Animal Clinic of Kalispell - December 2022

Pet Press KALISPELL DEC 2022




I can’t say I’m particularly sad to see 2022 recede into the rearview mirror, but I am excited about what 2023 has in store.

I haven’t tried to hide that 2022 has been a stressful year. I’ve shared some of my strife with the workload at the clinic in my newsletters. Other struggles, like losses in my family, I’ve kept private. Several clients have contacted me, concerned about how I’m doing. So, let me state for the record: I’m

have an additional new veterinarian starting in the spring. It is a wonderful windfall for us at a time when many other offices will continue to struggle with too much work and too few staff.

The change isn’t only good news for us; our clients can expect shorter wait times. We’ll also have more time to spend with each patient, improving the level of care we can provide to everyone. There might be some growing pains as we all adjust to a new person in our midst, but I know Dr. Ahles will be an excellent fit for us and will be loved by all our clients. Please join me in welcoming her to the practice. I can’t say I’m particularly sad to see 2022 recede into the rearview mirror, but I am excited about what 2023 has in store. I’m looking forward to relaxing more and complaining less in the new year. Hopefully, fewer of you will be reaching out to express your concern! Honestly, at least half of my problems are my fault. I overcommit myself and then let those responsibilities consume my life. Perhaps this will be the year I will finally learn my lesson and teach myself to say “no” a bit more often. Only taking on as much as I can handle would be a significant change for me, but it would also probably do me a world of good. Here’s to new beginnings in 2023.

fabulous, better than I deserve. But I appreciate that people care so much, and it touched me to hear from all of you.

Though 2022 has been difficult, there have been several bright spots. My son got married in early October, which was a joyous occasion. Of course, the process came with its own stresses; what wedding doesn’t? But the family enjoyed a beautiful day, and we are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate a wonderful couple. Professionally, things have also started to look up. When you read this newsletter, a new veterinarian, Dr. Amy Ahles, will have started at the Animal Clinic of Kalispell. Dr. Ahles is moving to the area from Wisconsin, and she has a wealth of experience to offer, having been practicing for one year longer than me. We feel incredibly fortunate to have her joining us. (You can read more about her background on page 2!)

– Dr. Jevon Clark

The U.S. has been experiencing a nationwide veterinarian shortage, so I know we’re lucky to have found a new doctor. With any luck, we might also



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3 Parenting Podcasts Worth Listening To



Dr. Amy Ahles knew she wanted to be a veterinarian early. Growing up in a small farming community in Wisconsin, she says, “We had three veterinarians within a couple of houses. Dr. Kathy was a large animal vet, and she took me under her wing and let me ride with her.” But that’s not to say her first experience with veterinary medicine was entirely realistic. “Dr. Hildebrand lived across the street and would come home for lunch. One day, this tiny little bird hit our bay window, and we thought it was done for. We ran it across the street and said, ‘Can you save this bird?’ He held it in his hands, looked at it, and then opened his hands and watched it fly away. We were like, ‘It’s magic!” Of course, she laughs, “that’s not how it is,” but that early experience left an impression. Dr. Ahles began her career working with dairy cattle, but then moved to Savannah, Georgia, where she worked with cats and dogs. After 18 years, she decided to move and has been practicing in the midwest for the past 10 years. Her husband, Festive Holiday Dog Spoil your dog for the holidays with these applesauce and oatmeal cookies! And don’t forget to include these with the cookie exchange for your friends to share with their favorite K9! Inspired by

If you haven’t checked out Slate’s “Mom and Dad Are Fighting” podcast ... well, you’re missing out on great parenting tips! Podcasts can be fantastic resources for on-the-go parents. With a podcast at the ready, you can up your parenting game from anywhere, including your commute or behind your lawnmower. When reading about parenting becomes soporific, check out one of these three podcasts. They each offer helpful parenting advice in bite‑sized chunks. “Good Inside” — This podcast is hosted by Dr. Becky Kennedy, a psychologist, author, and mom of three whom TIME magazine once called “the millennial parenting whisperer.” Recent episodes of the show include “Is It Okay to Quit,” which dives into whether you should let your kids ditch a hobby or activity, and “Are We There Yet?” which offers tips for surviving a road trip with young children. The podcast covers everything from emotional intelligence to medical issues that affect kids, like pediatric heart disease. Check out the back catalog by searching for “Good Inside” in your podcast app of choice. “Life Kit” — This podcast from NPR offers handy life advice for parents and non-parents alike in 10–25-minute bites. If you want to listen as a mom or dad rather than for self-improvement, look for episode titles that apply to your family and kids, like “What You Need to Know About Preparing Financially for a Baby,” “Raising Kids is Hard Work,” “The Way We Think About It Can Shift How We Value Mothering,” and “How to Talk to Kids About Radicalization and the Signs of It.” “Life Kit” also offers episodes geared toward particular hobbies and lifestyles that could help you bond with your teens. To find the podcast, search “Life Kit” in your podcast app.


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2 cups whole-wheat flour

“Mom and Dad Are Fighting ” — This podcast from Slate was designed specifically for parents, and its three hosts dole out advice on raising kids “from toddler to teens.” Check out episodes like “Big Family, Big Problems,” which covers navigating playdates with multiple kids; “Mom Group Messiness,” which explains how to handle “cliquey” fellow parents; and “Sidelined by Negative Self-Talk,” which offers realistic tips for raising athletes. Search “Mom and Dad” in your favorite podcast app to find the show.

