Petersen Pet Hospital - May 2020

Monthly Pets First

May 2020


As wonderful at the wedding was, we’re glad to have it behind us. Planning a wedding was a lot of work, mostly for Stacey. Besides, the wedding isn’t the most important part of this experience. It was a lovely ceremony and a fun party with our friends and family, but what matters most is what comes next. Now, we’re married. “I’ll never forget the moment when Stacey came around the bushes in her wedding gown.”

Spring is wedding season, and I know a ton of couples are about to say “I do” in the next few months, which is why Stacey and I decided to get married well before the wedding rush, back in February. In case you missed it, Stacey and I got married on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Since we were planning a winter wedding, we decided to hold the ceremony down in Florida at a resort we’d visited a number of times together. We wanted to get married somewhere warm, and we knew that resort would give our friends and family plenty of fun things to do besides attend our wedding. The weather on our big day ended up being chillier than we’d expected, but everything else was as close to perfect as humanly possible. Our family and friends joined us to celebrate, eat, drink, and dance. The ceremony took place in a little courtyard beneath a big tree that was lit with lanterns. I’ll never forget the moment when Stacey came around the bushes in her wedding gown. She made a rule that I couldn’t see her for 24 hours before the ceremony, so that was the first time I’d seen her that day. She looked very beautiful. I did shed a tear when I saw her. It was such an important moment. We were really going to get married. This wonderful woman was really going to be my wife. Everything went by so fast after that. The next thing I knew, we were all at the reception dancing together. Our first dance as husband and wife was to Frank Sinatra’s “TheWay You Look Tonight.”Afterward, everyone got up to dance. We hired a two-person band to play Elvis, Bruno Mars, Bob Marley, Dave Matthews, and all the wedding hits. It was a great time. The food was good, too, which you can’t say about every wedding.

To be honest, I don’t feel too different now that I’m married. It took a little time for Stacey and I to get used to referring to each other as husband and wife, but since we were together for 11 years before finally saying “I do,” getting married didn’t change the nature of our relationship too much. It just solidified the love we have for each other, and now we’ve made a concrete promise that we want to grow old together and experience the rest of our lives together as partners.

Thank you to everyone who sent their well-wishes. It meant so much to get such love and support from our clients back home. To anyone planning a wedding this spring or in the near future, I wish you luck. And to my wife, Stacey, I want to say thank you for going on this journey with me. I’m so excited to spend every day with you.



Hello, everybody!

Did you know dogs tell scary stories in the summer? Humans tend to save their scary stories for Halloween, but the real monsters for pets lurk in the summer: parasites. The parasite stories that scare me most are the ones about heartworms! Dogs can be infected with heartworms through mosquito bites. If a mosquito infected with heartworm larvae bites an animal, it can leave the larvae in their bloodstream. As the heartworm larvae grows, it migrates to the animal’s heart and lungs. Talk about terrifying! These parasites can cause heart failure, lung disease, and organ damage. While heartworms can be treated in dogs, the process can be difficult. Some dogs die during treatment. Even when the treatment is successful, heartworms can leave lasting damage on a dog’s organs, resulting in future health problems.

Last year, the Companion Animal Parasite Council found that across the whole country, Cedar Rapids had the third highest percentage increase in positive heartworm tests. When I heard this, I thought I would have nightmares for weeks! Fortunately, there’s effective heartworm prevention. A lot of dogs

SAY HELLO! Carol’s Return to Iowa

Many people who find themselves in the veterinary field were once the sort of kids who drove their parents crazy because they wanted to help every stray animal they came across. When Carolina do Carmo was a child, it was actually her mother who wanted to help all the strays. Born and raised in Brazil, Carol grew up watching her mother care for the stray animals in their neighborhood. This inspired Carol to become a veterinarian, so she could help more animals. Carol loves all animals, large and small, but she found her niche in small- animal medicine while in school. In 2015, during her time at university, Carol got a scholarship to study at Kirkwood Community College here in Iowa. She attended Kirkwood’s veterinary technical program for a year and a half. During that time, she fell in love with Iowa. Carol returned to Brazil in 2017, where she completed her veterinary degree at Universidade Federal de Lavras. After graduating in 2019, Carol returned to the United States with her husband and their cat, Nhonho. Though Carol completed veterinary school in Brazil, she’s not licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the United States just yet. She’s currently working to get her license in the U.S. In the meantime, Carol has joined the Petersen Pet Hospital team as a veterinary technician. At the moment, Carol and her husband have just one cat at home, and they all enjoy watching food-related TV shows together. But Carol is still the sort of person who wants to take care of strays. She’s looking forward to adopting more pets once she and her husband move into a bigger place.

Homemade Chicken and Cranberry Cat Treats Does your picky kitty turn up their nose at every treat? These homemade goodies are sure to delight even the most finicky of felines!

We’re thrilled to have Carol on the team. Her experience and skills will do wonders for the hospital. Join us in welcoming her back to Iowa!

