Petersen Pet Hospital - February 2023

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Pets First Monthly

February 2023

A BLIND DATE LED TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE Happy 45th Wedding Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

We’ve all seen or heard stories about people going on blind dates. Usually, the pair on the date are awkward, nervous, and unsure about what to say — which is understandable because you don’t know who the person is in front of you! You can get mixed experiences about blind dates. Some people had successful experiences, and others may not have had the greatest time. But for my parents, Howard and Laurel, their blind date led to marriage. My aunt on my dad’s side and my mom’s cousin set up the blind date between my dad and mom. Obviously, the date went well because on Feb. 4, 1978, they got married! My parents have been married for 45 years, and witnessing their love for each other is heartwarming. They provided my siblings and me with the best example of what a happy marriage looks like. Watching them raise me and my brother and sister showed me what I should look for in not only a partner but also a parent. We’re Hiring! Do you love and care about animals? Have you always wanted to learn more about the veterinarian field and work alongside a supportive team? If you answered yes to both of these questions, email your cover letter and resume to Sarah at sdavidson@! We’re always looking for people to join our team and help impact the lives of our furry friends. So, email Sarah today— we would love to hear from you!

I admire the patience and respect they share in their marriage — even to this day. My parents embody what it means to love and support someone in sickness and in health. When my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor, my mother didn’t hesitate or complain about taking care of him. She loves him and vowed to be there no matter what, and I know that my dad would do the same thing for my mom if the roles were reversed.

missed it! While we live in different states, they are very present in my children’s lives, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Since we’re talking about support, my parents fully supported me as I pursued my veterinary career — they were the ones who inspired me and fostered my passion for animals. Growing up, we had many pets. From dogs and cats, to hermit crabs, hamsters, guinea pigs, and ducks! I saw their love for all of our animals, which rubbed off on me immensely. So when I decided to work at a veterinary clinic at 16, they supported me in any way they could — and they continue to support my passion and career today. As you can tell, my parents have influenced me in more ways than one. My husband tells me that I’m like my mother sometimes — and I take that as a compliment! I will never forget the experiences my mom and dad created for my siblings and me. It made me the person I am today. Because of that, I want to follow in their footsteps and ensure my children get the same opportunities and experiences I had growing up. I love you, mom and dad. Thank you for everything you’ve done in my life and my family’s lives. I want to wish you both a happy 45th wedding anniversary — and many more!

Not only are they great parents, but they are also amazing grandparents! Although my family and I live in Iowa and my parents live in Minnesota, they always make an effort to visit whenever possible. If my kids have a sporting event, an awards ceremony, or any extracurricular activity, they will find a way to show their support. Every year, my kids have a family day at school, and my mom and dad have never

–Dr. Emily Saunders



SUBWAY’S Advice Alley

Let’s Learn About Thyroid Disease

Meowlo, newsletter friends! It’s your feline friend, Subway, and I’m here to tell you about a very common disease in older cats — hyperthyroidism.

What is hyperthyroidism? Also known as thyroid disease, the condition occurs when the thyroid glands produce an excess amount of thyroid hormones. It’s mainly caused by a tumor called an adenoma. This tumor is non-cancerous in most cases. The disease is seen in mostly older cats — 8 years old and older. What are the signs of hyperthyroidism in cats? While cats may be good at hiding their pain and other health concerns, there are several symptoms you can look for. Some symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, drinking and urinating more, and unkempt fur. However, the main sign that your feline may be suffering from hyperthyroidism is if they are losing a lot of weight but their appetite increases. How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed? If you go to your veterinarian and you inform them about the symptoms you witnessed, your veterinarian will check out your cat’s heart and blood pressure, and they may even feel around your feline’s neck to check for an

Cat Had Lots of Energy

But Weight Loss Caused Concern

Nhonho (his nickname at the clinic is No-no) is a 9-year-old male cat that lives with Dr. Carmo and her husband. He came all the way from Brazil to live with his mom and dad. Recently, they moved to a new house where Nhonho has more space to run around, play, and be his goofy self. He seemed to enjoy the new house. However, as the weeks went by, Dr. Carmo started noticing an increase in his appetite, which in the beginning seemed to be related to his increased energy level. A few weeks later, Nhonho started showing some signs of weight loss despite eating more. At this point, Dr. Carmo started to think about the many different diseases that could be going on with her cat. But like any other pet, Nhonho needed to be examined. On his physical examination, Dr. Carmo checked his heart, lungs, lymph nodes, and abdominal palpation, among many other things, but the only abnormality was the two- pound weight loss. At this point, blood work was recommended. Many different values are checked when performing blood work, such as liver, kidney, protein, glucose, electrolytes, red blood cell count, white blood cell count, and thyroid. Most of Nhonho’s results were unremarkable; however, his thyroid value was on the high end of normal. In cats and dogs, thyroid levels

measured during a normal blood work can indicate thyroid disease, but it needs to be verified by a different test. In cats, a normal value does not always mean negative for the disease, especially if it is on the high end of normal. Therefore, with the help of her fellow veterinarians, Dr. Carmo tested Nhonho again. Nhonho’s thyroid results came back very high, confirming hyperthyroidism. This disease, despite having some “good” side effects (such as increased energy) can be very detrimental for pets. It can cause severe weight loss, fast heart rate, arrhythmias, predisposition to kidney disease, increased blood pressure, and many other things. Dr. Carmo started treating him with a medicated lotion that is applied to his ear, and it absorbs within a few hours. The biggest lesson Dr. Carmo learned with her own pet is to not ignore any symptoms, good or bad, big or small. Sometimes, symptoms can be very unspecific and will require further testing to assess the health of many organs. Make sure to always pay attention to any signs that your pet might be giving you and keep in mind that testing is often necessary. PS: Nhonho loves getting his medication in the morning, along with pets and kisses from mom and dad.

