Leonard Animal Clinic - July 2019

JULY 2019

903.587.2210

Pet Gazette

From Your Hometown Vet

LEONARDANIMALCLINIC.COM

One in a Million Finding the Answers

Did you know June was Vitiligo Awareness Month? If you’ve never heard of vitiligo, you’re not alone. It is an incredibly rare skin disorder that causes parts of your skin and hair to lose pigment. Vitiligo only affects 1% of the world’s population and can impact animals as well as people. I didn’t know much about vitiligo myself until my dog Lucy was diagnosed with the disease. When my husband, Mike, brought Lucy home six years ago, she was all black with a single white spot in her chest. This was right around the time Mike and I started dating. Jump forward to a couple years ago, I noticed the tip of Lucy’s nose was starting to turn white, and the skin around her lips suddenly became bright pink. Being a veterinarian, I didn’t hesitate to bring Lucy into the clinic and do a biopsy.

neutrophils, a certain type of white blood cell, which makes it harder for me to fight off infections. Only about 1,400 people in the world have neutropenia. Like vitiligo, neutropenia isn’t contagious, but it can be dangerous if

you don’t know you have it. Before I was diagnosed, I used to get sick all the time because my body couldn’t fight off disease. With my neutrophil count as low as it is, I’m really lucky I didn’t end up in the hospital. I lived with neutropenia for 15 years before we realized something was wrong. It took another long, scary year after that to finally get a diagnosis. Today, I’m part of the Severe Chronic Neutropenia International Registry (SCNIR), a group that funds neutropenia research and helps people with neutropenia get diagnosed and get the medication they need. It can be scary to deal with a disease you don’t yet know or understand. I know this from personal experience, which is why I want to share our stories this month. Sometimes it can take awhile before you learn what’s going on inside of you or your pet, but it’s important to have faith. There is an answer somewhere down the road — you just have to keep searching and never be afraid to ask for help.

I was really worried Lucy had a dangerous disease. When the results came back, we were all relieved to hear it was just vitiligo. Doctors aren’t sure what causes vitiligo, but it’s neither painful nor contagious. People and pets with vitiligo just look a little different. Lucy doesn’t seem to mind her new spots, and they inspired us to give her a new nickname: Lula Dots. Lucy isn’t the only member of our family with a rare disease. When my husband was 12, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and three years ago, I was diagnosed with an incredibly rare blood disorder called severe chronic neutropenia. This means my body doesn’t make enough

Lucy doesn’t seem to mind her new spots, and they inspired us to give her a new

nickname: Lula Dots.”

—Dr. Brea Smith

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Your Hometown Vet

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LEONARDANIMALCLINIC.COM

There’s nothing like taking a dip in a nearby pond, lake, or even the ocean. For many, it’s a summertime tradition. However, swimming in open bodies of water brings certain safety risks, as these environments are not nearly as controlled as public, club, or backyard pools. Everyone should follow these tips to have a fun and safe time cooling off under the summer sun. Never swim alone. When you swim in virtually any body of water, having someone there to keep an eye on you can be a lifesaver: the more people, the better. Stick to bodies of water with a professional lifeguard on duty when possible, though that’s not always an option. When swimming in open bodies of water, have a “designated spotter” to keep an eye on the swimmers. This way, you’re prepared if anything bad happens. It’s also a great idea to keep flotation devices nearby, such as life jackets, life rings, foam boards, etc. Know what you’re getting into. Sometimes, it’s next to impossible to see what’s under the surface of the water. If you are unfamiliar with a body of water, don’t jump or dive in without knowing how deep it is. If you cannot confirm what is under the surface (and the spot is not a known diving location), don’t risk it. It may be okay to swim or wade, but jumping is out of the question. Along these same lines, be VERY careful around bodies of slow-moving or standing water. These can house dangerous microbes and other contaminants that can make you ill and potentially be deadly. Watch for rip currents. These can occur at any beach without warning. They pull swimmers away from shore and are strong enough that even excellent swimmers struggle to get through them. In fact, rip currents are behind nearly 80% of beach rescues. Keep an eye on the foam at the surface of the water. If it seems to suddenly pull away from the beach, there’s a good chance a rip current is lurking beneath. If you find yourself in a rip current, it’s crucial to remain calm and avoid expending energy swimming directly back to shore. Instead, try swimming parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current. Summer Swimming Safety 3 Tips for Swimming in Open Water

Unique, Old-Timey Summer Destinations

Break the Mold With These Exciting Outings

There are only so many times you can go to Disney World over the summer until both kids and parents start snoring from boredom. Why not take a break from your modern ways? Silence your cell phones, pop in a road trip CD, roll the windows down, and get a new perspective on this great nation of ours. You’d be surprised by the hidden historical gems our country is home to. The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Whether you have a car full of restless young’uns to entertain, or you just want to gain some new insight into your country roots, this outing is fascinating for the whole family. As a truly unsung and unique aspect of the American West, this blast from the past gives new meaning to “girl power.” Through exciting displays and informative tours, the National Cowgirl Museum brings you back to a daring world where no day was guaranteed. Starting as nothing more than a modest room in the building’s basement, the museum has grown to more than 33,000 square feet and boasts over 4,000 artifacts. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, this destination may be a bit of a drive, but the unique opportunity to take in the bravery and achievements of some of history’s greatest cow girls makes the trip worth it. Tombstone, Arizona, and All Its Wild Wonders Few towns have played a more important role in our common knowledge of the Wild West than Tombstone, Arizona. From the popular movie of the same name to the famed “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” this stunning city is unparalleled in historical value. Through countless restoration efforts and local museums, this Wild West behemoth has no shortage of adventures to set out on. From old-timey saloons and spooky graveyards to the infamous Birdcage Theatre, you can go on a week’s worth of expeditions accompanied by friendly guides who are there to fill you in on all the tales of old.

