Petersen Pet Hospital - April 2020

Monthly Pets First

April 2020


“Whether it’s a zoo or an aquarium, I love getting to meet different animals and learn about how they’re cared for.”

As a lifelong animal lover, I’ve always enjoyed taking a trip to the zoo. I’ve been to zoos all over the country, including the San Diego Zoo, the Minnesota Zoo, and the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. If a zoo has a really great freshwater aquarium or chimpanzee exhibit, I call that a great trip. Over the years, I’ve had some pretty unique experiences at the zoo thanks to my career. In veterinary school, I was president of our Zoo Medicine Club. Members of this club were able to go on behind- the-scenes tours of the Kansas City Zoo and the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. To this day, the Henry Doorly Zoo is still my favorite zoo to visit. The club coordinated with the veterinarian staff at the zoo so we could learn how the zoos cared for their animals and what treatments they were able to provide to animals who were ill. These were amazing experiences, and I looked for opportunities to have more of these encounters even after veterinary school. About seven years ago, I took a two-week freshwater fish course in Florida, going behind-the-scenes at SeaWorld to get an up-close look at the aquariums. It was really cool. I remember one aquarium so large that there was a walkway across the top. They had to send scuba divers into the aquarium to clean the glass and move around decorations. Whether it’s a zoo or an aquarium, I love getting to meet different animals and learn about how they’re cared for. Early in my career, I sought out these experiences because I wanted to care for a variety of animals myself, not just cats and dogs. It was exciting to discover everything that goes into caring for different animals. But as my interests changed and I got a lot busier at the practice, I realized the

best way to serve my patients was to hone my skills in caring for cats and dogs.

When you work on such a variety of animals, it takes a lot longer to become truly skilled in their treatment. I might go for months between seeing a pet rabbit at the

hospital. If you don’t see and educate yourself on a regular basis, you can lose those skills. That’s why I decided to narrowmy skill set. Rather than tending to a menagerie of animals that I would never be an expert at, I’ve been able to become something of an expert at taking care of cats and dogs. Over the years, I’ve been able to bring on other veterinary associates who can take on other animals who aren’t cats and dogs. Dr. Steven McGinty, for example, is something of an expert in taking care of so-called“pocket pets,”like gerbils and rabbits.

Though I no longer have aspirations to take care of many different animals, I still enjoy a trip to a quality zoo. Over the last decades, zoos have evolved to not just care of their animals’physical needs, but also their mental and emotional well-being, too. Many zoos are also important in conservation efforts. They help preserve animal populations and give people the chance to discover and care about animals they would usually never encounter. April 8 is National Zoo Lovers Day, just in time for the nicer spring weather. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the zoo, there’s no better time to plan a family trip. Where else do you have a chance to meet so many amazing animals in one place?



Hello, everybody!

This is Sam the border collie. I live with Dr. Petersen and Stacey, so I often get to visit the pet hospital. During my visits, I sometimes get to meet other pets who ask me how I keep my teeth so nice. This month, I want to share my secrets for keeping my teeth clean and healthy. I snack onVeggieDent Chews. These are special treats that help prevent tartar build up and freshen my breath. The shape of the treats scrape plaque and food bits off my teeth. Plus they’re fun to eat! I add HealthyMouth to my water. We recently started using a water additive called HealthyMouth. Adding a tablespoon or so of HealthyMouth to my water bowl helps keep my teeth clean and free of nasty bacteria. That’s because HealthyMouth is the only veterinary- approved water additive that’s proven to prevent tartar.

TREKKING AFTER APRIL SHOWERS Your Top Early Spring Hiking Tips

I get help brushing my teeth. The very best way to keep your teeth clean is by giving them a good brushing. I don’t have thumbs, so I can’t brush my teeth myself. Fortunately, Stacey and Dr. Petersen are willing to brush my teeth on a regular basis. It’s pretty fun, and I really like the taste of the toothpaste!

Many nature lovers look forward to enjoying their favorite hiking trails right after winter. However, some may skip the spring months to avoid muddy encounters. Between the snowmelt and the rainfall, traversing muddy paths can be messy and dangerous. Here are some tips to keep equipment — and the trail — in good shape while trekking through the muck! Bring Trekking Poles Avoiding falls is one of the most important parts of mud hiking. Not only will a fall mess up your gear, but you’ll also risk serious injury. It’s hard to tell how deep a mud puddle really is, so by bringing a trekking pole, you can test a puddle’s depth. If it’s too large to jump over, a trekking pole will help distribute your weight as you pass through it. Plus, you’ll save energy by using a helpful walking tool! Watch Your Shoes It might seem obvious, but don’t lose track of your shoelaces, especially if you’re crossing deeper mud —mud can pull your boot right off if you step into an unexpectedly deep puddle. Check every so often to make sure your shoelaces are tied tight! And when the hike is over, line your car with a plastic tarp, not plastic bags, to protect the interior. Then you’ll only have to clean the vehicle out at the end of the muddy season. Blaze the Trail’s Center Although trails are often the soggiest this time of year, staying at the trail’s center is your best strategy for safety and trail preservation. The trail is most vulnerable to erosion during the early spring, so mud hikers can help maintain the trail by staying in the center, even if it’s tempting to walk on the edges or off it entirely. Step on rocks where it’s safe, use a trekking pole for added stability, and avoid widening the trail where you can. Being “lost” in the beauty of the changing season can be one of the many appeals of mud hiking, especially in the early mornings when the mud tends to be more firm. So, check out your available local trails and stay safe! Removing the mud from your shoes is also important, as mud left on leather will dry out the material and cause cracks, ruining its weatherproofing capabilities.

