PetAbility Podcast

PetAbility Podcast

This is a must-hear podcast for pet owners wanting access to the latest in pet quality of life and longevity. Whether your pet has fur, feathers, scales or shells, Cathy and Chris believe in treating your pet as a whole, both mind and body. Continuing a collaboration that began in 2003, Cathy and Chris share the gift of gab as well as their network in the pet rehab community. Using their vast expertise as Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioners (CCRPs), Cathy Symons CVT, CCRP, and Chris Cranston MPT, CCRP, offer relevant information and provocative interviews on their podcast, PetAbility. With an emphasis on mobility and independence, their show is about improving function, restoring confidence, alleviating fear, providing mental stimulation, and easing pain to help your pets live their best lives. Read on for more information about Cathy and Chris… Cathy Symons is the author of Blind Devotion: Enhancing the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired Dogs. She was inspired to write this book after her first pug, Booda, lost his sight at the age of seven. Several years later, Cathy adopted a blind pug named Digger and wrote a children’s book, Watching Out for Digger, which she uses as a teaching tool for young children to learn about living with a disabled dog. After fifteen years of practice as a veterinary technician, Cathy went on to study canine rehabilitation at the University of Tennessee. In 2003, Cathy was one of the first thirty-six people in the world to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. Shortly thereafter, Cathy was instrumental in establishing one of the foremost veterinary rehabilitation centers in the United States, the Sterling Impression Animal Rehabilitation Center of New England. She continues to follow the latest options in pet rehabilitation, including digital thermal imaging and laser therapy, and is currently working on her third book, Senior Dogs: Maintaining Mobility and Independence. Cathy resides in the New England area with her husband and their pug, Mac. Mac is a very confident little nugget who enjoys doing nose work with his mom. Chris Cranston has 16 years of experience in pet rehabilitation. She is excited to share her knowledge and reach a wide pet-loving audience through the PetAbility podcast. Chris loves seeing that light bulb go off when educating pet owners, so a podcast seemed like a natural fit. Chris started her career as a physical therapist (PT) – with people. When she moved to the Boston area in 2002, she saw it as an opportunity to do something different, so she combined her existing PT skills with her passion for animals. Chris became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the University of Tennessee in 2004, one of the first 100 persons in the world to receive this certification. In addition to her CCRP designation, she has a Masters of Physical Therapy (1989) and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology (1987) from the University of Iowa. Chris had a successful mobile practice, consulted with a myriad of general practices and specialty clinics, and started the physical rehabilitation service for a large multi-specialty and emergency organization in the Greater Boston region. All this was before founding FlowDog, a stand-alone, full-service small animal physical rehab facility in Waltham, MA. In 2017, Chris sold her business to the esteemed Angell Animal Medical Center of Boston, and is now podcasting, consulting privately, conducting workshops, teaching classes and providing PT services for a local holistic veterinary practice. Of course, Chris prioritizes enriching the lives of her twin Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Julep & Baxter, through agility and other activities, while keeping her cat, Midge, from taunting them to utter frustration.

Episodes

June 14, 2022 42 min

Hop along with Doreen Reynolds-Consolati, Vice President and Education Chair for The House Rabbit Connection, as she discuss the commitment it takes to have a pet rabbit. This includes bunny-proofing your home, appropriate housing, proper diet, handling & bonding, and toys & enrichment. These endearing fluff balls may be too cute to resist, but it may surprise you to learn that these seemingly docile, quiet, cherubic critte...

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Austin Roo is just like any other dog; he plays, he hikes, he swims, he only has hind legs, he stars in a national commercial... Wait, what? Yes, this rescue mutt's super power is his ability to inspire. He is fast becoming an Instagram sensation and you might have already seen him in his front-wheeled cart on the Bissell commercial. But according to his people, at the end of the day, he is just another dog that does dog things...

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May 17, 2022 56 min

Ahhhh.... the laying on of the hands, therapeutic touch, massage - it's more powerful than you might think. Listen to Cathy and Chris describe preparing for a massage session with your pet, getting your pet's consent, the myriad of massage benefits, specific massage techniques, and generally how to get the most out of  the time spent massaging your pet. Packed with information, your methods are bound to improve after listen...

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My dog is really fit because I take him for a walk EVERY day. False! According to founder, Rich Allen, true fitness requires attention to strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. But what does this mean when it comes to your pet and how do you implement it? His creation, Pet.Fitness, a premier pet fitness website,  does all the "heavy lifting" for you! Their programs don't require a lot of space and utilize items ...

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Wink, is a beautiful pit bull aptly named due to her "perma-wink." She lost her eye at 5 weeks old and doesn't see far away or in low light very well with the remaining eye. She is also completely deaf, likely linked to her pure white coloring and unethical breeding practices. It is a miracle that Wink escaped euthanasia as a young pup. But according to Wink and her owner Anneliese, she is still a dog much like any othe...

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Fear Free® is an educational company whose mission is to alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets. Sounds simple enough, but it turns out that despite our good intentions, we've actually been doing things wrong, as veterinarians, pet professionals, and owners. By learning to listen to pets through their body language and putting ourselves in their place so as to see the world through their eyes, we are on our way to implemen...

