation anxiety or phobias can be reduced when CBD is administered in advance. For the estimated 5% of dogs who suffer from epilepsy like Elsa, CBD in combination with vet prescribed anti-seizure medication, has allowed a reduction in her Phenobarbital dosage by 25%. CBD is known to have properties that block symptoms from taking over the brain and can potentially reduce the frequency and severity of seizures. Colorado State University is currently conducting a study that suggests 89% of dogs who received CBD had a reduction in frequency of seizures. Dr. Stephanie McGrath, overseeing clinical trials on the use of CBD treatment for epilepsy and osteoarthritis, presented her findings last month at the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medication Association. “This pilot study is important and it does seem like there is a positive effect from the use of CBD for dogs with epilepsy,” said Dr. McGrath. To learn more about the clinical trial, visit the hospital’s website.

Although much confusion exists, CBD oil derived from hemp is legal for purchase in all 50 states. Initial studies show CBD is safe for dogs and most veterinary professionals recommend starting with small doses as our vet recommended. We had to tinker with Elsa’s dosage and finally settled on 15 drops of 300 mg spread out throughout the day in conjunction with the vet’s recommendation. Since switching to Blackdog Botanicals, she has had only 2 seizures, both of which were extremely minor. Elsa’s vet is very pleased with her progress on CBD oil.

“CBD has been shown to decrease the production and release of inflammatory cytokines that can cause allergies, hypersensitivities and autoimmunity. It can also suppress something called Th17 dominance, which is a major cause of autoimmune diseases. CBD also inhibits the production of inflammatory macrophages and decreases chronic inflammation. CBD is also a powerful antioxidant that’s shown to be more powerful than vitamins C and E.” [Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine]

According to Wikipedia: “Research suggests that CBD may exert some of its pharmacological action through its inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which may then increase the levels of endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, produced by the body. Speculation suggested some of the metabolites of CBD have pharmacological effects that contribute to the biological activity of CBD.”

As more and more vet professionals become aware of the benefits CBD provides pets, it stands to reason that more and more people are getting into the business of CBD oil,  which is quite lucrative. It’s imperative that owners be aware of the strength and efficacy of the product as not all products are created equal. In other words, make sure to do your homework and discuss CBD usage with your vet

Live, love, bark! 🐾

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! ❤︎