Animal Clinic of Kalispell - July 2021

Pet Press KALISPELL JULY 2021

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A Game-Changing Grill

July is National Grilling Month, and though I need no excuse to fire up the grill at home, it does make this the perfect time to talk about my obsession with our new wood pellet grill. People had been telling me and my wife for years that we needed to get one, but we didn’t understand what all the hype was about. Well, after our old propane grill finally gave out, we decided to treat ourselves to the Traeger and see what it was all about. HOW DR. CLARK IS MAKING THE MOST OF GRILLING SEASON

Our grilling standbys have always been burgers, fish, and veggies. But anything on the grill is usually delicious. I’ll let you in on two of my not-so- secret grilling secrets. First, to avoid overcooking and to maximize flavor, always brine your chicken. When I was first reading about brining a while back, I remember thinking “this can’t possibly do anything!” My wife was also skeptical. To put it simply, we were wrong. Brining your chicken for a few hours (which just means letting it sit in saltwater) requires minimal time and effort, but pays off big time. I guarantee whoever you serve that chicken to will say it’s the most delicious chicken they’ve ever had. My second tip is to not be afraid to use fish rubs or seasonings for burgers. Oftentimes, spice mixes are marketed for a specific product. I’m not sure what it is about the fish spice mixes that are so good, but they are awesome on burgers. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of the spicy, bold barbecue flavors that are often used for burgers. With a fish rub, you still get tons of flavor from herbs and spices without spicy heat blocking out all the other flavors. I’ll give you one more tip as well: If you’ve been thinking about getting a wood pellet grill, go for it. It’ll really up your grill game and open up all kinds of possibilities for your summertime dinner menu. If you’ve got any tips for me and Rose Ann, send them our way. We’re ready to add new dishes to our grilling rotation.

The short story is that it is amazing.

First of all, I’ve always been a charcoal grill guy, but Rose Ann (who admittedly does most of the grilling for our household) has been pro-propane for many years because she still has vivid memories of how the smell of charcoal bothered her when she was pregnant. I can’t argue with that! But I have been missing the flavors the charcoal grill provides over the last 25 years or so. But the new grill is a perfect compromise because it’s wood-fired. You still get all the depth of flavor from charcoal while getting the convenience of a gas grill. Well, mostly anyway. The most inconvenient thing about it is figuring out how to turn it on! It’s pretty high-tech, with Wi-Fi and an accompanying app that lets you track what’s cooking from your phone. If that seems over the top (as it once did to me!), let me just say this: slow-smoked salmon. The technology of the grill is what lets you keep a perfectly steady temperature for 15 hours to smoke or slow-cook things. I’ll be the first to admit that slow-smoked salmon isn’t a regular menu item at our house. That was a multiday process to cure and prep, plus many hours in the smoker, so it required planning. But it’s a good example of some of the experimentation we’ve been doing lately. Gotta learn our new machine and test its capabilities, after all!

– Dr. Jevon Clark

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MEET THE SUCCU LOVING KITTEN Who Stole Dr. Ball’s Heart

Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

Oh, hi. I didn’t see you there. I was just playing my favorite game, which is plucking the leaves off my mom’s succulent plants and caching them under her bed! Don’t mind the trail of dirt I left. Mom will clean it up. You probably already know my mom, Dr. Zoe Ball, because she’s a pet doctor. I guess they’re called veterinarians, but that’s a hard word for a kitten to say! As you might imagine, Mom loves animals. Even though she works with them all day, she wanted an animal friend to come home to at night. She’d decided it was time to add a furry friend to her household and started looking for a dog.

YOU CAN SHARE WITH YOUR KIDS

What do your kids know about the Fourth of July? Do they know it’s a day when you have a barbecue, spend time with friends and neighbors, and watch a fireworks show? These hallmarks of the holiday certainly do make it fun and memorable, but they don’t really exemplify why we celebrate the Fourth of July, the anniversary of when the United States declared its independence from Britain. So, along with the sparklers and hot dogs, here are a few fun facts about Independence Day you can share with your kids to help them understand the significance of the holiday.

GASP! I bet you didn’t expect that plot twist.

Turns out, the timing just wasn’t right for a canine, so she turned her attention to the superior companion animals: felines. She was actually thinking about adopting an older cat, but that’s when li’l ol’ me came into her life!

The Fourth of July marks our country’s independence because it’s when the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence. This fact might seem like a no-brainer, but it contextualizes the holiday for kids. It’s a great jumping-off point to talk about why the United States wanted to be its own country, what the Continental Congress was, what the Declaration of Independence said, and what it means to “ratify” something. Two future presidents signed the Declaration of Independence: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They both died exactly 50 years later, on July 4, 1826. This fact is an interesting coincidence sure to fascinate both kids and adults. It’s also a great way to introduce kids to some of the Founding Fathers and share how they helped shape the United States today. I n 1776, the year the United States was founded, only 2.5 million people lived here. Today, the U.S. population is 331 million. Lots of people have been born in the United States since it was founded, and millions more came here from other places, hoping to find a better life. Many succeeded, too. Many people want to call this country home! On the Fourth of July, around 155 million hot dogs are eaten in the United States . Okay, so this fact might not have anything to do with American history, but it’s still pretty funny! If anything, the fact that we have so many hot dogs to eat on that day is evidence of the prosperity so many people enjoy in the United States of America.

