Petersen Pet Hospital - October 2022

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Pets First Monthly

October 2022


As I was looking at my calendar, I noticed that October is Pet Wellness Month! The health of your furry and four-legged family members is our utmost priority. We want to ensure they are happy and healthy on the inside and outside. That’s why we offer wellness profiles during your pet’s annual examination. Although we highly recommend wellness profiles for our patients, they are optional. If you choose to have a wellness profile completed on your pet, we will not only conduct a physical examination but will also perform blood tests and a urine test if the patient is 8 years or older. This process will give us a better understanding of your pet’s overall health. Over the years, I noticed that although our four- legged family members appear fine physically, there may be underlying issues that only a blood or urine sample can catch. Our furry friends are professionals at hiding their symptoms of health issues — especially cats. Therefore, our wellness profiles allow us to notice abnormalities in advance so we can treat and prevent other problems from occurring. I’ve seen this with my own patients, and I’m grateful we were able to catch issues early on so we could treat them before the disease, illness, or infection became severe. When we conduct wellness profiles on animals 7 years old or younger, we perform a Complete Blood Count (CBC) and a Complete Chemistry. With the CBC, we look at the red and white blood cells to see if there are any underlying infections or illnesses. The Complete Chemistry allows us to check for diabetes and study

your pet’s kidneys, liver values, electrolytes, and protein count to ensure everything works properly.

For our 8-year-old and older furry friends, we conduct a CBC screening, Complete Chemistry, and thyroid check and take urine samples. These tests help us get a more thorough and complete look into our senior pets including looking into thyroid disease. Different diseases are common in our older pets, so we should conduct these screenings to ensure they’re in tip-top shape. Catching underlying illnesses while in the early stages is crucial for your pet’s overall health because in dogs and cats 7 years old and younger, research shows that 14% have conditions that need treatment. For pets 8–10 years old, that percentage jumps to 20%, and if pets are 11 years old or older, 40% have conditions that need to be addressed. Our wellness profiles allow us to jump ahead of a health issue and help your pets live longer and happier lives. I and everyone at Petersen Pet Hospital want nothing but the best for you and your four-legged friends. So, during your pet’s next annual exam, I highly recommend considering a wellness profile. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns about our tests or your pet’s health. We are happy to help in any way we can.

Happy Pet Wellness Month, everyone!

1 –Dr. Emily Saunders

SUBWAY’S Advice Alley

Meowlo, newsletter friends. It’s Subway, and I’m here to give you some more cat advice. With this being Pet Wellness Month, I wanted to talk to you about a disease that cats, mainly older ones, can get: kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the persistent loss of kidney function over time. The kidneys are responsible for filtering blood and urine. So, if your feline has kidney problems, other health issues could occur. What are the signs of CKD? Early signs of the disease are weight loss, poor coat quality, frequent urination, vomiting, and secluding themselves. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to diagnose CKD early on because at least 60%–70% of the kidneys must be dysfunctional before it can be seen on a blood test. However, a new blood test has recently been developed to measure symmetric dimethyl arginine (SDMA), which will provide veterinarians with an insight into your cat’s health, and they can begin providing treatment in the early stages of the disease. How is CKD diagnosed? CKD is diagnosed by examining blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and urine. Vets can also take X-rays to see if the kidneys are big or small and Mummy Bones Dog Treats Let’s Talk About Kidney Disease

Buffy is a beautiful and sweet 9-year-old domestic short-haired cat. One afternoon in early December 2021, her owner became very concerned and called Petersen Pet Hospital to have her seen right away. Buffy had acutely lost the ability to stand on and use her front legs. Buffy presented to the hospital on emergency to be examined by Dr. McGinty. On examination, Buffy was unable to support herself on her front legs and had very minimal strength in those legs as well. Both of her front paws were cool to the touch and her normally gray toes were slightly pale to bluish in color. She was also lacking any response to pinch or touching her front paws. She was otherwise quiet but alert with no pain in her back or hind legs. Her heart rhythm and sounds were also very normal. Based on her acute loss of front leg function and her otherwise normal exam findings, Dr. McGinty was concerned for development of a “thromboembolism” or blood clot that had migrated and blocked proper blood flow to her front legs, resulting in weakened and cold extremities. Dr. McGinty and Buffy’s owner discussed exam findings and best test and treatment options for Buffy. Ultimately, they decided to transfer her to Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for support care and further workup. Buffy was given a pain relief injection to help her be comfortable, and her mom took her to ISU. At ISU, she was evaluated by their Cardiology Service. After further tests, including heart X-rays and an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), Dr. McGinty’s concerns were confirmed. Buffy had developed blood clots in the blood vessels supplying blood and oxygen to her front legs, resulting in her symptoms. It was also confirmed that the underlying cause was an unknown heart disease that resulted in her body not properly moving blood forward to her organs and extremities. Buffy was started on a heart medication cocktail that included diuretics, a drug to help her heart pump more efficiently, and one to help lower her blood pressure. After 24 hours of treatment, she had already begun to regain function of her front legs and was discharged to her owners after several days in the hospital. Buffy was doing fantastic at her three-week recheck appointment with Dr. McGinty and was being a very good girl for her mom, taking her medications well. Recheck X-rays were taken (see photo at the top) and showed stable mild heart enlargement secondary to her heart disease. We will continue to recheck her heart function, blood pressure, and bloodwork every six months for a return of any symptoms or worsening heart disease. Her last visit with Dr. McGinty was this July, and we are very happy to report she is still thriving and beautiful as always! Buffy Recovers From Blood Clot Emergency Leads to Heart Diagnosis

Inspired by


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Have a Spooky Good Time

if there are any signs of kidney stones or tumors. They may even do an ultrasound to get a better idea of your cat’s kidney health.

What treatments are available? Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of kidney disease. But you can prevent the disease from getting worse. The treatment for CKD depends on your cat’s blood tests. Your veterinarian will let you know which treatment will work best for you. Some treatment options include special diets that include low protein and low phosphorus, antibiotics, potassium supplements, and fatty acids such as omega-3. Your friends at Petersen Pet Hospital love us felines and want to help us live our best lives! So, the next time you come in to get your furry friends checked out, ask about their wellness profiles and how they can help spot underlying issues. If you have questions about CKD or think your cat is showing symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact Petersen Pet Hospital — they are purrfect!

While Keeping Safety in Mind

Halloween is all about letting the ghoul times roll, but monsters and ghosts aren’t the only things parents need to worry about this holiday. Most older kids don’t want an adult chaperoning — they want to venture off with their friends to enjoy the night all on their own.

Here are a few safety tips so you and your older kids can enjoy the spooky evening with no worries.

Plan a route and curfew. Some older kids still love the nostalgia of trick-or-treating, or maybe they plan to pull some Halloween pranks with their friends. Whatever the reason may be, they may want to enjoy the evening without a parent. One of the best ways to make sure they’re staying safe is to plan a route and a curfew. Choose which routes you feel comfortable with them going on, either somewhere nearby or somewhere in the neighborhood. And choosing a curfew time is essential so you know when to expect their return. This way if something happens and you cannot reach them or they aren’t back in time, you have a general idea of where they can be on the route. Pack the essentials. Always make sure your child has their phone on them in case of an emergency, no matter if it’s to call you or an emergency line. You could even share locations so you’re able to track where they are or use another location tracking app like Life360 or FamiSafe that’s available on your devices. If they plan to stay out for a while, have your child take water bottles, flashlights, and even a small first-aid kit with them. They actually come in handy when exploring the Halloween night and the unexpected happens.

INGREDIENTS • 1 egg • 2 tbsp honey •

• • • • •

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup almond milk or water

1 tbsp baking powder

• • •

1 cup canned pumpkin 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tsp cinnamon

Yogurt chips

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients together (egg, honey, almond milk, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and peanut butter). 3. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together (flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon). 4. With your hands, combine the wet and dry ingredients until the dough is pliable. 5. Roll the dough until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. 6. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes of your choice. 7. Place “bones” on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. 8. Flip the bones and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool. 9. In a small bowl, melt the yogurt chips in the microwave, stir, and use as icing. 10. Serve to your pups — and watch them enjoy!

Older kids deserve a bit of freedom, as long as they can do it responsibly. Consider these tips to make sure the night is trick-free and full of the best treats.



1031 Kacena Road Hiawatha, IA 52233 319-743-0554

Mon–Fri: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (Closed Fridays from 12:30–2:10 p.m. for team meetings) Sat: 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Sun: Closed

Inside This Issue


There Could Be Underlying Issues We Can’t See



BLACK Buffy’s Emergency Leads to Heart Diagnosis Mummy Bones Dog Treats 50% BLACK



Subway’s Advice Alley Halloween Safety Tips



A Cat Helped Write a Physics Paper?






Cats defy the laws of physics all the time, so it’s only fitting a cat would teach us physics more directly — by coauthoring a highly cited, influential physics paper. In 1975, Jack H. Hetherington was a professor of physics at Michigan State University, and he completed a paper on atomic behavior. However, he had a problem: As a sole author, Hetherington had used “we” throughout the paper. A colleague pointed out that publishers reserved that language for papers with multiple authors. With today’s software, this would be a minor inconvenience. But to fix his error in 1975, Hetherington would have to retype the entire paper manually on his typewriter. Time was short, and Hetherington had done all the work himself. According to Hetherington’s 1982 book, “More Random Walks in Science,” he explained, “After an evening’s thought, I simply asked the secretary to change the title

page to include the name of the family cat.” And that’s what happened; the professor named his Siamese cat, Chester, as his coauthor. Of course, the name Chester wouldn’t look convincing as a scientific paper coauthor. So, he invented “F.D.C. Willard.”The initials stand for Felis Domesticus Chester. The last name, Willard, was the name of Chester’s father. The professor didn’t feel too guilty for trying to deceive the publisher: “Why would I do such an irreverent thing? … If it eventually proved to be correct, people would remember the paper more if the anomalous authorship were known. In any case, I went ahead and did it and have generally not been sorry. The journal loved the paper, but the ruse stayed secret among his close colleagues until a visitor arrived to meet the authors. When Hetherington told them the truth, they laughed, and not long after that, the feline coauthor became quite famous.

F.D.C. Willard not only saved Hetherington from rewriting the entire paper, but also continues to inspire cat-related academia antics. On April 1, 2014, the American Physical Society (APS) announced all cat-authored papers would be made freely available. “Not since Schrödinger has there been an opportunity like this for cats in physics,” they wrote. We couldn’t agree more.

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