Animal Clinic of Kalispell - March 2023

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Pet Press KALISPELL MAR 2023



Reading is much less prominent in our culture than it has been in the past, with a 2022 Gallup poll finding Americans reading fewer books each year than they have in decades. Being married to a reading teacher, I can’t help but think that’s a shame. Videos are great, but books give us something we can’t get elsewhere, which is why we celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2. Rose Ann teaches reading intervention for middle schoolers and usually has her nose in a book, for them or herself. She has a library in her classroom and is always picking up young adult fiction, so she knows what her students are reading and what to recommend. I have more difficulty making time to read than she does, but seeing her in the chair with a novel every evening often motivates me to pick up a book of my own. Unlike my wife and many other avid readers, I don’t have much interest in fiction. To each their own, but novels don’t appeal to me, and it has probably been a decade or more since I last read one. I read because I like to learn, and history in particular interests me.

David McCullough is another favorite award-winning historian, and his books cover everything from the earliest days of American history through the mid-20th century. One of my favorite books of his is “The Wright Brothers” about the early days of aviation and the great minds behind it. That’s the kind of thing I’m fascinated by.

I also love the work of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, whose “Killing” series have focused mainly on famous people who have died at the hand of others in

some way. Their recent book “Killing the Legends” took a bit of a different tactic, covering Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Muhammed Ali. While only one of these men was actually assassinated, the book covers how their celebrity status ultimately destroyed all three. The closest I get to novels is narrative nonfiction. Narrative nonfiction recounts actual events but in a style that resembles the storytelling of a novel. One of my favorites is Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City,” which covers the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It was a monumental event because it introduced electricity to the world on a massive stage. Meanwhile, a man sometimes called “the first modern serial killer” used the attraction as a lure for his victims. It’s fascinating how he ties these events together, telling their stories side by side and exploring how they interweave. Whether you prefer fiction like Rose Ann or nonfiction like me, I hope you will take the time to pick up a book that interests you. A book you enjoy can capture your interest and imagination like nothing else — and that’s worth celebrating every day of the year. – Dr. Jevon Clark

I first picked up C.S. Lewis in college. Besides “The Chronicles of Narnia,” which are his biblical allegories, he did a lot of work in Christian apologetics. His defense of Christianity is studied and fascinating. His aren’t the kind of book you can

pick up casually; you really have to put your thinking cap on and commit to analysis. I enjoy the challenge his work presents.



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A Dog’s Breakf

The Sweet Scents of Spring

Pet food has changed a lot since I first began practicing veterinary medicine. There are now countless brands on the market, and many more products are backed by the science of pets’ nutritional needs. But that doesn’t mean all pet food is created equally — what you feed your furry family still matters. Most of the foods our clients feed their pets are good quality, but not everything sold in a store is healthy for your dog. Federal guidelines

3 Potpourri Mixtures You Need to Try

Many have heard about using a stovetop potpourri to simmer oranges, apples, and cinnamon to make your home smell like Christmas. But you can also fill your home with fresh scents that remind you of spring. The best part is that you probably have most of the ingredients you need at home or in your garden! But first, what is potpourri? Potpourri combines fruits, spices, herbs, and other edible ingredients to make rich scents that spread throughout your home. It’s one of the most natural and cheapest ways to freshen the air you breathe. Here are three stovetop potpourris to make your home smell like springtime. Lemon and Rosemary To make this sweet-smelling scent, you need three things: lemons, rosemary, and vanilla extract. Add 2 sliced lemons, a handful of fresh rosemary, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract in a large pot filled with water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and enjoy the fresh and clean scent! Lime, Mint, Ginger, and Thyme Add 3 sliced limes, a handful of fresh mint and thyme, and finely sliced ginger to a pot for this mixture. When the ingredients come to a simmer, you’ll immediately smell a citrus-mint aroma that will spread throughout your home.

dictate that pet food must be safe, manufactured in clean conditions, and accurately

labeled. Everything else is up to the pet food company making the product — and since many companies buy the food from another manufacturer and package it, even they may not necessarily understand what they’re selling. Fortunately, pet foods generally adhere to nutritional standards regarding proteins, carbohydrates, and other dietary needs. But a product can have the correct ratio of ingredients without being highly

digestible — meaning those ingredients are going in and coming out while doing little in between. Further, ingredients can vary

Leafy greens are packed with essential nutrients for dogs, and your pooch will love these green pupsicles for St. Patrick’s Day and all year long. Inspired by St. Patrick’s Day Frozen Dog Treats

Lemon, Cinnamon, Mint, and Thyme This mixture is perfect if you want to add a hint of spice and warmth to your fresh spring scent. Combine 2 sliced lemons, a handful of fresh mint and thyme, and 2 cinnamon sticks in a pot before bringing the water to a simmer. One of the best things about potpourri is that the mixture will last a couple of days. Once you turn off your stove and drain the water, you can keep the ingredients in the pot and reuse them. All you have to do is add more water and bring it to a simmer again. Alternatively, you can prep your ingredients in advance, store them in an airtight container like a mason jar, and refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them.

So, fill your home with sweet fragrances to usher in a joyous spring!






widely in quality. Not all “chicken” is the same, which can explain many of the price differences you see in the pet food aisle.