We met while she was at work. I had gotten a little lost but luckily ended up in a very nice person’s yard. They brought me to the clinic to make sure I was okay, and Dr. Ball checked me out. She wasn’t sure if I had

an owner or not, and

Sweet & Savory Pu Ingredients With the dog days of summer in full force, your pup may need some help cooling down. These five-ingredient pupsicles are just the thing!

• • • • •

1 can pumpkin purée

1 strip bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup water

1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 package rawhide sticks

• Special equipment: plastic or silicone popsicle molds

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SUPPLEMENTS AND YOUR PET

ULENT-

WHY ‘ALL NATURAL’ DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN SAFE Though all pet owners are different, they tend to have one thing in common: They want their pets to be healthy. Sometimes that leads to people giving their pets supplements that they’ve heard about from friends or read about on the internet. These supplements are often marketed as “all natural” products, which then leads people to believe they are safe and healthy. However, the market for pet supplements isn’t regulated, and there isn’t data about the safety and/or efficacy of these products. What does that mean for your pet? One major concern we have is that supplements can negatively interact with medications that we’ve prescribed for your pet. This can be very complicated even for us as trained veterinarians to research and fully understand (especially because of the lack of data as noted above).

she started getting her hopes up that she might be able to adopt me. I got my hopes up too! It was love at first sight.

Eventually, my cat family and the human family that owned them were found. Mom was devastated to think she’d have to send me back. Not that they aren’t nice people … it’s just that she and I had really bonded. But fate meant for us to be together. My human family said they were thinking of adopting out some of the kitties in my litter. They saw how in love Mom was and told her she could have me. We were both ecstatic!

On top of that, just like in human bodies, these supplements are usually metabolized by your pet’s liver, so if you’re giving your pet several supplements (or supplements with several ingredients), that can overwhelm their system. This is especially true because, without regulation, there’s no dosage information, so it’s nearly impossible to know how much of a given supplement is the right amount for your pet. We recently saw a dog whose pre-op blood work showed liver enzyme numbers that were literally off the charts — higher than our machines could read. She walked in looking perfectly healthy, and her owners didn’t think to tell us they’d been supplementing her because the supplements were said to be “all natural.” We know that you want what’s best for your animal, and so do we! To help us provide the best possible care for your pet, always let us know any medications or supplements they’ve been taking. And we always recommend discussing any supplements you’re considering giving your animal with us before you start them on a routine. We’re happy to help you figure out how to keep your pet healthy while also ensuring that we keep them safe.

I was a little shy at first, but I warmed up quickly. I love roaming around the house and sitting in the window to watch for birds and squirrels (and chirping at them to let them know who’s boss). Mom is still thinking of adding a dog to our family one day, so she’s taken me to work and let me interact with her friends’ pups. I was a little intimidated at first, but then I realized how fun it is to hide under the furniture and swat at their tails! Those big, helpless creatures. I’m a very spunky and social girl. I like to mix and mingle when people are around, and I’m a talker. I chirp a lot, and Mom knows that she has to chirp back, even though she says it makes her feel like a crazy cat lady. I also love playing fetch. Oh, did I tell you that my name is Cindy Lou and that I’m a calico? I know the human convention is to give these details when you first introduce yourself, but I was so excited to tell my story that I forgot! Thanks for listening!

upsicles

Inspired by DaisyTheFrenchBulldog.blogspot.com

1. In a blender, combine pumpkin, bacon, and water, blending until smooth. 2. Drop 3–4 blueberries in each popsicle mold, then pour in the pumpkin mixture, leaving about an inch of space. 3. Insert a rawhide into the middle of each mold to serve as an edible popsicle stick. 4. Freeze for 4 hours or until solid, then let your pup enjoy the taste of summer. Directions

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406.755.6886 WWW.KALISPELLVET.COM 1408 AIRPORT ROAD KALISPELL, MT 59901

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Inside

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It’s Grilling Season!

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Fourth of July Fun Facts to Share With the Kids

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Meet Cindy Lou, Dr. Ball’s Kitten

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Sweet & Savory Pupsicles

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What You Need to Know About Supplements

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The Miraculous Mountain Cat

The Meow at 10,000 Feet

High on the slopes of Bristen, a mountain in the Glarus Alps in central Switzerland, a pair of skiers discovered something unexpected. At 4:30 a.m., the skiers climbed toward the summit of Bristen when they realized they weren’t alone. They were being followed by a cat — not a lynx or a wildcat, but a little mewling house cat. How does a house cat end up on the slopes of a snow-covered, 10,000-foot mountain? This was an answer the skiers wouldn’t get. They weren’t even sure what to do with a cat in general. It’s likely that it simply wandered away from one of the nearby towns or villages near the base of the mountain, but even for a human, that’s a major undertaking.

Lost, the cat followed the only sign of civilization it could find: the skiers, Cyril and Erik Rohrer. “She started to shiver, and her paws began to bleed from the hard snow,” Cyril noted. “We picked her up and carried her when she was too exhausted to walk uphill anymore. We were definitely confused. I felt really sorry for the cat. She was really exhausted on the ridge underneath the summit.” The cat stayed with them for some time before they met up with another group of hikers who were headed down the mountain. The cat joined them for what would hopefully be a journey back home. And it was! Remarkably, the cat’s owners were found. They revealed that their cat had vanished four days earlier and apparently followed yet another group of hikers up Bristen. “Animals do weird things. And they are way tougher than humans. They’ll never give up. Even though they are hurting really, really bad,” Cyril said of his feline hiking companion. Hopefully, that will be the little feline’s last trip up for some time!

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