Animal Clinic of Kalispell - January 2019

Pet Press KALISPELL JAN 2019


Over the years, I’ve learned that in order to run a successful clinic, it’s not enough to be a great veterinarian. It’s equally important to have a team I can trust. I need to have the confidence that my staff can get their jobs done right so I can step aside and focus on my job. I could be the best veterinarian in the world, but without the right group around me, I couldn’t get half of my job done. When clients call, they often want to talk to me or BUILDING THE PRACTICE What Makes a Great Team?

Each person on the staff is part of the clinic because they truly belong here. Over the last 10 years, I’ve learned it’s not enough just to have a body in place. If we want to continue delivering the quality of care our patients and clients deserve, we need to employ people who match our philosophy. Technical skills can be taught at school or on the job. But

my associate, Dr. Corum. That’s great, and I’m glad they trust us to help. But we often can’t talk to them for five hours, because we have patients to tend to. Fortunately, our clients know we have a staff that can take care of them the same way I would. When someone says, “I’m so glad Dawn works here,” or “Anna was so helpful when I called,” it reaffirms what I already know: My staff is amazing. In our practice, our mission is to exceed people’s expectations and continually impress them. That’s something my staff aims to do in every possible avenue. The first people you talk to when you call the office or walk in the front door are Anna and Ashleigh. They make up our department of technical services and have a knack for helping clients feel

people skills, the ability to genuinely care about others and the work you do, is not something we can teach. Someone either has it in their heart, or they don’t. It’s my job to make sure the people I bring into the clinic have the kind of disposition that will treat people and pets well.

We have a talented, dedicated,

This isn’t an easy task. For every one person we interview, there are 20 other applicants who didn’t make the cut. It takes time to find the right kind of person I can trust with my patients and clients. But when I meet that person, they’re always worth the wait. We have a talented, dedicated, and loyal group of people at the practice. I have worked really hard to find people I want to stick with me until I retire. That’s the truth. If I could keep my staff for 20 years, that would be awesome.

and loyal group of people at the practice.

comfortable. Then, there’s our executive director, Andrea, and our wonderful veterinary technicians: Dawn, Kristin, Patsy, Danielle, and Katie, all of whom do so much to help me and our patients. And I can’t forget my associate, Dr. China Corum, whose power presence has really transformed the practice and seamlessly allowed us to help more patients.

We have grown and will continue to grow, so we’ll need to bring on new people. But don’t be worried if you come to the clinic and are greeted by new faces. There may be new team members, but I promise they will deliver the same high level of care you have come to expect.

—Dr. Jevon Clark 406.755.6886


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Living It

Hey, A Guide to Downsizing WHAT TO KEEP, GIFT, DONATE, AND THROW OUT Many homeowners reach a point in their lives when they’re ready to move from the house they raised their families in to something smaller and more manageable. While finding the right place can be a challenge, the hardest part of downsizing is often sorting through a lifetime’s worth of possessions. This process, called contents downsizing, is much easier when you follow this four-step system. Start With the Junk Beginning your downsizing with the hardest items will only lead to frustration and inaction. Instead, start by tackling areas of the house that are full of documents, knickknacks, and boxes you haven’t touched in years. These will be the easiest to part with and will put you in the right downsizing mindset. Donate Unwanted Items The next category contains items that are no longer valuable to you or your family but may be useful to others. These items can be donated to one of many worthy organizations, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or St. Vincent de Paul. Donations are a way to give back to the less fortunate instead of simply giving or throwing things away. Give Gifts to Loved Ones If you have children, they will undoubtedly want to keep a few cherished mementos and precious possessions. Deciding who will keep what can be a sensitive subject, so you’ll need to devise an equitable way to divvy up the goods. Some families engage in the process collaboratively, but there should always be some communication before anything is thrown out. Your kids may value certain items more than you ever realized. If you suspect a certain heirloom could be a source of contention, it’s best to hold on to it and make it part of your estate plan. Only Keep the Essentials After completing the first three steps, you should be left with only those items you actually use and those that have the most sentimental value to you. These are the objects worth bringing to your new home. Bonus Tip: Color Code Each Category Odds are that you’ll find junk and valuables stored right next to each other. If you don’t have time to physically separate them at the moment, use different colored Post-it notes to keep everything organized when it comes time to move.

This is Teton, Dr. Clark’s golden retriever. I don’t have much time to talk. I’m waiting for Dr. Clark to leave the kitchen. There’s some butter on the counter, and I want to get in on that. Oh, you thought a veterinarian would only have the best, most well-behaved dogs? If you’ve ever felt embarrassed to tell your veterinarian about your pet’s naughty behavior, trust me when I say that Dr. Clark has you beat. There’s a reason they call me the “king of counter surfing.” I may be 8 years old, but when there are cookies on the counter or birthday cake slices on the table, I can be very agile. I’ve eaten things most dogs should never eat — like a barbecue chicken, bones and all. But I’ve never become sick. You have to have an iron stomach to love food as much as I do! My greatest accomplishment was on a camping trip some years ago. My leash hadn’t been tied up one morning, and I smelled something great at the next campsite. When everyone else was distracted, I made my escape. Sure enough, there was a glorious breakfast set out on a picnic table

Salmon and Sweet Potato Cat Treats

Break out the silicone fish molds, we have a recipe for cat treats you’ll want to

make right away. Inspired by, this is a soft treat that’s great for all ages but is sure to be a favorite of older cats everywhere!


