Tips For Online School During A Pandemic

In my last blog post, I talked a bit about what switching to all online classes this semester has been like for me. The first few weeks were a stressful mess for me. Since it wasn’t my first time taking an online class before, I had some basic knowledge of the technology I was using. But with all my classes switching to online, I had to learn some new ways of learning off my laptop. I was a little terrified at first but, once I figured it out it was no problem at all. Since I know I am not the only one who may have struggled at first, I thought I would share a few tips I learned along the way.

-Take some time to mess around with the new websites or tools you are using. This way, you can get the chance to become comfortable with it and can learn some new things that maybe no one else in the class knows.

-If you don’t know what to do e-mail your teacher. It is okay to be confused or don’t know what to do. E-mail your teacher if you need help. They will more than likely be happy to help you.

-Do not procrastinate on any assignments. We all know technology is great most of the time. However, there are still times where it stops working, and there might be an assignment due. That is why it is important to do your work ahead of time in case something happens.

-Look up videos on things you might be confused about. More then likely, there will be a video tutorial on how to do something that you struggled with.

-Make a calendar or a list of all the things you need to get done and when they are due. With not going in for classes, sometimes it might be hard to remember when assignments are due. I have found making a chart of when things are due for all of my classes has helped A LOT.

These are the few things that I have found to be the most helpful for me. Just remember that this is new for all of us, so if things go wrong, it is okay. We are all learning how to do this together.

The New Norm: What it is like doing school all online

Before COVID hit, I was taking only 1-2 online classes a semester and went in for the rest. I have always been a fan of online classes but still enjoyed the chance to go into classes a couple of days a week. Once COVID hit, all of my classes for the fall semester turned online. I wasn’t sure what to expect or how it would work but I was excited to get the chance to try it out.
After the first week of classes, I have to admit I became a little stressed trying to figure out how I was going to organize my calendar to get things done with my already crazy life at the moment. However, I found it helpful to look over the calendar for each class every week and write down when I am going to do it, and when it will be due. I also set alarms on my phone to remind myself to do assignments(since I forget things easily). Once I got my scheduling figured out I was ready to learn online.
With having all online classes, I have gotten the chance to get more comfortable with my computer and try new things. For some of my classes, zoom is how we can communicate as we would face to face. Before 2020, zoom wasn’t even a thing I have heard of before or used. After using it for a while now I learned how great of a tool it is. You can still do live presentations for classes on it and see what the other person on the screen is sharing. I also love that you can leave comments in the chat while someone is talking, in case you have a question and don’t want to interrupt. I have also learned how to open up a shared google doc on zoom and be able to work on something as a class together(which I have found to be a little mind-blowing to do).
Having all of my classes online actually has turned out to be a great learning experience for me with technology. I have learned so many new things that I can do on a laptop that I never knew before. I am excited to see other tools I get to learn as the semester goes on!

Reading With Technology Pros VS. Cons

As the years go by, technology advances and I tend to rely on it more. Although this isn’t my first time ever having online classes, this is the first semester I have had them all online. With having all of my classes online now like most students in the US, I have most of my class text books online as well as other books I enjoy during my free time. With all the online reading I am doing now I have noticed a few differences compared to when I had all print books. Also after reading from The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr I learned about a few ways reading with technology affects us as well. Below is a list of Pros and Cons to online reading.

 

Online Reading Pros

  • You can have all of your books in one place so they don’t get lost.
  • You can pretty much read them anywhere you go right off your phone.
  • Can sometimes be cheaper.
  • You don’t have to go anywhere to buy them and don’t have to wait to get it in the mail
  • They have audio book versions to listen to instead
  • You can highlight and un-highlight things without ruining the pages
  • Dog proof(if you have a dog like mine who enjoys eating print books)

E-book Examples

 

Online Reading Cons

  • Strains your eyes
  • Can give you headaches
  • Can shorten your attention span
  • Can be hard to concentrate if you keep getting alerts on your screen as you read

 

Reading on a phone or computer can be helpful in many ways and make life a little easier for some people. Although, it also can be bad for your overall health. I think it really depends on the steps you take while reading online and what your prefer reading on that makes the biggest difference.

My First Experience’s With Technology

Growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s I never used much technology. It seemed like most of my time was spent outside swimming, playing in the snow, gardening, or going for walks with friends. Besides having a television in the living room and a telephone in the kitchen and a giant box like computer we didn’t have much for technology.

I do remember the only time ever using the computer was for these school disc games you could get. Each year our school had these games for sale that you could buy to help you learn things in whatever grade level you were in. Every year I would get the new game level and play about once a week.

