Friday, May 4, 2018

Catching Up on Another Seizure Monster Visit on a #FiveSibes Flashback Friday

Harley relaxing with her pack family on a recent evening.

Have you missed us? We sure hope so! It has been a little hit and miss with my blogging lately due to a few things here on the homefront, including some ongoing heath issues for both myself and a few of the FiveSibes, including Wolf and his ongoing gastrointestinal issues from anxiety (that will be another post), Chloe having elevated kidney levels in her recent annual, and another visit from the dreaded seizure monster for my senior gal, the FiveSibes alpha queen and surrogate momma, Harley. It's been a little over a year since she had her first seizure, which after tests, showed she had hypothyroidism and could be the trigger for the seizure. At 12, it is not typically a diagnosis of Canine Epilepsy, but it is a whole new book of concerns when a senior dog starts seizing.

Not only did Harley have her second full blown grand mal seizure a little over a month ago, she also had a little "incident" a couple weeks ago, where I was able to hold her and soothe her and it did not go into a full seizure. I cannot say for sure it was the start of one or simply an overstressed issue now that she is in her golden years. I have noticed that if she has to go out - LIKERIGHTNOW- if I do not get to the door fast enough, she starts to pant and get anxious. And stress can be a trigger for seizures. So, when Harley quietly indicates that she has to "go," (and when I say indicates, I mean she will quietly walk into the room, look at me, and hopefully I notice) and then just as quietly walk back to the door. If you miss this hint, and she will only do it once, maybe twice, she will get anxious and come back again, this time, panting, like, "Hey, I mean NOW." Which, all equals stress, especially on an older dog. (Shhh...please do not tell her I called her an "older" dog)!

Harley snoozing soundly on the deck next to Wolfie.

After an in-depth conversation with one of my vets, whom I think the world of, with her thyroid levels right on the mark, this seizure was thought to possibly be due to low-blood sugar, hypoglycemia (something this human is quite familiar with having to deal with that myself since a teen). These are all new things I am adjusting to that can begin to show when our dogs age. As much as I hate to admit it, my FiveSibes "pups" are all senior dogs now, and Harley, even though a very young-acting 13, is seriously a senior. Plus, she is also deaf. Her hearing left her over a year ago, which brings me to new ways to assure her she is safe when she screams and seems like she gets scared after her seizure, such as holding her and soothing her, and yes, I still speak to her. While supposedly they do not feel pain, I instantly think "she hurts" when I hear that heart-squeezing scream. But, some dogs do yelp or howl or scream when they come out of a seizure. Gibson was a quiet boy. Not Harley. But, no matter what wonderful care we give our beloved dogs, their bodies and systems change as they age, just like ours do, and different things can pop up that just were never there before. Such as hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia. That being said, I am SO thankful that it is not a brain tumor or cancer or a stroke (all very real possibilities for dogs at this age who begin to experience seizures). Both of Harley's new diagnoses are pretty manageable, even if there is no guarantee that she will not have another seizure.

With regards to seizures in senior dogs, I want to thank Hindy Pearson of Caring for a Senior Dog website, who invited me to be a guest blogger on just this topic over on her wonderful website in my article "If A Senior Dog Has a Seizure, Is It Canine Epilepsy?" Please take a few minutes and go read my article there for more information on seizures in older dogs.

Harley has always been the tough girl, the leader of our FiveSibes pack family. The true love of my furgangel Gibson, and an amazing surrogate momma to our three Pupsters--littermates Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit. She has always been strong, and she is resilient. I pray she continues to be and that the seizure monster goes away, never to revisit her. Somehow, after dealing with seizures, side effects, and close calls with my sweet Gibson, I guess I figured I'd get a pass on another one of my dogs having seizures. But, life is not like that. You just never know. The upside is, if Gibson had to be an Epi-dog, he sure taught me plenty and, even though a bit in shock, at least I feel prepared for when the seizures came. Harley just recently celebrated her 13th Birthday in March, as you can see from the photo above, and I sure hope we have years left to celebrate more birthdays together.

For More Info on Canine Seizures and Epilepsy, You Can Download or You Can Request FREE copies of my #Paws4Purple Project With The Anita Kaufmann Foundation. (To request to have FREE hard copies of the flyers and bookmarks sent to you or your organization, rescue, shelter, veterinarian, vet clinic, etc., simply Email my #Paws4Purple partner, AnnMarie(at)AKFUS(dot)org, and tell her Dorothy & the FiveSibes sent you over)!

Once again, I emphasize that seizures do not keep these amazing dogs down! Here in the following video, is our dear Harley, being her typical fun Husky self, a few days post seizure. Now, as for me...I was sitting in my chair going completely gray from worry, but as you can see from this video, she does not let it stop her for too long! I pray we will be saying that for several more years to come because quite honestly, I am not ready to say goodbye to another one of my furbabies yet. But then again, are we ever?

Do I do anything different for her now? Sure do. I take extra care that she does not get overexerted, overheated, anxious, or stressed. I try to calm her down from chasing her tail (her favorite thing besides Fetch! to do), but that's not always an easy task! Plus, I do try to remember a great piece of advice that my one vet gave me years ago with  my let him (now her) live and enjoy life. Good advice! While I will worry and and always pay attention to every little twitch and sound, I do try to remember those words and have decided to let her chase her tail, at least for a few minutes! 

