Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hydrotherapy for Pets

I'm sorry for the delay in my postings; things have been hectic due to a early season snow storm! Today's topic is Hydrotherapy for pets. Dogs, cats and horses now benefit from this unique water treatment. Hydrotherapy utilizes the properties of water, like buoyancy, pressure, viscosity and resistance to improve the body's functions. Pools and treadmills are common treatment options for pets. There have been documented cases of hydrotherapy in animals since the 19th century. Conditions treated by hydrotherapy can be divided into four general categories: post-operative, pre-operative, chronic conditions and fitness (for those of us who need to lose a few pounds!!). While in the water the pet will feel a lower level of gravity forced on the body. This then produces decreased weight bearing on any problem areas and results in decreased pain perception. This specifically helps animals with weak muscles, stiff/swollen joints or poor range of motion. The buoyancy and warm temperature of the water increase flexibility, improve circulation and ease pain. The combined effect is greater mental security and a willingness to perform exercises. We have a hydrotherapy pool at the shelter and it does help dogs with numerous medical issues to feel overall better, and get their exercise in no matter their medical issue. Just like people, pets need to be treated with those who are skilled in this area. These people are usually called Animal Rehabilitation Therapists, or ARTs. Hydrotherapy is also most successful with a series of sessions to help the body become used to the new form of exercise. A great end result is the building of muscle mass for the pet, which can help to strengthen the overall body. With any medical treatment, please consult your vet before taking action. This alternative treatment may be the perfect fit for both you and your pet!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Acupuncture for Cats and Dogs

In today's world, our cats, dogs and equines are suffering from the same chronic issues that affect humans. Some of these issues include diabetes, musculoskeletal problems like arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, reproductive problems, paralysis, gastrointestinal problems and neurological disorders. There are many causes to these issues; the major impact appears to be the poor quality of foods sold for pets. Just as for humans, a poor diet can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can have all of the above side affects. Many vets are turning to a holistic approach to health problems; acupuncture has become a popular treatment. Acupuncture has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine; it's core belief is that disease is caused by an imbalance in the body; acupuncture will balance the energy and help the body heal itself. Acupuncture uses thin needles that are inserted into certain acupuncture points in order to stimulate the the flow of qi which is life force energy. The length of a treatment for a pet depends on the medical condition; some pets may need several treatments over time. Details can be found at the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society at While considering such treatment, diet and exercise will also benefit the pet and owner. I have personally seen success with these treatment at my shelter with Danny the Dog; he is semi paralyzed from being hit by car. His repeated weekly treatments have given him the ability to stand, take steps and move on his side without severe distress. Moki Fogg also posts his own sessions with acupuncture and does quite well. Please consider a holistic option to help your pet live their life to the very best quality possible!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wheelchairs Are Not Just for People!

We all know of someone who needs the use of a wheelchair in life, be it only temporary or at on a daily use basis. Well, pets can and do use wheelchairs too!! Some pets are born with disabilities which do not allow the full use of their legs, while others lose the use of their legs due to illness, age, an accident, or sadly, abuse. A quick search on Google shows various shapes, sizes and styles of wheelchairs for pets. Most pets do adapt to using their chair after patience and training. Pets that have limited use of the rear legs benefit by using the wheelchair, as they enable the pet to exercise for a longer duration of time and achieve a more intense exercise. Pets learn to both urinate and defecate while using their wheelchair. For those pets that are weak in the front legs, or need extra support, a saddle sling is an excellent option. When using any of these items, it is best to check the fit for comfort of the pet; friction sores can appear from skin rubbing on the straps, just like on human skin. Simple padding will prevent these sores. A wheelchair is an investment for a disabled pet, and help is available. There are sites that offer financial aid to owners of disabled pets; some vendors may even offer a discount on their unique design for your pet. Never give up hope for your pet; modern medical science, both human and animal, have made dramatic changes to better lives. Take advantage of these amazing items and help your disabled pet lead a fully and happy life!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Meet Molly!!

This week, I am featuring a story about Molly, a special needs equine. Yes, a shetland pony!! Molly survived Hurricane Katrina, to be rescued into a loving home with other farm animals and dogs. Sadly, one of the dogs attacked the ponies, and Molly took the brunt of the attack. Her leg was severed to the tendon, and her hoof fell off from the wound. Usually this is a death sentence for any horse, but not Molly!! Her owner and vet took a brave step, operated and fitted her with a prosthetic leg made by Bayou Orthotic and Prosthetic Center. Molly has learned to be still to have her leg put on and off, and she can balance her weight to allow this. Molly now visits homes for special needs children and nursing homes to help inspire others with her story of will and courage. Her owner does stress that this is not a cure all for horses with leg problems, and due to her smaller size, the operation was a success. Funding is also key for this type of operation and recovery. Molly has recently published her first childrens' book, Molly the Pony: A True Story” by Pam Kaster. To read more about this amazing horse, please note the link to this article, which has a You Tube video of Molly!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens

I thought I would give a basic overview of this condition for today's blog. This is a condition cats are born with due to an infection in the mothers' pregnancy; the condition affects the cerebellum which is responsible for co-ordination and balance. Cats do not die of this condition, and it isn't degenerative nor painful. CH cats live a full and happy life and are just have a little wobble. These are loving, sweet cats who need a little extra TLC in their home. A few throw rugs to help with balance, and a deep bed with sides to support the cat are not much to provide. They eat the same food and use the same litter as other cats, but due to their needs, there may be a bit more of a mess to clean up. Tolerance, patience and pure love are keys to a forever home for a CH cat. Many times these cats are overlooked in shelters as they are deemed "different". Open your heart and home for a CH cat and you will never regret that decision. A head bonk from a wobbly cat will make you melt! As the proud Mom of a special needs cat who is blind, deaf and has motor skill issues from severe abuse, I can assure you that it the love from Sierra is given back to me tenfold. I would not hesitate to adopt a CH cat or kitten, and I hope you will consider it too!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Horatio The 3 Legged Cat from Kentucky

Friends, I apologize for the delay in my post as Hurricane Irene had me occupied yesterday. Today I would like to share my friend, Mary, and her three legged rescue kitten, Horatio. Mary has several rescue cats in her home, and one day heard a terrible screaming from a ditch near her home. She went to investigate and found a small gray kitten bleeding with a back right leg hanging off. Mary took the kitten home, as she is a nurse, and got him warm and stable to take to her vet office. Horatio had been shot, and sustained a serious fracture which would require the removal of the leg. Plus his kidneys had been hit the bullet and he had blood in his urine. Mary did not have the funds for such an expensive surgery, but with the power of Chip Ins and Facebook, the money was raised in less than 48 hours for the surgery. Horatio is now home and recovering very well under Mary's care. His staples are out, and he moves quickly, learning to not let his disability hinder his life. He chases the other cats, plays, and takes the stairs as if he had 4 legs. We can all learn a lesson from Horatio, first, never give up on a life. It may seem daunting, but ask for help. Horatio is a living testament of this. Second, do not let a disability take away from life, enjoy, play, love yourself for who you are, never let anyone make you feel different! Third, Mary never gave up on Horatio, and never had a second thought about helping this kitten who would have died in the ditch. Try to help an animal, make a call, stop at a vets, or a shelter, but never turn your back on an animal in need. Special needs animals can teach us so many lessons, and they in turn, show us just how normal their lives can be.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Special Needs Pets & Their People

This is my first in a weekly post about Special Needs Pets. Moki and pets like him are an inspiration to me every day. I volunteer at Animals in Distress, located in Limeport, PA. We are a no-kill shelter, and we have two spokescats, Spook Cat and Eli. Both are paralyzed in their hind legs, both have a playpen for daily living, and a special crate for night time. Eli has learned to use a cart for better mobility! I tell each adult and child who visits of their stories, Spook was hit by a car, and Eli was used as target practice in a terrible apartment building. Even with such harsh pasts, they are sweet boys, playful and loving to all who visit. They have daily needs and can never be adopted out unless the person has skills and time to care for them 24/7. Every day, they are sweet, hold no ill will to their care givers who prod and clean them daily, make us laugh with their tricks and truly inspire me to accept others for who they are inside, not what makes them different outside. To see Eli move along with his cart his thrilling; any child who sees him can think, Hey, I can get up and try to walk too! Never judge a special needs pet or person from the outside, take a moment to get to know them; you will have a friend for life!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Is It Time For Your Shelter To Redesign Their Website?

