Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Dog Saved by New Procedure after Eating Death Cap Mushrooms

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

A new procedure that drains toxins from the gallbladder has saved the life of a dog who ate death cap mushrooms.  Share this link with your friends and veterinarian to spread the word.

Even Disabled Pets Like to Have Fun

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Even a cat who’s partially paralyzed still likes to play:


Don’t Take No For An Answer

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Today’s must read: Breast cancer survivor Sue Glader’s inspiring blog post on staring down the N-word. Wise words for people facing cancer, but also for those of us whose pets face critical diseases or disabling injuries. Too often we, as well, are told no. No, your dog can’t have a good life with degenerative myelopathy. No, your cat will never walk again. No, you should put your pet to sleep. Thank you, Sue, for encouraging us to “juke, jive, bob and weave around the negatives in life.”  Some people do it to live, we do it to love.

Rehab Therapy: An Opportunity to Practice Patience

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I am not known for my patience.  In fact, when I was a kid, my father used to joke that when the good Lord passed out patience, I didn’t bother to wait in line.

But I’ve learned a few things since opening Scout’s House and one of them is that you have to have patience with rehab therapy.  It doesn’t happen overnight.

As many readers of this blog know, I started Scout’s House because I saw what an incredible difference it made in the life of my own dog.  But when I started rehab with Scout, I had no expectations that it would help her.  To be honest, she was such a neurological mess, I didn’t think anything could fix her.  But rehab did.  Not overnight but over months, slowly and steadily.  And I’m so glad I was patient enough to give it time to work.

So if there’s one bit of advice I’d give to anyone considering rehab therapy for her or his pet, it’s this:  have patience. Too many people come to Scout’s House expecting overnight miracles, but that’s not how rehab therapy—or physical therapy for humans—works.  It takes time to regain lost muscle strength, particularly when a leg hasn’t been used for a month or two.  And it takes even more time to retrain a brain to move limbs properly again after, say, a disk rupture or an FCE.

We often tell our new clients to start by bringing their pets in twice a week for two to three weeks and by then they should see at least a little improvement.  And we say twice a week because often the more therapy a pet gets each week, the more quickly you’ll see gains.  It’s just like going to the gym:  go once a week and you won’t see much change over the course of several weeks.  But go twice a week—or even three times a week—and you’ll improve far more rapidly.

So, if you’re headed to rehab with your pet, have patience and give it time to work.  I can’t promise it will–rehab doesn’t help every animal just as physical therapy doesn’t help every human–but if you commit to at least twice a week for two or three weeks, you’ll know if rehab is right for your pet.  And you’ll have the peace of mind, knowing you tried.

What to Do When Your Pet Suddenly Can’t Walk

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Having started a rehab therapy center for animals, I often get calls from friends–and friends of friends–about sudden-onset health problems their pets are having.  In the last month, though, I’ve had a run on those calls, all from people whose dogs suddenly couldn’t stand or walk.  They all wanted to know what to do.  And to be honest, I want to scream into the receiver:  TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE VETERINARIAN!

If your spouse or parent or child suddenly couldn’t walk, what would you do?  Would you call a friend to ask what she or he thinks you should do?  Would you just “wait and see” because maybe it’ll get better on its own?  No, I don’t think you would.  I think, at the very least, you’d call a doctor, who would probably tell you to call 911 as it would clearly be a medical emergency.

Likewise, it is a medical emergency when your dog or cat suddenly can’t stand or walk.

There are any number of reasons for sudden paralysis in pets, but I’m here to tell you, none of them are good.  And for most of those issues, time is critical.  If it’s a disk rupture, for example, you have a 24-hour window to have a surgery performed that may give your pet a chance to walk again.  And if it’s a saddle thrombus, your pet is in excruciating pain and needs to be treated immediately.

So if your dog or cat suddenly can’t walk or use even just one of his or her legs, please call your veterinarian immediately.  I guarantee you, it will save you money, time, and heartache in the long run.

Battling Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

In our last post, we talked about the efficacy of cranberry supplements in helping dogs fight E. coli-based urinary tract infections.  But what about cats?

I wish I could say cats would benefit from the use of a cranberry supplement, but in my conversation with the veterinary researcher from Nutramax Labs, she explained that Crananidin only works with E. coli and that cats don’t often get E. coli-based infections.

That said, Nutramax does recommend the use of Dasuquin for Cats for idiopathic cystitis in cats.  She explained that the chondriton in Dasuquin for Cats replenishes the compounds in the cells lining the bladder wall, which strengthens the bladder lining and wards off infections.

And I can say from personal experience that it really does seem to work.  My cat G is paralyzed in his back legs and, as a kitten, I was told when I adopted him, he suffered from constant, recurring urinary tract infections.  I knew about using Dasuquin for bladder health in cats, so I decided to give it a try with G, and I’m happy to report he hasn’t had an infection since he moved in with us, going on four years now.

So if you have a cat who suffers from recurring urinary tract infections, consider this a personal recommendation to try Dasuquin for Cats.  It won’t get rid of an infection once it starts, but it definitely seems to help avoid them.  Just ask G.

Can It! Potential Health Effects of Pet Food Packaging

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Am I nuts to worry about the canned dog and cat food I feed my pets everyday? My husband thinks so, but after reading about a study recently published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, I wonder if we all shouldn’t be more concerned about pet food packaging.
Recently, researchers found that people who give up packaged foods, such as canned soups and canned vegetables, can significantly lower the levels of a hormone-disrupting chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA, in their systems. BPA, used in the epoxy resins that line metal food cans and in some clear plastic containers, has been linked to a number of serious health problems in humans, including birth defects and reproductive issues.
Is it too much of a leap to wonder what it might be doing to our pets? I hate to sound like some wacky animal lover who sees ghosts in every corner, but hey, I’ve lost too many of my dogs and cats to cancer, so I can’t help but wonder what effect BPA and other chemicals are having on our animals. And since no one seems to be regulating what actually goes into pet food, my guess is no one’s paying much attention to the packaging of it either. Maybe it’s time we did.
Food for thought.

Read more about BPA at

A New Danger in Using Pediatric Medicines for Your Pet

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

A blog post by Florida veterinarian Patty Kuhly, VMD, MBA, warns that the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs, is now being used in some of the pediatric elixirs that veterinarians prescribe for pets.  Read more, be informed–and never be afraid to ask your veterinarian and your pharmacist to double check that the formulation prescribed for your pet is xylitol-free:

Dog toxic xylitol in gums, mints, desserts … and now drugs | PetMD.

Feline Arthritis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Cats are stoic creatures, which means they’re often very good at hiding pain.  But as this article points out, the things our cats do that we think are just normal signs of aging–becoming less active, finding new sleeping spots that don’t require jumping up, even pooping alongside, and not in, the litter box–may be signs of arthritis instead.  Although this was written for veterinarians, it’s a good overview of feline arthritis, including symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and what treatment options are available.  From Veterinary Focus, courtesy of IVIS:

For more information about Scout’s House, go to

Explaining A Veterinary Neuro Exam

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

We’ve had more than one client ask us to explain the neurological exam that their pets have undergone, both at the veterinary neurologist’s office and at the initial exam at Scout’s House.  Although this article was written for veterinarians, it’s a pretty clear explanation of what your vet is looking for during your pet’s neuro exam:

Making Sense of the Neuro Exam from Veterinary Practice News.