Valentine’s Day Dog Treats Celebrate your four-legged valentine this month with these adorable and delicious treats!

Inspired by


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Spread the Love This Valentine’s Day!

enlarged thyroid gland. Your veterinarian could test the cat’s blood by conducting a T4, which is a level or measurement for the disease. If your cat’s levels come back high, they have the disease. What are the treatment options? Hyperthyroidism can be treated and, in some cases, cured. Most cats react well to treatment and continue to live happy lives. There are four treatment options you and your veterinarian can try. These options include medication, radioactive iodine therapy, surgery, and dietary therapy. Each method has pros and cons, so be sure to discuss these options with your veterinarian to see which is best for you and your furry friend. Here at Petersen Pet Hospital, our veterinarians frequently diagnose hyperthyroidism, and they know the proper ways to treat the disease. So, while it may be nerve-wracking to know that your feline is suffering from this condition, they are in great hands. The next time you’re in the office for your annual exams, complete your cat’s wellness profile. This will allow veterinarians to conduct other tests to spot hyperthyroidism and other health conditions.

Make the Most of the Holiday

Valentine’s Day is all about showing your dear ones extra love. But you don’t always have to focus on those close to you. Love can be shared with everyone — friends, coworkers, or the community! Here are some ways you and your family can spread the love this holiday. Make a homemade meal or some goodies. They always say a way to a person’s heart is through their stomach! Everyone loves a warm, homemade meal, and it can be fun to get the entire family involved. Gather the ingredients of your favorite dish and make something tasty for your local fire or police department. These people work daily to keep us safe, and a simple gesture like this may bring a smile to their faces and remind them they are appreciated. Also, kids love helping out in the kitchen, so consider baking homemade cookies — or getting the store-bought kind; we don’t judge! Let the kids decorate them with festive Valentine’s designs to bring to school for their classmates and teachers! Get crafty. Nothing is more special than a one-of-a-kind card. Grab some construction paper, markers, glitter, stickers — the works — and have the kids make Valentine’s Day cards! You can work with various organizations to send letters to U.S. troops serving overseas, veteran hospitals, or nursing facilities that would enjoy receiving a handmade card. Fill them with positive words, smiley faces, hearts, and lots of love! You could even send their cards in a Valentine’s Day-themed care package. But be sure to follow the rules of the organizations you work with. Volunteer or donate. Do you have any gently used clothing, shoes, blankets, or extra personal hygiene items? Make your way to the local Goodwill, church, or shelter that accepts donations. You could call around to see if any shelters or organizations need helping hands! This is also a great way to spread the love your kids can participate in. Check to see if they need help serving food or if you can prepare or drop off warm meals to those who need them most. You can find many ways to express love and kindness to those you love or complete strangers. No matter how you spend this day, remember to spread the love to everyone!

INGREDIENTS • 2 eggs •

• •

1/2 cup dried cranberries 3–4 tbsp coconut flour

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1 tbsp coconut oil


Preheat oven to 325 F.


In a small bowl, beat eggs and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, coconut oil, and dried cranberries. 4. Once combined, pour in eggs and mix with your hands. (The dough will be very wet.) 5. Add coconut flour 1 tbsp at a time; mix well after each addition. You want to achieve a consistency that is easy to roll, is not super sticky, and easily forms a ball. 6. Roll out dough and cut treats using bite-size cookie cutters. Tip: Sprinkle a little coconut flour on top of your dough to keep it from sticking to the cookie cutters. 7. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place your treats. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until crisp. Let cool before giving to your pooch!



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

Inside This Issue

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


Happy 45th Wedding Anniversary, Mom and Dad!



BLACK Paying Attention to the Symptoms Subway’s Corner 50% BLACK



Valentine’s Day Dog Treats


3 Ways to Show Love to the Community


The Unlikely Heroics of Cher Ami






Animals have always played a role in military efforts during wartime. Cats were kept aboard naval ships for pest control, horses and camels provided transportation for supplies and soldiers pre-World War II, and dogs are still used to this day for search and rescue efforts as well as mine detection. But one animal profession became obsolete with the advancement of communication technology: messenger. Often used during World War I, many dogs and pigeons became responsible for delivering messages of high importance. Of all the animals used during World War I, one pigeon named Cher Ami defied the odds to save nearly 200 American soldiers. On Oct. 2, 1918, Major Charles Whittlesey got trapped along the side of a hill in Northeastern France with 550 of his men. They ended up behind enemy lines with no food or ammunition, and — to make matters worse — his battalion started to suffer from friendly fire since

allied troops remained unaware of their location. With nowhere to run, Whittlesey tried to send runners to contact the

down by the Germans, the bird defied the odds and actually took flight again!

allies about their predicament. Unfortunately, their enemies consistently intercepted or killed these runners until only 194 men remained.

The effective delivery of this message helped save 194 men, but Cher Ami did not escape unharmed. He had been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, and had a leg hanging only by a tendon. Army medics treated Cher Ami enough so he could travel to America, where he eventually succumbed to his wounds. The bird was then taxidermied and displayed in the Smithsonian, where you can still see him today. So, the next time you’re in Washington, D.C., stop by the “Price of Freedom” exhibit at the National Museum of American History where you can personally see this brave pigeon.

Whittlesey decided to dispatch messages by pigeon. The first pigeon got shot down almost immediately, so he sent a second pigeon with the message, “Men are suffering. Can support be sent?”That one also got shot. Finally, Whittlesey turned to his last pigeon, Cher Ami, and scribbled down a quick note on onion paper that read, “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.” Cher Ami took flight, but even after being shot

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