In today's social media driven world it is more important than ever to pay attention to your online presence. Your website says a lot about your organization and a poorly designed website might not be saying the right thing about you or your organization. If your website contains small print, no pictures of your facilities or your animals, no donation button above the fold (the area of the website shown before one has to hit the scroll bar to scroll down,) and is severely lacking in the display of social media buttons, then it might be time to consider revamping your site...
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Speed Dating For Dogs

Yup you read that right, speed dating for dogs. Bring on the wine, bring on the cheese, and expect to bring home a furry date...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Dangers Of OTC Flea and Tick Medication

We ask that you please take a moment to watch the videos displayed below to learn more about why over the counter flea and tick medications are dangerous and what they can do to your pet...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wobbly Wednesday: Introducing Lulu

My name is Lulu. I is a cute kitten and I has CH, which be's short for Cerebellar Hypoplasia. I no lets it slows me down thoughs as you can sees. I still luvs to plays...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just Something To Make Yous Smile

Funny Pictures

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday's With Moki

So der be's a few things happening in me's life which I would likes to shares with you all's dis week. Da first thing be's me's physical rehabs appointment last Friday. Mommy and I was running reals late to me's appointment cause we's got stucks in lots and lots of traffic due to all da road construction going on around da bay area. We actually ended up being about 20-25 minutes late to our 45 min appointment at Scout's House. Since we's be running so lates to our appointment we hads a berry shorts session but it all be's goodie cause we hads more dan enough times to do's me's hydrotherapies which seems to be one of da treatments I be's besty at's. So I's spent a full eight minutes on da water threadmill after which I received my's laser therapy. Below be's some of da pics from last Friday's physical rehabs session.

In other news I would likes to tells you alls about an auction I is having on Facebook. Da auction has many great items up for bids, be's to raise money for all me's medical expenses, and will runs from 12:01 am, Aug. 4th thru 9:00 pm (pacific time), Aug. 13th. If you would likes to stop by's and checks out da auction just clicks on da Facebook link above.

Der are tons of great items up for bids like dis adorable sweatshirt which was donated by

And dis cool Cat Von Scratchula VAMPIRE CAT print which was donated by Deborah V.

So stops by's and checks it out if you gets a chance.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saving Sunday - Present's Ed

This week on "Saving Sunday," we would like to introduce you to a kitten named Ed. Ed was born with some neurological damage and is currently looking for the purfect furever home!
Per Petfinder, "despite Ed's unsteadiness he manages to get around, it just takes him a little bit longer. Ed also likes to play with his siblings and is able to use the litter box."

If you would like to learn more about Ed, or think that you can give him the purfect forever home, please visit Petfinder at: or call "Forever Home Cat Rescue," in Foothill Ranch, CA at 949-829-0036.

Welcome Message

Hello everyone, welcome to our new blog! This new blog has been designed as a way of getting more people involved with the special needs pet community. We would like this blog to be a collaborative piece of work so we are therefore hoping to find several pet bloggers interested in becoming regular contributors or guest authors for this blog. We are currently looking for people to write about the following topics on the following days:

Tuesday Tails - A weekly blog posting dedicated to fun, heart warming stories about special needs pets.
Wobbly Wednesday - A weekly blog posting which features wobbly cat stories.
Saving Sunday - A weekly blog posting dedicated to finding a neurologically challenged cat or kitten a loving furever home.

If you would like to write for this blog, and help us continue to spread Moki's message about special needs pets, please email us at