I am Kirsy, and I live in Australia. First of all I would like to say how grateful I am to have met Sandy through my research to find natural approaches to try to get my dog’s epilepsy under control. I think this website and the blogs are a fantastic way to help others and to “open some eyes”.
Now, here is our journey:
In July 2008, while we were shopping in the supermarket, my husband casually told me something that turned out to be life changing for me and my family. He said “tomorrow we will pick up a dog from the airport. I spent 2 months searching for the PERFECT breed for us. This dog that I choose doesn’t shed, so your Mom won’t get asthma from him. Please don’t be angry that the kids and I didn’t tell you before now!”
My reaction? I started crying in frustration. How could they do this to me? Until then I didn’t even like dogs, (whoa, how that has changed since!!!) plus we had just retired from 25 years of running our own businesses and the plan was for us to travel. Now a dog? I was furious!
The next day my hubby and our youngest daughter went to the airport to pick up the 8 week old pup – an Australian Labradoodle. I was told to stay home and to cook for him. I had to boil chicken and rice, per the breeder’s advice. You should have seen the ratio I prepared, as I had NO IDEA! I made about 10% meat to 90% rice. Well, I didn’t want that dog anyway.
Home they come and my daughter had this tiny little fluffy black “ball” in her hand. My heart just melted and I met the love of my life – JASPER for the first time. I was TOTALLY transformed within seconds! He ravenously indulged into my pathetic rice dish with hardly any meat in it. Oooh, but he was so cute!
The first weeks were not easy. Setting alarm clocks every 3 hours to let him out for “toilet”, (which he had usually done in his doggy bed already)…..
We were feeding him what the breeder had recommended. Cooked chicken, rice and some veggies with the addition of dry Eukanuba or Hill Science Diet kibble. Sometimes I added raw chicken necks. He often vomited and had numerous episodes of bad diarrhea in the house overnight. Our Vet suggested BARF, but those frozen patties were so expensive.
In September 2009 Jasper started having seizures, for no apparent reason. We were devastated. What was happening to our boy all of the sudden? It broke my heart to watch those Grand Mal seizures racking his little body and not being able to help him. Our Vet suggested that we wait before starting him on anti-epileptic drugs, as they can have dangerous side effects. Since Jasper did not have cluster seizures, recovered quickly after a seizure, and averaged no more than one seizure per month, we agreed to hold off on the drugs and look for other means to help him.
To make a very long story short, we discovered that Jasper had genetic inherited epilepsy, a condition known to his breeder for 4 years! We filed a complaint against the breeder and won! But not until after a very long fight for justice.
By February, 2010, Jasper had 2 seizures in only 5 days. I had to do something! In desperation I contacted Dr. Jean Dodds of HEMOPET, in California. Anyone who may be interested in her full advice to us, email me @ email@example.com [Editor’s note: Cory was also a patient of Dr. Jean Dodds! She monitored his thyroid levels every 6 months of his life, and she also provided excellent advice for him].
In May 2010 we switched Jasper to a raw grain-free homemade diet in combination with the supplements Epi-Still and Taurine. My Vet was so impressed with the improvement in Jasper! He said we didn’t have to supplement with anything else. However, I still do give him some supplements of fish oil 1000mg, Vitamin C 1000mg, Vit E 200iu. He also gets a raw knuckle bone every second day for calcium and strong, healthy teeth. Gnawing on a long bone is actually very good for a dog’s mental health, as it is relaxing. Jasper is now a very content yet active, but never hyperactive fellow. We love him to bits and couldn’t imagine a more perfect dog, except for the Epilepsy monster.
I am so happy that we made the switch to raw. They say you can tell by a dog’s pooh how healthy his gut is. Jasper’s stools changed from being runny, smelly and often jelly like, because his stomach lining was damaged from eating the wrong diet of cooked grains etc. to small, firm stools which have almost no odor. Since we started RAW feeding, Jasper never had another accident in the house and the only time he vomits is before a seizure, but never from food or stomach problems anymore. And most important of all – his seizure-free times have now gone from about every 3 weeks to over 8 weeks.
We will keep you all posted.
Kirsy & Epiboy Jasper from Australia