Once middle school came around I started noticing other disc games you could buy for your computer. I bought a few different ones but can’t recall what most of them were called. However I do remember a sims game and a dog training game.

Although, I didn’t grow up with a lot of technology and access to the internet like we have today. I do think that I grew up in the perfect time to see what life was like without all the technology we have now and what it is like in today’s world.

 

Having A Pet With Epilepsy: What You Might Not Think Of

Having A Pet With Epilepsy: What You Might Not Think Of

Finding out your pet has epilepsy can be stressful. You are so worried about how it will affect your pet’s life and the new changes you will have to make, you might not think of these extra steps to take. Having 2 dogs with seizures I had to find these tricks out the hard way. 

 

Medication

If your dog has chronic seizures, they are probably on some sort of medication for it. Each bottle comes with about 30 days’ worth. I have found it helpful to get them a week in advance before running out. When I first started getting Hades medication I never put this into much thought. During his second bottle, I noticed he was getting low on Friday night. I counted it out and he had just enough for Monday morning. If I only had enough for Saturday or Sunday, he would have missed some pills since their vet is not open on weekends. With that close call, I learned to start getting his pills a week ahead. Also, if your dog is anything like mine, they start to outsmart the pill pockets(our whatever else I tried to sneak the pill in) and know how to spit it out when no one is looking.  

 

Doggy hotels

When you go on vacation, you have to be cautious about where you bring your pet. When making a reservation at a dog hotel make sure they can give your pet their medication. Some places might not be able to give it every 12 hours, as many medications suggest. Another thing to keep in mind is having enough of the medication for your pet while staying at the hotel. If you are worried about them running low, just call your vet and let them know you need your next bottle early because you’re going on vacation. 

 

Pet camera

As someone who overthinks everything, I did not want to leave my dog’s side when I first learned about the seizures. If I had to go anywhere, for even 30 minutes, I had to have someone come and watch my boys. After a few weeks of this method, my sister suggested to me to get a pet camera. Having a camera now, helps me keep an eye on them and see if they have a seizure while I am gone. 

 

Adjusting the medication timing

There might come a time when you need to adjust the timing of your pet’s medication. When I first started Hades medication, I gave it to him every 12 hours at 9:30. Now I give it to him every 12 hours at 8:30. Since the medication needs to be every 12 hours, it might be a little tricky adjusting to a new schedule. What I found works best is adjusting it a half-hour at a time. So if I gave my dog his pill at 9:30 am, I would give him his pill at 9 pm that night. The next morning I would give it to him at 8:30 am and keep going until I am at the time I want. Adjusting it only 30 minutes at a time is what I found to be the safest way to do so.

 

After learning from my own experience, I found these tips to be extremely helpful. It might seem overwhelming and stressful at first, but with time it will just come naturally. 

Hades & Zeus

Adopting Animals With Medical Issues

Adopting Animals With Medical Issues

 

When thinking about adopting or fostering a pet you might not think about all the animals with medical issues looking for homes. Taste of the Wild says “While about 2.7 million animals are adopted from shelters each year, about the same number are euthanized, according to the ASPCA. Despite the growth in no-kill shelters and rescue organizations, pets with chronic disease may be overlooked and ultimately put to sleep”. Just like adopting any animal, there are pros and cons to it. If you can handle both the pro’s and con’s on this list you should consider adopting or fostering an animal with medical issues. Having two dogs of my own with medical issues and coming from a family that has been adopting and fostering animals my whole life, I know it can be hard at times. Here are my pro’s and con’s list of adopting and fostering animals with medical issues. 

 

Con’s

  • Having pets with medical issues can get expensive. Medications, taking blood work, and constant vet visits can add up. 
  • Their lifespan might not be as long. Whether it’s from the disease itself or the medication it can affect a pet’s life span.
  • It can be more time-consuming. Pets with medical issues will likely need special care or certain medication that needs to be done at specific times every single day. 

Pro’s

  • You could be saving that animal’s life from euthanization. 
  • You will have someone that will love you unconditionally. 
  • You are giving them a home and a family. 
  • You will have a new best friend.
  • They are just like any other dog/cat. 
  • If you are fostering, the shelter pays for the medical costs.
  • There is pet insurance to help cover costs.

 

Just like any animal, if you can afford and take the time for them, it should be no problem adopting or fostering an animal with medical issues. The bad days of late-night vet visits and worry if they are going to be okay is well worth all the love they will give you. Sometimes the animal can be saving your life more than you are saving theirs. 

