Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Whipped Green Beans & Low-Fat Cheese Kibble Omelettes

"Woo! Mom's cooking omelettes!!!"
This week we're joining in the Tasty Tuesday foodie blog hop with Kol's Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever, who both always have such pawsome, tasty, and healthy recipes

Last year, we had started posting some of our Canine Cooking Corner recipes, and then took a break for awhile...well, today, we are once again posting with our recipe for one of the Sibe kids' favorite weekend breakfast dishes - Whipped Green Bean & Low-Fat Cheese Kibble Omelettes! They get so excited from the moment they hear the eggs crack! It's simple, healthy, and quick to make! Just be prepared for some heavy bowl licking! 

Here's our video slideshow recipe:

And be sure to stop by Kol's and Sugar's, and visit the others in the hop for some great recipes and food tips! Bon Appetit!



Sunday, January 27, 2013

A New Journey: Conservative Care Treatment for Gibson's Cruciate Tear

Shortly before Gibson's birthday, my beautiful boy and I have embarked upon a new journey. Right around Christmas, he had started to limp from what we initially thought was a soft tissue injury from being active now that his Epi-meds were reduced (see story on Bromide toxicity incident). He soon started favoring the leg and then couldn't put any weight on it at all. He began to work around it and even was able to run as a tripawd, with the injured paw held up and close to his body. We did an Xray to rule out any hip or other issues...but he could not use his leg. He went on an anti-inflammatory for a week with continued in-home K-Laser treatments (we really do have the best vet team!) However, even after receiving a number of treatments, it didn't seem to get any better indicating that the injury is different than what we first suspected. One of my wonderful vet's came to do a house call and upon examing Gibson, and with his Xrays, determined he had a cruciate ligament tear. Flashbacks of last summer with our sweet Chloe having blown out both of her back CCLs and requiring an emergency double bilateral imbrication surgery came flooding into my mind...only with Gibson being an Epi-Husky, surgery is always a big concern. After discussion with my vet, we agreed to take the conservative care treatment route with Gibson and now focus his laser treatments on the bad leg, along with having him fitted with a custom Woundwear A-Trac Dynamic Brace and Harness Set (that was recommended to me by fellow Epi-dog Tundra's hu-dad  in British Columbia). He had used the brace and harness on his late Epi-Husky and found it gave her much more freedom. So, I researched the link and info he sent me, and thought it was a great idea for Gibson. With assistance from my vet staff, Gib was measured and they ordered the brace harness from Woundwear. 

After just a few days, it came in and he's now been outfitted with it and we have begun the adjustment to his wearing it 24/7. Pictured above is a collage of Gib after his brace harness was put on. Harley, his love, gave him lots of supportive Husky kisses! 

There are plastic rods in the brace, that once full weight is placed on the leg, can we switched out to a more flexible rod. There is a schedule of walking and adding time and incline over a period of time to help with the recovery. The nice thing about this A-Trac stability harness is that it can be an option for conservative treatments, which is what we are doing with Gibson - or, it can be used as post-operative care for CCL surgery. It's a great option I would highly recommend researching and discussing with your veterinarian to see if it's viable for your dog with CCL injuries. I am very thankful Tundra's dad suggested it to me, and I am always on the look-out for alternative and holistic treatments with an Epi-Husky. Surgery is always an option...but if I can help him heal and stay healthy by going a different route, then that's what I'd like to try. So our course of treatment at this time is a combination of targeted weekly K-Laser treatments and the Woundwear A-Trac Stability Brace and Harness.


I also did some research on natural anti-inflammatories as most medicinal ones filter through the liver, and with Gibson already being on Potassium Bromide and Phenobarbital, with the Pheno already going through is liver (and I have him on the supplement Milk Thistle to aid in cleansing the liver of the Pheno), I was really hoping for a more natural way to administer anti-inflams so as not to overtax his liver. After much research and conversation with my vet, Gibson was placed on one that my vet and I mutually agreed upon

I came across this quote while we went through Choe's injury, surgery, and follow-up rehab, and just wanted to share it once again, this time for Gibson and anyone else who is going through a particularly trying or uncertain time:

"None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”  
~ Paulo Coelho
So with gradual steps in this brace and with rest, leash walks, natural anti-inflams, and laser therapy, the hope is that he will regain strength in his leg as scar tissue forms. After about a 12-week period the brace can be removed and put on just during walks for another two to three months. For now, it's a 24/7 wear, and with one full week into Gibson's conservative treatment, he really is enjoying his rehab walks - especially as we stroll through some of the leftover snow. The Woundwear A-Trac Stability Brace and Harness is really helping to support his leg, and in conjunction with his weekly K-LaserUSA treatments to help his body heal at a cellular level (including speeding up healing time, reducing inflammation and pain), I'm hoping I can change out the rods soon to the flex rods in his brace - as soon as he can put full weight on his bad cruciate leg. Right now he does put "tippy-toe" weight on the leg, and Gib's such a trooper...so we're feeling really hopeful.   :-)

It's only been just one week since he's been in the brace harness set, and several weeks on the natural anti-inflams. As with anything, time will tell...but I do see some of his spark and energy coming back...the hardest part is keeping him on rest! I'm also keeping his diet in check and while he trimmed down from 116 pounds from two years ago (the weight gain was a result of the Epi-meds) to his current 99.1 pounds, I'm hoping to get another four pounds off to get to the magical number 95 so it's less weight on his bad leg, which can only help him. In the meantime, I keep talking to him and telling him how proud I am of him. I also keep checking the harness (so it doesn't cause a rub burn or get too lose) and give him lots of kisses and rubs and let him know every day that he's strong and such a good boy and how proud I am of him..and hopefully, by June, he'll be back on his way to freedom and playing with the pack family once again!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flashback Friday #18: Chatty Chloe! And... Announcing The Pupsters' Birthday T-Shirt Winner!

Today is Flashback Friday and here's a little ditty from our sweet Chloe from two summers ago. Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Grab our badge and join in! Share your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram #FlashbackFriday photo and mention the FiveSibes with a link back to here and leave us comment so we can come visit your Flashback, too! To catch up on past Flashback Fridays, visit us here:

The randomly selected Rafflecopter winner of our 

(drum roll, please....) 

Congrats, Ruby! Just send us your doghouse addy so we can ship "The SibeVibe" T-shirt out to you and your Mama! Don't forget to let us know in the Email what size, too! (S, M, L, XL, XXL). We'd love to see a photo of you and your Mama in the T-shirt to post at a later date.  :-)
Thanks to all our furpals who helped celebrate  
The Pupsters' 5th Birthday!

 Free Animations

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday to Our Pupsters: Bandit, Wolf, and Chloe!

"Wooo! Is it cake time???  Nommm-nommmms!"

Wooo! Today is a very special day as we celebrate The Pupsters' Fifth Birthday! I just can't believe how fast time flies! Watching these three littermates grow up together has been such a wonderful experience! They are truly a joy, a lot of fun, and complete our FiveSibes pack family! Yesterday, we posted a couple puppy pics of them from when they came home with us at just 14 weeks old! In some ways, it seems like that was just yesterday for us!

We celebrated with vanilla ice cream from our local dairy poured into a bone-shaped cake pan, special plates and napkins, and of course - presents!

Party time for Chloe, Wolf & Bandit!
"Um...Mom...where's our ice cream cake??!"  
"Oh, yeah, yummmm....!"
"Nom-nom-nom...Happy Birthday to us!"
The whole pack family joins in the celebration!
"Seconds, please?!" asks Bandit.
Happy 5th Birthday, Wolf!
Happy 5th Birthday, Chloe!
Happy 5th Birthday, Bandit!
To celebrate their big day, we're hosting a giveaway! The prize is one of our "The Sibe Vibe" radio show T-shirts! Just complete the Rafflecopter below and if you win, you can tell us which size you'd like - Small, Medium, Large, XLarge, and 2XLarge. You don't have to have a Facebook or Twitter to enter...just follow our blog here if you don't already and leave us a birthday blog comment! You can enter until next Friday! We will then announce the winner on a post that weekend! Good luck!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Flashback Friday #17: Hey! Hey! It's the Pupsters!

The Pupsters: Sibe Babies Chloe, Wolfgang, and Bandit!

Hey! Hey! We're the Pupsters...we're just playing around...we can be so silly...we're the best pups in town!

Today's Flashback Friday is a special day as it precedes tomorrow's BIG Pupsters' event! You''ll have to come back to check out what it is and join us in having some fun!