The Season’s Best Dog Biscuits

Spring has arrived, and blueberry season is right around the corner! Share the fresh flavors of the season with your dog by cooking up these springtime treats.

Inspired by

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Petersen Pet Hospital Patient Files

18-Month-OldWheaten Terrier Eats Electrical Cables

I knowmost animals don’t love having something in their face, so if you want to help your dog or cat brush their teeth, here are a few tips:

In early February, Ollie, an 18-month- old wheaten terrier, was rushed into the hospital. His owner had returned from work that day to discover a half-eaten

1. Start by letting your pet check out the toothpaste and giving them a little as a treat. Don’t give your pets human toothpaste! Only use dog- or cat- friendly toothpaste. 2. Once your pet is familiar with the toothpaste, start rubbing it on their teeth with your finger. When they’ve gotten used to that, you can switch to a toothbrush. 3. Humans need to brush their teeth for two minutes to really get the job done. We pets don’t want to sit still for that long. It should only take about 3–5 seconds on each side of your pet’s mouth to get the job done.

electrical cable on the floor. The cable was still plugged in, but Ollie fortunately didn’t suffer from any burns or electrical shocks. However, X-rays revealed a large amount of radiolucent (very bright white) material in his stomach.

Those are my tips for keeping your pet’s teeth clean and improving their oral health.

Ollie was quickly hospitalized and taken into emergency surgery by Dr. Steven McGinty, registered veterinary technician

Until next time! —Sam

Stacy, and veterinary assistants Linda and Salina. Dr. McGinty and Stacy removed a large amount of chewed up electrical cables, copper wire, food, and pieces of a rug from Ollie’s stomach. The swift response prevented Ollie from suffering any lasting harm. The patient recovered quickly from his surgery and never stopped wagging his tail during his hospital stay. Ollie was able to return home quickly and has (hopefully) learned a valuable lesson about choosing his chew toys with more care. Dogs have a knack for chewing on things they shouldn’t. Electrical cords are a popular target for dogs because the cords and cables are often on the ground, right at their level. Keep the power cords out of reach by hiding them behind furniture, running cables up around doorways, and using cable ties and hooks to keep cords off the floor and up against the wall. It can also help to provide your dog with a lot of safe chew toys, so they have plenty of chewing options to keep them entertained. Cables and Canines


• • •

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1/4 cup dried blueberries


1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. Place oats in a food processor and pulse for 15–30 seconds until oats are ground to flour. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, eggs, applesauce, and blueberries. If dough is too crumbly, add 2 tbsp water and mix. If dough is still too crumbly, add more water 1 tbsp at a time until dough can be formed into a ball. 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop, form dough into small balls (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and place them on a baking sheet. Spray the flat side of a spatula with nonstick cooking spray and gently flatten the dough balls into discs. 5. Bake biscuits for 15 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Let treats cool completely on a wire rack before serving to your favorite pup.

If your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, it’s important to act fast. Call 319- 743-0554 and bring your pet to Petersen Pet Hospital to seek treatment right away.



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 teammeetings) Sat: 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Sun: Closed

Inside This Issue

Dr. Petersen’s Favorite Zoo



Top Early Spring Hiking Tips



BLACK Say Goodbye to Dog Breath 50% BLACK

Homemade Blueberry-Apple Dog Treats



Patient Files: Ollie’s Emergency Surgery

A Tail of Bravery






The Guardian Who Would Not Leave His Watch

Odin Lives Up to His Legendary Name

Amid the devastation of the wildfires that tore through California in the fall of 2017, a few heroic tales rose up to give people hope. One such tale was of Odin, a loyal Great Pyrenees guard dog. Along with his sister, Tessa, and eight rescue goats, Odin is part of the Hendel family. It was mid-October when the Hendels were awoken by the smell of smoke, a fierce orange sky, and sounds of destruction — urgent warnings from Mother Nature. Gathering everyone as quickly as they could, the Hendels got their human family members and Tessa in the car, but Odin, seated proudly next to the eight goats, refused to get in. Try as they might, the Hendels could not get him to come with them, and there wasn’t enough room in the car for the eight goats. With the firestorm quickly approaching and the risk of losing even more family members increasing with each passing minute, the Hendels made the heart-wrenching decision to leave Odin and the goats behind. The family made it to safety with Tessa in tow, relieved to be together but heartbroken that Odin and the goats weren’t with them. After several agonizing days, it was finally safe enough for them to return home and survey the destruction.

What did the Hendels find? Ashes, rubble, their barn and home burned to the ground — and Odin. There he was, still guarding his eight goats and some small deer that had sought shelter with the brave canine. Weakened, burned, and limping, but nevertheless steadfast, Odin had never left his goats, even as the fire raged around them. Odin wagged his tail as he saw his family, happy to see they were also safe.

The Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and the Goatlandia Animal Sanctuary provided temporary shelter for the goats and pups while the Hendels rebuilt their barn. Odin received all the care he needed, along with a lot of love and treats. Today, Odin and his goats are back with their family, rebuilding their lives after this devastating wildfire. But the Hendels, and anyone who’s heard the story, won’t soon forget the bravery of Odin, the amazing pup.

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