 

Here are some links to foster or adopt a dog with medical issues.

 

https://secondhandhounds.org/programs/hospice-foster-program/

 

https://www.ruraldogrescue.com/the-sick-and-injured

My dogs Zeus & Hades

Sources

https://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/pet-news/adopting-pets-chronic-illness/

 

What To Do If Your Pet Is Having a Seizure

What to do if your pet is having a seizure.

Watching your pet having a seizure can be a terrifying moment. As pet parents, we would do anything we can to keep our pets happy and healthy. When pet seizures happen, you just want to stop it for them somehow but the truth is you can’t. Although there isn’t anything we can do to stop the seizures, here are a couple of steps to take that I find helpful when your pet has one.

Stay Calm

The most important step to take is staying calm. Although what your pet is experiencing may look painful and scary to you, they are unconscious and don’t feel pain. The most painful part of the experience is probably your fear. Pets can often feel when you are scared or stressed. It is important not only for yourself to stay calm but for your pet so they don’t have to worry about why you are stressed when they wake up from the seizure.

Be Near Them

It is okay to sit next to your pet while having a seizure. When they wake up from it, they will look confused, and seeing you next to them will help. However, be cautious about where you put your hand. If you have your hand too close to their mouth, they might accidentally bite you while being unconscious. Try sitting next to your pet and rub their back.

Talk to Them 

Although your pet is unconscious while the seizure is happening, I find it helpful to talk to them in a calm and soothing voice while it is happening. I will also rub my dogs back and say “It’s okay (either Zeus or Hades), mommies right here”. By talking to them, it helps keep me calm, and your pet will hear what you are saying while they are waking up.

Be Cautious of Surrounding Objects

When your pet is having a seizure, you will notice how they are flopping around and kicking their legs. It is important to check and make sure their head isn’t next to anything, and they won’t kick anything that could hurt them. I find it

Zeus’s head on a pillow.

helpful to put a pillow under their head, so it doesn’t hit the floor too much. Be careful when doing this step, by making sure not to put your hand too close to their mouth.

What to do After

When the seizure is over, your pet will likely lay there for a few seconds before getting up. Just keep staying calm and talking to them. Once they get up, I will clean up the foam from their mouth and their other bodily fluids they got on themselves. After they get up, they will most likely walk around and look confused. Just keep talking to them in a calm voice and let them do what they want. After a few minutes, they will go back to their normal self. Once those few minutes are up, you should call your vet, and they will let you know what steps to take next. Just remember the most important step is to stay calm. These steps are what I found to help me best when dealing with seizures. 

Lifestyle Changes

Having 2 dogs with seizures isn’t very common. I often wondered why both of my dogs have them and if it is something in their daily life that is causing it. Although, only Hades my black and white Siberian Husky has epilepsy and Zeus my red and white husky doesn’t but still has seizures every so often. I wondered what could be causing it and if there was something I could do to help it. After lots of thought, I decided to change some things up and see if it made a difference on the seizures.

Diet

I was unsure if maybe the food I was feeding my dogs had anything to do with the seizures. Were they not getting enough nutrients or did their body just not agree with what they were getting. After doing some research on other

Hades and Zeus

brands of food, I decided to switch it up for them. Unlike Hades, who would eat anything you gave him, Zeus is a picky eater when it comes to dog food, so it was a challenge finding a kind he liked. After going through different kinds of food, I found two brands that were affordable, nutritional, and most importantly Zeus approved. One of them is Rachel Ray Nutrish Just 6 dog food. It has only 6 ingredients indulged with vitamins and minerals. The other food was Side by Side Pet Freeze-Dried dog food. It is all-natural freeze-dried food that my boys just loved. This brand has far been my favorite. For first time buyers, they have you fill out a form about your dog with questions like size, breed, allergies, activity level, and more. They then take the results to find what food your dog needs.

Exercise

Walking Zeus

With huskies, exercise is needed to keep them happy and less destructive. When I experienced my first seizure with Zeus, my mom suggested trying to go on more walks with them to see if it would help. I started to take the boys on more walks and make more puppy playdates to help them get more exercise. During the warm summers, the boys would go on daily walks around town and to local trails. In the cold winter days, I would take them to weekly puppy playdates.

The Final Result

After switching these few things up for my dogs, I was still unsure if it made much of a difference for both of them. With Zeus, I do feel that these few changes helped him. Before he was having seizures about every 3 months, and now it is every 6+ months. Hades, on the other hand, got them so often that he is on medication now. With the medication, it is difficult to say if that is why he is doing better or if it is from these changes. Either way, they are now healthier and happier huskies. 

