Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

How to keep New Year celebrations safe for animals

There is water in that big glass… Keep your pets safe during the holidays… No alcohol, please~

B-Day Card - Chi Martinis

Angel and Annabelle Celebrating… Happy New Year 2012~

Whether celebrating New Year’s Eve at an outdoor venue where there will be fireworks or hosting a house party, there are certain things that must be taken into consideration for your pets. Most New Year’s Eve parties can get rather boisterous, with loud music and people coming and going. How to keep your New Year’s celebrations safe for animals starts with ensuring that they will not be able to leave the home through an unattended door, and making sure that the party’s noise doesn’t get too loud for them. If you are planning on a loud party it may be best to find someone to take your animals for the night, so that you won’t have to keep checking on them.

Loud noises and animals just do not mix well, and a New Year’s Eve party can be one of the louder parties of the year. The day after, New Year’s Day, can be quite the awful day for humans and their four-legged best friends too, since the humans will be hung over from over-indulging during the festivities of the previous night. Dogs will need to be walked, let out to do their business and stretch their legs, and they will need to be fed and watered.

One thing that must be done is to ensure that the animals do not have access to the door(s) that will be repeatedly opened and closed all night long. Make sure that, if possible, people only enter and exit the party through a set of double doors, like a pantry entry or through the garage. Every time someone comes into the party or leaves, there is a good chance that they may leave the door open for a few seconds longer than normal whilst saying their goodbyes and wishing everyone a Happy New Year. While the door is left open the animals can easily sneak outside which could lead to them getting lost, stolen or even run over by a distracted or even an inebriated driver.

During the festivities, foods should be kept on kitchen counters, high tables and in the fridge as many of the foods distributed during New Year’s Eve festivities will have alcohol and/or nuts and/or chocolate in them. All of these ingredients can be threatening to many animals’ health, even to the point of being lethal if enough is digested. Many people will be sitting around on couches and living room chairs, as well as in the kitchen (there’s always a group of people who migrate to the kitchen during parties), and many of these people will, in their drunken or even slightly inebriated state, feed whatever is lying around on the tables or in their laps to the begging animals (“Oh, how cute! Here, have a treat!”).

Keeping animals safe at a New Year’s Eve party can be rather hard, especially while mingling with all of the different groups of invited party guests. If at all possible it is always best to have your animals stay at a friend’s or family member’s house until after the fun and recovery is over. Make sure to bring some food, toys and treats, as well as a water dish for the animals, and a cage for birds, as well as a small but thoughtful gift for the animal caretaker when you drop your animal(s) off.

Source: HellumCreated on: December 13, 2011 Last Updated: December 17, 2011 by Marc Phillippe Babineau – Reposted at Just One More Pet and Cross-Posted at Ask Marion on December 31st, 2012.


Holidays are Great and Fun to Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods

Pets and Toxic Plants, including Poinsettias and Herbs We Cook With for the Holidays

Winter and Holiday Health Hazards for Animals

December 30, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Merry Christmas From Just One More Pet

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

And a fabulous Holiday Season

May you be surrounded with the people, pets and things you love.

May your heart be filled with joy and memories of former Christmases

And may you be blessed by the story and love of the true reason for this beautiful season.

The characters below are at the top of the list of what makes us happy!


US… Angel, Angelina, Apachi and Princess

4 Dog Card

Us… As We See Ourselves


Us… Singing to Wish you a very Merry Christmas…

Cross-Posted at our Sister Site:  Ask Marion


A Dog’s Rules For Christmas and Hanukkah

Christmas for Pet People

Adopt a Pet This Christmas… Or Give Someone a New Friend for Christmas (or Hanukah)!

Watch Glenn Beck’s Emotional Tribute To His Dog, Victor

Animal Nativity

Jingle Goats….


Training Your Dog to Decorate Your Tree

All I want for Christmas Is You~

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Always Best Idea! – Unless you do it the right way

Pet Skunks Under the Tree

Merry Christmas – Dogs Saying Grace Before Meals

December 26, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal and Pet Photos, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Dog’s Rules For Christmas and Hanukkah

lillycatx-wide-communityChanukah Card from Foster Pups

1. Be especially patient with your humans during this time. They may appear to be more stressed-out than usual and they will appreciate long comforting dog leans.

