Happy Birthday ARCC!

Baby it's cold outside!

Baby it’s cold outside!

It’s hard to believe but our first year is “officially” completed and we celebrated it with a bright but very cold day. Rocket came in today wearing his sweater and he does not want to take it off — can’t blame him it is chilly!

This year ARCC wants to start having classes — weight management, core conditioning, and we would like to invite some guest speakers. You all sound off and tell us what you want to see, do or hear and we will try to make it happen.

Stay warm, stay safe and thanks for making our first year great!


Happy New Year!

I wanted to thank all of you for your support and love this year — you have made it a fabulous year with lots of fun, a few tears and a ton of laughter.

I have opened a clinic, made a ton of new friends, took dogs to model in a pet fashion show on TV, interviewed on TV, interviewed on the radio, gave a talk to the local veterinarians, gave a talk to some kennel clubs, gave a talk to the SC Veterinary Technician meeting, became a certified massage therapist for animals and a certified animal chiropractor; it has been a whirlwind time.

We have also had some sadness during the year by losing some family members — both furred and un-furred and I have said goodbye to some great pets.

Here is a video of the events of the last year along with a ton of pet shots — hope you enjoy it! Have a great and safe New Year!

I think I did that right but if not — the youtube channel is:

ARCC – Animal Rehab & Conditioning Center



Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa — Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa — whatever you celebrate this time of year we wish you the best. This is a time of family, fun, festivities, and furry friends.

At this time of year we sometimes forget that there are people and pets who don’t have anyone to celebrate with so take time to visit a lonely neighbor, a homeless shelter, animal shelter, or hospital. Give a little of yourself to make a big difference to someone else.

I wish you all the best and brightest of holidays —


Osteosarcoma or Bone Cancer


Typical sites of bone cancer

I hate writing about depressing things but we all must face some hardship periodically. In the veterinary world, we usually see things in threes — 3 dogs with bladder stones, 3 cats that have urinary blockage, and cancers.

So when I saw the first pet a week or so ago with possible osteosarcoma I crossed my fingers and sent him to his veterinarian but the news was not good; I hoped that since I was in a “different” avenue of veterinary medicine that the superstition would not hold.

Unfortunately, this also was not to be true — a second patient was referred back to his vet and bone cancer was found again. I am still hopeful that I won’t see another but I am being very vigilant with every pet to make sure there isn’t anything kind of wonky.

Osteosarcoma is a malignant tumor of the bone and among the most common bone tumors seen in dogs. It metastasizes (goes to other parts of the body) quickly and because of this has a poor prognosis.

It is more commonly found in large breed dogs and on the long bones of the legs. Most of these pets are seven years or older and we do tend to see more of them in males.

The pet usually is lame and the owner may think it is due to some type of trauma. Lameness can be subtle or even to non-weight bearing but eventually the swelling begins. Radiographs are recommended and your veterinarian may not see anything that looks like cancer but if the swelling or lameness continues another x-ray may be needed.

If bone cancer is suspected then x-ray films of your pet’s chest is recommended since the lungs are one of the favorite areas to metastasize.

Osteosarcoma is not a good prognosis but if the lungs appear clear, there are some treatment options:

  • Amputation — this is the very first thing that any veterinarian is going to recommend. Bone cancer can cause your pet’s bone to fracture with the slightest trauma even just lying down so this is the reason we recommend this treatment.
  • Amputation with steroids — not the best option but it will help for a short while and make your pet more comfortable.
  • Amputation with chemotherapy — this is the best option and gives your pet a greater chance at longevity.

None of the options are great but it will make a difference in your pet’s quality of life and longevity.

There is truly no way of telling who is going to get bone cancer and all we can do is to love our pets and do the best we can for them. I hope to not see the third one but if I do I will hold them in my thoughts like I do all of you.

Here’s to you and your pet’s health — blessings.


Nose Art

Zeus enjoying laser therapy

Zeus enjoying laser therapy

I wrote this article at the beginning of this year when we lost our old boy and then in quick secession our older girl. I didn’t post it at the time because frankly it was too painful. Last week a very special patient crossed over and I want to dedicate this post to him. Zeus, you will be missed.

I got to thinking about my nose art. If you don’t own a dog you won’t have any clue what I am talking about but those who have those paws on their hearts immediately relate.

We have these smeared shadowy marks on anything that can retain an imprint, especially car windows, sliding glass doors, and any shining object within nose reach.

My dog, Polly, was a Picasso when it came to this art form. This art use to drive me crazy to find it on every window reaching to at least toddler size, but then Polly became ill.

She and I went to the specialist every couple of weeks and the paintings on my rear windows became crowded. We lost Polly that summer and our hearts were totally devastated.

I washed the car a week or so after our loss. I shined and cleaned everything; everything except the back windows. Those nose prints that had drove me crazy for years were scattered all over – I couldn’t wipe them off.

My husband noted the area but didn’t comment. For almost two years we rode around in a clean car with nose prints on the back windows.

Eventually we could bring ourselves to clean those windows although I must admit that it was almost like losing her again when we did.

We since then have lost another four legged family member that rode around with my husband. He has been gone for a few months now.

I recently got in my husband’s truck to go somewhere with him. There is nose art on my window – I think it may stay for quite a while. I know it will always stay on my heart and his.

