Animal Clinic of Kalispell - September 2022




I think most people in this day and age struggle at least a little bit with work- life balance. But there are unique challenges with owning a business because the buck stops with you. September is Self-Improvement Month, and my ability to step away from the fast-paced demands of the clinic has become an area where I know I need some growth. A few years ago, things were under control. Our practice was busy but running smoothly. I thought in the back of my mind that I could start working only 40 hours a week instead of 50 or 60. I could not have foreseen what things would look like today. Once the pandemic hit, veterinary medicine absolutely exploded and hasn’t slowed down since.

to provide medicine to pets, but a big part of our job is caring for people. I enjoy helping others and find it fulfilling, so it’s hard to make time for myself.

People have also become more demanding, and it’s hard to have boundaries when the first impulse is to go on social media and slam you. Recently, we had someone call because their groomer had found an old puncture mark on their dog’s face. The owner was unaware of it, and the dog was acting normally, but they wanted to get their dog in right away. We explained that we couldn’t see them for three days — and honestly, for a non-urgent scenario, that’s pretty good! But the person wasn’t satisfied with that turnaround and quickly left us a bad review online. So, realizing that I can’t make everyone happy is another area where I need improvement. I find it hard to say no and even harder when someone is upset with me. I must grow a thicker skin and remember that I understand my situation better than others do. Everyone thinks that what’s affecting their pet is the most urgent veterinary case in the world. But I know I’m treating dogs with seizures and cats hit by cars. There is one thing lately that has been helping me relax. I like driving to my church a few blocks from the practice and playing the piano on my lunch break. I’m no great pianist by any means, but I spend 12 hours a day in one building, so I find it refreshing to get away and see some new surroundings. Playing helps me relax, reset my attitude, and use a different part of my brain. Though I only find time to do it 2–3 times a week, I feel much better afterward. What helps you stay centered and keep things in perspective? How do you find the energy to do your favorite activities? I could use your tips! Send them to I can’t wait to read them and try out some new strategies on my self-improvement journey.

A lot of Americans are in the same boat. We’re facing increasing demands, we’re exhausted, and we don’t know when things will get better — let alone back to “normal.” Worse yet, many of us have forgotten how to unwind. Over the past few

months, I’ve been coming home dead tired. It’s frustrating because I haven’t gone camping this summer, and I haven’t been able to make time for fishing or sailing. Those things help me relax, but I’m crabby and can’t work up the energy to do them. I can only veg out until it’s time to get back to the grind. It’s hard to step away from work when you’re a goal-driven person and a type A personality like I am. And I’ll let you in on a little secret — most veterinarians are people pleasers. We’re here

– Dr. Jevon Clark



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Teenage Self- Esteem vs. Social Media

Hi, everyone. I’m Wick. My family named me after the Keanu Reeves character John Wick

According to Mayo Clinic, nearly 97% of kids aged 13–17 years old use social media, whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another platform. Although these platforms come with major benefits — such as staying in touch with distant family and friends — it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your teen’s social media usage. Research shows that using social media more than three hours a day can increase risk of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. Here’s why — or at least, a few expert theories. WHAT TO KNOW AND HOW TO SPEND TIME ELSEWHERE

because I’m so tough. I’m a Karelian Bear Dog, and my breed is known for protecting humans from bears, coyotes, and mountain lions. If push comes to shove, it’s my job to fight for my boy, and I’m proud to do it! While I haven’t had to fight a bear yet, the chickens next door are another story. Unfortunately, the humans don’t seem to understand the threat they pose.

I’ve tried to eat them, but my parents just won’t let me! I’m still keeping my eye on that rooster, and I stay alert for other dangers. But I like to have fun, too! When my family adopted me last year, the breeders said I would be too aloof to fetch. Boy, were they wrong! I love to run around and play, especially when it’s cold. I put my face down in the

The Proven Risk Factors

Social media affects everyone a little differently. For teens, thankfully, there are some studies about these differences.

Beyond simply the number of hours spent on social media, there are other ways that researchers have noticed the negative impact of social media on teens. A 2016 study of more than 450 teens found that greater social media use, nighttime social media use, and emotional investment in social media (such as feeling upset when prevented from logging on) were linked to worse sleep quality and higher levels of anxiety and depression. It even matters how your teen is using social media. Is your teen interacting or only looking? A 2015 study found that social comparison and feedback seeking by teens using social media were linked to depressive symptoms. Additionally, a 2013 study showed that older adolescents who used social media passively, such as simply looking at pictures, reported declines in life satisfaction. In contrast, participants who used social media to interact with others and post their own content didn’t experience these declines.

snow and propel myself forward with my back legs. We call it “submarining.” I also love to follow my boy around the house and sleep in his bed.

Healthy Veggie Dog Treats Don’t let the veggies fool you — your dog will love these healthy treats! Inspired by


The Alternatives

1 cup pumpkin purée

Instead of staring at a screen, encourage your teens to spend time face-to-face with their classmates and friends; that’s especially important for teens who are vulnerable to social anxiety. Remind your teen that certain behaviors aren’t okay on social media: gossiping, spreading rumors, bullying, or damaging someone’s reputation (online or otherwise). Even if these activities can seem harmless at first, they are extremely damaging and hurtful to the people involved. Face-to-face contact is one of the most promising ways to deflect the negative aspects of social media. Don’t miss a chance to give your teen the one-on-one time that they may need.

