Petersen Pet Hospital - November 2019

Monthly Pets First

November 2019


“There are a lot of things I’m thankful for this year …”

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I always go with the classics. This year, my plate will be piled high with turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls. For dessert, there’s sure to be plenty of cherry or Dutch apple pie to go around. My family’s Thanksgiving feast is hosted at my mom’s house every year, where the whole family gathers around her large table. After we eat our fill, we move to the living room to watch football or play games. We don’t have any wild or unique traditions, but I look forward to Thanksgiving every year. It’s a time to gather with the family and catch up. There are a lot of things I’m thankful for this year, but the big one is that my immediate family is still close and able to talk to each other. I’ve seen families get torn apart over the dumbest things. It’s nice that my family can all get together and talk freely, especially around the holidays. Sharing this time with the family means getting to relive memories of loved ones who are no longer with us. My father passed away a number of years ago, so Thanksgivings are really different. His absence is still felt, which is why I’m glad the rest of the family can still come together. Families change as the years go by. As everyone gets older, it can be difficult to get everyone together. We all have busy lives, but with that said, not all changes are bad. As the nieces and nephews have gotten older, we’ve been able to move from kid-friendly games to more mature games. After dinner, we’re still playing Pictionary and cribbage, but we’ve also started playing Cards Against Humanity. To be honest, that game is so ridiculous, I’m not sure it’s appropriate for anybody.

Another change I’m thankful for this year is my fiancée, Stacey. I’m so lucky to have her in my life. She’s very understanding, and she puts up with me. Plus, the rest of the family loves her, which certainly makes Thanksgiving a lot more fun for everyone.

Since we’re on the topic of Thanksgiving and gratitude, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how thankful I am for how things have been going with my business. I was a little nervous about moving to our new location this year, but it’s been a welcome change. I’ve got the best team in the business, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to work with them every day. Speaking on behalf of my team, we’re all thankful for our clients who have supported us before and after our move. It’s wonderful to care for pets in need and to be trusted by our clients to deliver that care. We’re all pet lovers, so we all know what it’s like to consider pets as part of the family.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. May you have great food and great conversation with the people you love.


The Least We Can DR. ANN EIKE’S LONG COMMUTE As children, we’re often told we can be anything we want to be when we grow up. Dr. Ann Eike never needed this motivation. She knew exactly what she wanted to be from day one. “I was born to be a vet,” says Dr. Eike. “Never once during my childhood did I want to do anything else. I’ve always loved animals, and all animals do is love you. No matter what happens, they offer unconditional love. And they don’t ask for much. Helping them is really the least any human can do.” Dr. Eike attendedWestern Illinois University for her undergraduate work before getting her doctor of veterinary medicine degree at the University of Illinois in 2008. She met her husband while attending veterinary school and together, they moved to his home state of Iowa. After graduating, Dr. Eike spent some time working at a small mixed animal practice. “After seven years, I felt like I wanted to do more,”Dr. Eike says. “I wanted to work with companion animals somewhere I would have colleagues to bounce ideas and diagnoses off of. I started looking for a new opportunity right around the time Petersen Pet Hospital was looking for a new veterinarian. It was a great fit! The environment is wonderful, the people are wonderful, and I knew from my first interview that this was where I wanted to be. Every day, I commute an hour to and from work. I think that says something about how much I like my job and the people I work with.”

Stop the Fur From Flying


Cats are famously stoic, which is why they may look healthy to the untrained eye. It’s important to bring your cat to the veterinarian to make sure your cat really is healthy throughout their whole life. The trouble is that our feline friends aren’t usually pleased to be taken outside of their homes. If taking your cat to the vet is always a struggle, Dr. Ann Eike has some tips on how to make the trip more comfortable for everyone. Don’t Make the Carrier a Stranger Don’t wait to grab the cat carrier right before you go to the vet. Leave the carrier out like a piece of furniture so your cat can become familiar with it. Leave the door open and put their food, water, or a blanket inside so the carrier isn’t so scary. Use Happy Pheromones When your cat rubs their face on you, they’re spreading happy pheromones, which reduces stress. Using synthetic pheromones, like Feliway, inside the carrier can help cats relax. Keep the Carrier Covered Seeing the trees whiz past or dogs outside the car window can really stress cats out. Cover the carrier with a towel or blanket so your cat isn’t bothered by the view. Only One Cat Per Carrier Even if your two cats are the best of buds, don’t put them in the same carrier. In a stressful situation, even friendly cats can argue with each other. You don’t want your cats fighting while you’re trying to drive. Don’t Be Fooled by the Handle Cat carriers should always be supported from the bottom. The handle can be used to keep the carrier stable, but don’t use it to carry your cat around. Bonus: Don’t Put the Carrier on the Floor When you arrive at the vet’s office, don’t place your cat’s carrier on the floor. Cats are more comfortable up higher, so set the carrier on the counter or in a chair beside you. At Petersen Pet Hospital, we have a perch designated for cat carriers right next to the fish tank, so your cat can enjoy a relaxing view while waiting. We can help make the trip easy! At Petersen Pet Hospital, we know how stressful a trip to the vet’s office can be for our feline friends. That’s why we offer our Kitty Komfort Kit! This kit includes calming pheromone wipes, medication to decrease anxiety, and other supplies to help make your cat’s trip a little less stressful. Call 319-743-0554 to ask about the Kitty Komfort Kit or swing by the hospital and grab one before your cat’s next appointment.