Hold them dear — Dicki


Thinking Ahead — What We Want to Do Next Year!

Creative mind or just a messy desk?

Creative mind or just a messy desk?

Hey Guys! Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

As you can see by my desk I am in the midst of trying to set some goals for next year; I am a messy thinker!

I have 3 different calendars, some books I need to finish reading, some articles I need to finish writing, a few ideas to develop and I am looking at different products to order. There is a ton of stuff to complete before the end of the year.

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year since we opened the doors and you all have helped me so much that I want to thank you for your support.

Now the question is — what do you want to learn, do, or train for next year and how can we help you achieve those goals?

Do you have any burning ideas, questions, or thoughts? I am looking for educational classes, seminars, and general fun times that you might be interested in for you and your pet.

Leave us some ideas and we will get the balls (aka peanuts) rolling for next year!

Thanks — Dicki

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings on your family!

Blessings on your family!

Hey guys!

No long lecture this week just a sincere wish for a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Be careful in your travels, have fun with your family and be thankful for what you have in your life. Watch the calories — no human food for your four legged friend.  Okay – small lecture — LOL!

I will hold all of you in my thoughts for a great holiday.

See you next week!

It Takes a Village

The Big Goof -- I love this dog! He is so funny!

The Big Goof — I love this dog! He is so funny!

I have been working with a few pets in rehab for a long time — months and some for even a few years. I have traveled to people’s homes, to dog shows, training facilities and even had them come to my home. When we opened this facility at the beginning of the year I knew that a few friends were standing behind me and I hoped that it would be enough.

I worried about the veterinary community — would they refer to me, would they see me as an asset or a threat, would I make it in this new enterprise? I have worked relief since opening the place off and on to help pay the bills until this thing flies.

The other day a hospital receptionist was so excited about how much of a difference we made in one patient’s life — his weight loss, his ability to walk again, and how happy he seems to be.

I have given talks to veterinarians, to breeders, to kennel clubs, to breed clubs and even had an interview with the local TV station. It has amazed me how this has come together — I have been offered these opportunities through clients and even strangers who have heard what I do and want to help.

The screen printing shop who helped me get the interview on TV, the client who called a friend and got me an interview on the radio, the clients who tell other people about what I have done for them — it didn’t really hit me until the other day when a friend who I have known for a few years said as we were working on her dog — it takes a village.

We have moved very slowly through her pet’s rehab and even though he has wanted to tear around like a crazy dog; we have curtailed him. Co-workers, trainers, massage therapists — we have all worked to help heal him. He is doing wonderfully and we are all proud of him.

The same goes for my favorite girl — she knows who she is — we have worked for a long time and we have had many people who have helped with her rehab; it took a village.

It’s not quite the holidays but I would like to thank everyone who has made this year memorable — you have held my hand, talked me through it, followed directions, and helped to make me feel successful. I am thankful for the village I live in — Have a great week!


FitPAWS Video

I missed doing my blog yesterday — sorry but I have been under the weather. Dutchess came to see me because she has a possible subluxation in her back which causes her to chew and scratch at herself constantly. This subluxation is painful and the only way she can treat it herself is to try and make it stop which makes her a little cranky. We have been using the laser, hydrotherapy and acupuncture but still Dutchess is not feeling the love for palpating her back.

Today we are starting with a Back on Track jacket and balance exercises to help strengthen her core. The Back on Track jacket should warm the whole back up and with a little exercise maybe we can get close to doing an adjustment. I did recruit an extra pair of hands to help today so hopefully today is the day.

Watch the video and see how much movement Dutchess gets with just moving her head for treats. The video will be uploaded to youtube on the ARCC — Animal Rehab & Conditioning Center.

Dutchess does a great job!

Dutchess in her Doggles

Dutchess in her Doggles

You’ve Got Mail!

Bailey waiting on her mail.

Bailey waiting on her mail.

I don’t know about you all but I love getting mail (of course, not bills). I love email, text mail, voice mail and especially snail mail. I love the excitement of not knowing what it is, who is it from, what do they want — my husband finds me weird (he married me) but I love it anyway. So needless to say, I check the mail box on my computer and on the road at least once a day; okay, who am I kidding, I check email multiple times a day.

So it was with great excitement last week to get a card. I couldn’t wait to open it up so I carried it straight inside to my desk and opened it; it was for Bailey, she is a patient who is staying at the clinic. Bailey’s mother had sent her a card telling her how much she missed her — I was disappointed that it wasn’t for me but I read it to Bailey and rejoiced in her happiness.

The next day — another card, surely this one was for me — no, it was another card for Bailey from her family. I read the card to Bailey and told her how much her family missed her. Now I must say this is not a blatant plea for mail but I was a little jealous of Bailey because she was getting more mail than I.

I spoke with Bailey’s mom and she noted that the cat, Bobbie, had sent a card that should show up in the next day. I can’t wait to see what the cat has to say and I know Bailey loves these little missives from home.

I finally gave in this morning and helped Bailey write a note back to her family. It was fun writing it down for her and I can’t wait to send it; maybe they will enjoy the mail as much as I do!

Have a great week! Watch ARCC on WMYA 40 – Focus on the Palmetto State on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. during the month of November.