My daughter (12yrs at the time of this writing – spring 2018) has had a French Bulldog (named Ruby) since she was 4 years old. They are inseparable when she is not in school.
One normal Tuesday night Ruby started stumbling and acting very disoriented and confused. My wife being a vet recognized the neurological deficits immediately and proceeded to go to the vet clinic to try and get what they thought might be seizures to stop. They could not, and Ruby ended up at an emergency clinic near Seattle with a neurologist to give care and see if they could stop the symptoms. After a couple of days there, even though the events hadn’t happened for a while Ruby was left immobile with a severe rightward bend. She was essentially a ball at that point, although alert and would respond to interaction and food opportunities with some head movement. It was decided that she probably wouldn’t recover and she was headed home to have one last interaction with my daughter before being euthanized.
Now, Ruby and I have a relationship strained by barking at everything from pine needles to people to nothing and the more than occasional using my closet as a bathroom especially when it is too cold to comfortably head outside for those activities. While none of the veterinary care decisions were mine, that department is my wife’s and in this case daughter’s since it is her dog, my input was that the brain can be healed. We had a number of discussions about this even heading to the clinic for what was to be the final visit with Ruby. I had studied many aspects of the brain and how it can be healed by various mechanisms. My thoughts were if provided the opportunity, and the neurological events had stopped we could proceed with attempts to let her heal. The decision to euthanize right up into the room for the final minutes was over 95% sure that proceeding was the right decision. After spending a good half hour of friends and family consoling my daughter as she spent the last few minutes with her best friend of 8 years, the vets all assessed Ruby closely and ended up deciding she had earned a right to fight on, (pic below is from that moment).
This was anything but a walk in the park as an immobile dog had nowhere to go to the bathroom but wherever she was, so there was plenty of oversized diapers around for her to lay on. The only positive from this experience was I could be sure she wouldn’t go in my closet! We proceeded to implement a ketogenic diet with Bulletproof® Brain Octane oil at meals, fish oil, and Bulletproof® Neuromaster (to help grow new neurons) and utilized hyperbaric oxygen for Ruby. Slowly but surely, and noticeably after each hyperbaric treatment, she improved. First more head movement, then sitting up, then stumbling a few steps, now back to 95%. See for yourself…
She still has a favor to the right but can run around and do everything she did before…including assaulting my closet. This ended up being diagnosed as a stroke in the end although they weren’t sure if it was that or brain cancer at first.
We have a human example of post-stroke improvement as well. This patient had a stroke about a year earlier and while she came out pretty well, there were some neurological and cognitive deficits such as stability and higher level thinking (couldn’t run the checkbook and repeated stories). We started hyperbaric oxygen and the Bulletproof diet. Slowly (as is anticipated with brain injury) we noticed an improvement in all these areas. It was rewarding especially for the patient’s husband to get a little more of his wife back.
November 2018 update:
Ruby was doing so good that some of the interventions were relaxed. Eventually, no more Brain Octane, keto food, supplements etc. Then in November, she had another stroke. She was returned to an immobile state.
We got right back to hyperbaric oxygen and dietary interventions, but it was a struggle. She didn’t respond immediately. At Thanksgiving, we thought it might be her last holiday, everyone was saying goodbye. After that, the progress started. First attempting to take a few steps and falling over. Then bursts of speed running away from us outside, only to crash down the hill. One night I let her out and she ran around the house in the dark, lost her footing, and rolled under some blackberries. She kept gaining strength though, and she is most of the way back again.
Feb 2019 update:
She is as good as new, well maybe 95%…still has a little right-leaning default posture, but that is it. The proof is, when the kids left for the presentation below, Ruby left a surprise in my closet on their way out.