Contact us! 319-743-0554


Tackle Allergies This Spring

With These 3 Strategies

take a chewable tablet once a month to protect against heartworms. These work pretty well, but if a human forgets to give their dog a tablet, their friend is just one mosquito bite away from getting heartworms. I don’t have to worry about missing a tablet because Dr. Petersen gave me a shot of ProHeart 12! This is an injection that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for preventing heartworms in dogs who are at least a year old. I don’t like shots, but I didn’t mind this shot because one dose of ProHeart 12 protects me from heartworms for a whole year! I can play outside all summer, and I don’t have to worry about getting heartworms from a mosquito bite. What a relief! ProHeart 12 doesn’t protect against all parasites, but it does a really good job of keeping dogs safe from heartworms. ProHeart 12 is now available at Petersen Pet Hospital, so come get your dog protected from heartworms for a whole year today! Now the only scary story to tell is the one about the missing tennis ball. —Sam

Spring has officially sprung. Grass is growing, flowers are blooming, and longer days are here again. And while the arrival

of spring is a cause for celebration, for outdoor enthusiasts who suffer from seasonal allergies, the season is bittersweet. For many, this time of the year is characterized by stuffy noses, burning eyes, and sneezing. But

according to WebMD, even severe allergy sufferers can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about allergies by taking the following precautions.

Watch pollen counts.

You can usually find information about local pollen levels on the internet or in your local newspaper. If pollen counts are through the roof, consider hitting the indoor gym instead of running outside. In general, pollen counts are highest on warm and breezy mornings and lowest when it is cool and rainy. Plan your outdoor pursuits accordingly.


• •

1 cup oat flour

• • •

2 tbsp olive oil

Change immediately after spending time outdoors.

3 tbsp unsweetened, dried cranberries 4 oz plain chicken, cooked and chopped into small pieces

1 tbsp dried catnip

1 large egg

If you suffer from seasonal allergies but still love to exercise outdoors, build a habit of showering and changing immediately after coming back inside. While you were out crushing that 30-mile bike ride, pollen was slowly accumulating in your hair and on your clothes. And while 30 minutes of outdoor exercise will, according to WebMD, completely coat your nasal membrane with allergens, showering and laundering your clothing will limit your exposure while indoors.


1. Heat oven to 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a food processor, mix flour and cranberries until fine. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. 3. Measure out 1/4 tsp-sized portions. Roll into small balls, then press flat with your finger on the baking sheet. 4. Cook treats in the oven for 15–17 minutes, or until golden and dried on top. 5. Allow treats to cool completely before serving to your cat. Treats can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Medicate, medicate, medicate.

Depending on the severity of your allergies, medication, not prevention, will likely provide the best relief available. Every person is different, so ask your doctor about the best medicine for you, and make sure you understand how you’re supposed to use it before dismissing its efficacy. Some allergy medicines can take as long as three weeks to reach their full effectiveness.

Inspired by



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

Ready for Wedding Season?



Meet Carol do Carmo


BLACK A Year Without Heartworms 50% BLACK


DIY Springtime Cat Treats


How to Avoid Allergies This Spring


The Best Grandfather a Kitten Could Have






The Story of Grandpa Mason

How a Feral Cat Came to Care for Orphaned Kittens

When cats are orphaned as kittens, they don’t get the chance to develop all the skills needed to become successful cats. Just like human children, kittens need older role models too. The most famous cat role model had a rough start in life but became an inspiration for kittens and humans alike. His name was Grandpa Mason, and during the last years of his life, he stepped up and gave love, care, and guidance to the orphaned kittens that lived with him. The Canadian animal rescue group TinyKittens rescued Grandpa Mason in 2016 from a property that was scheduled to be bulldozed. The poor feral tabby was suffering from many health problems, including severe dental issues, a badly injured paw, and advanced kidney disease. Since TinyKittens is a no-kill rescue organization, euthanization was out of the question. Given his health conditions, veterinarians predicted the battle-scarred Grandpa Mason didn’t have long to live, so TinyKittens’ founder, Shelly Roche, took him in and provided him with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of food, and time to relax in the last months of his life. Grandpa Mason had a hard time adjusting to domestic life and would often shy away from being petted. In an interview with The Dodo, Roche described him as “an elderly gentleman [who] lived his whole life a certain way, and then, all of a sudden, [was] forced to live completely differently.”

After Grandpa Mason grew accustomed to his home, Roche took in several foster

kittens, and those new roommates completely altered Grandpa Mason’s behavior. Roche expected him to hiss, swat, or growl at the kittens when they invaded his space, but he didn’t. Instead, he allowed them to crawl all over him and appeared to enjoy it when they licked his ear.

Suddenly a playful, affectionate, and gentle personality came out of Grandpa Mason as he played with, bathed, taught, and cared for the orphaned kittens that Roche welcomed into her home. Potentially due to the kittens’ influence, Grandpa Mason surpassed his prognosis by more than two years. During the last few years of his life, Grandpa Mason passed on important lessons and good manners to the kittens he looked after and adored, as a true grandfather should. He passed last September, but he spent his last night in his ultimate happy place: snuggling in his bed surrounded by kittens.

Contact us! 319-743-0554


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