• •

●1 14 ounce can wild-caught salmon

●1 1/2 cups sweet potato, baked and mashed (no seasonings)

• •

●1 1/2 cups old- fashioned oats

●1/4 cup fresh parsley



OLD ISN’T A DISEASE Bloodwork Keeps Your Pets Feeling Young


Up With Teton

just begging someone to eat it. I was happy to oblige. Dr. Clark quickly arrived on the scene but not quickly enough. I don’t know what he told the family who’d been inside their trailer at the time, but I hope he gave my compliments to the chef.

In many ways, veterinary medicine is miles ahead of human medicine, especially when it comes to delivering service to customers. For instance, if you’ve ever had bloodwork ordered by your own physician, you probably waited days to get a call from your doctor with the results. Our clients at The Animal Clinic of Kalispell can get the results of their pet’s bloodwork in less than 30 minutes thanks to our in-house lab and the technical staff dedicated to that task. Completing labwork in-house isn’t just about saving clients time. We’re also able to offer immediate insight about the health of our patients. A large recent study involving over 1400 pets found that in dogs and cats with completely normal physical exams and deemed “healthy,” 70 percent of cats and 65 percent of dogs had changes in their screening bloodwork. These abnormalities weren’t necessarily life-threatening, but in most cases suggested areas that required more investigation and testing. Quick and convenient labwork results can be a huge game-changer in the wellness of senior pets. A veterinarian can see the outside of a pet and complete a thorough physical exam to get a sense of their insides, but they don’t know a dog’s glucose level or what a cat’s kidney parameters are without checking. This information allows us to spot red flags and start a treatment plan before an animal’s health takes a turn. For example, many older cats suffer from kidney disease. Once a cat is showing physical signs of kidney disease, we have lost valuable time in treatment and management. However, through regular blood screens, we can detect disease very early allowing us to be proactive about treatment possibly adding years to the cat’s life. As dogs and cats age, they can be predisposed to certain diseases. It is important for pet owners to remember that changes in abilities and behaviors, often written off as symptoms of the pet just getting old, are actually brought on by diseases and conditions that may be easily manageable and improve the quality of life. Let us help you help them!

Do I get in trouble? Sure, all the time. But when I give Dr. Clark and Rose Ann those puppy-dog eyes, they just sigh and say, “It’s a good thing you’re pretty.”

I know I shouldn’t be chowing down on human food, but I can’t help it! Cats may have nine lives, but we dogs only have one. We might as well live it up, right? Oh, I’ve got to go! The doorbell just rang, and Dr. Clark went to answer it. Now’s my chance! – Teton


1. Put salmon in large bowl, using two forks to break up

the larger pieces. Then add sweet potato and mix well.

2. Use food processor to pulse together oats and parsley until finely ground. Pour into sweet potato and salmon mixture. Fold everything together.

3. Spoon into individual ice cube trays, or a small silicone fish mold if you have it. Freeze for 2–3 hours.

4. Serve cold to your cat for a special treat!







Don’t Be Afraid of New Faces


Why Less Stuff Means More Freedom

Meet Teton


Something Fishy For Your Cat

A Cure for Old Age?


What Happens to Military Service Dogs?


There are around 2,500 military working dogs currently in service, and their efforts help save the lives of countless soldiers and civilians every day. One of these brave military dogs is Sgt. Fieldy, an 11-year-old black lab who was trained to locate the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan: IEDs. Sgt. Fieldy was deployed to Afghanistan with his handler, Cpl. Nicolas Caceres, in 2011.

home, but Sgt. Fieldy served several more tours without him. While Fieldy continued to protect soldiers and civilians by tracking down IEDs, Caceres worked tirelessly to make sure he could bring Fieldy home when his service was over. Military working dogs can be adopted by former handlers, law enforcement, or qualified civilians when they retire. After three years apart and a total of four tours served, Sgt. Fieldy was reunited with Caceres. In 2016, Fieldy received the K-9 Medal of Courage Award, and in 2018, he won the American Humane Hero Dog Award for his service. “These dogs are out there with us,” said Caceres when he and Fieldy accepted the Hero Dog Award. “The dangers we face, they face them too. They deserve to be recognized. We ask so much of them, and all they want is to get petted or play with a toy. They’re amazing animals, and Fieldy is just an amazing dog. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for him.”

Early in their deployment, their vehicle struck a pressure plate while they were on patrol. Fieldy and Caceres were all right, but one of the other Marines in their company was badly injured in the explosion. The injured Marine could not be evacuated by helicopter until the landing zone was secured. Fieldy found another IED in the area and alerted Caceres. The bomb was quickly disarmed, and the injured soldier was taken to safety. This wasn’t the only IED Fieldy found. His sharp nose and dedication helped save thousands of lives. After his deployment, Caceres returned

If you are interested in supporting our nation’s

working dogs or would like to adopt a retired working dog yourself, you can learn more at .



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