Animal Clinic of Kalispell - April 2021



April Fools’!


Around the office, I’m known to occasionally pull practical jokes on my team members. I do it so often that April Fools’ Day doesn’t really come as a surprise; everyone expects me to do something , so they’re ready for whatever I might come up with that year. Even so, I always try to spread the good cheer of a friendly joke around the clinic, April Fools’ Day or not. I’m very grateful to have a team that enjoys humor as much as I do and are ready to have fun in addition to our work. They’ll even try to get me back, but, because I’m rather skeptical of everything, that’s hard to do, I admit. I think keeping good humor in the clinic helps everyone enjoy interacting with the people and pets coming into the office. Everyone here loves the work we do. We love to help our patients feel better, and nothing beats seeing pet owners light up when their beloved four-legged friends are feeling better. Yet, I believe that a workplace also needs a sense of community, togetherness, and connection to bring so much more enjoyment into our lives. I try to do that by ensuring everyone is happy, doing well, and by playing a practical joke or two. Years ago, before I was here, I was working at another clinic in the state. Even back then, I was constantly on the lookout for a chance to play a good practical joke on my team members when I could. I can’t tell you all exactly how many I played

— there were too many small ones and a few pretty big ones too — but I can remember one in particular that I’m fairly proud of. At that clinic, my boss and I had a really good relationship with Dave; he worked for animal control and would often bring us animals who needed help. My boss and I went antelope hunting together and decided to play a joke on all the remaining women in the practice — but we needed Dave’s help.

“I’m very grateful to have a team that enjoys humor as much as I do and are ready to have fun in addition to our work.”

Now, we were the only clinic that would see anything out of the ordinary, so that gave us a lot to work with. Once we were settled, we had Dave call the clinic and elect to purposely go to voicemail. Then he left a message explaining how there was a wreck on the freeway with a truck that was transporting ostriches, which got loose. Unfortunately, he continued, one of them was injured and he would bring it to the clinic immediately for the team to take a look at. We only learned afterward how anxious (and not happy!) everyone was because no one there had ever treated an ostrich before, and they were unsure of how they were going to help it.

A short time later, Dave showed up, without the ostrich of course, went inside and told everyone that my boss and I were behind the joke. It was one of our greater jokes, and everyone got a good laugh out of it. I hope that this April Fools’ Day brings some light and humor into your heart. Remember to have fun, enjoy yourself, and have a few memorable laughs. – Dr. Jevon Clark



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Meet Ra’s Family

Eldest of 11 Cats

Hello everyone,

My name is Ra, and I’m a polydactyl Siamese, which means I have extra toes! I’m here this month to tell you all about my family of 11 cats — including myself — and our providers and caretakers, Bob and Leslie Kehoe. Bob and Leslie have the two biggest hearts that I know, and I can’t thank them for everything they’ve done for me and my feline siblings. They took us in, cared for us, and even gave us our very own room to live in. I had a rough start after I was born, but they helped make my life so much better. I was born into a cat colony in Bitterroot. Many people were tasked with coming to where we were to rescue some of us from those poor living conditions and spay and neuter others. Leslie’s sister-in-law rescued me and another black cat, later named Drew. Around that same time, Leslie had lost a Siamese, so her sister-in-law thought I would be good company for her. Leslie, being the person she is, also took in Drew because she didn’t want to separate us.

Get in Shape for Your Next Backpacking Trip 3 ESSENTIAL AREAS TO FOCUS ON Backpacking in the mountains puts a fun twist on the standard campout. By packing all your gear miles from the nearest roads, you can leave the whole world behind and just exist in nature. That said, backpacking can also put a lot of strain on your body — unless you properly prepare for it. Peak backpacking season isn’t too far away, but it could take a couple of months to physically prepare for your next big trip. So, now is the perfect time to start working toward some of the following fitness goals:

In adopting us, she and Bob gave Drew his name and named me Ra, after the Egyptian sun god. I really like this name! Even after having a hard start in life, I try to stay as positive and “sunny” as I can. I like everyone I meet, and I love to purr, especially when Leslie and Bob give me pets. I think Ra suits me very well. Being rescued as a kitten, I’ve spent most of my life with my humans — this year, I turn 18! I’ve also been one of the first to see our doctor, Dr. Clark. Because of my upbringing, I’ve had a lot of problems as I grew older, but Dr. Clark has taken very good care of me from the first day I met him. I owe all of my doctors a great deal for helping me stay healthy and happy in my life, giving me the chance to love the family I grew up in and see how big it’s grown.

INCREASE MUSCLE STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE Your leg and core muscles, as well as your shoulders and lower back (ideally to a lesser extent), will do most of the heavy lifting when you’re hauling a 30–50-pound pack up a trail. With that in mind, you should devote two nonconsecutive days each week to strengthening these muscle groups. A few good exercises to increase leg strength are jump squats, single-leg deadlifts, step-ups, and hip rolls. A simple way people can increase core strength is by doing planks. IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO HEALTH Backpacking includes a lot of walking while carrying heavy weight at a high altitude, which means it’s just as important to get your cardiovascular system into shape as it is to strengthen your muscles. Dedicate three days each week — alternating with your strength training days — to building your cardio health with activities like trail running, biking, swimming, or other aerobic exercises. IMPROVE YOUR BALANCE Backpacking trails are rough, and you’ll need good balance to navigate obstacles and step over boulders, creeks, and large roots. The good news is that increased strength and balance go hand in hand. Building up the muscles in your legs and core will help improve your balance, as will taking walks or runs on uneven trails or terrain. These are just a few quick tips to help you get in shape this backpacking season. For more in-depth instructions, check out,, or search “How to Train for Hiking” on Happy hiking!

