Animal Clinic of Kalispell - June 2021



Summer is here, which means you’ll find me casting my line on the water as frequently as possible! I started getting my boat ready back in April when perfectly sunny spring days were followed by snowstorms. That’s how ready I was to get out fishing! Fishing is somewhat of a family tradition. My dad used to take me and my siblings all the time because it was a great way to get us out of the house and spend time outdoors without having to spend money. I have fond memories of taking the family camper out to a lake west of Casper, Wyoming, parking in the lot there, and spending the whole weekend throwing our lines in the water, fishing even if we went the whole day without catching. I guess I learned at a young age that a lot of the joy of fishing comes from simply being outside on the water. Some days are fantastically successful, but other days, you get totally skunked. To this day, I’m still such a water person. I love being out in any boat, whether that means being anchored in a lake because the wind is blowing like crazy or floating the river. I’ve passed this on to the rest of my family. When my wife and I were still in college in Laramie, Wyoming, we took our first fishing trip together at a nearby lake. It was her first time fishing with me, and I tried to keep expectations low. As it happened, we ended up catching a bunch of nice cutthroats, just fishing from shore. I remember telling her, “It’s not always going to be like this!” Maybe she’s just a natural. A similar thing happened when I took my kids out to Brown’s Lake near Butte where we lived when they were little. The lake was loaded with brook trout, and they were catching like crazy. I couldn’t get the hooks cleaned up fast enough! I was so busy helping them that I didn’t fish at all that day. Just like my wife had experienced on her first trip, the kids thought that was totally DR. CLARK’S FAVORITE SUMMERTIME ACTIVITY Gone Fishin’

normal. I just shook my head, remembering all the times I’d come home empty-handed and without even one good fishing tale to tell. That’s still such a special memory for me. This summer, I’m looking forward to going on some fishing trips with my wife and our dogs. Rose Ann isn’t as into fishing as I am, but she’s always loved coming out on the boat with me, reading, and just enjoying the day outdoors on the water. This spring, she said she was thinking about getting a fishing license this year, and I jumped on it! Our dogs love the water, too, and I keep making the mistake of bringing them out on the boat. I really have to choose if I want to fish or have a day with the dogs; I don’t get both. They are wild, splashing around in the water and inevitably getting tangled up in the lines. I always tell myself, “This time it’ll be fine,” but then I regret taking them. The best part of fishing for me is relaxing and a fishing trip with the dogs is anything but relaxing. If I have a few hours to fill, I love getting out on the Flathead River to float a while. I nearly always have good luck fly-fishing, even though the fish aren’t always very big. I also hit the lakes around, which are great for perch and pike fishing. Some people aren’t a fan of fishing for pike, but I think it’s fun. They hit hard, and once you find them, you’ll catch like crazy. They’re good eating, too. They’re bony for sure, but they taste fantastic, especially smoked. And even though perch are so tedious to fillet, they make for amazing fish tacos. You’ve just got to be sure to catch enough to make a meal worthwhile since they’re so small.

Whatever your favorite and most relaxing summer hobby is, I hope you get your fill starting this month.

– Dr. Jevon Clark



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Hello, everyone. My name is Louie, and I’ve been elected to tell you about my awesome pack of dogs and humans. Well, I elected myself, actually. I’m not the oldest dog in the house — that’s the hound-mix, Abby, who’s 12. And I’m not the biggest dog in the house, either — I’m a Chihuahua, so I’m a compact powerhouse! But I am the one in charge. I recently turned 10, and unlike Abby, who mostly likes to nap, sniff around for signs of the neighbor cats along our fence line, and nap some more, I still love to play with our two younger brothers, Ace and Rio. That is unless my favorite human, Alivia, is around. She’s the oldest human daughter, so she’s moved out of the dog house. But I sure perk up when she comes around to visit — and pout when she leaves. There’s really no place in the world I’d rather be than on her lap! Okay, okay. I also love being on my momMindy’s lap, too! I’M IN CHARGE Louie the Chihuahua Tells His Family’s

DIY or Buy? The warm summer sun may be enough to beckon your family outdoors, but lawn games will guarantee hours of fun outside. If you’re handy, there are plenty of great lawn games you can make yourself. If not, buy an off-the-shelf alternative and enjoy the easy setup. GIANT JENGA: EASY DIY All you need to build a giant Jenga tower are two-by-fours that are cut to length. If you’re handy with a saw, you can do this at home. If not, ask to have the wood cut at your local lumberyard. Be sure to sand down the edges before stacking the boards to create a classic Jenga tower! For extra fun, pick a few paint colors and paint each board. Visit make-this-giant-jenga to see a complete set of instructions. LAWN GAMES FOR FAMILY SUMMER FUN

