To start off the new year, Canine Caviar was lucky enough to talk to Lulu, a four year old pug who lives with the daily threat of the “seizure monster” invading her world.
Canine Caviar: Hi Lulu, first of all I want to thank you for spending time with us. Can you describe for us your first seizure?
Lulu: I don’t really remember much about my first seizure, but I have heard my mom and dad say that it was the most horrific experience to have gone through. It was December 2011, and my Mom and Dad had come home from work that night and said I didn’t seem “right” to them. But I was happy to eat my dinner and happy to get my after-dinner chew treat. It was in the middle of chewing my treat that I had a grand mal seizure. Mom and Dad didn’t know what was happening at first. They thought I might have been choking, but I wasn’t. I was having a terrible seizure. I continued to have small seizures, one after the other, until they finally seemed to stop. But at 5:20am that next morning, I had the worse seizure ever. I don’t remember it, but Mom and Dad said it was terrifying. I had a grand mal seizure that lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes. I was screaming, drooling, my eyes were rolling, I lost control of my potty, and my body was twisting and convulsing the entire time.
CC: Oh, you poor girl. That must have been terrifying. I’m sorry you went through that. How are you doing now?
Lulu: Well, I’ve come a long way since then. Mom and Dad did a lot of research. They have an entire folder on their computer of research that they’ve done. I have around 6 doctors and we’ve experimented with a lt of different supplements to make my brain stay calm. Most of my seizures are very brief now, down to just a few minutes. The doctors don’t know why I get them; my full brother and sister live with us and they don’t get them, there’s no history in either of my parents’ bloodlines, it’s just something that is happening to me.
CC: Well, it’s great that you have such loving human parents to work on getting this disease under control!
Lulu: My parents own their own grooming shop, so at least one of them can be with me all the time! I’m so lucky for that! They keep an eye on me, watch for any changes, and then sometimes they will apply pressure to my head and talk to me gently when a seizure is coming, and sometimes it’s stopped the seizure monster from coming! When I’m having one they stay close to me, pet me, tell me I’m a good girl. It helps a lot and I love them so much! I can pick up on their emotions, but they are always so positive and loving!
CC: And what about your doggie siblings? What do they do?
Lulu: Oh, they are very loving, too. Sometimes in other dog families the other dogs will attack the dog having the seizure! That doesn’t happen with us, my fellow dogs come right up to Mom, Dad and me and they huddle around me and are very calm and quiet. They want to help but they aren’t always sure what to do. It’s ok, though, just them being there with me is all I need! We’ve got a great pack!
CC: After so much time can you sense when another one is coming?
Lulu: Yes, I can. I get nervous and I start to become hyper aware of my surroundings, especially sounds. I start to stiffen up, I start breathing slower and louder, I feel my ears pull back, and I my hackles go up from my neck down to the base of my tail. Sometimes I’ll even start growling because I sense a seizure coming.
CC: Have you noticed if your seizures are related to anything else happening at the time?
Lulu: Most of my seizures now happen while I’m sleeping and just before I wake up. But, they can happen at any time, too, even when I am just walking around. Also, my Dad has been noticing that I seem to be sensitive to increases in the barometric pressure around certain times of the moon phase.
CC: Have you ever had a seizure in public?
Lulu: Yes, I have had a few seizures in public. Ever since I was diagnosed with epilepsy, I am with my Mom and Dad all of the time. They never leave me alone. I go to work with them and when the weather is good, I join them on errands. If the weather is bad, one of my parents stays home with me while the other does the errands. I have had seizures in front of clients at our business (grooming shop), in a home improvement store, and in a parking lot.
CC: So how did you find out about Canine Caviar holistic dog food?
Lulu: Mom and Dad have always had an interest in pet nutrition, and they do a considerable amount of research on the latest in pet health and nutrition. They were quite impressed with everything they read about Canine Caviar foods.
Canine Caviar is flash cooked for 6 seconds only which maintains the integrity of the nutrients. Also, Canine Caviar is an alkaline diet, which promotes healthy cells. That really appealed to my Mom and Dad because over the years they have lost many beloved fur kids to cancer and they are trying to improve our chances of not getting cancer at all.
