Posts Tagged ‘canine health’

“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

Dog Treats or Calorie Bombs? (Why is My Dog Fat?)

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

by Sandy Gregory, M Ed, RVT, CCRA



     There’s an obesity epidemic in America and it’s not just with humans.  Veterinarians are seeing many more dogs these days with serious weight problems–problems that can lead to many of the same diseases that obese humans face, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 

     Of course, we don’t mean to make our dogs fat–and often we’re not even aware that those cute little treats we give them are part of the problem.  But when you start thinking about your dog’s diet as you would about your own, you realize that every dog needs a certain number of calories everyday, just like we do.  And if you exceed that number on a regular basis, your on your way to having one pudgy poodle. 

     Consider this:  A 23-lb. dog who isn’t especially active needs about 386 calories a day to maintain his weight.  Similarly, a 44-lb. dog needs 670 calories to maintain her weight, and a 70-lb. dog needs around 1024 calories. 

     Now, take a look at the calorie content of some popular dog treats and you can see just how easy it is for your dog to go from fit to fat:


Dog Treat                                                                  Calories per piece


Alpo® Biscuits                                                                     30

Alpo® Chew-eez® Chew Strips                                        60

Beggin Strips® Dog Snacks                                                40

Bonz® Dog Snack (small)                                                   43

Bonz® Dog Snack (medium)                                              67

Bonz® Dog Snack (large)                                                    89

Chew-rific™ Dog Biscuits                                                  31

Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits (small)                                         20

Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits (medium)                                   40

Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits (large)                                       115

New Greenies® (Teenie™)                                                25

New Greenies® (Petite)                                                      54

New Greenies® (Regular)                                                  90

New Greenies® (Large)                                                    144

New Greenies® (Jumbo)                                                   270

Purina ONE® Total Nutrition Flavor Biscuits                37

Purina® Beggin’® Wraps                                                   68

Pro Plan® Dog Treats                                                         35


     The trick isn’t eliminating dog treats entirely, it’s in being judicious with the higher calorie treats–or in finding a lower calorie alternative.  Below are listed a few healthy treats that aren’t so high in calories. 

     And remember, what your dog craves most of all is your attention.  A few minutes focused just on him is the healthiest alternative of all.


Healthy Alternative Treats


Charlee Bear® Dog Treat                                                      3

Apple slice (1/6 of one medium apple)                           13

Carrot (1 baby)                                                                        6

Chicken (1/2 oz. lean)                                                         26

Cottage cheese (1 oz.)                                                          30

Green beans (1/4 cup)                                                          9