November is (K9) Epilepsy Awareness Month: #LiveGibStrong

It's November 1st and that means it's Epilepsy Awareness Month. Here at FiveSibes, we focus mainly on Canine Epilepsy and the message that dogs can and do live happy lives, for however long we are blessed to have them.

As many of my longtime readers and listeners know, my advocacy for Canine Epilepsy was inspired by my own beautiful boy, Gibson, a wooly Siberian Husky who was diagnosed shortly after his third birthday in 2009. He lived a happy, amazing life and inspired me to have faith, confidence, and always keep trying, just like he did! While we managed his seizures through a regmien of anti-seizure medications, supplements, and alternative and holistic therapies, Gibson did experience side effects of the meds such as lethargy, voracious appetite, weight gain, weak hind-end issues, ataxia, and bouts of vomiting. Each of these side effects, we combatted as they came...and he overcame so many of them. After two years of a strict diet and rehab, he lost 20 pounds he initially gained, and he truly lived Gib Strong, inspiring me and the face and the name behind my #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign. 

Sadly, and suddenly, I lost Gibson shortly before Christmas last year, not from Canine Epilepsy, but from complications during surgery from hemangiosarcoma. I miss him each and every day. I miss that very special connection and bond we formed. We were a team. There seemed to be nothing he could not overcome. Was it easy? No way. Was it worrisome? Absolutely. Was it costly. At times. Was it all worth it? Absolutely. I would never, ever trade the amazing human-canine bond we shared and I learned so much from him. He may no longer be by my side, but he is always present in spirit and he will forever live on in the work I continue to do in his name to help educate, inform, and support others on this sometimes rocky journey known as Canine Epilepsy. Throughout the month, I will share different tips, information, resources, as well as highlight some pretty special Epi-dogs, past and present, who will inspire us all to #LiveGibStrongForever. 

November also marks a very special time for my family - my daughter is expecting her son this month; my first grandson! While I won't be posting every day this  month as in the past, I do hope you'll sign up to receive my posts via Email and stop back to read our Canine Epilepsy posts and share with others to help more people become advocates for Epi-dogs so folks will think about adopting a dog with seizures and know they have a resource to come to with questions. And to let those who live with an  Epi-dog know they are not alone, and hopefully encourage them to not surrender a dog with seizures to a shelter.

Recruitment Call for Epi-Dogs
To kick off the are two clinical studies being conducted by the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine's (NCSU-CVM) Companion Animal Epilepsy Research Department:

Clinical Study #1 
"The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis in Canine Epilepsy-Determining the Role of Lactobacilli."  
NCSU-CVM is recruiting dogs who have been diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy, but are not on anti-seizure medications. For more details, please read their Clinical Studies flyer.

Flyer (download HERE)

Clinical Study #2  
 "The Use of Accelerometry to Detect Seizure in Dogs With Idiopathic Epilepsy"
 Recruiting dogs with idiopathic Epilepsy requirements:  A) Dogs who are having three or more seizures per month despite treatment, B) Age six months to six years at onset of seizures, with one year of documented seizures, C) Access to Smartphone and wifi Internet home services, D) Be willing to travel to NCSU-CVM on three seperate vists over a six-month period. For more information, please read their Clinical Studies flyer.

Flyer (download HERE):

Clinical Studies CONTACT:

If  you have any questions or are interested in enrolling in either of the studies, please contact  
Julie Nettifee via Email at janettif(at)ncsu(dot)edu or by phone at (919) 513-6812. Be sure to tell her Dorothy from FiveSibes sent you over.

 Tune In!

To listen to a very informative, Dog Writers Association of America award-nominated, episode of my Dog Works Radio show, "The Sibe Vibe" on Canine Epilepsy featuring guests Dr. Karen Munana and Julie Nettifee of NCSU-CVM, tune in below:

My Books on Canine Epilepsy:
(Please note: These are affiliate links directly to my books published by ArcticHouse Publishing, who should be the only listed "seller" to ensure you are purchasing an original, new, authentic edition. This is not a paid post. All opinions and information are my own, based on my own experiences. A portion from sales of each book is donated through my #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign to the Canine Epilepsy Resources Epil-K9 Foundation's "Emma's Seizure Fund" at the North Carolina State University College Veterinary Medicine for Canine Epilepsy research and studies.)

Until next time... may your beloved pet #LiveGibStrongForever



  1. I rescued a puppy mill survivor who was diagnosed with canine epilepsy 2 weeks after her adoption, and coming across your site has been extremely helpful thus far. Thank you for all your advocacy and information! I'm so sorry you lost your Gibson boy-clearly he was the heart dog from which your blog thrives. Well done.

  2. You do such amazing things to fight the battle and we're so proud of all you do. A grand wee baby soon, cool!

  3. Bless your heart! Gibson was a beautiful dog and I am sorry he suffered at all but I know you made his life wonderful while he was with you. Congrats on your grandson - hummm Gibson would be a wonderful name for him! :)
    You do amazing work and I pray they find out more in the research!

  4. What a wonderful post, and I admire everything you do to raise awareness. I know how tough it is, nursing a dog through various health challenges, but how beautiful and special the bond you have is.

  5. Thank you for sharing and spreading awareness! Love your purple bandana!

  6. We're so sorry about Gibson. We wish we would have known him. Thanks for sharing such grewt info for dog owners. And concatulations on your grand baby!

  7. While at the Better With Pets summit, one of the vets talked about new nutrition research that seems to offer some hope for seizures in dogs. Hoping new info will prevent or solve future problems.

  8. This is such great information for anyone with a dog. I've learned a lot about canine epilepsy from you and Confessions of a Rescue Mom. It takes a special person to have the strength to provide the extra care a dog with epilepsy needs <3

  9. I think it's wonderful all the advocacy you do for epi-dogs. Anyone I've crossed paths with that have dogs with epilepsy are heart broken and I always want to point them to someone that knows more so now I'll be pointing them in your direction.

  10. Epilepsy is one of those hidden things, like mental illness, isn't it. Education like yours in the key to giving hope. Our friend Newt the cat works to bring Liver Shunt to worldwide attention for the same reasons, to give hope, and allow people to take action!

  11. I love this:inspired me to have faith, confidence, and always keep trying, just like he did! Such a great Mom and ambasador. <3

  12. Wow - what an amazing post! I am so sorry to read about Gibson, while at the same time overjoyed to learn you're going to add a little one to the family (congrats grandma!)! The studies are wonderful - we will share them with our readers - thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  13. Thank you for all the work you do to advocate for these dogs. You have helped me generate awareness for Mike and I am inspired to do as much as I can to find him a home. This is his month!

  14. I know you did everything you could for Gibson. Thank you for sharing information about epilepsy in dogs.

  15. My boy Riley died of the same cancer. It's ghastly.
    I am so sorry for your loss

  16. You've been such a great advocate for dogs with epilepsy. Before I started reading your blog, I wouldn't have considered adopting a dog with epilepsy, but now I know it is something that I could do. Thank you for sharing Gibson with all of us!

  17. This post really resonated with me, I lost my sweet boy Wyatt to idiopathic epilepsy. He struggled sense he was 1 ears old and lost his battle when he was 3 years old. Im so sorry for your loss.

  18. Thank you so much and we are sure you did whatevr you could do for Gibson, am going to add to my Pet List that November is K9 Epilepsy Awareness Month

  19. We saw someone at the vet recently who was struggling with a pet with seizures. You're a great advocate! I wish I had a card to give him.

  20. Dorothy, you are an amazing Epi warrior! I can't tell you how much I admire the work you and Angel Gibson have done around raising awareness. I'm sharing this of course.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


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