2. They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts. Do not assume that all the gifts are yours.

3. Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you. They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how you look with fake antlers.

4. They may bring a large tree into the house and set it up in a prominent place and cover it with lights and decorations. Bizarre as this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so there are some things you need to know:

a. Don’t pee on the tree

b. Don’t drink water in the container that holds the tree

c. Mind your tail when you are near the tree

d. If there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don’t rip them open

e. Don’t chew on the cord that runs from the funny-looking hole in the wall to the tree

5. Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on your part:
a. Not all strangers appreciate kisses and leans

b. Don’t eat off the buffet table

c. Beg for goodies subtly

d. Be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa

e. Don’t drink out of glasses that are left within your reach

6. Likewise, your humans may take you visiting. Here your manners will also be important:

a. Observe all the rules in #4 for trees that may be in other people’s houses. (4a is particularly important)

b. Respect the territory of other animals that may live in the house

c. Tolerate children

d. Turn on your charm big time

7. A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night.


What Not To Do!! Winking smile


Christmas for Pet People

Adopt a Pet This Christmas… Or Give Someone a New Friend for Christmas (or Hanukah)!

Watch Glenn Beck’s Emotional Tribute To His Dog, Victor

Animal Nativity

Jingle Goats….


Training Your Dog to Decorate Your Tree

All I want for Christmas Is You~

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Always Best Idea! – Unless you do it the right way

Pet Skunks Under the Tree

Merry Christmas – Dogs Saying Grace Before Meals

Love your pets? Keep them Healthy and extend their life with:

StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

December 21, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas for Pet People

“A hug from a child or a lick from a pet makes everything better including the holidays!”

(Consider adopting or fostering just one more pet for the holidays… the shelters are overflowing and 2 out of 3 animals who get into the shelter system never leave there alive!)

Video: Animals of the Tube sing “Deck the Hall

Cross-Posted as part of The War on Christmas verses the Spirit of Christmas Series at AskMarion

Santa Photos With Fido or other Furry and Feathered Friends

Many places these days offer photos for pets with Santa. Some do better jobs than others!! Even within a chain like PetsMart or Petco, the quality of the photos vary with the group contracted to do the photos in individual stores. (They are often amateur volunteers sponsored/run by local rescues inside the store) And remember, most are Polaroid, so if they come out well have them copied or scan them in.

At our local Petsmart, you basically get a Polaroid of your dog sitting on Santa’s lap. Others may have a higher quality set up and better photographers, but don’t count on it. Most allow and even encourage you to be part of the photo. And some will let you snap a few shots with your own camera as well (as long as you purchase one of theirs as well).

Some local malls have special ‘pets day(s)’ with the mall Santa and even some smaller pet store chains do Santa photos. The special “pictures with Santa” days during which dogs, cats and pets in general are allowed inside the mall is usually in the evening or off hours. They are also usually sponsored by a rescue, so the proceeds go to a good cause. The pictures are usually okay, but not great. Nothing to write home about, but when you have x amount of dogs waiting in line and lots of stuff going on, even the best photographer may not manage making your dog look like Lassie, RinTinTin or the Beverly Hills Chihuahua… after all half the kiddie photos aren’t much better. But it is fun to have a photo with Santa no matter what!

Some of the photos of ourselves, our kids and our furkids with Santa aren’t the greatest, but as the years go by the old ones seem to get better and better! Winking smile And, over the years we have managed to get a few cute ones too!

Angel and Santa - Good

Some places will allow you to bring your own camera and take a shot as long as you buy their package. And definitely always, like with the human kids, be ready prepared to end up in the photo along with your pet(s).

Santa pet photos are usually with dogs, but I’ve seen people come in with cats, bunnies, ferrets, pot belly pigs, birds, and even a fish bowl but I would suggest coming in at a slow time to do that, or the cats and birds will be spooked and even try to run or fly away.  We had a greycheek, Poly, that was tame and friendly as can be that flew out the front door because she was afraid of Santa.  I did see a Santa come for the day to an exotic bird shop where people came with their large parrots and cockatoos.

Even with dogs, remember there will often be lots of dogs in line and Santa can be a scary figure to some, just like he is for some children!

Some of the best Christmas and holiday photos are done at home or better yet by a professional; in a private session.

Libby & Santa 2009 santababy

Councilman Ed Reisinger plays Santa at Locust Point Dog Park

Balzac (225 lbs) with Santa

Every Pet Santa Deserves a Tip!!

Santa PerchRocky the Ferret Kisses SantaGracie and Sahmmy with Santa

PetsMart and Santa Paws are just a few programs that take Pet Photos with Santa. Often the proceeds go to help homeless pets in shelters and rescues or to supply needy families with food and needed supplies.

Merry Christmas… the Season has begun!

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Best Idea! unless you know the person wants a pet and which one or kind they want; taking them to the shelter, a rescue or pet store and allowing them to choose the pet is always the best idea!!

Often Photos taken at home (without Santa) are the the cutest and the least stressful!!


Photo #5 –Where’s Apachi? and Photo #6 – Can You Find all 6???


by Ask Marion/the UCLA Shutterbug

There is always room for Just One More Pet!!

Adopt a Pet This Christmas… Or Give Someone a New Friend for Christmas (or Hanukah)!

Also, a great pet and pet owner gift: StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

December 17, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal and Pet Photos, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Adopt a Pet This Christmas… Or Give Someone a New Friend for Christmas (or Hanukah)!

By Marion Algier – Originally Posted on December 15, 2011  -  Updated December 14, 2012 – Cross-Posted at AskMarion

The holidays are a popular time to get your children the pet they’ve always wanted. Who can resist an adorable puppy or kitten with a bow under the Christmas tree? If you are thinking about getting a pet this year, I encourage you to consider ‘adopting’ a pet for under the tree instead of buying one. There are a lot of benefits to adopting a pet over buying one from a pet store. For some of the reasons why, please see THIS ARTICLE. Truly, good pets can come from anywhere, but I also recommend not picking a pet that is coming from a non-reputable breeder or puppy mill. For more information about what puppy mills are, please check out THIS ARTICLE.

A great way to give a pet, especially to someone who does not live in your home, unless you know the person really well, is take the person you are getting the pet for to the shelter, rescue or store and let them chose the pet they want. Sometimes that is not possible… Sometimes if it is for your child your input is the final choice. Or sometimes you know grandma or grandpa would love a pet or needs one and taking them just won’t work out, so each situation is different. But if you can take them for a pre-visit or actually to pick one out is ideal. If not, choose a pet they would want, rather than one you want. And then adopt just one more for yourself, if you possibly can.

If you are a pet lover, please donate funds and supplies or volunteer your time to local rescues and shelters or consider fostering or taking a pet home for the holidays… and then helping find them a permanent forever home.

Adopt (or rescue) just one more pet and you are not only saving a life but enhancing yours… or that of a friend, family member or just a lonely soul. Those of us who have pets know that loving an animal and having them love you awakens a part of your soul that changes your life forever!

With today’s economy, plus the return of pets to the shelter of people who think animals are toys, there are more pets who need homes than ever before, so please consider giving some of these pets a home for the holidays and forever.

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Always the Best Idea… Unless It is Done the Right Way!

h/t to Cindy Wolff

If you are really thinking of surprising someone with an animal for Christmas, make sure it’s made of fake fur and stuffed. If you really want to get someone a pet for Christmas, give them a gift certificate or and IOU and then take them to find a pet, if they want one, of their choosing… or take them pre-shopping or along with you to pick one out.

Nothing says “I’m clueless” like giving an animal at Christmas to someone who was neither wanting nor expecting that gift.

After the oohing and ahhing at the precious animal, the reality of what you’ve done sets in.

You have just given someone a 10- to 15-year commitment (the oldest dog alive is 27) that can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars for care.

If you give a puppy, then you have further obligated them to be home every two or three hours to take the pup outside to use the bathroom.

They will spend the next year teaching their pup to be a good dog and not tear things up, don’t jump up, stop barking, house training and all the work that goes with helping the pet become a decent part of the family.

Cats are easier because you don’t have to go stand outside with them in 30-degree temperature on a freezing rainy day and beg them to use the bathroom.

But you are still obligating your beloved to the care of a pet. Also, why would you assume to know what personality of a pet suits what person? That’s a personal thing.

Pets are a very personal choice and the right fit is best for both the pet and their new parent. I’ve always adopted my pets based on their personality fit into my home. These are not plug-and-play toys. Some people prefer affectionate cats, while others don’t mind the aloof ones. Some like long-hair, some like short-hair.

Some people might actually feel like you’re given them a gift of obligation that never stops costing or needing, or insist you take it back.

So, if you want to adopt an animal for your family and you want your children to have a pet, that is one thing, but even then, you might consider buying a stuffed animal with a note attached that you will go as a family and adopt a pet after Christmas or even this spring.

Why spring?

People have more time off. They don’t mind being outside so much in the better weather. And your family can decide what pet fits.

Spend this time researching various breeds, figuring out which ones, like Dalmatians, are athletic and require a lot of exercise and attention and which ones, like Rottweilers, are couch potatoes.

You’ll learn that Jack Russell Terriers aren’t as sedate as the character Eddie on the television show “Frasier” and all puppies aren’t as bad as Marley.

But the biggest lesson you will learn is that pet ownership is not something you decide like choosing a lamp. It’s a long-term commitment of money, time and love. The reward is immeasurable, but it’s not usually something you decide for someone else. They often need to find it for themselves.

The good news is that there are so many places to adopt a pet these days! Fees vary and many are often waived this time of year. Below are just a fewrecources:

Best Friends Animal Society

Petfinder and Adoptapet are two terrific resources to search all adoptables at local rescue groups – the cool part is that on Adoptapet you can save your search and plug in your email and they will email you when pets that match your search come up.

Adopt and Shop – An amazing new “pet store” with shelter animals in Lakewood. They get all pets from the SEEACA animal shelter in Downey. Here’s the best part: adoption counselors are available to help match you with the perfect pet for your family. Your new pet will come complete with leash/collar or food, litter etc. All vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered and can go home that day! I am not sure about the prices so you will need to call them but will average around $100 compared to the thousands for a pet store puppy with no vaccines, microchip, supplies, counselors, after adoptions support and spay/neuter. Some pets available at Adopt and Shop:

dog 1 Adopt a Pet This Christmas! cat Adopt a Pet This Christmas! dog 2 Adopt a Pet This Christmas!


cat2 Adopt a Pet This Christmas! dog4 Adopt a Pet This Christmas!

dog5 Adopt a Pet This Christmas! dog 3 Adopt a Pet This Christmas!


"A Canine Christmas Extravaganza Adoption Event"

Doggie Adoption Extravaganza

Sunday, December 16th
Paws-Abilities Total Dog Center, Fife
Noon-3 pm

Increase the merry in your holidays by adopting your new best friend!

Ho ho ho! It’s time again for our extra large and extra jolly Adoption Event!

Come join us and find your own Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, or Vixen!
Fourteen rescue groups will be attending with their adoptable dogs and puppies in all shapes, sizes, breeds, and personalities. All dogs are spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccinations, temperament tested and looking to pledge their love! Trainers will be on site to help you select a dog that will be perfect for your family and lifestyle.

Adoption fees will range between $100-$350.

Come early and enjoy the food and crafts at the vendor booths that will be set up outside of Paws-Abilities Total Dog Center at 10 am. You will be able to buy all the supplies your new pooch will need to be set up in style!

Doors for the Adoption Event will open at Noon.

And, guess who will be there to snuggle and take pictures with you and your new pooch–that’s right, SANTA!

Capture the memory of this holiday season and have a holiday photo taken with Santa and you and your furry best friend(s)!

Photos will be taken by PawPrints Pet Photography and they will make beautiful Christmas gifts!

10% of the proceeds from the purchased photos will be donated to Pawsitive Alliance!

Opt to Adopt and give the gift of a furever home to a loving dog for Christmas this year!

Shelter and Rescue Groups bringing their dogs:

For more information, email Denise at info@pawsitivealliance.org or call us at 206-486-4PET!
Click here to download a flier and help us spread the word!Paws-Abilities Total Dog Center

7338 26th Street E
Building F
Fife, WA 98424
For more information and directions, visit the Paws-Abilities website.

Pawsitive Alliance’s mission is to end the killing of adoptable dogs and cats in Washington by increasing adoptions, supporting spay and neuter programs, and improving pet retention.

A Dog Named Christmas

Video: A Dog Named Christmas DVD (Hallmark Hall of Fame)

Pets and Toxic Plants, including Poinsettias and Herbs We Cook With for the Holidays

If you know of any local pet adoption events going on, please let me know and I will add them on here!

Also, a great pet owner gift:  StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets 

It’s really for the pet, but like kids, they’d rather have the toy… or both!

Related Fun Christmas Posts:

Jingle Goats….


Training Your Dog to Decorate Your Tree

Christmas for Pet People

All I want for Christmas Is You~

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Always Best Idea! – Unless you do it the right way.

Pet Skunks Under the Tree

Animal Nativity

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’ – Join the NO KILL MOVEMENT

December 14, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Adoption, Pet Events, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Watch Glenn Beck’s Emotional Tribute To His Dog, Victor

TheBlaze: At the end of tonight’s Glenn Beck Program, the host paid a special tribute to a member of the Beck family not often mentioned on radio or television, the family’s canine elder statesman, Victor the German Shepherd.

Glenn Becks emotional tribute to his aging dog, Victor

Image: TheBlazeTV

As Glenn explained, Victor was the family’s first choice for protection after they started receiving death threats in 2001. This very special German Shepherd has stood guard for the Beck family for more than a decade. Victor’s presence and unwavering devotion has allowed Glenn to spend nights away from his family for the many business trips required by his work.

From Wednesday night’s Glenn Beck Program, the emotional tribute to the Beck family’s best friend.

Prayers for Glenn’s dog Victor

(Begin transcript) (Video of following transcript)

Tonight I want to leave you with a personal note: That great teachers are found sometimes in the most unlikely of places.

It was right after 9/11 that I received my first death threat. It was from a Muslim extremist that said he would kill me and my whole family if I didn’t stop talking. It was the first time I ever had any professional interaction with the FBI and we were told to go home. We didn’t even have curtains on the windows of our house at that time. I went home and I explained as calmly as I could to my wife as that we had to take sheets and blankets and put them on our window as soon as we could. That night we had a serious discussion with men who carried guns outside our bedroom door and in our property and we had a discussion about buying a gun. And my wife and I having not grown up around guns decided the answer was ‘No’. Laughably we thought we weren’t responsible enough to have one. So we were instructed to leave town for a month.

I was living in Florida at the time and I took my family to Los Angeles and we couldn’t tell anybody that we were in LA for a month. We knew we needed something in the house to protect us.

Great teachers are everywhere. And they’re found in unlikely places but they’ll teach us great lessons. Victor has taught our family great lessons in duty an devotion. I have been able to be away from my family on road trips with comfort because he has been a part of our life. And he is teaching me now a very difficult lesson in dignity.

He has been on watch every since we met him. He’s a service dog and he has become a much loved and loving part of our family. In addition to his job as protector his unwavering affection has been a lesson for our whole family. He came into our lives to protect us. And he has done that and much more. He’s an amazing dog and he has taught me and my family about protection, devotion, dependence, caring and he is now teaching us the hardest lesson: learning when to let go.

We have depended on him for years and now his body is failing him. And now he depends on us to protect him and to care for him and to ultimately to decide what’s best for him. Not for us. For him. The Victor decision is one I think we both know about. I know and he knows and I can see it in his eyes and we both know the other one knows that it doesn’t make it easier.

Victor’s lessons are ingrained in us forever. Protection, devotion and dignity.

I don’t know what this holiday is going to bring us, but it may be a very tough decision. I would ask you for your prayers for Victor and our family and the difficult decisions that we face. Thank you, Victor.


‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

Videos: Loyalty and Love By Animals

Man Swims with Arthritic Dog, Hopes to Ease the Animal’s Pain



December 13, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Service and Military Animals, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Animal Nativity

Animal Nativity 3

Too Cute!!

Related Christmas Posts:

Jingle Goats….


Training Your Dog to Decorate Your Tree

Christmas for Pet People

All I want for Christmas Is You~

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Always Best Idea! – Unless you do it the right way.

Pet Skunks Under the Tree

Adopt or Give A Pet for Christmas or Hanukah – A gift of love while saving a life…

Winter and Holiday Health Hazards for Animals

A Dogs Rules For Christmas

Waiting for Santa

A Pet’s Ten Commandments

Holidays are Great and Fun to Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’

Merry Christmas From Just One More Pet 2011

December 10, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Megacolon: A Terrible Outcome for Constipated Pets

Video:  Dr. Karen Becker Discusses Megacolon

By Dr. Becker

Literally speaking, “megacolon” means large colon. It’s a condition in which too much waste accumulates and causes the bowel to enlarge well beyond its normal diameter.

Megacolon is much more common in cats than dogs. It can occur in any age, breed, or sex of cat, however, most cases are seen in middle-aged male kitties – the average age is about 5.8 years.

The colon is a part of the digestive tract that starts at the cecum and ends at the rectum. The cecum is the point where the small and large intestines meet. The main job of the colon is to temporarily store waste while extracting water and salt from it, and to move feces down to the rectum in preparation for elimination.

In megacolon, the waste doesn’t pass through to the large intestine normally. For whatever reason, the colon doesn’t release its contents.

Recent studies show that cats with megacolon seem to have a defect in the ability of the muscles of the colon to contract. This causes chronic constipation and also obstipation, which is severe, unrelenting constipation that blocks the passage of both gas and waste through the colon.

So, megacolon is a terrible condition in which the large intestine is extremely dilated, has very poor motility, and there is an accumulation of fecal material that the animal can’t eliminate from his body.

Megacolon Can Be Congenital or Acquired

Megacolon can be present at birth, or it can be an acquired condition, which is more common. Animals with congenital megacolon have a lack of normal smooth muscle function through the large intestine from birth.

Acquired megacolon results when the large intestine chronically retains feces, the water has been completely resorbed out of the colon, and the feces become really hard and solid. If these masses of waste material remain for a prolonged amount of time, the colon distends and enlarges. This can result in irreversible colon inertia, which means the colon’s smooth muscle gets so stretched out and fatigued that it no longer effectively contracts to move waste down to the rectum.

Acquired megacolon can also be the result of certain dietary factors, a foreign body in the colon, lack of exercise, and, for kitties, there can be litter box and/or behavior issues that cause them to hold in feces.

Another cause can be painful defecation due to an anal gland abscess or a stricture of the anus. There can also be a narrowed pelvic canal resulting from a fracture or tumor that can cause pain on defecation.

There can be a neurologic or neuromuscular disease that prevents the animal from getting into the posture necessary for elimination, or a neurologic condition that affects the nerves that control defecation.

Metabolic disorders resulting in low potassium levels or severe dehydration can also be a factor, as can certain types of drugs. There’s also idiopathic megacolon, which means we have no idea why it occurs. It just starts happening.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of megacolon include constipation, obstipation, infrequent elimination, straining to defecate followed by small amounts of loose stool, vomiting, loss of appetite and dehydration.

Megacolon is diagnosed based on the animal’s history and a physical exam. The vet will find a very hard colon upon palpation of the rectum and will find fecal impacts during a rectal exam.

In order to determine how severe the condition is and possible underlying causes, other tests are needed. These can include blood work, urinalysis, an ultrasound, X-rays with barium contrast studies, and also neurologic testing.

Treating Megacolon

The treatment goal for megacolon is to clean out the large intestine and identify any underlying issues that have created or contributed to the condition. The type of treatment used will depend on the severity of the problem, how long it has existed, and the underlying cause.

