Archive for the ‘Special Needs Pets’ Category

Even Disabled Pets Like to Have Fun

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

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


9 Great Ways to Keep A Dog from Slipping on Floors

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

1)  Get non-slip dog boots (we have a couple of good ones to recommend)
2)  Put down area rugs or carpet runners (yoga mats work really well, too)
3)  Use stick-on paw pads
4)  Strengthen your dog’s legs with rehab therapy (had to put that in!)
5)  Use baby gates to block off the rooms with hardwood or tile
6)  Carry your dog everywhere (not really an option for those of us with big dogs)
7)  Put a RuffWear harness on him and hold on to the handle (labor intensive but it works)
8)  Use an anti-slip spray (created for show dogs to keep them from slipping in the ring)
9)  Carpet the house, bathrooms included (because dogs always follow you to the bathroom)

What would your #10 be?  Post ideas by clicking Leave a Comment above or in the box below

Our Autumn E-Newsletter is Out!

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

We just published our Autumn e-newsletter!  This issue features a lot of great information about degenerative myelopathy and discounts on products helpful to dogs with DM.  Check it out at

“Are You Kidding Me?!”

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

by Lisa Stahr

I am not, by nature, a patient person.  I admit that.  And since hitting 50, that lack of patience has only gotten worse, thanks in equal parts to age, menopause, and this wretched economy.   And while I try–I really do–to bite my tongue, force a smile, or think kind thoughts, I often find myself having an entire conversations with someone in my head that usually starts with “Are you kidding me?!”
This morning was one of those times.
Every so often the San Francisco Chronicle runs a column where people can ask veterinarians questions about their pets.  Today, someone wrote in to say that her dog had his ACL repaired (although it’s actually called a CCL in dogs, but I digress) and that Fido still isn’t using the leg after many weeks of recovery.  What should she do?  And here’s where my famous lack of patience came into play:  two veterinarians from the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital–a facility that is famed, mind you, for state-of-the-art veterinary medicine–answered the question and neither of them suggested that rehab therapy might be considered.
Tea cup down.  Teeth set to “Grind.”  Are you kidding me?!
If there was ever a place where rehab therapy could help, this is it.  Three-legging it, as we often refer to it, is what rehab therapy was made for!  At Scout’s House, not one dog who’s come in three-legging it has left that way, including several who the referring vets were convinced would never walk on four legs again.  Are we miracle workers?  Sometimes, but not in those cases.  As long as the surgical site is sound and the recovery on track, rehab therapists can teach dogs to walk “four on the floor” within a matter of weeks.
And those vets should have known that.  They have one of the best rehab therapy facilities right under their roof, headed up by a phenomenal physical therapist who could write the book on the subject.  And one of the vets has seen–and referred to Scout’s House–several patients in need of rehab therapy.
In their defense, their answers were technically correct–“see your vet”–but they missed an opportunity to help that dog find a faster recovery and to educate pet owners that veterinary medicine has advanced, offering many of the same medical specialties you’d find in human medicine today, including cardiology, oncology, neurology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, and yes, physical rehabilitation therapy (aka physical therapy when you’re doing it on humans).
So after I calm down, I’ll write a nice email, suggesting that they mention rehab therapy the next time someone asks a question about a three-legging dog with a recent CCL repair.  I do, after all, have to work with these people.  And I’ll try to remember that a big part of my job at Scout’s House is to educate everyone, including veterinarians, about the benefits of rehab therapy, that it can–and usually does–help animals live more comfortable and more functional lives.  You just have to give it a try.

Could Your Dog Have Lyme Disease?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Did you know that only 5-10% of dogs infected with Lyme disease actually show symptoms?  Or that some dogs diagnosed with arthritis or neurological disease are really suffering from Lyme disease instead?  Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, July 13th, at our new time, 1:30pm Pacific, when Dr. Richard Goldstein of Cornell University explains the mysteries of Lyme disease–and what you can do if your dog has it.   Only on Special Pets, Special Needs

Please Support This Puppy Mill Bill

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

by Lisa Stahr

     My dog Belle is a wonderful, sweet, and oh-my-god-so-timid black Lab who was pulled out of a high-kill shelter in Georgia by Golden Gate Lab Rescue in California.  Belle has been a card-carrying member of our family for over two years now and we love her wholly, deeply, and without reservation.. The problem, though, is that Belle is afraid of everything, including parked cars, garbage cans, telephone poles, even falling leaves.  The behaviorist we take Belle to, a veterinarian who specializes in animal behavior, thinks our girl might have been a breeder dog in a puppy mill, which is why she’s so fearful; being kept in a crate all her life with no time out for exercise or play made Belle unfamiliar with–and thus, deathly afraid of–all the things that the rest of us take for granted, like parked cars, garbage cans, telephone poles, and falling leaves. 
     I’m familiar with the horrors of puppy mills; I did an episode on puppy mills and animal hoarders on Scout’s House’s Internet radio show, Special Pets, Special Needs (to listen, please go to and listen to Episode 6:  The Making of Special Needs Pets).  It’s a truly horrible life these animals live, plain and simple.  And as an animal lover, I would love to see puppy mills shut down for good.  
     So it should come as no surprise that I strongly support S. 3424/H.R. 5434, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, introduced by Representative Sam Farr–and I urge you to support it to by signing this ASPCA petition:

And here is a nice summation of the S. 3424/H. R. 5434, courtesy of Anna Eshoo, congresswoman for California’s 14th District:

H.R. 5434 is designed to shore up restrictions on commercial dog breeders who evade animal cruelty regulations by marketing dogs directly to consumers. The bill would ensure that any high-volume breeder is required to provide dogs with sufficient space to exercise, humane and safe living conditions, and protection against forced activity unrelated to medical treatment.

Please take a moment to sign the ASPCA petition  Belle thanks you for it.  And so do I.

What Would Happen to Your Pet If Something Happened to You?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

What would happen to your pets if something should happen to you?  Find out how to create a lifetime care plan for your pets when we talk with Amy Shever of 2nd Chance 4 Pets tomrrow, Tuesday, March 30th, at 1pm Pacific time at

Who Doesn’t Love Free Dog Stuff?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Especially when you have a special needs pet?  All that “stuff” they need can really add up!  But we just did some serious “spring cleaning” at Scout’s House and have a ton of stuff to give away and sell!  Need a bath tub for washing your dog?  Or a dog ramp (or two)?  Or harnesses, boots, diapers, or other accoutrement for your special needs pet?  Go to our new Community Forum page on our website (  Post there if you see anything you’d like and we’ll get back to you about sending it.  And please post things of your own, if you’d like, to buy, sell, or give away.  Or, even better, start a discussion about your special needs pet!

Innovative New Website Now Available for People with “Special Needs” Pets

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Scout’s House’s “bigger and better” website ( is up and running with a lot of great information and products for people with “special needs” pets, including informational and how-to videos, research papers, helpful links to veterinary medical websites with reliable information about conditions and diseases affecting dogs and cats, and podcasts. We’ll be adding a lot more info–including information specifically for veterinary professionals and a community forum–in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back.

The Best Dog Harness Ever–Now on Sale!

Friday, January 1st, 2010

To kick off our new monthly specials program on our Scout’s House online store, we’re putting the best dog harness ever made for special needs dogs on sale!  Check it out: