Animal Clinic of Kalispell - April 2022




April 24 is National Pet Parent Day, so I want to take a moment to honor our clients who make the work we do here possible. Without the love and dedication that pet parents show to their animals every day, we would not be in business. Even worse, many animals would be living sadder, unhealthier lives.

in the cold. Our pet parents really are the decision makers and it’s our job to give out information and advice. Veterinary practices that don’t honor the relationships that underpin care will be left behind.

One of the most important things we can do as veterinary professionals is to listen to our clients. We regularly meet new people who come to our practice because their previous veterinarian didn’t engage with their concerns. Often,

Over the years, there has been a big shift in how the human-animal bond is perceived. The change started around the time I got out of veterinary school in the mid-’90s when our culture really began to value our pets as members of the family, progressively diverging from Snoop living in the back yard to now Snoopy has his own couch. He’s family. At the office, we often feel humbled. Everything we do requires people’s expendable income, and I’m regularly amazed at some of the sacrifices people are willing to make to care for their pets. Whether the client is wealthy or cash- strapped, they let us provide care that significantly improves their pet’s quality of life.

someone will have been trying to resolve a medical issue for months, and when I find the problem, I look like a hero. But really, all I did was listen to understand the underlying concern.

It’s easy as a medical professional to get caught up in your own head and think you know everything. Nobody in the world knows more than an eighth-grader — or someone who has just graduated from medical school. During my earlier days practicing, I didn’t always listen as well as I should have, and it always came around to bite me. In truth, the knowledge each client brings to the clinic about their pet is invaluable. No one knows an animal and how their

“normal” looks better than their human.

We do our best to keep our services as affordable as possible, but expensive is a relative term — anything you can’t afford is expensive. We try to take equally good care of all of our patients, regardless of their means, and I’m honored to be entrusted with the lives of our clients’ family members. I always remind my staff that each patient we meet is an individual. We can’t treat every dog the same way because every dog is different — and loved dearly. As has happened in human health care, more and more big corporations have started buying up independent veterinary practices and standardizing treatment. That isn’t all bad as long as the client is not left out

Every time you visit our office, I hope that the rest of the staff and I make you feel appreciated. We know that each one of you chooses us to care for your pet and that you can make a different choice at any time. Your trust in us to do what’s right by your furriest family member is what allows us to provide the best care possible — and for your pet to have the best quality of life. We wouldn’t be here without pet parents. On behalf of the entire team, thank you for all you do.

– Dr. Jevon Clark



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Monty t ME

It’s Time to Help Your Kids Build Credit IF THEY’RE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE April is Financial Literacy Month, and as a parent, that topic probably weighs on you. It’s tough to know when to start teaching your kids about money — let alone whether they’re ready to jump in. Fortunately, experts agree on one thing you should do to give your children a leg up financially: Help them build a credit score. Credit Basics There are multiple ways to build credit. You can take out a loan, use a service like Rental Kharma to build credit by paying rent or utility bills, open a credit card with or without a cosigner, or become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. The latter three options are great places for your child to start if they’re still living at home.

Hi, everyone, my name is Monty. You might have heard of me because Mom says I’m internet

famous! I have a lot of friends on Facebook, and there’s even a book called “Monty: The Courageous Survival of a Rescue Dog.” People like to brag about me.

I really love humans, even though they aren’t always nice. A long time ago, someone shot me in two of my legs and left me alone in the desert. I looked for help for a long time, so I was thrilled when I finally

found a human! I was really sick and injured when I went to Animal Rescue Volunteers, but I was excited to see people and other dogs. It took

a lot of hard work and many surgeries to get better, but everyone could tell I was a fighter and really loved life.

Now I only have three legs, but I get around great. The rescue people wanted me to have the perfect humans, so it took a long time to find a forever home. I’m glad they waited

Credit Card Holder/Cosigner vs. Authorized User As a general rule, you need to be 18 years old to open a credit card of your own without a cosigner. If your kids are younger than that, then they could open a card with you as a cosigner or become an authorized user on one of your credit cards. Some credit card companies will let you add an authorized user of any age, while others restrict the privilege to kids over 13 or 15. In a cosigner situation, the card will belong to your child, but you’ll be obligated to pay if they rack up debt. An authorized user, in contrast, branches from one of your existing cards. Your child doesn’t even need to use the card to benefit. The best option depends on two things: your child’s age and their financial responsibility. The Financial Responsibility Checklist When judging your kids’ maturity, Experian suggests considering two questions: “Can they follow your rules?” and “Do they understand credit cards?” We’d add, “Do you trust them?” If you answered “yes” to all three, your child is probably ready for a cosigned card or a card of their own. If not, you should stick with the authorized user option. They can still build credit while you work on their weak spots. To help, consider buying them the book “I Want More Pizza” by Steve Burkholder, setting up a meeting with your bank, or reading articles on together.

because my mom, Ginnie, is the best mom ever. I also have a dad and a dog brother, Rutherford, so I get lots of love.

My life is pretty great, and I like to say there are “no bad days.” I love to be tickled,

Scooby Stew Inspired by


• • • • •

2 large chicken breasts

2 1/2 cups water

1 cup uncooked brown rice 2 cups sweet potatoes, cubed 2 lbs dog-safe frozen vegetable mix





kissed, and hugged really tightly. I also love when Mom carries me upside down. Sometimes I have so much fun playing that I fall asleep with a tennis ball in my mouth!

UNCOMMON AILMENTS CAN SNEAK UP ON YOUR PET As veterinary experts, we see many of the same ailments regularly. But sometimes, surprises walk through our doors. Recently, Dr. Clark treated a Doberman with an unusual heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. This condition has always been around, but still rare. We are beginning to see an increase worldwide and there may be a correlation between grain-free diets and the increase. “Twenty-five years ago, many Dobermans had this,” Dr. Clark explains. “But breeders were good about testing and getting it out of the gene pool.” Even though this dog’s parents tested negative, he still managed to be affected with the ailment. Dr. Clark says it was a reminder to him and his staff. “Just because we don’t see this often, that doesn’t mean the dog can’t have it.”

Even though I only have three legs, I’m still really fast. I love running, no matter the weather, and I especially love doing somersaults down a grassy hill. Mom says I’m goofy, but maybe she should try it and see how fun it is!

I’m also very punctual, and Mom thinks I have a watch somewhere. (I’m not telling!) I always know when it’s time for dinner, rubs, blanket, or bed. But I still like new adventures, especially when I meet humans at PetSmart or Home Depot. People notice me because I look different, and sometimes they cry when they hear what happened to me. So, I do my best to show them just how happy I am.

It also surprises many clients to learn that some conditions are regional. In more humid parts of the country, vaccines for a disease called leptospirosis are routine, but it hasn’t been a major problem in Montana. However, with the population exploding — and people traveling to other parts of the country with their pets — more cases are starting to enter the clinic. “Not every dog is at risk,” Dr. Clark says, “But for those who are, it’s worth vaccinating them. We’ve had to change our protocols to offer leptospirosis vaccines to dogs that are at risk.” Similarly, heartworm hasn’t historically been a problem here. “When I have a client who asks about heartworm prevention in January,” Dr. Clark says, “I always ask them where they’re from.” But again, times are changing. The condition is becoming more common, and pets traveling or moving need preventive treatment. A piece of advice that has not changed is to have your pets on flea prevention. “Some people in Montana are convinced that we don’t have fleas,” Dr. Clark says. While the prevalence is relatively low, fleas exist, and many clients learn this the hard way. “People have heard that we don’t have disease ‘X’ in our area, but then their dog comes down with it,” Dr. Clark says. “We need to be thinking about these things in advance.”

There’s a lot more to my story, and you can get to know me better by visiting Facebook. com/WeLoveMonty. Come say hi — I love making new friends!

This delicious doggy dinner will have your pup begging for more. If your dog prefers turkey, feel free to use that instead of chicken!


1. Cut each chicken breast into 6 pieces. In a slow cooker, place chicken and all other ingredients. Ensure that each piece of chicken is completely covered with vegetables. 2. Cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. 3. Using two forks, shred the cooked chicken. 4. In a large bowl, stir the mixture until the ingredients are evenly mixed. 5. Wait until everything has fully cooled, then serve. (Stew can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days or frozen into single-serve portions.)

So, don’t be surprised if we ask about your plans for travel during your upcoming veterinary visit. And if you know you’ll be taking your four-legged friend somewhere with a different climate, don’t hesitate to speak up or call our office to ask about extra precautions. An ounce of prevention can save you and your pet a lot of headaches and heartaches down the road.







Celebrating Pet Parents

2 Is Your Kid Ready for a Credit Card?

2 Meet Monty!

2 Scooby Stew

3 Wait — Your Pet Can Catch That in Montana?


A Heroic Dog Saves Her Owner

She Saved Her Human!


On Jan. 3, 2022, New Hampshire State Police responded to a call about a lone dog wandering around on the interstate near Veterans Memorial Bridge. When they got there, the pup — a Shiloh shepherd named Tinsley — led the officers on what seemed to be a wild goose chase.

hypothermic! Thanks to Tinsley’s bravery, the cops called an ambulance that rushed them to the hospital.

“This was almost like a real-life Lassie situation,” one lieutenant told CNN. “It’s really quite remarkable. This dog definitely saved their lives. I don’t think they would have survived the night given the temperatures.” Tinsley is a real hero on four legs, just like Lassie, a fictional pup who saved two little boys from dying of hypothermia in the snow. Fortunately, Tinsley’s grateful owner, Cam, made a full recovery. He also knows just how special his pup is. “She gets spoiled all the time,” he told the WPTZ news station. “She’ll get some venison, probably [a] burger tonight, and probably some back scratches with it.” Tinsley is not the only dog who has saved a human from the cold. In the winter of 2017, a rescue pooch named Peanut saved the life of a 3-year-old girl in Michigan who had wandered away from home, and a golden retriever named Kelsey saved her owner after he slipped in the snow and broke his neck. She kept him warm for 19 hours and barked until help came. To read the full story of Tinsley’s roadside rescue, visit and search “real-life Lassie.”

“When Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon police officers attempted to get close to the canine, it continued to run northbound on Interstate 89, crossing into Vermont,” the police department wrote in a Facebook post. “A short time later, Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon police officers located a damaged section of guardrail near the Interstate 91 and Interstate 89 junction.” It turns out Tinsley had a destination in mind: an upside-down pickup truck that had crashed through that very guardrail.

The truck had rolled off the highway, and the people who were inside — including Tinsley’s owner, Cam Laundry — were on the ground, badly hurt and



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