The Second Chance Times
|LABMED Quarterly News : Volume 3, Issue 1: January, 2003|
4th Quarter, 2002:
1st Quarter, 2003:
LABMED's Seventh Annual Bullet's
Benefit Bash was a huge success. Bids on about 500 items raised over
$17,000 to help more Labs and Lab mixes get well and get a second chance
to have a happy life in a forever home. Heartfelt thanks goes to our
extraordinary auction coordinator, Heather Bowden, and to ALL the hard-working
volunteers who so generously supported this noble endeavor. From those
who solicited donations to those who graciously donated items to those
who provided storage and publicity and communication, everyone was integral
to this marvelous example of teamwork, sacrifice, and dedication!
1. I will NOT wag my tail within a foot of the coffee table UNLESS the breakable container is brimming with snacks.
2. I will risk a 15-minute "down-stay!" ONLY if the snitchable human object is shakable, tossable, or edible.
3. I will stay off forbidden furniture at all times EXCEPT when my family is off the property.
4. I will refrain from eviscerating those pricey little fleece toys for at least 1 day, AFTER WHICH I will destroy the little suckers and free those incorrigible squeakers.
5. After my bath, when my owner says "shake," UNLESS the door is open, I will vibrate vigorously in the bathroom instead of lifting my paw before tearing off to roll on the plushest upholstery and thickest carpeting I can find.
6. I will pray harder each night that people lavishly donate money and time to LABMED.
7. I will pray even harder
that puppy mills are disclosed and dissolved, becoming a thing of the
past that is universally perceived as a blemish on society never again
Understanding Canine Epilepsy
by Saralyn Sharp
does epilepsy do to a dog?
Dogs can have partial seizures, where movements are restricted to one area of the body. Partial seizures can sometimes progress to generalized seizures. Although rare, dogs can have complex partial seizures, which are associated with bizarre behaviors such as fly biting (the dog snaps at nonexistent flies), aggression, or flank biting. It is important to rule out behavioral causes for these actions before attributing them to seizure activity.
If multiple seizures occur over a short period of time with brief periods of consciousness in between, these are called "cluster seizures." Status epilepticus is a condition in which one seizure exceeds 30 minutes, or multiple seizures occur without any periods of normal consciousness in between. It is often difficult to tell the difference between cluster seizures and status epilepticus, and both should be considered a life-threatening emergency.
Although epilepsy is characterized by seizure activity, it is important to note that not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. Seizures can occur as a result of trauma, toxins, or metabolic diseases. Seizures can be transitory, for a period of time following the insult, or they can become a permanent problem. Metabolic diseases that can cause seizures include portosystemic shunt (liver disease), as well as any disease that causes hypercalcemia, hypoglycemia, or hypothyroidism. Your veterinarian should recommend tests to rule out these possible causes of seizures before he or she makes a diagnosis of epilepsy.
What exactly is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is treatable but not curable. The goal of most anticonvulsant treatment is to reduce the number of seizures that an epileptic dog may have to two or less seizures a year. If the epileptic dog has no more than one seizure per month, depending on the intensity of the seizure, medical therapy is usually not recommended. However, when the seizures become more severe, longer in duration, or more frequent, or if the presenting seizures are particularly severe, then the necessity for therapeutic intervention is indicated.
is epilepsy treated?
A dog owner dealing with primary epilepsy should realize that medical treatments may fail for a number of reasons. The most common reason is improper administration of the drug. It is important to make sure that you, as an owner understand how often a drug should be given and in what manner (for example, with food or on an empty stomach). Most anticonvulsant drugs work best on a strict schedule. Varying the schedule can allow break-through seizures. Gastrointestinal disorders can affect drug adsorption, thus it is important to contact your veterinarian regarding re-dosing if your dog vomits or has diarrhea. Drug interactions (and this includes neutraceuticals and herbal remedies) can adversely affect the level of anticonvulsant drug in the dog's system. And finally, the drug may not be the correct one for a particular case, and some experimentation on drugs and dosages may be necessary.
A diagnosis of primary epilepsy is not a death sentence. Most epileptic dogs can be comfortably maintained with the proper drugs and dosages. Consider the experience of one Lab owner who has had two dogs with epilepsy.
"My late black lab, Bear, began to have generalized epilepsy at the age of 2, and with the establishment of an appropriate dose of Phenobarbitol, he never again had seizures. Bear lived to be 13, dying not of epilepsy, but of a complication, aspiration pneumonia, of surgery for laryngeal paralysis. Because of my experience with Bear," Judi continues, "when my 3-year-old yellow Lab recently began to have generalized seizures, I was not too alarmed. As soon as my veterinarian started her on Phenobarbitol, the seizures stopped. This definitely is a treatable disease that usually is not fatal."
So in conclusion, remember that it is important to work with a veterinarian to develop a treatment regimen for an epileptic dog. Most important, the regimen must be upheld and your veterinarian should continue to monitor and adjust the drug levels throughout the dog's life.
As you know, the majority of the dogs that are helped by LABMED are in foster situations. They are either formally fostered through groups who are specifically set up for this, or they are found by some kind-hearted person who is compelled by compassion for a dog in need of help.