Many animals need to be hospitalized for IV fluid therapy and to have the colon evacuated. This can involve anesthesia so that enemas and manual extraction of feces can be accomplished. Most kitties are in too much pain to undergo these procedures without sedation, and it’s also extremely stressful for them.

Treatment of less severe cases often involves the use of laxatives to attempt to evacuate the colon. In severe recurrent cases of megacolon that can’t be managed medically, surgery may be required, but it’s only recommended if all other attempts to manage the condition have failed.

In my practice, I use a combination of chiropractic care, acupuncture, dietary change, and bowel supplements to try to manage these conditions in a non-surgical fashion.

How to Prevent Megacolon in Your Cat

As a proactive vet, I encourage my clients to try to prevent megacolon through healthy lifestyle management. A moisture-rich, species-appropriate diet and a constant supply of fresh drinking water are very important in helping to prevent dehydration. I also recommend a good-quality pet probiotic and digestive enzymes with each meal.

In order to keep your kitty well hydrated, you can try adding a little bit of water to her food. You can also consider buying a drinking fountain designed for pets. Some cats who avoid drinking still water will happily drink moving water from a fountain.

Regular exercise is very important, as is helping your pet maintain her ideal body weight.

In multi-cat households, kitties should be provided with enough litter boxes of the right size in low traffic areas with the cat’s preferred litter to encourage normal and healthy defecation. If your cat is eliminating outside the box, it’s important to not only have him checked by your veterinarian, but also to experiment with different types of litter and litter boxes. Monitor your pet’s daily “output” by regularly scooping the boxes.

Regular brushing or combing of your cat to remove loose fur and debris can help keep things moving well through the GI tract and also prevent hairballs. There are a number of natural remedies for constipation that I always recommend trying before resorting to harsher laxatives. These include psyllium husk powder or coconut fiber added to each meal, or the addition of dark green leafy veggies or cat grass (if your cat will eat them).

Remember, never use a human laxative product on kitties, and if you are using a daily hairball remedy to keep things moving along in your kitty’s GI tract, I recommend you pick a petroleum-free product to avoid adding unnecessary toxins to your pet’s body.

Love your pets?  Keep them Healthy and extend their life with:

StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

December 10, 2012 Posted by | Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Jingle Goats….

Video:  Jingle Goats

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

h/t to Kim Aiken-Peters

December 8, 2012 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animals, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | 8 Comments

How to Recognize Reverse Sneezing in Your Pet

Video:  How to Recognize Reverse Sneezing in Your Pet

Story at-a-glance
  • Reverse sneezing is a fairly common respiratory event in dogs, but is rarely seen in cats. Small and brachycephalic breeds are more prone to the condition than other dogs.
  • In a regular sneeze, air is pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is instead pulled rapidly and noisily in through the nose. The sound of reverse sneezing is sudden and startling, and many owners wonder if their pet is choking or having an asthma attack.
  • Reverse sneezing is caused by a spasm of the throat and soft palate that is triggered by an irritant. Common triggers include excitement, exercise intolerance, a collar that’s too tight, pollen, perfume, a household cleaner… even a sudden change in temperature.
  • Intervening in a reverse sneezing episode is usually not necessary, but if you can keep track of when your pet reverse-sneezes and what he’s doing right as it happens, you can often figure out the triggers and work to avoid them.
  • If your pet’s reverse sneezing becomes a chronic problem, or episodes are becoming more frequent or longer in duration, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out other potential health problems.


By Dr. Becker

Reverse sneezing — also known as mechanosensitive aspiration reflex, inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, and pharyngeal gag reflex – is actually a fairly common respiratory event in dogs. It happens more often in small breed dogs, perhaps because they have smaller throats and windpipes.

Brachycephalic breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, with elongated soft palates, occasionally suck the palate into the throat, which can cause an episode of reverse sneezing.

Interestingly, the phenomenon is very rarely seen in kitties.