This photo is when our little cuties first came home to join Harley, Gibson, and our family when they were just 14 weeks old! 
How was it raising three Siberian pups at one time? The best experience of a lifetime! While triple the work (especially the potty training...ohhhh....it was a quite the scene at first!)...it's triple the love, triple the fun, and triple the kisses! It's so cool to see the bonds they formed and still have with each other. My daughter did a lot of the early training with them and since she taught all three at one time, to this day they still take their commands and do it in tandem! It's so fun to watch! And there's something really special about knowing they were littermates and will never be separated! 

"Each of our lives will always be a special part of the other."  ~Unknown

Don't forget to come back later in the day tomorrow to party with us and celebrate their very special day! But shhhh....it's a surprise!

Grab our badge and join in! Share your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram #FlashbackFriday photo and mention the FiveSibes with a link back to here and leave us comment so we can come visit your Flashback, too! To catch up on past Flashback Fridays, visit us here:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blog the Change: Dogs Can Live Full and Happy Lives with Canine Epilepsy

Blog the Change

Today is Blog the Change. I'd like to take this opportunity to once again talk about Canine Epilepsy Awareness. As the parent of a seven-year-old Epi-Husky, Gibson, who was diagnosed shortly after his third birthday, I believe it is so important to spread the word that Canine Epilepsy and seizures do not have to mean a death sentence for dogs. There are many dogs who have, are, and will continue to live life to the fullest even with Canine Epilepsy. We don't know how long our canine companions - both Epis and non-Epis - will bless us with their presence, but we can make their lives as full and happy and love-filled as we can. And, whereas once upon a time euthanasia was the suggested protocol for dogs with seizures or Canine Epilepsy, that is not the recommendation today. Today, there are so many resources and healthcare routes to explore, both medically and/or holistically and there are many treatment options available for the Epi-dog parent that just didn't exist years ago. There are also very important support groups available with other Epi-dog parents who share their stories, recommendations, treatments, and support.

GIBSON: SpokesHusky for K9 Epilepsy Awareness

"Epi-dog can - and do - live full, 
happy lives!"

So you've just learned that your dog has seizures and/or Canine Epilepsy. What should you do? 
First, as any Epi-parent can tell you, bearing witness to a seizing dog is a very scary thing. Remembering Gibson's sends chills of fear down my spine. I will never ever forget how scared I was. The first thing to do when your dog has experienced a seizure is get him to the vet. With your vet, or vet team (that may include a neurogologist) you will discuss different course of treatments for your dog. Or, you may be advised to just watch and wait to see if he/she has another, or if it was a one time thing. I would also suggestion doing all the research you can on Canine Epilepsy, seizures, medications, alternative therapies, treatments, etc. Become your own personal expert on the disease. Then, connect with other Epi-dog parents for support and information exchange.

Tune in to our "The Sibe Vibe" episode on Canine Epilepsy with Marion Mitchell of the Canine Epilepsy Resources:

So many things can cause seizures: toxins, foods, stress, medications, illnesses, and genetics. But, just as many causes there are, there are also treatment options. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Sometimes it takes several attempts at various doses and medications to get them under control or "managed." The thing about the sleeping Epilepsy beast is that even if the seizures are managed, one never knows if the seizure monster will make an appearance. That is the fear all Epi-parents silently have, but pray will never happen. My Gibson is on a combination of both medications and natural supplements. I've changed his diet and try to keep our home and his environment as stress-free as possible. Even if I had a crystal ball and knew when I first saw him as a pup that he was to become an Epi-dog, I would not change one single thing. I would still scoop up that fuzzy fluffball and love him with all my might. 

To help spread the word, this past fall I launched a "Live Gib Strong" Canine Epilepsy Awareness campaign with a kick-off at the Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue's annual Tails on the Trails event in Pennsylvania. Then again during November's National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Through my book, What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy, a Live Gib Strong Resource Booklet I've produced, and sale of artisan designed bead charm awareness bracelets, rubber awareness bracelets, and T-shirts, I wanted to get the word out that our hope is for Gibson and all Epi-dogs to live life to the fullest - to live Gib strong - as we continue to let the world know that these wonderful, loving, amazing dogs are worth saving, helping, and loving. And, at the same time, raise some funds for the 
Canine Epilepsy Resources site at www.Canine-Epilepsy.com, which is home to the Epil-K9 list and supports "Emma's Fund," and it is provided by the Epil-K9 Foundation. This site is so chock full of information, I highly recommend all Epi-parents to check it out and sign up for the very supportive and informative EPIL-K9 emailing list.