Today's Flashback Friday photo visits 2012, when our queen Harley was just six years old and the beautiful "cover model dog" for American Pet Magazine. I am so proud of this girl!

"But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day." ~Benjamin Disraeli

Woo! It's Flashback Friday here all week! Have a pic of your pet(s) early days? Gotcha Day? Birthday? Share it with us and join in our weekly stroll down Memory Lane by grabbing our badge and linking up any time during the week! And be sure to pop over and visit other blogger's as well! What a great way to remember those early days, and a fun way to kick off the weekend! JOIN US!

We are also joining our blogger friends in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at: Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!

We are also jumping in to join the Appreciate the  Moments Blog Hop hosted by The Everyday Dog Mom! I appreciate all the moments - even  more so, if possible, when we are reminded of just how precious they are when faced with something like seizures or an illness. And, since it is May, and their theme is "mother" - my blog post, all the pics, including the magazine cover, are taken by me and is all of the FiveSibes pack momma dog - Harley!  Be sure to pop over to their blog see some of the other great photos featured in the Hop!

It sure is a pretty exciting Friday for bloggers and readers! 
Enjoy your weekend, Everyone!


  1. Poor Harley, we just hate that and I'm so glad you are noticing the hints. I hope you feel better too. Hugs from all of us.

  2. Poor Harley and I have learned so much from you especially as Layla will be 11 this year. Sending all of you a big hug from us as you amaze me with your strength.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about Harley, I know how gut wrenching that scream is when they have a seizure. If it is stress induced than there's reason to feel optimistic as it's at least somewhat in our hands, when we're home anyway. Even though I've only had old dogs (except for Jack), I still see how much frailer Red is getting. Like you said, no matter what wonderful care we give them...

  4. Harley is 13?! I never would have guessed by the video. Harley's got lots of energy and zest for life. Yes, I can relate to the worry as they age and have illness,but definitely cherish every minute. I always say document as much as you can in video and pictures together so when they do get their wings you have plenty of good memories to make you smile. BUT I pray thats a LONG way down the line. Thanks for the update and hope you are feeling better soon as well as Harley not getting another visit from the seizure monster anytime soon.

  5. So sorry to hear the epic-monster visited your sweet girl. After watching that video, I'm stunned your Harley-girl is 13! She reminds me of Elsa who will 'play' the same game when she wants Sam to engage with her. It makes me smile.

  6. It is so hard to watch our furbabies age and there is nothing we can do to slow down time. Harley certainly still acts like a puppy so I'm sure you have a lot more time to play and love together. Thanks for joining the Pet Parade. I forgot about Flashback Friday and will go amend my last post listing specific blog hops. ♥

  7. Harley looks so great in that video! I'm glad the seizure didn't keep her down. I need to read your post on Layla's blog. I hope that Harley doesn't have any more seizures and has lots more time with you!

  8. Aw, what a good girl. I hope the seizures are rare. I know they can happen anywhere or any time, but when you are gone, do you try to prep a place for her to go? I know my grandparents' dog who had epilepsy always tried to get into the bathtub when she had a seizure, which were pretty regular. It's so scary. Best of luck with this.

  9. Harley reminds me of our Peanut, even as a senior she was lively, and engaged with the world around here. A lively pup is a happy pup and OF COURSE Harley get the best care from you.

    I can relate to the going grey with worry part - any time one of mine falls ill the whole world takes on a shadow of worry. BUT the encouragement of others stops a worried pet parent from giving up!

    PS When my mum passed away recently, I was at home and have brought the book from the auction home with me :-) Mum told me she loved reading it too :-)

  10. Oh Dorothy, you've been dealing with so much! I'm so sorry to hear about all these issues. I had no idea Harley was deaf! Combined with the seizures that must be so hard. You're pretty amazing, you take such great care of your Sibes and share so much knowledge with others. Love, Hugs, & Kisses to the Sibes!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  11. I am sorry you have had so much on your plate with your own health issues as well as your precious pups various issues.

    I just finished reading your post on Hindy's site as well. I love the idea of having a plan in place if your senior dog has a seizure. As I mentioned in my comment, Pip had his first seizure during his last week of life. It was a complete shock and very upsetting - I didn't have a plan in place. Ruby has had a few very mild seizures both before we adopted her and over the last few years. None of them have been grand mal seizures, fortunately.

  12. So sorry you all had such a hard time. Yes, if seizures start this late in life, epilepsy is not the likely culprit. Hopefully you can get this figured out and under control. <3

  13. Your vet gave you the best advice...let your dog enjoy every moment...but we do tend to worry and dread the next seizure. Fortunately, with proper diagnosis and medication, we are often able to keep seizures from happening again.

  14. We had a senior spaniel who had canine epilepsy, and her seizures definitely arrived and increased due to stressful situations (like renovations for example). Her warning signs were short and quiet as well. Most often, she would want to be near you (sitting or standing), and then she would drool excessively. That being said, as soon as we got her seizures under control with medication, she lived a long and full life!

  15. You are always so alert with your dogs and that's important. If I weren't so observant with my girls, I'd have never caught Truffle's large bladder stones and she may not be with me now.