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March 22, 2022 58 min

Meet Dr. Schoenberg, a vet whose unique practice is solely dedicated to hospice and palliative care. To paraphrase her website, hospice is a philosophy that shifts the focus of care away from finding a cure and towards providing comfort, peace, quality of life, and freedom from pain when the pets we love are facing terminal illness or advanced aging. As our pets are living longer and surviving disease processes and injuries that th...

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March 8, 2022 60 min

Chris and Cathy talk often about enrichment in their podcast.  But what exactly is enrichment for our pets? Listen to animal enrichment expert, Amanda Shyne, help us understand why enrichment is not simply a nice to have but a need to have. Enrichment is the action of improving the quality of something - in our case, an animal's life. Enrichment brings joy and makes our pets feel alive, a need that contributes to their sense of...

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Vital Vet is a comprehensive, online platform on a mission to eradicate the words, "if I had only known" from our vocabulary. The platform offers over 500 products, as well as physical rehabilitation consults, blogs, videos, online education, and so much more. Aimed at pet parents, physical rehabilitationists, and all veterinary professionals, this vast hub of information  provides one-stop shopping designed to meet the nee...

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February 8, 2022 35 min

Did you know that there is good inflammation and bad inflammation? The good inflammation is your friend, necessary for healing from injury or recovering from illness. The bad inflammation is your enemy, it lingers too long, causing persistent pain, unhealthy compensations, and fatigue amongst other things. Listen to Chris and Cathy's lively banter about inflammation to learn how to control inflammation so your friend does not m...

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Prepare to be inspired as you learn about pets living with three limbs. The thought of your beloved pet losing a limb is devastating and scary.  Bringing them home after amputation is often overwhelming and a bit shocking. Turning to a community of pet owners for support and resources who have traveled this path before you can make all the difference. You will find this and more at Tripawds.com - the largest online community for 3-...

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Most dogs that drown do so from exhaustion. This episode introduces an innovative collar, called HedzUpPets watercollar, that can save your dog from drowning, even if they lose consciousness. A typical doggie life vest cannot. Exhaustion can develop when dogs are unable to extricate themselves from a pool or they start swimming across the lake after those ducks. Sometimes the intention may not be for your dog to swim at all – they ...

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If you’re listening to PetAbility, then you’ve likely had a fantasy at some point in your life about having a rescue, likely for dogs, cats, or even farm animals. But I bet you never dreamed of having a fish rescue!! Dive in as fish rescuer extraordinaire, Gwendolyn Church of Friends of Philip Fish Sanctuary, tells us what it takes to properly care for fish while dispelling myths and bringing tons of compelling information about fi...

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December 14, 2021 54 min

Buddy’s downward dog stretch you see in the early morning is integral to his overall wellness. Stretching maintains or increases the flexibility of soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, etc.) and helps to prevent injury by prepping the body for activity. Proper flexibility makes any movement easier. Pets tend to lose flexibility as they age or as a result of an injury – both situations limit their ability to st...

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What do you get when you take people and dogs of all shapes and sizes and ask them to race through an obstacle course? AGILITY! Of course, there's lots more to it than that, but agility is fundamentally about enhancing the relationship with your dog. Essentially, you learn to talk to one another!  You learn how to read their signals, motivate them, and communicate your desired outcome through verbal and non-verbal cues. Agility...

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So your dog has an injury? Lesson one: the nervous system is adaptable. Lesson two: don't be afraid to touch your pet! It does more than you might ever imagine. Whether it’s a neurologic or orthopedic injury, providing sensory input can help the body to heal faster and more fully. Sensory input is smell (a huge part of the dog's brain in devoted to this so give them something savory to smell), hearing (play a relaxing sound...

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What do you mean you've never had a pet tortoise? Well, neither have we! Listen to pet parent, Kasey Kuchinski, talk all about what its like having a tortoise for a pet. There's lots to ensuring that a tortoise like Ethel thrives. For Kasey and her husband, Dan, having Ethel is a match made in heaven. Every aspect of Ethel's care is addressed from diet to habitat to enrichment activities. You will be astonished at the a...

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Chiropractic for pets? Yup, it’s a thing. A really good thing! If you notice that your pet is not moving quite right or is holding themselves oddly, chiro may be the answer. And its not what you may think in terms of snap, crackle, pop. It’s a very gentle manual technique that our furry family members are surprisingly amenable to. Why? Because it makes them feels better! Listen to Linda Rogers, DVM, describe what it looks like to p...

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Dogs navigate their environment through their amazing sense of smell. So why not utilize this natural gift through practicing nose and scent work with your canine companion?  It doesn't have to be formal or fancy, although there are classes and competitions aplenty. This relatively new sport (~2007) uses the canine olfactory system to solve problems and instill confidence. Moreover, EVERY dog can - and should - do this because ...

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Of course, none of us wants to think that we are actually punishing our pets! But in truth, punishment is simply anything that results in a decrease of a behavior either by adding something (positive punishment, perhaps a verbal reprimand) or removing something (negative punishment, maybe taking away a coveted toy). So we are all likely to be inadvertently punishing our pets without realizing it. This can result in unintended conse...

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