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Friday, November 4, 2016

The return of migraines and Shyla's seizure-related restlessness

It's becoming an annual cycle. My migraines recede for the summer and autumn. Then, in early November, they surge again. Last year, I had 15 migraines in November. I'm presently in the midst of migraines but hoping that I can stem the tide.

This time, it's been accompanied by a surge in Shyla's nighttime restlessness that seems to be part of her seizure pattern.
She was restless in the wee hours of every morning around the time that she was diagnosed with epilepsy in mid-September. Then, when our vet increased her seizure medicine dose to where it is now, she started sleeping through the night again. We've now had two nights in a row that she's been awake in the 2-5 AM range so we'll wait to see if it settles down on its own. I hope that we don't have to switch meds.

I know that some of you suffer from migraines too. Perhaps you feel like I do. I've come to despise auras - those light shows of sparkling zig-zags that dance across my visual field just before and sometimes during a migraine. I know that my brain is creating the sparkles which makes me not trust my brain very much. It deceives me. And, it is the cause of the terrible pain that follows.

So, Shyla and I are a bit under the weather together. She does a better job of bouncing back than I do. She galloped happily early this morning. In contrast, I struggled to turn the pedals on my bike even on the easiest hills.
Our bond just keeps getting stronger through thick and thin. The other day, we met our neighbor's 9-week-old shepherd-lab mix puppy. I was infatuated with the puppy's innocent cuteness. Shyla was very jealous and let out a low rumbling growl as I fawned over the puppy. Her message came through loud and clear especially because she usually hides behind a tree while I interact with neighbors on the trails. I'm glad that I have a dog who cares that much, although I do know that I need to make sure that she doesn't become too possessive about me. That growl was a first for the usually meek Shyla.

It's Friday. I hope that I can kick this new cycle of migraines by taking it a little easier. Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Honestly, our mom cannot understand how anyone can continually deal with those migraines cuz they are so terrible! We cross our Paws for you and Shyla!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy and Stanley

  2. Hari OM
    POTP winging its way... YAM xx

  3. I hope you both are doing better super soon. You two are purrfect soul mates!

  4. Yes, POTP for both of you. Change in the seasons, changes in the barometric pressure - always seemed to bother Ciara and both my daughter and granddaughter who also suffer from migraines. Hope the weekend brings some relief.

  5. I am so sorry your migraines are messing with you again. I have no advice as I am blessed not to have even headaches. Now for Shyla, are you familiar with Dr. Jean Dodds? (I imagine you have run across her in any research you have done....) She listed this info for help with seizures.....


    Seizures are common with these conditions and I suggest the following management tips:

    Avoiding rosemary and oregano. Both are considered as neurotoxins and commonly found in dog foods and treats as a natural preservative. Fennel and sage should also be avoided.
    Seizing raises the body temperature and high body temperatures can lead to brain damage, so please be sure to keep your companion dog cool during a seizure. You can sponge the dog with a washcloth dipped in lukewarm water, soaking the fur, especially on the tummy, throat and head. If the air temperature is particularly hot, you might want to lightly fan the dog to aid cooling. This will cause the body to cool. You can also place a cold pack on the center of their back. But, never, ever throw cold water on a dog or submerge a dog in water – doing so can cause a dog or person to go into shock and make a bad situation worse.
    Please note that as soon as your pup can safely swallow, a SMALL amount of preservative-free, all-natural vanilla ice cream helps to raise the blood sugar level, and the cold can possibly stop or slow the pacing of the seizure. The reason for using ice cream is that the fat holds the sugar in suspension so that the sugar doesn’t hit the system all at once and cause a rebound reaction.
    The recommendation for ice cream is “Less is More,” so for little pups, 1 teaspoon of ice cream is recommended, medium pups can have 2 teaspoons, big pups get 1 tablespoon, and for very large pups, 2 tablespoons is adequate.

    If you do not have ice cream on hand, there is a good substitute. Please mix well: 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter (½ and ½) and put it into a small container that you can also carry wherever you go. For small dogs under 15 or 20 pounds, make sure you don’t give them more than 1 teaspoon of the mixture after a seizure, and for large dogs, not more than 2 tablespoons. You can always give another 1 teaspoon in 20 minutes if you think it is helping, but use caution in giving more.
    Seizures are exhausting and your dog needs to replace lost energy. After your pup can safely swallow, feed him/her a meal being careful to only give a few pieces of kibble or small amounts of home cooking at a time. Please give your pup foods that are higher in carbohydrates.

    The reason for giving only very small amounts in one bite is that after a seizure, pups are starving and can inhale their food. This can cause aspiration pneumonia, which needs immediate emergency room attention. If your pup is coughing constantly and you suspect aspiration pneumonia, you need to get him/her medical attention immediately as aspiration pneumonia can be life-threatening.
    Also, some people add Rescue Remedy (RR) to the ice cream, or give it alone. Many people have discovered that this flower essence has helped to calm their dogs in situations of panic and hyperactivity, or just before or after a seizure. On a seizing dog, a few drops of Rescue Remedy can be rubbed onto the ear flap and top of the head and also a few drops onto the gums, not into the mouth. When the seizure is over and the dog has recovered enough to stand up a little, ice cream can be offered with RR on it. When the pup is recuperated enough to eat something solid, many people follow up with some food, as noted above, to keep the blood sugar stable.

    W. Jean Dodds, DVM
    Hemopet / NutriScan
    11561 Salinaz Avenue
    Garden Grove, CA 92843

  6. So sorry to hear about your migraines, and I hope Shyla's restlessness was just that. Here's hoping for even keels through the month ahead.

  7. I'm sure Shyla's nighttime schedule isn't good for your migraines, either. Sending rottie kisses without growls :-)

  8. Worry may exacerbate your migraines. I hope both you and Shyla can settle into a calm November.

  9. We are sending you both positive vibes. Feel better soon!

  10. We're sorry to hear that you and Shyla are not feeling well. Our dad gets lots of auras but not all turn into migraines. We will keep our paws crossed that you both feel better soon.

  11. Jim suffers from auras which originated after a concussion in 2008. They played havoc for a few years then ceased. Alas they returned this passed summer and pop up when you least expect. So we just take one day at a time, pull back when we remember then relax for the day.

    Shyla's 1st growl seems to echo Sophie's growling off and on when any person or dog nears us that is just way to friendly. I check her and then we move on. Fingers crossed that nothing worse rears its ugly head.

    So sorry your Novembers are always full of auras. I trust you know your regime and do take care of yourself.

    Always Ron and Sophie

  12. I hope you're both feeling better as the weekend heads into Sunday. You aren't asking for suggestions for Shyla, but I'm wondering if you've heard of a product called "Canna-pet" it's a hemp based product that **might** help relieve some of the symptoms she's having. Just a suggestion. I've used it, and other friends have as well for various things, and have had some pretty good success with it. Just some unsolicited advice, that I hope you don't mind my giving.

    Feel better!!!

  13. We hope you're feeling better soon. Momma says she's so jealous of your willpower. When she's not feeling well, she struggles to work out at all.


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