Meet Two Epi-Stars--Lana & Darren--Dogs With Epilepsy, for #NEAM: November's Epilepsy Awareness Month

Epi-Stars, "Darren" & "Lana"

 

by Dorothy Wills-Raftery 

 

 *Note: this post may contain affiliate links. 
Simply put, if you order using the link, 
we earn a very small commission *at no extra cost to you.*

If you've been following us, for the month of November, which is National Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM), I'm highlighting some amazing stories about Epi-Dogs. Insspired by not only my own Epi-dog Gibson’s story, but all the stories in my book EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Life With Canine Epilepsy, I was moved to bring back for a second year my series on Epi-Stars--dogs who have Canine Epilepsy, but never let that stop them from loving life. Sometimes that journey creates amazing bonds...between Epi-dog and caregiver; and between Epi-dog, caregiver, and their veterinarian team; and sometimes a bond forms with other Epi-dog families through sharing our knowledge and experiences with others.

Today, I'm happy to introduce you to beautiful Epi-Stars "Lana," a Rhodesian Rideback mix, and "Darren," a Golden Retriever mix, both are A. Piper Burgi's beautiful Epi-dogs. 

Says Piper, who in addition to being an award-winning author and hu-mom to not one, but two Epi-dogs at the same time, she is also a military veteran. "I want to take this opportunity to share a little insight into living with Canine Epilepsy - a subject matter near and dear to my heart. As many of you probably know, the two dogs pictured above were my Epi-warriors, Lana and Darren. They both developed Idiopathic Epilepsy (epilepsy with unknown cause) within two days of each other when Darren was two and Lana was four years of age. I did my best to provide them with everything they needed and the quality of life they deserved. But, in the end, Darren suffered a massive stroke, and Lana lost her battle with bladder cancer; they passed away within four days of each other. At this point, I decided to write a book about their journey called Living With Canine Epilepsy to let everyone know that dogs with Canine Epilepsy can lead a happy and meaningful life. Prayers for all the Epi-Warriors out there...may they stay seizure-free for a long time!"

Piper's book where she talks all about caring for two dogs with Canine Epilepsy.

We now know just how many dogs are affected by Canine Epilepsy and that dogs can and do live full happy lives with it. However, there is some special care that needs to be given.

 

The journey with an Epi-dog is not always easy, but these dogs truly are amazing. Piper goes on to explain, "Living with a dog that has epilepsy can be a daunting prospect. Still, with some help from a veterinarian and much planning, epileptic dogs can live a relatively normal, happy, and meaningful life."
 
And she is so right! 
 
In her article that she shared on her website titled, "November is #EpilepsyAwarenessMonth: A Day in the Life of Two Epi Warriors," Piper shares that "On a good day, we all got up around 6:00 a.m...well, Lana and Darren stuck their wet noses in my face to wake me up. Breakfast and the first dosage of daily meds by 7:00 a.m. Walk/jog, either outdoors when the weather permitted or on the treadmill by 10:00 a.m. Outings, errands, and playtime throughout the day. Dinner and the second dosage of daily medication by 7:00 p.m. This schedule had to eventually be adjusted once Darren had to switch from Phenobarbital to Keppra due to his hypertensive liver, a drug he had to take three times a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."
 
"I would sit on the floor next to the dog bed until they fell asleep again and prayed that there wouldn't be any more epileptic episodes."
~A. Piper Burgi, 
Author & Hu-Mom to Epi-Dogs
 
She then goes on to note that "On a bad day, one of my furry children or one after the other would have their first seizure of the day in the early morning hours, anywhere between midnight and 5:00 a.m. I wiped away excess slobber off the dog's face. I administered a pill pocket with Valium in an attempt to prevent a vicious cycle of recurring seizures. Then, it was time to give the dog a quick sponge bath to remove the remnants of urine and/or stool after the dog lost control of his or her bladder and/or bowel due to the seizure. I cleaned/replaced the doggie bedding and adjacent carpeting as necessary, fed the patient a snack, provided a fresh bowl of water and the opportunity to relieve themselves. I would put the dogs back to bed if it was still nighttime. I would sit on the floor next to the dog bed until they fell asleep again and prayed that there wouldn't be any more epileptic episodes. Eventually, I crawled back into bed and attempted to go back to sleep. If we were lucky, no one had another seizure. If we were not so fortunate, then the above scenario repeated itself many times throughout the following day or two, and we would eventually end up spending the day at the vet clinic."
 
"What I would like everyone to remember during this Epilepsy Awareness Month - is that it is not the end of the world if your dog has epilepsy. Yes, it is challenging to live with canine epilepsy, and there's no cure for this condition. However, it can be managed. Just take a deep breath and deal with it one day at a time."
~A. Piper Burgi
Author & Hu-mom to Epi-dogs
 
Caring for Epi-dogs, Piper has learned a lot and shares with others tips on how to help your dog when s/he has a seizure. In her article, she shares a more in-depth explanation on the following:
  • Keep your Epi-dog safe
  • Reduce external stimulants
  • Time the duration
  • Know when to see a doctor
  • Keep a journal
 To read her tips in full detail, visit her post HERE.
 
Even with caring for dogs who have seizures, Piper shares, "What I would like everyone to remember during this Epilepsy Awareness Month - is that it is not the end of the world if your dog has epilepsy. Yes, it is challenging to live with canine epilepsy, and there's no cure for this condition. However, it can be managed. There may be bumps along your journey together, but you can get through them. Just take a deep breath and deal with it one day at a time."
 
Such excellent words of wisdom and definitely for all Epi-dog caregivers to hold onto, especially on the more difficult days.
 

After her experiences caring for her brave warriors Lana and Darren, Piper penned her book, Living with Canine Epilepsy that is available through Amazon. I have posted a link here to her book.

 

"Learning to live with an animal with complex health issues is never easy; learning to live with two dogs with severe epilepsy can be an overwhelming task," shares Piper. "Epilepsy manifests in frightening ways, causing a dog to experience sudden, uncontrolled attacks. Living with a dog that has epilepsy can be a daunting prospect, but with the help of a vet and a lot of planning your dog(s) can live a relatively normal life. Common sense combined with medicine can make canine epilepsy manageable."

 
The Inspirational Book Behind This Epi-Star Feature Series
 

To purchase my book, go to our FiveSibes
For November's Epilepsy Awareness Month, we are offering a 
25% DISCOUNT using our code: EPIcGIBSON ~and~ DONATING 20% to a Canine Epilepsy nonprofit.
Simply Email us at ArcticHousePublishing(at)gmail.com 
and put EPIc Dog Tales in subject line and you will receive an invoice with the discount. Offer ends 12/31/2023.
There is a limited quantity of print books.
 

💜 

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
 
All Previous Epi-Stars, go HERE
 

 

 

Click on graphic above to visit our online resource library.

 

 

Back to our Home Page and Our Other Pages, including Our About the Breed Page and Our #LiveGibStrong On-Line K-9 Epilepsy Resource Page, ArcticHouse Books & Gifts Shoppe & so much more!  Just click on "More" Pages at top of blog. 

 

 


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