When our bodies are under stress and battling illness, disease, or other conditions, it is vital that the body be fed the highest quality nutrition possible. My Mom and Dad feel that Canine Caviar is the food that provides this kind of nutrition. This is why they chose to feed me Canine Caviar.
CC: Can you tell me your favorite formula?
Lulu: My Mom and Dad believe in a rotation diet, so I have enjoyed the following Canine Caviar formulas: Grain-Free Puppy Dinner, Wilderness Ocean Grain-Free ALS Dinner, Chicken & Pearl Millet ALS Adult, and Open Sky Grain-Free ALS Dinner. Which one is my favorite formula? All of them! I have not met a Canine Caviar formula that I have not loved!
CC: How about your favorite wet food flavor?
Lulu: I really enjoy Canine Caviar Duck and Sweet Potato wet food on top of my holistic kibble. My brother and sister really enjoy the Beaver wet food. I haven’t tried it yet, but Mom and Dad say that they will get it for me!
CC: Have you tried any of our treats like holistic buffalo treats or the sweet potato treats?
Lulu: I haven’t had a chance to try the Canine Caviar treats yet, but since I love sweet potatoes so much, I would like to try those!
CC: I read on your Facebook page that you do a lot of special exercises. What are some of the exercises that you do to strengthen your body?
Lulu: I do something called “core exercises”. My chiropractor showed my mom and dad how to do them with me. I have to stand with my front legs on an elevated platform (we use towels), and I shift my weight from one front foot to the other. And then, I have to turn my neck from one side to the other. I am being fed treats throughout the entire time that I am doing my exercises, so it is really fun for me to do them. Mom and Dad also try to get me to think a lot, kind of like problem solving. During my first year of living with epilepsy, I forgot a lot of things and it is now hard for me to process several things at one time. Since I now eat in a little x-pen, so that I can enjoy my meals at my own pace, my dad thought that it would be good idea to rotate the pen’s door so my brain would have to think about locating the opening of the pen. In the beginning, I was very confused and all I did was push my head into the sides of the pen all the way around the pen until I eventually found the door opening. Now, however, I am getting very good at focusing and finding it!
CC: So what is your favorite thing to do with them for playtime?
Lulu: Before I started having seizures, I loved playing with my doggie siblings. We would run and wrestle inside and outside, play with toys together, and play our favorite game of pug face-fighting when my Dad would hold us on his lap. From the moment I started having seizures two years ago up until now, I forgot how to play with my siblings or any other doggies. Just recently I have started to play with toys again and I’m following my doggie siblings around the house! Also, I have started to go up to doggies at our shop to greet them. Mom and dad are excited to see this progress!
CC: What advice do you have to other pet parents whose dogs have gone through seizures?
Lulu: First of all, it is very scary for both us doggies and our pet parents. But I would like to tell everybody not to panic. There are many good medicines out there to help control the seizures and there are many, many alternative ways to help regulate the brain and encourage it to heal in between seizures. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to epilepsy, but there is hope. I have found a good combination of both medicines and natural supplements that help me reduce the number of seizures that I have and help me quickly recover following each seizure. I now have a solid team of both traditional and holistic veterinarians helping me to live with epilepsy. Through proper nutrition, proper medicine, proper supplements, and a lot of love, I want pet parents to know that there is hope.
CC: Do you have any new year’s resolutions?
Lulu: I want to be successful in my battles against the seizure monster. I want to be a source of encouragement, information, support, and hope for those who live with epilepsy, too. I want to raise awareness for canine epilepsy and do what I can to help with fundraising for canine epilepsy research and treatment.
CC: Wow, well you are certainly handling this with so much strength! Now I heard that you’ve helped inspire some humans, too. Can you tell me about that?
Lulu: Well, I get lots of visitors come into the grooming shop to say hi to me and to see how I’m feeling. I’ve met a few children whose nerves have been eased by me. They see me, how tiny I am, that I’m making my way through this disease, and they realize that they can do it, too! Mom and Dad made me my Facebook page and I started to get a lot of followers! It’s a good feeling to help others and make something good out of something so bad!
Want to follow Lulu’s battle against the seizure monster? Check out Lulu’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lulusjourney.