Abby has a favorite human, too. Hers is Caleb, and he’s still living at home. We’ve loved growing up beside him, and he’s old enough now that he’s thinking about leaving the nest. That’s too bad for Mindy and our dad, Coty, because Caleb is the only one Abby listens to! She’s loved him since she first saw him when she was a mere pup in the parking lot trying to get adopted out by the Humane Society. Mom and Dad say she didn’t pay anyone any attention, but when Caleb walked by, she knew she found her “furever” home.

Ace and Rio are the newest members of our pack. Ace is turning 2 in June, and he’s a chocolate Lab. His coat is so dark and shiny that even I find it beautiful to look at! Mom and Dad found Ace in Idaho. They went thinking they’d get a black Lab but came home with Ace, the athletic, dark-chocolate coated canine. Dad likes to say that Ace picked them! Sometimes that happens with us

Buy : Skip the project and buy GoSports Giant Wooden Toppling Tower online, which retails for about $70 and stacks over 5 feet high.

CLASSIC HORSESHOES: INTERMEDIATE DIY Tossing horseshoes is a great way to pass an afternoon. To play, you’ll just need to set up two sand pits in your yard. Get a handful of horseshoes, and you’re ready to go! Many DIY plans are available online, including one from Buy: Check out the kid-friendly rubber horseshoe set from, which requires no installation, can be used indoors or alongside your outdoor game, and is safe for younger children. CORNHOLE: ADVANCED DIY The humble beanbag may be the most versatile backyard game piece. It’s used in the popular game commonly known as cornhole. To build your own cornhole set, you’ll need a couple of sheets of 1/2-inch-thick plywood along with two-by-fours, some hardware, and a variety of tools including a drill, jigsaw, and sander. Visit to get both written and video instructions. Buy: Ready to play ASAP? Cornhole sets are available from many large retailers around summertime, or you can order a customized set featuring your favorite team, family name, or characters from your favorite movies by looking at

dogs. We just know which humans are meant to be ours.

Chewy Cat Treats


• • • • • • •

1 large egg

4 oz wet cat food

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

2 tsp olive oil 2 tbsp water

1 cup brown rice flour 1/2 cup rice, cooked

Whether you buy or DIY, remember to have fun and always supervise your children while playing outdoors, especially when it comes to yard games!




’s Story


Speaking of meant to be … after Mom and Dad got Ace, they realized he needed a playmate. They’ve been looking at a breeder in St. Regis who always had beautiful puppies from their

Here at the clinic, we’re lucky to have Dr. Mindy Wilson on staff. She’s been a veterinarian since 2002 and became a certified veterinary medical acupuncturist in 2018. Many patients are curious to learn more about this treatment option, so we’re answering a few FAQs. HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK? Acupuncture is a neuromuscular-based therapy. Small needles are placed at strategic points on your pet’s body to stimulate different nerves. Each nerve is part of the body’s greater nervous system and that’s all linked to the brain, which controls sensation and pain. Needles can help increase blood flow to an area and can also trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain to help your pet relax or combat pain.

stud, Shadow. They usually have a 4–5 year waiting list, but Mom and Dad decided to call them to see if they had anyone who could be Ace’s buddy. Lo and behold, there were two 8-month-old puppies from a recent litter whose adoption had fallen through! The family packed in the car and came home with Rio.

He’s on the opposite end of the color spectrum from Ace. As an English Lab, he’s supposed to have a yellowish coat, but he’s almost pure white. And he’s BIG — over 100 pounds! But he still thinks he’s a lap dog. He’s really 100 pounds of pure love. We all love our veterinarian, Dr. Clark, and everyone at the Animal Clinic of Kalispell. I used to go to a different place before Mom and Dad got together.

WHAT CONDITIONS CAN IT HELP TREAT? Acupuncture has a wide range of uses for animals. It’s an excellent way to prehab pets before orthopedic surgery with Dr. Clark. And after surgery, incorporating acupuncture can help decrease pain and facilitate faster healing. It can also help speed recovery after injuries that don’t require surgery. Acupuncture can also be effective in helping to treat chronic conditions like arthritis, incontinence, rhinitis (sinus issues), and digestive issues (to stimulate appetite or reduce vomiting). It can also be used for kidney or organ support and is an excellent way to improve quality of life for older animals in need of old-age care.

