Today, March 26th, is known as Purple Day. Purple Day is all about supporting and bringing awareness about epilepsy in all species. In this household, it’s also Buster’s birthday, and he’s 4 years old today! That makes today a pretty special day, because Buster the birthday boy is also epileptic.
(On a side note: 1.) Don’t let Buster fool you. This is his eagerly, patiently awaiting face. His tail is wagging about 100 miles/minute. He looks sad here, but I assure you, he is not. 2.) Yes, this is a tiny treat, but he has more in the fridge for the rest of the week to munch on. He went on a 2 and a half hour walk today where he got essentially 2 hotdogs and some cheese as training treats, so this is a sufficient treat amount for him tonight. And 3.) I promise you this treat actually looks yummy when it’s not in a purple tint for #PurpleDay 🙂 I will post the recipe later.)
Luckily, Buster’s epilepsy is no where near as bad as most of the people bringing awareness to #PurpleDay have in their life. Buster has only had 3 seizures since September 2014, so he isn’t on any anti-seizure medications. (He does however see a holistic vet who has him on 2 herbal supplements that happen to be excellent for his skin and, ironically, helpful for seizures. That’s the interesting thing behind holistic medicine; it’s interesting to see how they believe certain aspects of the body are intertwined.) His seizures are also rather quick and mild. His first seizure was the longest at about 30 seconds, but his other two were less than 15 seconds. He also seems to have a very specific, yet odd, trigger. All of his seizures have started exactly the same. He’s been asleep, he’s been startled awake (because I’m clumsy and drop pans), he goes to displace his aggression on Kudo (poor Kudo, but he takes it like a champ. Also, Buster has never actually hurt or done damage to Kudo.), I call him and he walks towards me, and as he walks towards me, he collapses on his side and seizes.
Oddly enough, there is a study out there they’ve done on epileptic humans that show more often than not, their seizures also occur during the point where they go from being asleep to waking up. Apparently all of the electrical currents in your brain go crazy in those seconds from being asleep to waking up, and that just makes it a perfect storm for a seizure to happen. I find that to make absolute sense, and it doesn’t seem far-fetched to think the same thing could happen with dogs.
So in this house, we do anything we can to prevent causing a seizure (I’ve actually learned to be less clumsy!), and we just hope for no more seizures. I sincerely hope that his epilepsy doesn’t get worse with age, as I know it does for so many.
I wanted this post just to be short and sweet. Just so you’re aware that today is a pretty big deal all around the world for people and animals who suffer or know someone who suffers with epilepsy. It’s a crappy disease, because it’s an entirely unknown disease. Most never know when a seizure will strike. You never know for how long or how bad. You never know if a cluster seizure set will begin or not. You never know if it will kill your dog. It’s a pretty terrifying disease, but thankfully, there are tons of epi-dogs and epileptic people out there to prove that you can still live a normal life with it. We’re thankful that Buster’s is mild, but we hope that more research goes into it for everyone’s sake.
And, since it was Buster’s birthday, he got some new toys and some nice treats 🙂 So happy birthday, Buster. We wish for many, many more happy, healthy birthdays with little to no seizures from now on 🙂
Now do me a favor, and make sure you check out some of the other blogs in this blog hop, because some of them have terrific information where you can learn more about #PurpleDay and epilepsy.