How to Recognize an Episode of Reverse Sneezing

In a regular sneeze, air is pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is pulled rapidly and noisily in through the nose. For some dogs, it’s a more or less normal event. Just as sneezing is a part of life, reverse sneezing is also a part of many dogs’ lives.

The sound that accompanies reverse sneezing is kind of a sudden, startling sound that makes many dog owners think their pet is either choking or having an asthma attack.

A dog who is reverse sneezing typically stands still with his elbows spread apart, head extended or back, eyes bulging as he makes this loud snorting sound. The strange stance on top of the strange snorting sound is why many dogs end up getting rushed to the veterinarian or the emergency clinic by their panicked parents.

Episodes of reverse sneezing can last from a few seconds to a minute or two. As soon as it passes, the dog breathes perfectly normally once again and behaves as if nothing happened.

Here’s one example of what a reverse sneeze looks like:


Causes of Reverse Sneezing and How You Can Help Your Pet

Reverse sneezing is caused by a spasm of the throat and soft palate. The spasm is triggered by an irritation to the throat, pharynx, or laryngeal area. The most common triggers are excitement, exercise intolerance, a collar that’s too tight, pulling on the leash, an environmental irritant like pollen, perfume, or even a household chemical or cleaner, room sprays, or even a sudden change in temperature. Rarely, there can be a respiratory infection or chronic post-nasal drip that causes the condition.

In the winter, my Boston terrier reverse-sneezes every single time he goes from inside to outside. I open the front door and he automatically reverse-sneezes. It no longer makes him nervous, and I’ve also come to expect this reaction from him when he heads outdoors in cold weather.

Reverse sneezing rarely requires treatment. As soon as the sneezing stops, the situation is resolved.

But since episodes of reverse sneezing can make your dog anxious, it’s important that you remain calm. The biggest issue I see in my practice is a conditioned panic response in a pet, triggered by an owner who freaks out each time the dog reverse-sneezes.

If you feel the need to do something for your dog, you can try massaging her throat to stop the spasm. You can also try covering your pet’s nostrils very briefly. This will cause her to swallow, which usually helps clear the irritation and stop the sneezing.

If the episode doesn’t end quickly and if you trust your dog’s response, you can try putting your hand in her mouth and pressing on her tongue. This will cause her to open her mouth wider and help move air through the nose effectively.

But honestly, these types of intervention are usually not necessary and can sometimes add to everyone’s stress level. I do recommend owners pay attention to when reverse sneezing occurs, where the dog is and what she’s doing right before or as it begins.

One of my dogs only reverse-sneezes when she’s suddenly awakened at night. So we take extra care not to disturb her when she’s sleeping. With any type of movement or noise, especially if it’s sudden or loud, she’ll stand up and reverse-sneeze. It scares her, so we remain calm, tell her everything’s fine, and in a few seconds it passes.

If you can figure out what’s triggering your pet’s reverse sneezing episodes, you can work to reduce or resolve the problem.

When to See the Vet

If your pet’s reverse sneezing becomes a chronic problem, or episodes are becoming more frequent or longer in duration, I recommend you make an appointment with your vet to rule out things like a potential foreign body in the respiratory tract, nasal cancers, polyps or tumors, nasal mites, a collapsing trachea, kennel cough, or a respiratory infection.

If you’re able to catch a reverse sneezing episode on video to play for your vet, it can sometimes help him or her discern what’s really happening – whether it’s reverse sneezing or perhaps something else.

If your pet is experiencing prolonged episodes of reverse sneezing, bloody or yellow discharge from the nose, or any other accompanying respiratory problems, it’s time to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

And if you have a cat with chronic reverse sneezing, since the condition is less common in kitties, it’s important to investigate the possibility of feline asthma or an upper respiratory infection.

Just as dogs sneeze intermittently throughout their lives, most dogs have at least a few reverse sneezing episodes during their lives as well. In the vast majority of cases, the episodes are temporary and intermittent, resolving on their own, and leave the dog with no aftereffects to be concerned about.


Reverse Sneezing, Chihuahua Honks or Mechanosensitive Aspiration Reflex

Is Your Short-Muzzled Dog Having Breathing Problems?


December 3, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health | , , , , | Leave a comment