I’ll be the first to admit that I prefer the female humans more than the male ones (can you blame me?), and my old doctor wasn’t my favorite man. But the first time I saw Dr. Clark, I knew he was an exception to the rule. He’s awesome, and we all love going to visit him. Ace even ate a stuffed animal whole just so he could spend some time with Nia and Dr. Clark! Well, maybe he ate it just because he’s a puppy, and he hasn’t learned that stuffed animals can’t be digested! Either way, Mom and Dad trust Dr. Clark and his staff with our lives. And since our crew ranges from Labrador puppies to our old lady, Abby, we’re glad to have a veterinarian we love who can handle any issues that arise in our diverse pack.

THERE’S NO WAY YOU’RE GETTING MY DOG OR CAT TO STAY STILL! This isn’t an FAQ, but Dr. Wilson says it’s a frequently expressed concern! She’s proud to report that she hasn’t found an animal yet that won’t let her treat them with acupuncture. After a thorough exam from nose to toes, Dr. Wilson can assess where to place the very small acupuncture needles. Most animals don’t even notice them! She’s careful to avoid any tender areas and starts by placing needles in locations that encourage relaxation by helping release endorphins and serotonin. The pets she’s treating begin to associate her with relaxation and feeling good, which makes it a breeze to continue the treatment regimen in subsequent sessions. WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW? Acupuncture isn’t a one-time fix. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, so several appointments are necessary to get the full benefits of this treatment. Each session can last up to 45 minutes. If your pet is a good candidate for acupuncture, Dr. Wilson will let you know the number and frequency of treatments your pet needs to see benefits.

Thanks for listening to our story!

Inspired by


1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. 2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, cat food, parsley, olive oil, and water. 3. Add flour and rice, stirring to blend the mixture together. 4. On a prepared baking sheet, spread the mixture evenly, about 1/3-inch thick. Bake for 12–15 minutes. 5. Let cool, then slice treats into bite-size pieces. 6. Bake for an additional 8 minutes. 7. Allow treats to cool completely and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Finally, Dr. Wilson stresses that acupuncture isn’t a replacement for other kinds of treatment for your animals. Rather, it’s a complementary form of care that you can add to your pet’s treatment regimen, which may include medication, supplements, laser therapy, or surgery and rehabilitation. Most pet owners want to do whatever it takes to make sure their pet is healthy and pain-free. Acupuncture is an excellent tool that helps us achieve that for our clients.







Fish Tales From Dr. Clark


DIY or Buy: Summer Lawn Games


Meet Louie and His Family!


Chewy Cat Treats


How Can Acupuncture Help Your Pet?


Should You Try Animal Therapy?


Is Animal Therapy Right for You?

AREN’T THOSE JUST EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS? In recent years, emotional support animals have become increasingly popular both in the media and in their use. Emotional support animals offer their owners vital emotional assistance, but they differ greatly from trained therapy animals. AAT requires the use of a trained animal under the direction of a handler, who will also coordinate with medical professionals to ensure the strategies that they deploy will target what a patient needs. Prior to practicing, trainers and their animals must each pass certification processes intended to help each party gain the skills needed to help patients. To qualify, animals also need to be clean and vaccinated, and the type of animal used during AAT also depends on a person’s condition, the location of the therapy, and a patient’s need. IS AAT RIGHT FOR YOU? AAT isn’t for everyone, but it can be a vital component of your healing process. It’s often seen as a supplemental form of therapy intended to bolster other therapies. The important thing to remember when considering AAT is to establish reasonable goals. Discuss the possibility of using AAT with your doctor or therapist and consider which animals may bring you the most comfort. Be realistic about what you want and need before attempting AAT.

There are just some things only a dog can understand — same with a cat, or a horse, or a bird, for that matter. That’s the idea behind animal-assisted therapy (AAT), a treatment designed to help those with mental and physical challenges. AAT may look like snuggling and playing with animals, but it’s much more involved than you may think.

WHAT IS AAT? AAT relies on an innate human need to connect with animals. The idea is that humans form bonds with living things, and this connection can have a calming effect on our minds. Physical therapy and massage therapy involve tangible actions on the part of the therapist, while AAT relies on the relationship between a human and an animal. This could help someone cope with grief, lessen a medical patient’s pain related to chemotherapy or surgery, provide connection to residents in long-term care facilities, or even offer exercise for those with limited mobility.



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