It takes a special heart to be a foster parent (and I think this is true whether you are fostering a child or an animal). Most of the dogs we get are lost and confused. They don't understand why their former family has left them, and they are not sure of the new people in their life either. Luckily, Labs have an infinite capacity for love and forgiveness in their hearts.
The easy part of being a foster parent is getting a new foster dog. Often the hard part is letting him/her go to a new home (this is why many people only foster one - they are incredibly hard to give up). You often have to deal with an adolescent dog that has never learned self-control or manners. Occasionally you may foster a dog that, through sad circumstances in the original family, is perfectly behaved, and just unsure of what to do in a new world. Those dogs are frequently the hardest to pass on to an adopter.
As a foster person you must set limits, teach manners, and give love so that the fostered dog may go on to its forever home to be a beloved family manner. It all sounds so easy when you start. Frequently you already have a dog, and it is well behaved, and you are sure you have the capacity in your heart and your home (not to mention your wallet) to help another dog find its forever home. And then the Rescue brings you your first foster. It starts out well, the dog is an unbelievably friendly adolescent male (the age and sex most often turned into rescue), who was turned over to rescue because his original home found they lacked the time to deal with his energy. You play out in the yard until evening and everything is going well, until it's time to go inside for the evening. You find out that "Rover" has never been inside, walked on linoleum, or been trained to stay off furniture. (To be honest, my own dogs aren't trained to stay off of furniture, but you never know where your foster is going, so I always try to restrict the foster dog off all but one chair in the family room.) Worst of all, you may find that he has never been in a crate in his life. You sit down and wonder how you got yourself into this. Now, lest you think that I am against fostering, let me tell you how this story ends. "Rover" is a quick learner and only wants to please you, so he quickly becomes house-trained, he learns the rules of the house, and with training, sees his crate as a safe haven and sleeps in it with the door open. After a few weeks to a month of training, "Rover" has become an exemplary dog.
Now, you think, I can rest and my home is back in order. You are beginning to love this new dog and remember the reason you wanted to foster. Then it happens, the Perfect family comes over to your house to meet "Rover." They immediately fall in love with "Rover" and would be wonderful owners for him. You know it would be a great family for "Rover" to live in, and he'd get lots of one-on-one attention. Just the kind of family you'd dreamed of for "Rover". Suddenly, you face the facts. "Rover" is leaving, and you're not so sure you can let him go. This is where many foster parents decide to keep their first foster. It is emotionally wrenching to send a dog you have spent time nurturing out the door, not to mention the niggling idea that the new family is profiting from your hard work. Then you embrace the old saying, "You can't keep them all." That's when you realize that this is the day for which you've been working-- the day when your foster goes forth and finds his forever home. You know that even if this new family doesn't realize all the work you've put into "Rover", "Rover" will remember, and that, in the end, is what is most important. So you reluctantly hand over "Rover's" leash to his new family and you watch him bound down the driveway, looking over his shoulder, trying to figure out why you aren't coming.
"Oh no," you cry, "He's so bonded to me that he'll never love anyone else. I should probably keep him." But you remind yourself that you can't keep them all, and you tell the owners that if "Rover" doesn't adjust, or if they have any problems, you'd gladly take "Rover" back. You slowly walk back into the house and put away the extra bowl, shut the door on the extra crate and wonder what you are going to do without Rover. You also wonder if "Rover" is missing you as much as you miss him. You decide to give the new family a week, and then you'll call and see if they want to bring "Rover" back.
Three days later, your telephone rings and it's the Perfect family. They want to thank you again for "Rover" because he is the greatest dog and he's already a part of their family. They can't ever imagine life without him. That's when it hits you. You've accomplished what you set out to do. You took a raw, unloved, uncertain dog and gave him the tools to be a part of a family. Along the way, you gave him a piece of your heart, but you realize that's the funny thing about hearts. The more pieces you give away, the more you have to give. (I think it's something like sourdough starter, but a whole lot better.)
It's never easy to send
a foster dog onto his forever family, but it's always wonderful. I
hope as you read the success stories at LABMED, and as you donate
your money or your time, you remember the fosterers. Without fosters,
LABMED and Lab Rescue would not be possible. If you have a rescued
Lab to love, give an extra pat on his or her head from and for the
foster family, and remember that without them, you might never have
gotten a chance to know that special dog. Most of all, when it comes
time to choose a new member of your family, check out Lab Rescue.
You never know who's out their giving a piece of their heart to your
1. Combine flour, wheat germ,
and salt in a large bowl. Add peanut
2. Roll dough out on a floured
surface -- 1/4 to 1/2" thick depending
3. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 15 to 30 min. in 350
degree oven depending on size/thickness of
5. Transfer to cooling rack,
cool and store in airtight container.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, butter, egg, and water.
2. Mix well. Blend in liver bits. Turn onto a greased baking pan.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and cut.
Reprinted by permission: DoggieConnection.com
1. Line large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease or spray with PAM.
2. Puree liver in blender or food processor adding water as needed to blend.
3. Add remaining ingredients in order given, blending as you add them.
4. Pour mixture onto pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 min. Brownies are done when a toothpick
6. Remove from oven, cool, peel off foil then cut into small squares. Can