Leftover Thanksgiving Dog Treats

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There’s ‘Snow’ Place Like Scandinavia

Embrace Winter Like a Pro

Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark have long topped lists of the world’s happiest people. This may seem strange considering these countries can spend half the year in darkness; dusk sets in around 2 p.m. for some Nordic cities in the wintertime. The Scandinavians’ positive outlook on winter likely contributes to their happy demeanors year-round. Instead of looking at the winter months as something to endure, these folks embrace the season and find ways to enjoy it. Here are a couple ways to emulate their attitude.

Beyond working well with the rest of the team, Dr. Eike cites the care she’s able to provide people as well as their pets as a reason why she loves her job.

Try Nordic Skiing

“I really love helping animals. By extension, we’re also able to help people,” she explains. “It’s great to see the relief on someone’s face when they find out their dog is going to be okay or that you can treat whatever is wrong with their cat. Pets really become members of the family, and I’m glad to be able to help the whole family.”

If you’re a seasonal runner but it’s too cold to enjoy your go-to activity this winter, it’s time to diversify. Skiing isn’t the only wintertime option, either. There’s ice skating, ice climbing, and snowshoeing, to name a few. If your knees can’t take downhill skiing or snowboarding anymore, give Nordic skiing a try. It’s less stressful on your body but still a challenging, fun way to enjoy a beautiful day outside.

Dress forWarmth

When Dr. Eike isn’t caring for animals at the hospital, she’s gardening and caring for her own pets at home. She and her husband live on a hobby cattle farm with several cats. Of all their feline companions, Dr. Eike’s favorite is Eddie, who’s described as “very needy.”

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor gear. The Fins embrace this mentality wholeheartedly by trekking in subzero temperatures. The key is proper layering. Start with warm base layers that retain heat while allowing air to circulate. Skintight spandex isn’t very effective, so try thermal underwear or wool instead. On top of your base layer, add fleece and then down. If you’ll be somewhere with a lot of moisture, make sure your down is synthetic and waterproof. Your extremities get cold the quickest, so keep them warm with a buff, cozy gloves, hats, and wool socks layered as needed.

If the leftovers are your favorite part of Thanksgiving, then this recipe is for you! Show your dog how thankful you are for them with these post-feast dog treats.


OneWord: Sauna

1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes, plain and mashed

Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you need to be, too. A day on the slopes would not be complete without a sauna. In Finland, Sweden, and other Nordic countries, taking a sauna is considered a daily ritual for its purported health- boosting and mood-boosting benefits. Age and Ageing health journal has found evidence linking sauna use to a lowered risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

3/4 cup water

1 egg

2 cups cooked turkey, finely chopped

2 cups whole wheat flour



Heat oven to 350 F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine sweet potatoes, water, and egg. Add turkey and flour and stir again until dough is thick and sticky. 3. Use a rubber spreader to spread dough evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut dough into small rectangles using a knife or pizza cutter. 4. Bake for 30 minutes, until the dog treats are lightly golden brown. 5. Remove from oven and let treats cool completely. Break treats apart along score lines. 6. Serve fresh or store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.



1031 Kacena Road, Hiawatha, IA 52233 319-743-0554

Mon–Fri: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (Closed Fridays from 12:30–2:10 p.m. for teammeetings) Sat: 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Sun: Closed

Inside This Issue

What Are You Thankful For?



Taking Your Cat to the Vet Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful





How Dr. Ann Eike Achieved a Lifelong Dream

Post-Feast Dog Treats Adventure Like a Scandinavian



The Legend of Sergeant Reckless






The Greatest American War Horse


Animals have acted as companions to humankind for thousands of years. They’re a near-constant source of companionship, comfort, and aid. Unfortunately, military animals don’t often get the recognition they deserve. One horse, in particular, was essential to the success of her regiment during the Korean War. Meet Sergeant Reckless. Bought for $250 in 1952 by a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant at a Seoul racetrack, Sergeant Reckless was trained to carry ammunition for the 5th Marine Regiment. Her name was a play on the “recoilless” rifle ammunition she carried and a nod to the daredevil attitude of the soldiers who used them. Reckless was pivotal for her regiment in more ways than one. As Robin Hutton notes in her book “Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse,”“Because horses are ‘herd’ animals, the Marines became her herd. She bonded so deeply with them that Reckless would go anywhere and do anything to help her adopted family.” Sergeant Reckless’ greatest achievement occurred during the final stages of the Battle for Outpost Vegas. During the bloody five-day campaign, Reckless made 51 trips to resupply guns over the course of a single day. By the end of the battle, she had carried 386 rounds of ammunition by walking 35 miles through rice paddies and mountain trails. After dropping off the ammunition,

Reckless would then bring wounded soldiers back to safety. Reckless was trained to lie down when

under fire and avoid barbed wire, and her ability to do so

without needing human command saved many lives during the battle.

Reckless would close out her war career with two Purple Hearts and the rank of staff sergeant. She spent the rest of her years at Camp Pendleton in California. To learn more about this legendary mare, be sure to check out “Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse” by Robin Hutton.

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