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! ❤︎

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! ❤︎