There are so many resources that are available to Epi-parents as well. To name a few: 

*Canine Epilepsy Resources
*Canine Epilepsy Network
*The Epi Guardian Angels
*Nichols Online Dog Training
*Canine Epilepsy UK Online Resources
*American Kennel Club-Canine Health Foundation
*Siberian Husky Health Foundation
*Pharaoh Hound Epilepsy Foundation
*Canine Epilepsy Awareness Community Facebook Page
*Canine Epilepsy Group on Facebook (request to join)
*Dog Seizures Guide 
*FiveSibes Blog (enter Canine Epilepsy in search box)  

Through blogging, Canine Epilepsy Resources, and our other social networking, I have met so many other wonderful Epi-dog parents. They alone are such a valuable resource and support. The main thing for an Epi-parent to know is that  
you are never alone!

In an excerpt from my Live Gib Strong Resource Booklet, Sue from the White Dog Army blog shares a bit of her Mighty Quinn's story: 

"Mighty Quinn, our 10 years plus rescued American Eskimo, suffers from complex psychomotor seizures, where he paces and walks in circles for long periods. During these times he is very fearful and nervous. His attacks are infrequent and Gabapentin is effective in managing the seizures. Knowing what to watch for helps us be prepared. Quinn leads a  normal life with the White Dog Army...second in command, Mighty Quinn is an active important member of our Army, first to be served at dinner, and always there to add his deep bass "WOOF" during the mailman song. Seizures are not a death sentence or an end to quality of life. With knowledge and observation of your pet, life can continue to be a wonderful sharing adventure."

Epi-parent Jenifer, hu-mom to "Nukka," shares this:  

"Canine Epilepsy doesn't make (Nukka) less of a dog, it makes us realize even more how lucky we are to have her in our lives." 

I am currently working on a book of collective stories and if you are/have been an Epi-dog parent or know of one, I would love to include their story in a book I'm writing scheduled to be published later in 2013 through ArcticHouse Publishing. We do hope you'll join us and share your Epi-dog's story and photos (your Epi-dog may be past or present) with us to show the world our beautiful, wonderful, amazing Epi-dogs! March 1st is the deadline for submissions. See below for details. Stories and photos can be Emailed to ArcticHousePublishing(at)gmail(dot)com.  (Word docs and high resolution jpegs for photos). Please be sure to state your permission for publishing your story and photos in the book. In Email's subject line state EPI-STORY. A percentage of proceeds post-production costs will benefit the Canine Epilepsy Resources "Emma's Fund," which is a memorial fund set up through the Neurology Department of the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University, and the funds help the neurology and genetics departments.

Through this work, Gibson and I hope to join others and "Be the Change For Animals" by spreading the word that Epi-dogs can - and do - live full, happy lives and bring so much joy and love into ours!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Daughter, the FiveSibes' Other Mom, on this Very Special Flashback Friday!

"Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to you..."
Today is a very special day for 25 years ago the most beautiful, amazing girl was born and has filled my life with so much love and joy each and every day since - my wonderful daughter and very best friend! 

So for this edition of Flashback Friday, I'd like to dedicate it to my Birthday girl and her furbabies of yesterday and today!
Pictured above in an ode to my family's first dog that touched my daughter's life when she was just a little girl - her then best friend, (now a furangel), puppy Chelsey, who came home with us after we adopted her from our local SPCA. She spent the next 13 years always playing and watching over my daughter...and going on the swing set with her! Devoted love.

Above my daughter is with her first baby, Harley, our first Siberian Husky on the day that, unbeknownst to us at the time, would be the kick-off of the beginning of the FiveSibes...the day baby Harley joined our family!  True love.

Flash forward seven years and flashback seven months, and the photo below is of my daughter sharing a tender moment with her other Sibe girl, Chloe, after Chloe underwent emergency bilateral cruciate imbrication surgery on both of her hind legs last summer. Such love. 

"I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say ‘I love you’." 
 ~William Shakespeare
Happy Birthday, Lovey! You are the best daughter and friend any mother could ever wish for! And a wonderful co-mom to our furkids! I love you!
Grab our badge and join in! Share your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram #FlashbackFriday photo and mention the FiveSibes with a link back to here and leave us comment so we can come visit your Flashback, too! To catch up on past Flashback Fridays, visit us here: