When I started Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog one of my goals was to build an online community of support for pets with special needs. Little by little I’ve been hearing from pet parents and organizations who want to share their story about a specially-abled dog or cat. Last week Katherine Head, one of the founders of Unchained Activism For Animals, contacted me about how the animal rescue group, which is run entirely by teenagers, is trying to save the life of a one-eyed cat named Trooper.
Do you know about the Balance IT website? It was developed by veterinarians from the University of California, Davis and it’s an absolute Godsend for those of us who prepare homemade food for our dogs and cats. I was introduced to the site by the veterinary specialist who takes care of Cody’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The website made me so hopeful that we will be able to turn Cody’s problem around that I wanted to share it with you.
I am thrilled to share this guest post from fellow blogger and animal lover Nikki Carvey. Trained as a journalist in the UK, Nikki now makes her home in Los Angeles where she says she “complains less about the weather.” Nikki has always had a passion for English Bulldogs and she writes about them often. Not long ago she met another family of Bulldogs that she feels has an important lesson for all pet parents.
The family calls themselves Mickey and The Padded Bum Crew because all of the pups are in diapers due to a birth defect that is commonly seen in English Bulldogs.
It is called Spina bifida and the condition happens when one or more of a dog’s vertebrae do not properly fuse together in the womb. While the problem isn’t well-understood, researchers believe there is a strong genetic component that is somehow linked to malnutrition or the ingestion of toxins by the mother during pregnancy. Dogs with Spina bifida have problems walking, controlling their muscles and are usually incontinent. They can also have a drainage from their spine. The good news is Spina bifida doesn’t get worse with time.
Since I started Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog and began sharing Sophie’s story, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some extraordinary people who work hard every day to save pets with disabilities. These people have become my personal heroes. Recently I added another hero to my list after I interviewed veterinary intensive care nurse, Tracy Smith. If you live in Austin, TX and have a dog or cat with special needs, you should get to know Tracy today!
You see Tracy’s career has taken her from working with critically ill patients in a veterinary emergency hospital to creating a company that cares for sick, elderly and handicapped pets in their homes.
I’ve written before about my Practically Perfect Pet Sitter and how hard it was to find someone who was compassionate and had the skills to take care of Sophie when I had to be away. Living with a disabled pet is physically and mentally exhausting so it is extremely important to have someone you can rely on for support. When I found out that Tracy does this and more, I knew I had to tell her story. [Read more…]
Hotdoghill Sanctuary – Dachshund lover, Kim Hunter, started this sanctuary for special needs dogs in 2005. She takes in specially-abled Dachshunds that are paralyzed, have neurological problems, are elderly or have nowhere else to turn. Kim gives each of the fur kids a loving forever home and the care they need. Hotdoghill Sanctuary is funded through private donations.
Doggie Essentials –When Linda Gerdes discovered that dog surrenders were more prevalent in pups with “potty issues” she decided to turn the statistic around. With a background in purchasing and customer service Linda got to work designing and producing quality and CUTE products for incontinent dogs. Doggie Essentials now offers a full line of adorable belly bands, suspender outfits and scoot sacks for the fashion forward special needs dog.
HandicappedPets.com – If you’re looking for the Grand Poobah of supplies for disabled pets you don’t have to go any further than HandicappedPets.com. Created by Mark C. Robinson in memory of Mercedes, his epileptic Keeshound, this website offers every product and service imaginable for caretakers of paraplegic, injured and elderly pets.