Archive for April, 2012

Fish Food Recall

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Read the Release from the FDA


Kris and Andre Bring Smiles at OCMMC

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

From Caring Creatures’ Pet Therapy team Kris and her standard poodle, Andre:

At Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Andre and I entered a hospital room full of family.  The patient was in bed. The family was excited about a dog visit and the patient was willing.  The bed was high so I coaxed Andre to get on a chair next to the bed, that way the gentleman might pet his head.  He slowly moved his arm toward Andre. He tried a couple of times.  Soon he reached and scratched Andres’ head.   He moved his fingers and exclaimed “this is the first time I’ve been able to move my arm and fingers in twelve days!”  The family was on their feet!  Several members of the family grabbed their cameras and started taking pictures.  Then the man started exploring his other limbs he said “my toes move and my legs move!”  He was so excited that his arms went up like a football touchdown had been made.  He and his family were so excited.  We left the room with a joyous spirit.  The family was buzzing and we were smiling. I was so glad that Andre was able to bring some joy to this family. Oh the joys of pet therapy!

Easter Goodies and Decorations Can Be Harmful to Pets

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Pet owners are asked to be mindful of Easter foods and decor that can pose threats to animals.

Here are several tips:

Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.

Chocolate is toxic for dogs when ingested in large quantities and contains xylitol, which can cause a fatal drop in blood pressure. Also posing a risk are candy wrappers, sticks and plastic eggs.

Human holiday food can cause pets to become ill, including gastrointestinal sickness, pancreatitis and intestinal blockage or injury from eating bones.

Easter basket grass can cause intestinal obstruction in cats and may lead to emergency surgery.

Chicks and rabbits should not be taken on as pets unless their owners are committed to giving them permanent homes and caring for them responsibly.

For more information, visit or call 645-2758.

How to get a finicky cat to take it’s medicines

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Giving medications to cats can be daunting, but there are alternatives to  make the process easier. Many people have success hiding medications in their  cat’s favorite treat or in commercially available treats designed with a pouch  for hiding pills.

Another option is to have medications compounded into a form and flavor that  works for your pet. This involves dissolving or suspending medications into a  palatable liquid base that can be given directly into the mouth or hidden in the  food.

Cats are sensitive to bitter tastes or strange smells in their food and may  not get the full dose if this approach is used, but specially trained  pharmacists at compounding pharmacies can add sweeteners, or use a different  form of the base medication to offset bitterness or acidity. They also have a  large range of flavoring agents, from meat to fruit flavors, in order to appeal  to many different species of pets.

Some medications can be made into a chewable, flavored treat. Compounding  pharmacies are available throughout the Bay Area. Ask your veterinarian if this  is an option the next time a medication is prescribed.

Compounding pharmacies can also put some medications in gels or patches where  the drug is absorbed through the skin or ear flap. While this route is not  available for all medications and the dose actually absorbed can vary depending  on ambient temperature or blood flow to the skin, it’s a nice option and avoids  the owner dealing with sharp teeth.

Finally, some owners find it easier to give injections, especially if they’ve  had prior experience. Your veterinarian can show how it is done if they feel  that’s an appropriate option.

Kirsten Williams, DVM, Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Clinic,  Oakland


Alejandro and Kimo

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The AHF just helped Alejandro afford surgery for a fracture on 7-month old Kimo’s right leg.  While he was under anesthesia, Kimo was also neutered.  Thank you Community Veterinary Hospital for reaching out to the AHF so that we could help.

Teri and Monk – a very special visit

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Teri Kraslavsky and her beautiful Shepherd Monk have been doing pet therapy work for 8+years.  The following special visit was at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo in 2010.

Monk was working at the hospital with a man with an inoperable brain tumor.  The man was lying on a table in the gym and a therapist was helping him with stretching and strengthening exercises as he lay on his back.

Monk got up on the table and lay down, pressing his body against the man.  The man responded to the soft, warm, sturdy presence of Monk gently pressing against his body.  You could see the tension leave the man’s body, his face relaxed into a beatific smile.  Both of their breathing slowed.  Gradually stretching, the man’s range of motion increased, and increased, and then increased some more.  As he began to do his strengthening exercises, he inadvertently dug his elbow into Monk’s face.  Monk didn’t move, in fact, when I checked on him, I realized Monk was asleep.  More than their bodies were touching………Monk wrapped him in wordless, tender, accepting protectiveness.

All of us teared-up, myself, the man’s wife, the therapist….  Later, as I was driving home, it occurred to me that when we are at home, and Monk even THINKS I am going to step on his long fur, he cries-out and gets up and leaves the room, yet he was willing to let the man smoosh his face with his elbow.  Monk understands his therapy work is sacred.

The Best Thanksgiving

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

My thanksgiving in 2011 came on Tuesday (not Thursday) during a therapy dog visit to Kaiser in Irvine, CA with Mia. Family was in the room with mom in bed who doesn’t speak English. She lit up when I asked if I could bring the dog in, so Mia comfortably laid on the bed next to her.  The pulmonary nurse comes in to do a procedure and the mom’s face was struck with pain, she looked at the daughter and said (per translation) “can Mia stay with me?”.  We looked at the nurse and she said, no reason why not.  The mask went on, the vapors swirled around, the mom coughed and coughed and looked at her daughter in pain.  Then she looked down at Mia and started petting with both hands.  In about 5 minutes mom was asleep and the daughter had tears in her eyes of thanks.  She said that her mom dreads this procedure each time she has it and it was the first time she went to sleep during it.  Her arm was gently rested on Mia – Mia was asleep too.  We sat there chatting until the procedure was done and when the mask came off, I’ll never forget the look of thanks on that woman’s face.  It brought tears to my eyes.

Pam Becker & Mia