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Your Hometown Vet

903.587.2210

LEONARDANIMALCLINIC.COM

Happy and Healthy

3 Secrets to Help Your Pet Live Longer

The sad truth every pet lover has to face is that one day we’ll have to say goodbye to our best four-legged friends. It’s not something anyone likes to think about, but that day doesn’t have to come so soon. There are proactive steps pet owners can take to help their pets stay healthy and live long, happy lives together. Brush Those Teeth The mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. This is true for humans and pets alike. Poor dental health can lead to plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and gum disease. Bacteria that builds up in the mouth can easily reach the rest of the body. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease and organ damage in dogs. Since our pets can’t brush their own teeth, it’s up to us to lend a hand — literally. If your dog’s or cat’s teeth are in bad shape, it’s time to schedule a professional cleaning. And don’t forget to ask your vet about the best way to brush your pet’s teeth while you’re at it. Watch What’s on the Menu The internet adores fat cats and “chonker” dogs, but excess fat leads to a higher risk of diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney

disease, and certain cancers. Any one of these conditions can dramatically shorten your pet’s lifespan. Pay attention to how much you’re feeding pets. A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that dogs who are on a calorie-restrictive diet tend to live almost two years longer than dogs who are fed more. However, before putting your pet in a diet, consult your vet. Suddenly reducing your dog’s or cat’s caloric intake without a solid plan can be dangerous. Stay Proactive A pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Annual wellness exams are a key part of helping pets maintain optimal health. These exams give your vet a chance to spot any potential problems and come up with solutions before those problems can become life- threatening. It’s always easier to keep pets healthy than to try and help them after they’ve gotten sick. At Leonard Animal Clinic, we know how much your pets count on us to take care of them. Give us a call at 903-587- 2210, and let us help give your pet a long, happy life.

Food Hounds ! PUMPKIN PUPSICLES

PAWSitively Hilarious !

It’s not summer without a cold, sweet ice cream cone or popsicle. While dogs can’t partake in such sugary snacks, we have an icy treat your dog can enjoy to beat the summer heat.

Ingredients

2 tbsp honey

2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Milk-Bone sticks

1 cup canned pumpkin

Directions

1. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt and 1 tbsp honey. In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin and remaining honey. 2. Fill 1/3 of a small Dixie cup with pumpkin mixture, then fill the rest of the cup with yogurt mixture to create two layers. Insert Milk-Bone stick upright, then freeze for at least 4 hours. Note: Wooden sticks can be dangerous if ingested, so Milk-Bones are a safer alternative for unsupervised snacking. 3. Once popsicles are frozen, carefully peel the Dixie cup off and serve your dog a refreshing frozen treat!

Inspired by TheCottageMarket.com

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Your Hometown Vet

903.587.2210

LEONARDANIMALCLINIC.COM

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

400 HWY 69 South Leonard, TX 75452

903.587.2210

LENARDANIMALCLINIC.COM

Inside

Lessons Learned With Lula Dots

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3 Things Everyone Needs to Know Before Swimming in Open Water

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Taking a Step Into the Past This Summer

Help Your Pet Live Longer

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A Cool Treat for Cool Pups

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A Tail of Bravery

The Guardian Who Would Not Leave His Watch

Odin Lives Up to His Legendary Name

Amid the devastation of the wildfires that tore through California in the fall of 2017, a few heroic tales rose up to give people hope. One such tale was of Odin, a loyal Great Pyrenees guard dog. Along with his sister, Tessa, and eight rescue goats, Odin is part of the Hendel family. It was mid-October when the Hendels were awoken by the smell of smoke, a fierce orange sky, and sounds of destruction — urgent warnings from Mother Nature. Gathering everyone as quickly as they could, the Hendels got their human family members and Tessa in the car, but Odin, seated proudly next to the eight goats, refused to get in. Try as they might, the Hendels could not get him to come with them, and there wasn’t enough room in the car for the eight goats. With the firestorm quickly approaching and the risk of losing even more family members increasing with each passing minute, the Hendels made the heart- wrenching decision to leave Odin and the goats behind.

with them. After several agonizing days, it was finally safe enough for them to return home and survey the destruction.

What did the Hendels find? Ashes, rubble, their barn and home burned to the ground — and Odin. There he was, still guarding eight goats and some small deer who had sought shelter with the brave canine. Weakened, burned, and limping, but nevertheless steadfast, Odin had never left his goats, even as the fire raged around them. Odin wagged his tail as he saw his family, happy to see they were also safe. The Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and the Goatlandia Animal Sanctuary provided temporary shelter for the goats and pups while the Hendels rebuilt their barn. Odin received all the care he needed, along with a lot of love and treats. Today, Odin and his goats are back with their family, rebuilding their lives after this devastating wildfire. But the Hendels, and anyone who’s heard the story, won’t soon forget the bravery of Odin, the amazing pup.

The family made it to safety with Tessa in tow, relieved to be together but heartbroken that Odin and the goats weren’t

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Your Hometown Vet

903.587.2210

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