Through the time I’ve lived with them, I’ve seen how loving Leslie and Bob are to others as well, offering food, shelter and care to those

Homemade Dog Food

This dish will become an instant classic for your pup! Use as a meal or treat. Consult with your veterinarian before committing exclusively to homemade food for your pet.


6 cups water

1 lb ground turkey

2 cups brown rice

8 oz frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower mix




cats who came into our lives. They cared for Drew so lovingly until he passed away; I’m glad that he was able to stay with us in the time he did.

AND INCREASING LONGEVITY IN DOGS Recently, our clinic began a relationship with a company that is working on creating anti-cancer vaccines for pets; these are called autologous vaccines. The goal is to use the body’s natural immune system to kill off tumor cells. If the vaccine is effective that should improve longevity and may actually cure the cancer. Similar research technology is on the horizon toward saving human lives using vaccines.

Though we lost a member of the family, we did gain many others. The first who arrived after me was Star. Star is younger than me, but she’s the second eldest of the house. Like me, Star was a rescue when Leslie and Bob found her in the middle of nowhere, as though someone had abandoned her. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. That might be why Star is a little standoffish at times, especially with the other cats. She’s pretty fierce when it comes to downstairs and doesn’t like it when the rest of our family comes downstairs, even for a short time. The younger cats were all mothered by Fuzzy, the brindle calico. She’s been around for a few years and, at first, she didn’t really like Leslie or Bob. Eventually though, she warmed up, and now they’re good friends. Over the years, Fuzzy has had three litters, and most of her kittens are those who I share a house with today.

The research put behind these vaccines is similar to the successful canine melanoma vaccine, which has been available for the past 20 years or so. That vaccine is only available through oncologists, but it has worked for the specific strain of melanoma it targets: canine oral melanoma. This new vaccine technology, though, is available to us! In mid-February, we sent them the first tissue sample for them to work on. We are very excited, as this is just the first step toward creating the anti-cancer vaccine. In order for them to determine the cancer type the tissue is processed through pathology. They then use the tissue sample to create the antibodies specifically for that tumor. Their theory is that, by using a patient’s cells, the body won’t reject or react to it. Once in the system, the body will multiply these antibodies and ideally attack the tumor over 3 vaccinations. This process is relatively new but their research data is very promising. The type of research and effort involved has come a long way in the past several years and we hope that it will only expand from here. This may be a critical step toward increasing the longevity of our pets and humans alike. If successful, it will lead to a better, cancer-free future.

From her first litter, Leslie and Bob adopted Peach, an orange prince of cats and Taxi, who is an orange and white mix. Then came orange Marmalade and his tabby little sister, Tiny Cat. The last three were Mini- Me (who looks exactly like her mother), tuxedo cat “Dapper” Dan, and Sweetie (who’s a furry white and black cat). Last but not least is Shadow, who, like Fuzzy, prefers to spend his time outside and doesn’t necessarily like coming inside. He’s still unsure about Leslie and Bob sometimes, but he likes it when they pet him, and he never misses his breakfast and dinner meals. Even with all of our differences, the 11 of us live a happy life together, especially with Leslie, Bob, Dr. Clark, and his team taking care of us.

You’ll Want to Try


1. In a large Dutch oven, add water, turkey, and rice. Stir until everything is evenly mixed.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.

3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the frozen vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 5. Allow the food to cool before serving and refrigerate between feedings.

Inspired by







Ostriches Are on the Loose!


Get in Shape for Your Next Backpacking Trip


The 11 Cats of the Kehoe Household


Homemade Dog Food You’ll Want to Try


A Step Towards Anti-Cancer Vaccines


How Lulu the Pig Saved Her Owner From a Heart Attack

Man’s Smartest Friend


According to animal experts, pigs are smarter than any other domestic animal, including cats and dogs. That may seem hard to believe, as you probably associate pigs with a pink,

barked and barked to no avail. Lulu, however, knew Jo Ann needed help quickly and waddled into action.

Lulu made her way to the nearest road, scraping her skin in the process and leaving it torn and bleeding. Once she reached the road, she laid down as if to play dead. Not long after that, a passing driver saw Lulu and stopped to check on her. Once Lulu was sure she had the driver’s attention, she got up and waddled back toward her home, leading the driver to where Jo Ann lay on the floor. When the driver found Jo Ann, he immediately called 911, and emergency services took her to a medical center for open-heart surgery. Had just 15 more minutes passed without help, Jo Ann would have died. For her heroism, Lulu received the Tiffany gold hero’s medal from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and made multiple television appearances as her fame spread. Hopefully, she was smart enough to know just how much she was appreciated.

smelly animal that oinks and rolls around in the muck. However, the story of how Lulu the pot-bellied pig saved her owner’s life might persuade you to reconsider. Back in 1998 (otherwise this story would have certainly gone viral), Lulu the pig was a permanent fixture at Jo Ann and Jack Altsman’s property in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. They had initially only taken Lulu from her original owner, the Altsmans’ daughter, for a temporary stay, but they ended up bonding with Lulu, and she was with them for much longer than expected.

On Aug. 4, Jo Ann suffered from a heart attack. Jack was out of town on a fishing trip, and even though Jo Ann cried for help and even threw an alarm clock out the window, no one heard her cries from their somewhat secluded home. The family’s dog, Bear,



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