Meet Epi-Star LILY for November Epilepsy Awareness Month


Epi-Star "Lily"



by Dorothy Wills-Raftery 

This month, November, as my you know from following us here at FiveSibes, is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and in honor of my Epi-boy, Gibson, I continue advocating for dogs with Epilepsy (Epi-dogs) to show the world that they are pretty amazing and can do anything non-Epis can do!


This month I began a new feature on my blog to introduce everyone to some amazing dogs who live/have lived with Canine Epilepsy, but never letting that stop them from enjoying life!! I call these dogs “Epi-Stars” and if you’ve been following us this month, my new feature is showing how these amazing Epi-dogs greet each day as only a dog can do—with joy and happiness.


I started this journey of Canine Epilepsy awareness with my Gibson in 2009, shortly after his third birthday, and became an official Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador in 2012. Over more than a decade, I have met—and am still meeting—some pretty wonderful Epi-dogs and their families who love and care for them.


Today, I’d like to introduce you to Sharon Hayes’ two beautiful Siberian Huskies, “Lily,” who has Canine Epilepsy, and her non-Epi biological sister “Belle.”


“Lily is a happy, healthy, and spoiled three-year-old Husky,” notes Sharon, who says Lily is her fourth Siberian Husky, and the first Husky of hers to have seizures, but they are not sure why. “She had her first seizure two years ago when she was 16 months old. She was young. It really freaked us out. Throughout the year she only had three other quick seizures. Then back in May, she had three seizures within 15 minutes. We rushed her to the animal hospital. Their first question was ‘When did she have her last flea medicine?’ It had been a week. That was also the day that we had an eclipse. While we waited in the hospital, a few dogs came in with the same problem. They sent us home that night. She had two more seizures that night. Our vet said it was time to put her on Keppra.” Sharon says Lily is her first Husky to have seizures. “The best thing we ever did was put her on Keppra. She’s been healthy ever since.”  

Many things ranging from genetics to illness and injury to food and environmental things can be a possible trigger for seizures. If genetics can be traced and there's no history there, and once a vet rules out illness and injury, other triggers can include flea and tick treatments, heartworm meds, food additives, candles and scents, flashing lights, TV, stress, heat, and yes, lunar phases and eclipses, solar flares; and the list is long. (You can read more about triggers in my post HERE).

“Lily is a happy, healthy, and spoiled 
three-year-old Husky.” 
~Sharon Hayes
Sharon says she knows the breeder, and no other dogs in the bloodline have seizures other than Lily. As anyone who has a dog with Epilepsy, once genetics, illness and injury are ruled out, there are so many things—and nothing in particular—that can trigger a seizure, and for Epi-dog parents that can be an unknown. For Lily, the medicine is working, and that is wonderful news. This is always great news when one shares a life with an Epi-dog. To hear they are doing well and that the medications are helping to manage seizures is truly a positive thing and the goal we all set out to achieve.


Lily shares her life with her sister, Belle, a beautiful wooly Husky who Sharon says “just wants to be pet and hugged.”  Belle is Sharon’s fifth Husky, and she just celebrated her second birthday on November 23rd!


Lily and Belle are very bonded, and Sharon says they enjoy walks together in the cooler weather and they “love to run in the backyard. They are both still young, so they have a lot of energy and when one starts digging the other joins in. Lily loves her morning three-mile walk, and she loves to play tug of war with her rope and her sister. It’s so funny to watch. They look like they are killing each other, but they are just playing!”


Ah, yes, the Husky way of play! 


“Lily is our first husky that does not woo. She’s so quiet. When she needs to go out she comes up to us and uses her paw to tell us what she wants. It’s almost like she’s using sign language.” Lily also loves to snuggle up on her pillow every night.


Lily and her sister Belle, “Love to run in the backyard. They are both still young, so they have a lot of energy and when one starts digging the other joins in. Lily loves her morning three-mile walk, and she loves to play tug of war with her rope and her sister. It’s so funny to watch." 
~Sharon Hayes

“Lily is our dainty little husky. She is very loved. With the help of medication, I’m hoping she lives many more years!”

Sharon just loves to see Lily and Belle play and snuggle together, and Epilepsy does not stop Lily from enjoying her days just playing and being with her sister, Belle!



Note: These are the personal stories of Epi-dogs as told by their families. As always, discuss any medications, alternative treatments, new foods, etc., with your veterinarian first before giving to your dog.


Other Stories in the Epi-Star Series:


Epi-Star Gibson of FiveSibes, go HERE
Epi-Star Emma, go HERE
Epi-Stars Quinn & Sue go HERE. 
Epi-Star Ruby, the Therapy Dog, go HERE. 
Epi-Star Gibbs, the Therapy Dog, go HERE.
Epi-Star Jackie, Guiding Eyes for the Blind Ambassador/IBM Neurodiversity Mascot, go HERE.
Epi-Star Manilow, go HERE

Epi-Star Cheyenne, go HERE.
Epi-Stars Riona & Fearghas, go HERE. 
Epi-Star Lily, go HERE
Epi-Star Luna, go HERE
Epi-Star Olivia, go HERE
Epi-Star Max, go HERE. 


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