It’s March, and that means it is time to get your purple on to help shine a light on Epilepsy, and honor those who live with it—both humans and canines—as well as their families.
You may be asking yourself, “Why March?” March 26th is the International Purple Day® for Epilepsy originally created by Cassidy Megan in 2008, with the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia. The Anita Kaufmann Foundation (AKF), a nonprofit organization based in New York and global sponsor of Purple Day, has also launched Purple Day Every Day, because Epilepsy awareness should be every single day.
“Purple (lavender) is the international color representing epilepsy awareness and we want everyone across the world to know.”
~The Anita Kaufmann Foundation
The AKF helps to connect people with awareness initiatives, important resources, and various events around the world, as well as also leading the way in sharing educational information on Epilepsy in dogs via their #Paws4Purple partnership with this author’s FiveSibes™ #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness and Educational Campaign launched one year ago in an effort to help others who find themselves on a journey with a dog that has seizures to 1) know they are not alone, and 2) to offer informational resources to help them navigate the unpredictable waters of Canine Epilepsy.
Today, there are a variety of treatments for Canine Epilepsy ranging from the traditional to holistic and alternative. The key is to do research on Epilepsy, seizures, medications, natural treatments, nutrition, and triggers so you can have an informed discussion with your vet regarding the best possible course of treatment for your Epi-dog.
Canine Epilepsy Clinical Trials
There are also clinical trials to enroll your Epi-dog in. Currently, a study led by Dr. Karen Muñana of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (NCSUCVM), Department of Clinical Sciences and Companion Animal Epilepsy has begun recruitment for their study, “Is Canine Epilepsy Associated with Gut Dysbiosis” in a project funded by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation.
An Invitation from NCSUCVM for Epi-Dogs to Participate From Home
The program recruitment, according to Julie Nettifee, NVT, BS, VTS (Neurology), is to “determine whether dogs with idiopathic Epilepsy have alterations in their gut microbial population. Our study team is looking for households with an epileptic dog and an unaffected dog to compare the bacterial populations within their gastrointestinal tract.” Fecal samples from both dogs will need to be collected and sent to NCSUCVM via pre-paid shipping.
(FREE for participants)
Free fecal floatation to examine for parasites
All study materials, including shipping, will be covered by the study
Participation will provide additional information about epilepsy that may help your dog or other animals in the future
Households must have one dog with Epilepsy and one unaffected dog
Epileptic dog must have presumptive diagnosis of Idiopathic Epilepsy based on seizure onset between six months and six years of age, and not be on seizure medication or be on phenobarbital alone
Both dogs must not be on any other medications aside from monthly preventatives
Dogs must be fed the same diet
How to Enroll Your Epi-Dogs in the Clinical Trial
Enrollment period runs through December 31, 2021. To enroll your dogs, or for more information and/or a flyer on the recruitment, email Julie Nettifee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect With Other Epi-Dog Parents
For support, information, and networking with other Epi-dog families, check out the Canine Epilepsy Resources, home of the Epil-K9 list! Simply visit the website at Canine-Epilepsy.com and sign up to join the Email list! Also, join in our 5th Annual FiveSibes™ #LiveGibStrong Purple Day® Blog Hop to link up with other Epilepsy advocates from around the globe! Visit FiveSibes.blogspot.com on March 26th to join in.
On this March 26th, when asked why are you wearing purple, talk all about the amazing dogs living and loving life with Canine Epilepsy!
Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning photojournalist and author of EPIC Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; the FiveSibes™ Tales children’s books: What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle books (ArcticHouse Publishing), as well as the FiveSibes.com, an online encyclopedia for the Siberian Husky breed and Canine Epilepsy information, as well as her international award-winning FiveSibes blog, based on the lives of her five Siberian Huskies. Her work has also appeared in American Pet Magazine, Ruff Drafts, The Sled Dogger, and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Dorothy is the writer and host of "The Sibe Vibe” Dog Works Radio show.
Dorothy is a 9-time Dog Writers of America Association “Excellence” nominee, winning the prestigious Maxwell Medallion in 2017 and 2016 for her writing, photography, and design. Her book EPIC Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy received the 2018 Independent Press Award for “Excellence” in the Reference Book category and 2017 NYC Big Book Award for “Excellence” in the Animal/Pet book category. Dorothy was also named “Best Author” in 2015 & 2016 by Hudson Valley Magazine and all four books named “Best in Print” by American Pet Magazine, An official International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy is the creator of the FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign and partnered with The Anita Kaufmann Foundation for #Paws4Purple Project, both inspired by her own epileptic Husky, Gibson. In addition to her Siberian Huskies, Dorothy shares her home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. You can follow Dorothy and her FiveSibes on Facebook at FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews, on Google + , Twitter, and Instagram(@FiveSibesMom).