Rescue Waggin’ Comes to Iowa

For the past 4 years I have been volunteer spay/neuter coordinator for Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation in Fairfield, IA. There is a small group of very dedicated people who are doing wonderful work helping animals in this area. I never cease to be amazed at what people can accomplish when they work together for a higher purpose.

We had some especially great news this month.

Petsmart Charities Rescue Waggin’ accepted Noah’s Ark into their program. Rescue Waggin’ is a program that was started three years ago. They take dogs from overcrowded shelters in the midwest and northeast and then transport them to shelters in cities where the demand for adoptable dogs is high. Since they started this program, over 13,000 dogs have been transported and adopted!

The Waggin’ will be transporting Noah’s Ark dogs to the Wisconsin Humane Society in Milwaukee, WI. Unbelievably, the wait time for adoption at this shelter is only 24-48 hours.

Noah’s Ark is the first shelter in Iowa to become part of the Waggin’.

Well done everyone……

The Sugar Cube that Never Melts

My favorite nickname for my cat Chloe is Pops. It is actually short for Sugarpops.

If you knew her, you would see why. She is a small, all white cat with beautiful gold eyes and a tiny pink nose. Ever since she was rescued as a tiny kitten, she has been the sweetest presence in the house. I call her my sugar cube that never melts.

Kate’s nickname is Loretta. She was rescued from a feral cat feeding station and for the first year she lived with us, she did her own thing. She was always on the go and seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do. The name Loretta just seemed to fit.

She has changed quite a bit since that first year, though. She connects much more with people now and is always the first one to greet whoever walks through the door. And she loves to be massaged and brushed. She probably needs a new nickname now, but I don’t plan on changing it. She’ll always be Loretta to me.

What about your animal companions? I would love to hear how they got their names –or nicknames!

Chloe has a bout with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Several months ago I had gotten so busy with work that I neglected to do a monthly ThePetCheckup test on Chloe and Kate.

Sure enough, Chloe developed litter box problems. She would go in the box but could not pee. Kate would stand next to the box, wide-eyed, staring at me with a look that could only be interpreted as “something is wrong with Chloe and you had better take action quick!”

A trip to the vet and some medication solved the problem pretty quickly. We were lucky that it was caught early. But there was no real diagnosis as to the origin of the problem. Some research I did showed that for least 50% of cats with FLUTD the cause of the illness remains undetermined. Sometimes it is called FiLUTD or Feline Ideopathic Urinary Tract Disease, or Ideopathic Cystitis. It can quickly develop into something serious, so should be treated right away.

Once again, I was reminded how significant the role ThePetCheckup plays in keeping Chloe and Kate healthy.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Several months ago I had gotten extremely busy with work and neglected to do a monthly ThePetCheckup test on the kitties.
Sure enough, Chloe started to have litter box problems. She would go into her box but could not pee. Kate stood next to the box and looked at me wide-eyed. Her expression could only mean one thing–“something’s not right with Chloe and you better take action quick!!”.
The problem was solved with a trip to the vet and some medication although it was never really diagnosed as to what exactly Chloe had. Research I did showed that 50% of cats with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease will not have a cause that can be determined. Sometimes the situation is called FiLUTD or Feline Idiopathic Urinary Tract Disease.
I was really lucky that it was caught so early. And again, it reinforced what a valuable role ThePetCheckup plays in keeping my animals healthy.

Pet home urine test reveals critical signs of illness

People are often surprised when they learn the range of illnesses that a pet urinalysis test can indicate.

A urine test for dogs and cats can show indications of some of the most common illnesses that affect our dog’s and cat’s health, including: diabetes, kidney infection, kidney disease, urinary tract infection, bladder disease, autoimmune diseases, bacterial infections, hepatitis and other liver diseases, and prostate diseases.

Of course, there are many illnesses that are revealed through other methods of testing: heart conditions, tumors, skin diseases, arthritic conditions, and many cancers for example. No one test can test for everything that can happen with our pet’s health.

Still, a urinalysis test for dogs and cats is an important foundation of the yearly health checkup, so I always encourage people to have a urine test done at the veterinary clinic every 6 or 12 months (and, of course, use ThePetCheckup at home on a monthly basis!).

Preparing your dogs and cats for a potential emergency evacuation

With all the wacky weather we have been having in Iowa this summer, I decided to organize things in case I ever needed to evacuate the house quickly with the kitties ~ Chloe and Kate.

Luckily they are both healthy and pretty flexible (well, Kate is anyway).

I did some research and came up with the following list in preparation for an unexpected evacuation. The most important thing being to always take your animal friend with you. Leaving a dog tied outside is a death sentence.

**Plan to be away from home for at least 3 days.

**Have a sturdy carrier large enough for your animal to stand, turn around and lie down.
Put a label on the carrier with the animal’s name, your name and cell phone number. List any problems or medical conditions on the label.

**Have non-perishable items in the carrier: canned food, food and water bowls, cat litter and litter box, a familiar toy, bedding, medical records, sturdy leash.

** Keep perishable items at hand and ready to go: dry food, medications, water

**Identification: have a collar and license of ID tag on at all times.

Chloe and Kate don’t have ID’s on their that is something that I need to get done. Then I think we will be all set.

I also ordered (they are free) emergency stickers for the front and back door (in case there is an emergency and I am not home) alerting rescue people to the fact that there are animals inside the house. They can be ordered from here:

Dogs, Cats and Unexpected Moments

Someone sent me the following quote~

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” (Ashley Montagu)

It made me think of all the times my cats did something which caught me totally by surprise and made me laugh out loud:

The time I woke up on a cold winter morning to find a then tiny Chloe fast asleep under my armpit.

Watching Kate drag her long feather toy on a stick from one room to another with such a sense of purpose.

How excited Oliver was the first time he stayed in a motel room.

Animals certainly seem to be masters in reminding us not take things so seriously. I , for one, am very grateful for all the much needed reminders.

Pet Home Urine Test

When I first had the idea about creating a product where people could perform a urine test on their dog or cat at home, I wondered how easy it would be for people with no medical background to do this test.

We ran focus groups, gave away lots of free tests and found that when people realized how valuable this tool could be for protecting the health of their dog or cat, they were very open to learning how to do it. And it really is true that after you have done one test, you will feel like a pro.

More and more I am finding that it is often the simplest solutions that are the most effective.

Preventing Dog and Cat Diabetes with Early Detection

We received another testimonial from a customer who was able to detect diabetes in his dog at a very early stage of the illness by using ThePetCheckup monthly. His vet thinks he will be able to treat the dog just with a special diet as it was caught so early.

I love to hear feedback like this.

There is no doubt that early detection is the key to helping us keep our dogs and cats healthy.

Many of our customers are already pretty proactive with their animal’s health care, but I wonder how many other pet owners out there would be too if they knew that there was such an easy way to monitor their animal’s health.

Dog Urinary Tract Infection

I came across an interesting statistic today regarding urinary tract infections in dogs.

According to the information I read, 20-50% of dogs who have experienced a urinary tract infection will have a recurrence of the infection at some point during their lifetime. This makes it extremely important to be vigilant for signs that the problem may be resurfacing.

A special diet tailored to the individual needs of the dog, along with an alert caregiver, can prevent the infection from recurring.

Anyone who has ever experienced a urinary tract infection, knows how painful it can be. I would think dogs feel a similar kind of discomfort which makes it really important to prevent the infection, or at least to catch it very early.