Puppy Playdate!

Follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with Zeus and Hades @zeusthehusky28

The Day I Found Out My Dog Has Epilepsy

The Day I Found Out My Dog Has Epilepsy

If you ever witnessed your pet have a seizure, you hope it will be a one-time thing. As mentioned in my blog post “Minute of Fear: Seeing My Dogs First Seizure” some dogs can have a seizure one or two times in their life and never have them again. On the other hand, some dogs can have them consistently because of epilepsy. Finding out that your pet has epilepsy can be an emotional experience. Here is the story of how I found out one of my dogs has epilepsy.

The morning started like any other. I got up, took my dogs outside, fed them, and started my school work. As I was sitting there, I started to hear a very familiar heaving sound coming from Hades. At this point, both Hades and Zeus have had seizures before, so I knew what was about to happen. I walked over to Hades and laid next to him as he was having his episode. Zeus also came over and laid next to him. As his body was convulsing, I put my arm around his stomach and kept telling him “Mommy’s right here.” Once he had stopped, I checked to make sure he was doing okay, as I always did after a seizure. After a few minutes, Hades went back to his normal hyper self and seemed completely fine.

 About 5 hours later, Hades had another seizure. This was the first time he had 2 in one day, so I was a little worried. I remembered when I talked to the vet from my first seizure incident not to worry about it unless they have more than 3 in a day. So, I decided to wait a couple more hours and see what would happen.

At around 1 AM the next morning, I woke up to Hades having another seizure. At this point, I was pretty worried. I looked up what time each vet clinic in my area opened so I could rush him in as soon as possible. Once I found one, I decided to stay up with Hades to make sure he would be okay until I could bring him in. 

After another few hours at about 6:30 am, Hades had another seizure. At this point, I was extremely stressed and getting impatient waiting for the vet to open. Right at 7 am when the veterinary office opened, I called and explained what had happened. They told me to take him in right away to get some testing done. While Hades was in the vet getting his tests done, I was an emotional wreck. All I could think about is why this is happening to him, and I am not ready to lose him. Once they finished the tests, I was told to take him home, and they would call with his results. After 30 minutes of being home, Hades had another seizure. I immediately called the vet, and they told me to bring him back in for some medication. Once I got there, I found out he has epilepsy and that he will need to stay on this medication. They went over with me his medication effects and when to give it to him. After that, I was able to bring Hades home and keep an eye on him for the rest of the day.

It has been a little over 7 months since I found out Hades has epilepsy. Since then, he has only had 1 seizure. His medication does have some side effects on him, such as extreme hunger and thirst. But, it is still better than constant seizures. Although he has epilepsy, he is still such a loving and playful dog. 

Hades and Zeus

Pet Seizures: Prescription Drugs Vs. CBD

Pet Seizures: Prescription Drugs Vs. CBD 

 

Deciding on what to give your pet for seizures can be a tricky one. Prescription drugs work great but what are the long term effects? Does CBD even work for pets? Or does your pet rarely ever have seizures that they might not need medication.

Prescription Drugs

There are a few different prescription drugs that are given to pets for seizures such as Phenobarbital, levetiracetam, and diazepam. They might all work great against the seizures but for how long, will they still have seizures, and with what

Dog Seizure Medication

side effects? The American Kennel Club says that these drugs can negatively affect the liver which is the worst side effect. Since liver damage/failure is such a high risk with these medications your pet will need to get their blood tested every 6 months.  It can also increase appetite, anxiety, anemia, and thirst. In my own experience with this medication, it does not stop the seizures completely. However, having 1 seizure every few months is better than having 6 in 24 hours like with one of my dogs. 

CBD

CBD Dog Treats

Using CBD for dogs seizures is a relatively new thing so there aren’t many known facts of long term effects from it. Some people have said that using CBD for their pets has helped the seizures more than other medications. Many people haven’t tried it simply because there isn’t enough testing and information about it. However, since CBD is natural and comes from a plant, it is healthier compared to other medications. CBD might be the better option if it works for your pet.

Before making a decision you should always talk to your vet first. The overall choice is yours, but they might have some helpful advice. As pet parents, these decisions can be tricky but we always do whatever we can for them to have a long, healthy, and happy life.

 

My dogs Zeus and Hades!

 

Sources

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-for-dog-seizures/

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/phenobarbital-for-dogs-with-seizures/