1/4 cup peanut butter

2 large eggs

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

3 cups whole wheat flour, divided

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

1 zucchini, shredded

1 cup baby spinach, chopped



WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER PET INSURANCE The veterinary landscape has changed a lot over the last several decades. “Fifty years ago,” Dr. Clark says, “we didn’t have the technology to do the things we do currently. The expectations were different, and so was the human-animal bond.” As medical technology has advanced, it has also become more expensive. Many people want to do right by their pets but don’t know how to pay for it. That’s why, Dr. Clark says, “Pet insurance has become a part of our normal conversations with people. With new clients, we talk about the advantages of having it.” GIVING YOU PEACE OF MIND

Than the Average Bear

My mom is a veterinary technician at the Animal Clinic of Kalispell, and I spend a lot of time there playing with the other dogs in the kennel. I especially like hanging out with my best buddy, a Newfoundland I met at the clinic as a puppy. Sometimes you can hear us wrestling from inside the office! MEET WICK!

I have a girlfriend, too — two girlfriends, actually, but they don’t mind. They’re both faux chinchilla blankets. The

first one belonged to my mom, but I loved it more than she did. And when I got my second one, I realized there’s no such thing as too much company! I love my girlfriends very much, and

I sometimes bring them to other people to touch. That’s how you know I like you.

Pet insurance works like most other types of insurance: Policyholders pay a premium for the insurance and have a deductible they must pay before the benefits kick in. Typically, the lower the deductible is, the higher the premium. Once the deductible is exhausted, the insurance pays for a significant portion of the covered services. Some policies only cover accidents, while others cover additional medical problems. The most expensive policies even cover wellness visits. The age of the pet isn’t any consideration, but just like other insurance, they don’t cover preexisting conditions. It is best to sign up for pet insurance before your pet becomes ill, making pet insurance most valuable when obtained while the pet is still young and healthy. “Veterinarians don’t have a crystal ball,” Dr. Clark says. “So we don’t know that two years from now, this dog will eat a rock and need surgery, or this cat will get kidney failure and need lifelong care.” Both of those things, he notes, tend to cost thousands of dollars. “Most of us have some income, and as long as things don’t go wrong, we can manage just fine,” Dr. Clark notes. “But unexpected surgery or chronic illness gets us in trouble if we haven’t planned for it. It’s terrible to have these situations where our clients are stressed because their pet is sick, and they want the treatment, but they don’t have the cash to do it,” Dr. Clark continues. “Unfortunately, monetary considerations play a huge role in what we do.” When your pet is well, insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense. But when things go wrong, it can sometimes be the difference between life and death for your furry family member. Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars saved for our pets’ medical care. Unless you’re an exception, pet insurance is a sound investment that can grant you peace of mind.

Though I can be kind of goofy sometimes, Mom tells people I’m also

really smart. She says she can see it in my eyes and knows I understand everything she says. She isn’t wrong! She also says it was hard to train me because I like doing things my own way. But now, I make it a point to be a gentleman. Unless, of course, I run into a wild animal. Then I’ll use my strengths and smarts to take it down!


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Using an electric mixer, beat the pumpkin purée, peanut butter, and eggs on medium-high for about 1–2 minutes until combined. 3. Gradually add old-fashioned oats and 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed until barely incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. 4. Add carrot, zucchini, and spinach, then beat just until incorporated. 5. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 3–4 times. 6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to shape, then place treats on a lined baking pan. 7. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

– Dr. Jevon Clark







Dr. Clark Shares His Self- Improvement Goal

2 Is Your Teen’s Self-Esteem Dropping?

2 Meet Karelian Bear Dog Wick!

2 Healthy Veggie Dog Treats

3 Is Pet Insurance Worth the Money?

4 A Dog’s Loyalty Has No Limit

This Belgian Malinois Needs a Cape


A commonly uttered phrase among dog lovers is that we don’t deserve them. This comes from the fact that dogs often give their all to protect their owners, even if that means putting their own lives at risk. Dogs seem to be instinctively wired to protect their humans — and it’s more proof they really are our best friends. In May 2022, Erin Wilson pulled off at a roadside picnic area and headed down a path toward the Trinity River in California with her Belgian Malinois, Eva. As Wilson walked down the slope, the dog ran ahead. Suddenly, Wilson turned around and realized she was being cornered by a mountain lion.

probably made the sudden appearance of a slender woman look like an attractive option.

The mountain lion growled and took a swipe at Wilson’s left shoulder. As it lunged at her, Wilson screamed and shouted for Eva. At the distressed call of her owner, the dog came running back to Wilson’s aid. Without hesitation, Eva leapt between Wilson and tackled the wild cat. During the short tussle, the mountain lion managed to get its jaws around Eva’s head, but Wilson fought to free her dog by throwing rocks in an attempt to break its hold. When that didn’t work, she ran back to her truck and managed to wave down a passing motorist. With their combined efforts — and a crowbar and lots of pepper spray — they were able to scare the mountain lion away. Wilson, though wounded, carried Eva back to her truck and raced her to an animal hospital. Unfortunately, while Eva survived the initial attack, she passed away due to her injuries on June 8, 2022. Wilson said she would do anything for her dog, and that day, Eva proved she had done the same for Wilson.

These attacks are incredibly rare due to the mountain lion’s reclusive and shy nature. In fact, since 1890, California has recorded only six fatal mountain lion attacks. However, recent drought conditions have made food scarce in some areas. Their preferred prey is deer, but these conditions



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