2 cups oat flour

2 eggs

2 tbsp coconut oil (melted) 1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp vanilla extract Natural food coloring



KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE FROM RODENTICIDES As winter approaches, most of us are finding ways to keep ourselves warm during the cold season. We’re not alone. Animals do the same thing, and many rodents survive the cold by taking shelter in our homes. It creates a headache for humans — and new risks to your household pets. Many mouse and rat poisons are anticoagulant rodenticides, which kill by causing internal bleeding. Unfortunately, they have the same effect on other animals, like cats and dogs. Older rodenticides PICK YOUR POISON


also a veterinarian, plans to retire, and they bought land in Montana. “I’ll still be practicing,” she says, “because I love what I do.”

Specifically, she says, “I love what I call the circle of life. I love it when a client brings in a new kitten, and you get to know them over their lifetime. You build this relationship with the client even more than with the pet. And you know their ups and downs, who’s fighting cancer and dealing with infertility, and they become a part of your family.” When she’s not working, Dr. Ahles remains busy. She has four young adult children: Madison, Lucas, Caleb, and Ben. Unsurprisingly, they also have multiple pets. “We’re the home of wayward children, as far as pets are concerned,” Dr. Ahles says. They currently have fish, chameleons, three cats, a Labrador named Jelly, and a puppy named Gus. Dr. Ahles is excited to be in Montana and joining the Animal Clinic of Kalispell. “I’m ready to meet new people, and I’m looking forward to doing more hiking and backpacking now that we’re in a mountain area,” she says. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have her and hope you’ll join us in giving Dr. Ahles a warm welcome!

like Warfarin generally took several days to work. That increases the chances of secondary intoxication from a cat eating an already-poisoned, but alive mouse (very rare), but Warfarin did give us a little buffer. “If there was a saving grace to Warfarin, it’s that it gave us room from the time of ingestion until the time of clinical disease,” Dr. Clark says. “If the dog isn’t bleeding yet, we can start treatment today.” Rodents have developed some immunity to Warfarin, however, so it’s less-commonly used these days. “The newer rodenticides cause neurological problems, and it’s almost immediate — only a couple of hours,” Dr. Clark says. “It causes seizures and brain swelling. And once that happens, your hands are kind of tied and the prognosis is terrible.”

g Cookies Directions

Fortunately, many rat poisons on the market must come in single-use containers that are difficult for anything but a rodent to access. “Of course, my dogs can destroy anything,” Dr. Clark notes, “so there is still a danger if you have a particularly large or determined pet.” The important thing, Dr. Clark says, is to know that “not all of these products are the same, so be educated on what you’re buying and using.” If you suspect your pet has gotten into rodent poison, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately. “Sometimes the symptoms look like drug intoxications, like marijuana toxicosis,” Dr. Clark warns, “and the poison can be very fatal, very quickly.” In addition to rushing your pet to urgent veterinary care, Dr. Clark recommends bringing the product package with you. “There are hundreds of companies making these products,” he says, “and all the information we need to provide proper treatment is on the label.” Unfortunately, many animals cannot be saved, even with prompt veterinary care. So, prevention is the best medicine. Consider hiring a professional exterminator, and ask them plenty of questions about pet safety. And remember that mouse traps may be unpleasant and slower to work, but they’re also safer for the non-human members of your family.

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 3. Use a food processor, electric mixer, or spoon to combine all ingredients and mix until a dough is formed. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. 4. Separate dough into several large balls. 5. Add natural food coloring to dough balls and knead with your hands. 6. Flour a work surface and roll each ball flat to about 1/4- inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Place cookies on the baking sheet. 7. Bake for 20 minutes. 8. Allow cookies to cool, then serve to your pup!







Dr. Clark Reflects on 2022

2 A Parenting Hack for Your Commute

2 Meet Our New Veterinarian, Dr. Ahles!

2 Festive Holiday Dog Cookies

3 Protecting Pets From Rat Poison

4 These Bugs Love Takeout Containers

These ‘Superworms’ Could Save Our Planet


Hundreds of years after you die and decompose, the Styrofoam takeout containers you used for last night’s Thai food will still linger in the landfill. Scientists estimate it takes thousands of years for Styrofoam (aka polystyrene) to break down when buried under other trash. Even in direct sunlight, the process takes decades! This is a huge pollution problem — but a tiny bug may be able to solve it. On the other side of the globe, at the University of Queensland in Australia, researchers are keeping a tank full of pets that may save us all from our plastic waste: Zophobas morio, aka the “giant mealworm” or “superworm.” In the wild, superworms are scavengers that will munch on anything from animals to apples. But in captivity, researchers have found another food they love: Styrofoam.

the polystyrene with their mouths and then feeding it to the bacteria in their gut,” Dr. Chris Rinke, the leader of the superworm experiment at the University of Queensland, told Science Daily. “The breakdown products from this reaction can then be used by other microbes to create high-value compounds such as bioplastics.” Not only did the worms in the Queensland study eat the Styrofoam, but they actually gained weight from a healthy diet of takeout containers. Their ability to digest plastic is likely thanks to the gut bacteria Dr. Rinke mentioned. If we can grow and control these bacteria, we may be able to set it loose in landfills and turn our trash into something more useful. Superworms haven’t saved us yet — in fact, we usually use the 2-inch brown bugs as food for pet lizards and birds — but it’s about time we put their true potential to work. Fortunately, scientists like Dr. Rinke are on the case.

“Our team is very excited to push the science to make it happen,” he said.

“Superworms are

To see the superworms in action, head to and search “superworm plastic.”

like mini recycling plants, shredding



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