Surface Creek Veterinary Center - February 2020

Check out our February newsletter!

February 2020 970-856-4474

SCVC Pawprint


Getting the Word Out for Pet Dental Health Month or cat’s teeth back to square one and to good oral health. Fortunately, if we see the pet the following year, it’s typically a much quicker process. We clean and polish their teeth and can maintain that clean slate if we see them each year. Maintaining and preventing disease is a heck of a lot easier than treating it.

The other day, we saw some folks in our clinic, and it had been two years since their dog’s last tooth cleaning. We don’t always think about it, but two human years equates to about 14 dog years. What would your dentist say if you went that long without a cleaning? Sadly, sometimes in these situations, if a tooth is too decayed and infected, we have to pull it. Just like with humans, when we pull an animal’s adult tooth, it doesn’t grow back. We really dislike this part of our jobs. For one thing, pet teeth, and especially dog teeth, are ridiculously hard to pull. Most of a dog’s tooth is made up of the root — the part below the gums that we don’t see. We were at the dentist last month watching them pull our daughter’s teeth to make room for her braces, and the teeth came out so easily. “What about for you?” the dentist asked. “It’s pretty tough. Two-thirds of a dog’s tooth is made up of the root,” we told the dentist. With humans, the root is only 50%. More importantly, it’s really sad to deprive a pet of any of their chompers. Just like you, your pet relies on them to break down food and nourish their body. As you can imagine, just like it would be for us when it’s been that long between cleanings, it’s a fairly intensive appointment to get a dog

T his month, we’re tackling a potentially very dirty topic: your pet’s mouth. No offense, but we’re a bit jaded. In our line of work, we’ve seen all too many neglected teeth that require intensive cleaning. It’s not always well advertised that our pet’s teeth need regular maintenance to stay healthy and clean just like ours do. The old myth about your dog’s mouth being cleaner than yours? It’s just that — a myth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the surgeon general have issued advisories that poor dental health in humans is connected to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. Bacteria and infection in the mouth creates pus, and that pus enters the bloodstream, infecting the liver, heart, and other parts of the body. It’s no different for our dogs and cats. When we ignore a pet’s oral health, plaque builds up and causes infections that can lead to hepatitis, renal failure, or cancer. All these factors are stacked against your cat or dog.

With this in mind, each February, we do everything we can to get the word out about the importance of pet dental health. Our pets, just like us, need annual cleanings that prevent plaque from building up and causing other issues in the body. P.S. For all of February, we offer 20% off all dental-related services, including X-rays. Come celebrate Pet Dental Health Month and keep your pets healthy by keeping their teeth clean! Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff Love your dogs and cats. Get their teeth cleaned.


All you romantics out there are probably looking forward to spending Valentine’s Day with the love of your life and best friend. They’re a bit hairy, and sure, they shed quite a lot, but they’re also the most loving, sweetest beings on the planet. They’re always happy to cuddle when you need it, they’re excited to see you after every long day, and they never think twice about giving you kisses. And How to Return the Love 1. Gift them a toy that engages their mind. For dogs and cats, toys like puzzle bowls, treat-dispensing balls, or snuffle mats are great ways to challenge and engage them. These toys mimic challenges our pets would face in nature and keep their active minds engaged. 2. Teach your dog a new trick. Teaching your dog a new skill not only benefits you but also builds their confidence and strengthens their mind. Try a simple one to start with, like teaching them to touch the palm of your hand with their nose. Always use positive reinforcement and be sure to take frequent breaks. Stop for the day if your dog shows signs of stress or tiredness. Working with them for 5–10-minute intervals is a good place to start. 3. Make them a tasty homemade meal . Just like whole, unprocessed food is healthier for humans, it’s also healthier for our pets. You can find some great recipes in Dr. Jeff’s cookbook, “Cooking With Buck: Healthy Recipes for Dogs.” For cats, offering them a fishy treat or catnip is a great option. 4. Get their teeth cleaned. Looking after your pet’s teeth is one of the best gifts you can give them. It can help prevent infection and disease down the road, and when they have annual cleanings, it makes the process much easier and faster. WHY YOUR PET IS THE BEST VALENTINE Yes, your pet really is the best valentine! Here are a few ways to reciprocate some of the love they bestow on you all year long.

The DogWho Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi MEET CONAN On Oct. 28 last year, President Donald Trump tweeted a photo that quickly went viral. It showed an adorable snapshot of a bright-eyed Belgian Malinois, tongue lolling, still wearing its camo military vest. In the caption, President Trump explained that the pup, Conan, was a national hero who was instrumental in taking down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. With four years in special operations forces and roughly 50 missions under his collar, Conan was selected to be part of the team that pursued al-Baghdadi through a network of underground tunnels in northwest Syria, where the terrorist ultimately died. It’s unclear whether Conan was there to track al-Baghdadi or to spot improvised explosive devices that may have been planted on the route, but either way, he performed well. According to NBC News, Conan was injured by some live electrical cables during the mission, but he recovered quickly and was back on duty within the week. Meanwhile, President Trump invited the brave pup to the White House and tweeted out a doctored photo that showed him awarding Conan a Medal of Honor. President Trump captioned the photo “AMERICAN HERO!” and he’s not alone in his appreciation for the hardworking dogs that have been helping our military since World War II. “To me, they’re the first line of defense,” United States War Dogs Association President Ron Aiello told Vox after the news about Conan came out. “They’re such a great asset to our military today.” Military dogs are put up for adoption after 6–8 years in the service, which means a lucky civilian could take Conan in as early as 2022! Meanwhile, dozens of other smart canine heroes are looking for homes. To learn more about military and other working dog adoptions, visit