Many pet owners are worried about byproducts in their pet food, but it’s much less of a concern than people think. A byproduct is anything left over in a manufacturing process “not used for human consumption.” That definitely does not make them “bad”; in fact many so-called

THE CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF BLADDER STONES IN DOGS Does your dog always seem to need to urinate? Are they prone to indoor accidents if they don’t go every hour or so? The culprit could be bladder stones, a health problem that can fly under the radar for years. “Sometimes, these big dogs have 30 bladder stones the size of a quarter,” Dr. Clark says. “It’s amazing they have any space for their urine at all.” Bladder stones can grow for years without affecting a dog’s behavior or health. Female dogs often pass their bladder stones through urine before they grow large, but the same stones can get caught in a male dog’s urethra. Unable to urinate at all, these dogs usually require emergency surgery. Generally, there are two types of bladder stones. Struvite stones are more common and typically associated with chronic bladder infections or a diet that is insufficiently acidic. In non-emergency situations, a high-pH diet can sometimes dissolve these stones without surgery. The other type is calcium oxalate stones, which thrive in acidic urine and are related to genetics and metabolism and less to diet..

byproducts are very healthy. Instead of carefully eyeing the ingredient list on each package, I encourage people to research the company. The best pet food companies have veterinary nutritionists on staff, and they’ll advertise that fact. I also advise clients to look for foods with a “guaranteed analysis” of their nutritional components. If you have questions about whether your dog food stacks up, these numbers will help your veterinarian make that assessment.

That said, the best food is the one your pet will eat, is balanced, and you like to buy. It can be difficult to know what to believe regarding pet food. Ask us and we’ll give you

our recommendation!

– Dr. Jevon Clark

Once resolved, struvite stones can often be managed through a diet that creates a balanced urine pH. The quality of food you feed your dog matters, which is why we recommend premium diets like Hill’s Prescription Diets among others, which we know have been tested. Dr. Clark notes that some foods targeted toward urinary health are too aggressive and can inadvertently promote calcium oxalate stones while preventing struvite ones, so we generally avoid those brands. As for calcium oxalate stones, Dr. Clark says, “You’d hope surgery would cure them. But about 40% of dogs will get them again. It’s very frustrating. In some patients, we check every year and find they’re making more stones.” In these cases, regular monitoring is the best course forward. You can keep your dog as healthy and comfortable as possible by watching for signs of bladder stones. Frequent urination and incontinence issues are often subtle but telltale signs. Meanwhile, if a dog stops being able to pass urine, consider it a veterinary emergency and seek immediate care.


2 cups baby spinach

• •

1 cup chopped celery 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

• •

1 cup water

3 pears, peeled and chopped

Ice (optional)


1. In a blender, add spinach and water and blend until smooth. 2. Add all remaining fruit and vegetables. Blend for about 1 minute until smooth. 3. Pour the mixture into a silicone mold or ice cube tray. 4. Freeze for 3 hours or overnight until firm. Pro Tip – You can also freeze half of the mixture and the rest can be enjoyed as smoothies right away. If you are making a smoothie, add a bit of ice to the blender before serving and blend just enough to break the ice apart. Pour right into your pup’s bowl!

“Some dogs are sneaky,” Dr. Clark says. “They have infections, and they don’t show signs.” Your best defense is behavior monitoring, regular checkups, and a healthy diet.







Find Joy in Reading

2 Make Your Home Smell Like Spring!

2 Is Your Dog Food Up to Snuff?

2 St. Patrick’s Day Frozen Dog Treats

3 Understanding Canine Bladder Stones

4 How a Cat Saved Her Humans’ Lives

Schnautzie Saves the Day

Besides a fire, a gas leak is one of the worst things that can happen in the middle of the night. Fortunately for one Montana couple in 2007, Schnautzie the cat was on the case. She woke up her owners to alert them to the danger, preventing a deadly — and explosive — tragedy.

Once fully awake, Trudy noticed a hissing sound somewhere in the house. Getting up to investigate, she found a broken pipe outside her bathroom, pumping gas into the basement. “The gas was just fuming,” Trudy remembered. “Our house was saturated in a short time.” The Guys quickly vacated the house with Schnautzie in tow and called the fire department. Only upon the rescue workers’ arrival did the Guys realize the extent of the danger they had faced. While the gas alone could have killed them, it was also an unseasonably frigid night in October. Had the heater or water tank turned on, it would have ignited the fumes and caused an explosion. Schnautzie was a hero to the Guys, but extra treats and a permanent home were thanks enough for her. Still, she received a bit more than that in 2010. The Great Falls Animal Foundation learned how Schnautzie had saved the day and decided to honor her with the Purple Paw Award. While Schnautzie appreciated the thought, Greg said she didn’t enjoy the reception. “She’s shy around strangers,” he explained. But there’s no doubt that Schnautzie deserved her award. Sally Cerny of the animal foundation told that the Purple Paw is given to pets who uniquely demonstrate the bond between animals and humans. And, she concluded, “There’s no more special way to show that than to save your family.”

People magazine reported that Greg and Trudy Guy adopted Schnautzie from a local pet store in April


2007. They’d gone with hopes of adopting a puppy but instead fell in love with a tiny black kitten. The couple only intended to foster Schnautzie, but she proved herself a hero and became a permanent family member.


That October, Schnautzie climbed up on Trudy’s chest at 2 a.m. and started pawing at her nose. Since cats sometimes do strange (and annoying) things, Trudy didn’t think too much of it — until Schnautzie kept at it. Now, Schnautzie had her attention, especially when Trudy noticed her persistently sniffing the air around her.



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