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Riley’s always Ready! Epilepsy doesn’t slow him down.

High Flyin' DockDog
High Flyin’ DockDog
photo credit: Jim Zelasko


The Dog for all Reasons and all Seasons

In 2007, after looking at hundreds of pictures of adoptable dogs online, Brenda came across a photo of Riley – it was love at first sight! This precious dog, a 2-year-old Lab, had been dumped out of his former owner’s car on the highway and left to fend for himself. Scared, confused, alone, and dodging traffic, he was finally caught by the State Patrol.


Riley Sticks it to epilepsy
Riley Sticks it to epilepsy


Seizures haven’t slowed this boy down

Brenda and Riley were at a local baseball game about a month after his rescue. While at the game he began feeling sick—he lost control of his bowels and started throwing up. Immediately after, he dropped to the ground and began to seizure. At that point in time Brenda knew nothing about epilepsy and panicked that her beautiful boy was dying. In tears and praying that he would not die, she was approached by some people attending the game who came over to give assistance. She remembers feeling so helpless and confused: What was wrong with her boy? After getting him back to the car she knew he had to see a vet immediately.

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease seen in dogs, affecting up to five percent of the canine population. However, this statistic is somewhat misleading as epilepsy is not a single disease. Instead, the diagnosis of epilepsy potentially refers to any one of a number of conditions that are characterized by the presence of chronic, recurring seizures. No fewer than 26 dog breeds have shown at least some evidence of heritable, primary epilepsies. Labs, Goldens, Poodles, Keeshonds, Beagles, and German Shepherds are at the top of the list.

In the past, if a dog had a neurological condition they would simply be put down, but today, we are learning how to work with dogs with challenges so that they can still lead full lives.

Gait4Dog DogTread early lameness detection system
Gait4Dog DogTread early lameness detection system


Treading to determine GLS (Gait Lameness Score)

Brenda and Riley are undertaking a 6 week plan to strengthen Riley’s core, improve his balance & proprioception, increase his endurance and enhance his quality of life. Riley’s about 9 years old now. We start with a lameness detection test on the Gait4DogTread treadmill to identify abnormal gaiting patterns and determine his gait lameness score. The in-depth physical examination with attention to soft tissue dysfunction and/or pain is next. We use all of this information to create a treatment plan with home exercise program tailored specifically for Riley in accordance with Brenda’s available time.




Workout of the Week: “High Fives”

 “High Fives”  Exercise Description:

Warm Up: 5 minutes – walk on DogTread treadmill

Main Set:  

Down moving to Sit on FitPAWS Giant Disc x 5

High Fives Front Legs on Disc x 5 per paw

Front Legs on Giant Disc  – Stand in Place x 2 minutes

Front Legs on K9FITbone & Hind Legs on Disc: Sit to Stands x 5

Cool Down: 5 minutes – slow walk on DogTread treadmill


 Riley’s Mission:

Riley and Brenda have made it their mission to spread awareness about canine epilepsy and educate those pet parents with epileptic dogs. They want to show people that their dogs can live normal, active lives even with canine epilepsy; the condition shouldn’t be considered a handicap. We may not be able to eliminate canine epilepsy, but we can learn to manage it.

Fast. Fun. Fitness.
Fast. Fun. Fitness.

Living “The Life of Riley”

Riley is very active and has received invites to the Dockdogs World Championships 3 years in a row and has multiple titles in Nose Work. Brenda is an amazing owner – making sure Riley lives well despite his epilepsy. Come back for future updates!




photo credits:  (High Flyin’ DockDog) Jim Zelasko  –  (Riley Sticks it to epilepsy, Fast. Fun. Fitness.)  Paws in Motion Photography


Dr-Kerry_FisherAbout the Author: Kerry Fisher, DVM, CCRP ~ your Canine Fitness Expert. Throughout her career as a veterinarian, Dr. Fisher has focused on “Pre-hab and Rehab” for animals, pioneering therapeutic & conditioning exercises with FitPAWS Equipment. She owns Canine Rehab ~ Canine Fitness Unleashed!, a Colorado based Canine Gym with Injury Prevention and Canine Rehabilitation services. She has a passion for and experience with Sports Medicine for sporting, search & rescue, performance, working and hunting dogs. Dr. Kerry also has unique concepts for working with senior canine fitness, weight management, pain management, and behavior modification through exercise. She provides educational hands-on seminars and workshops worldwide. Do you want to take your dog’s fitness to another level? Let’s Get in Touch for a Fitness Assessment and Coaching for your dog. Dr. Kerry uses the DogTread Treadmill-Gait4Dog integrated software system for early Lameness Detection and monitoring the progress your dog is making during the course of rehabilitation. Injury prevention is key! Dr. Fisher is an athlete herself, enjoying endurance triathlons, mountain biking, bicycle touring, backpacking and telemark skiing. She biked, camped and toured 4,000 miles across the Northern Tier of the USA with her yellow Labrador, Mr. Mitchell. 2015 brings some challenging events to her plate: Ironman Arizona (140.6 mile event) and Leadville 100 mountain bike race (103 mile race at 10,000 feet+ elevation). As founder of Grit Gals, Kerry blogs to share her training tactics for these intense races. Human Fitness and Canine Fitness intertwined – to help you and your dogs reach your goals.










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