Come into Surface Creek Vet Center this month and get 20% off any dental- related services for your pet! Now that’s love.



might look a little different, but it’s just scarring that makes it look cloudy, and I can mostly see out of it. I don’t like big dogs or loud people. Loud noises make me want to jump up somewhere high and be by myself, usually in my favorite spot, the sunny window in Dr. Susie’s office. Since coming to Surface Creek, I’ve found my best friend, Stevie the shorthaired black cat. Sometimes we play fight, sometimes we chase each other, and sometimes we sleep. Sometimes he’s not very nice, but I know it’s just because he thinks it’s his office. Contrary to the stereotype, I’m not very curious. Sometimes I go outside the clinic and roll in the dirt, but I never stray more than 10 feet from the door. Then I run back inside. I don’t like to go anywhere else. This is home for me.

lients Spreading the Word Thanks so much to these clients who referred new patients to us the past two months: Thanks to Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff, I got better. They still had to take one of my eyes out to save me, but I felt so much better after that. My other eye This month, our team member spotlight has gone to the animals. Our friendly office pets are taking over! First up, we’re letting one of our resident felines take the spotlight. Here’s Peekaboo the cat to tell you more about himself, what he loves, and what he’s not such a fan of. Hi, I’m Peekaboo, and I live at Surface Creek with Dr. Jeff and Dr. Susie. They saved my life, and I am very happy to be here. A great vet is one who makes you not scared and who makes you feel better, just like Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff. When I first met them, I was only a week old. Someone found me outside, and I was pretty sick and scared. I couldn’t see anything because my eyes weren’t open yet, and they had an infection.

Here’s my picture after I found a spot that everybody missed with the duster! I call it warpaint.

Valentine’s Day Dog Treats: Cranberry Hearts

Inspired by Pretty Fluffy


Jack Gillespie

Shane Bartociewicz Jessica & Paul Beller

Kent Jones Jr.

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 large eggs

David Potter

3–4 tbsp coconut flour

1 1/2 cups almond flour

Joe & Katherine Colwell

1 tbsp coconut oil

Denise Furubotten


Linda George

1. Heat oven to 325 F. 2. In a small bowl, beat eggs and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, coconut oil, and cranberries. Pour in eggs and mix together with your hands until wet dough forms. 3. Mix in 1 tbsp of coconut flour at a time until dough easily forms into a ball. 4. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut with bite-size, heart-shaped cookie cutters. Transfer to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 5. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until treats are crisp. 6. Remove from oven and let treats cool completely before serving.





It’s Pet Dental Health Month! inside this issue

1 2

Meet the Dog Who Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi

Why Your Pet Is the Best Valentine


Team Member Spotlight

Clients Spreading the Word

Valentine’s Day Treats Your Dog Will Love!


Stop and Smell the Roses

THE BENEFITS OF SPENDING TIME OUTSIDE Science Wants You to Stop and Smell the Roses

In a 2008 survey conducted by the National Trust in Britain, children were more likely to correctly identify a Dalek from “Doctor Who” than a barn owl. Likewise, a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study of 8–18-year-olds in the U.S. found

symptoms were reduced after spending time in a green setting versus a more urban one. This may be due to the fact that natural environments call upon our “soft fascination,” a less exhausting type of focus than what is required by urban environments. Emotional benefits were discovered too, including reduced aggression, increased happiness, and improved self-esteem. Beyond just getting outside, the type of contact we have with nature also matters. Visits to nature centers and watching “Planet Earth” are two ways to experience the outdoors. But research points specifically to the importance of free play in the natural world: unstructured outdoor time when children can explore and engage with their natural surroundings with no curriculum, lesson, or activity to complete. Ever notice how kids are fascinated by the simplest things? A child visits a rose garden, but before they even get to the flowers, they become captivated by a leaf on the ground or an ant crawling on their shoe. Children are born naturalists. These are the moments we need to recapture. Take a page out of that kid’s book, and as the saying goes, stop and smell the roses — or leaves or ants — with no checklist and no plan, just time spent playing outside.

that the average youth spends more than 53 hours a week engaged with entertainment media. These statistics, coupled with growing concerns that children are spending less time outdoors, are leading to terms like “nature deficit disorder” and global initiatives to get kids outside.

Why is contact with the outdoors so important? Researchers are answering this question by studying the benefits of time spent in nature. One benefit is that outdoor time helps kids understand boundaries and learn how to assess risk. As naturalist, author, and broadcaster Stephen Moss puts it, “Falling out of a tree is a very good lesson in risk-reward.” Not to mention, time in nature may help improve focus for hyperactive kids. In one national study of youths by the University of Illinois, participants’ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder


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