Petersen Pet Hospital - August 2023

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Pets First Monthly

August 2023

IT’S ALLERGY SEASON! Make Sure Your Pets Are Comfortable

As the seasons change, you may feel congested, sneezing, coughing, and trying to fight off a runny or stuffy nose. Dealing with allergies is always a hassle — and it doesn’t help that we’re quickly approaching allergy season. But humans aren’t the only ones dealing with allergy symptoms this month; your pets may be experiencing them, too!

allergy testing, and do skin biopsies. These tests help us determine the underlying cause of your pet’s allergies and how we can best treat them and provide relief.

Once we get your furry friend’s test results back and see if they are experiencing allergies, we can begin outlining the available treatment options. We may recommend using antihistamines like Benadryl to get their allergies under control. Or we may suggest oral medications

However, your furry friends don’t experience allergies like we do. While they may sneeze or have a runny nose, they could be extremely itchy, have an uncomfortable rash, an infection, or even experience vomiting and diarrhea. It’s also important to note here that your pets could experience three types of allergies: food allergies, environmental allergies, and flea bite allergies. If your furry companion only shows allergy symptoms when the seasons change (similar to humans), they likely have environmental allergies. But if they show symptoms year-round, they may be dealing

such as antibiotics for infections or steroids to help with inflammation, Apoquel, omega fatty acids supplements, and topical treatments such as medicated shampoos or leave-in conditioners.

There’s also a treatment available called Cytopoint, which provides longer-lasting itch relief for dogs. I’ve heard great things about this product and have seen positive results for my patients. But if your furry companion is dealing with food allergies, we can suggest diet plans, brands, and various kinds of food you can give your pets.

with a food or flea bite allergy. Food allergies can occur anytime. If your cat or dog has been eating the same food for years, they could become allergic to it — it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been eating it! Typically, dogs become allergic to chicken or beef recipes. Cats mainly develop allergies to foods that include chicken. Furthermore, although your pets can develop secondary infections due to bacteria and yeast, they may also contract rashes and infections if they have a flea bite allergy. Therefore, regardless of the type of allergies your four-legged friend may experience, I encourage you to put them on a flea preventative so you can at least rule that option out if your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction. When you notice your pet showing allergy symptoms, I recommend scheduling an appointment with us to examine the cause of their discomfort. There are several ways our team can go about testing allergies. We can perform fungal cultures, check for fleas (it only takes one bite!), do skin scrapings and cytologies, do blood work including

There isn’t an easy cure for allergies — it’s not something that will completely go away. Your furry friend can develop allergic reactions at any time and at any age. Therefore, the best thing is to do everything we can to make them feel comfortable and find the right option that treats and reduces your pet’s discomfort. Additionally, if you have more than one pet, a treatment option for one furry friend may not work on the other. So it’s all about trial and error and finding the best method for them. Myself and everyone at Petersen Pet Hospital love your four-legged friends like they’re our own! Because of this, we will do anything we can to help them and you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about pet allergies and what you can do moving forward.

—Dr. Emily Saunders


SUBWAY’S Advice Alley


Hi friends! It’s your buddy Subway here, and my human took me to the vet recently. If you could hear my sad meows and watch me as I tried to paw my way out of my carrier, you could obviously tell I wasn’t a fan. I got so worked up that I pooped in my carrier (sorry, Mom/Dr. Saunders)! Although I was being very difficult, I got tons of treats while getting checked out. At least I was a good boy when Dr. Saunders was examining me! But this experience got Dr. Saunders thinking: How can cat owners make going to the vet easier for themselves and their feline friends? Before I share her suggestions, I want to say that these tips are 100% Subway approved! Since my incident at the vet, my human has used these strategies with me, and it’s made driving in the car and visiting Petersen Pet Hospital more enjoyable for both two-legged and four-legged friends. First, your cat may be afraid of their carrier because they aren’t used to seeing it or only seeing it when you have to take them somewhere. Instead, keep the carrier out for about a week or even a month before your next vet visit. When we’re used to seeing it, we won’t run and hide when you decide to put us in it!

How Roxie Found Her Forever Home Saving a Stray On a Friday in March, Dr. Knutson and her team had the pleasure of meeting and helping Roxie, a young adult Lab mix. She was found along the side of the road that morning, extremely malnourished. You could easily see all her ribs, her hips jutted out, she had scabbing along her ears, and thinning hair around her eyes and nose. No microchip was found, and despite her new owner’s best efforts, a previous owner did not come forward to claim her. Since Roxie was the sweetest girl, she was now in her new, forever home. Roxie was thoroughly examined during her visit. Complete bloodwork was performed to look for infection, underlying liver or kidney disease, and to evaluate her electrolytes. Bloodwork revealed mild anemia and some changes due to muscle wasting. We were pleasantly surprised when she tested negative for heartworms, tick- borne diseases, and no parasites were noted on her fecal! It appeared Roxie simply needed a loving home and good food. Since Roxie was so thin, she needed to be reintroduced to food slowly to avoid a rare but potentially severe complication called Refeeding Syndrome. Refeeding Syndrome typically occurs within the first five days of starting to feed malnourished pets. The fluid and electrolyte shift of obtaining adequate nutrition can cause muscle weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, difficulty breathing, and even seizures. A plan was made to gradually reintroduce a quality diet over the following week. Roxie was also started on a canine multivitamin and Simparica Trio, a monthly heartworm and flea and tick preventative. Roxie returned after three weeks for a recheck exam, bloodwork, and to start vaccines. She had gained almost six pounds, and the thin areas on her coat were filling in. Her bloodwork also showed notable improvement.

Tasty Tuna Crackers

Dr. Knutson and everyone at Petersen Pet Hospital are so happy that Roxie found a wonderful, loving home and look forward to continuing her care for years to come!


Contact us! 319-743-0554

This Enigmatic Inscription Remains Unsolved Discover the Theories Behind Shepherd’s Monument A mysterious 18th-century code has made even the most renowned geniuses lose sleep and continues to puzzle the world. On the grounds of Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, England, lies the baffling code that refuses to be cracked. The Shepherd’s Monument was commissioned by British Parliament member Thomas Anson and sculpted by Peter Schee around the mid to late 1700s. But what makes this monument so mysterious? On the monument is an engraving of Nicolas Poussin’s painting “The Shepherds of Arcadia”and the inscription “ OUOSVAVV ”framed by the letters “ DM ,” which are slightly lower than the main eight letters. While the inscription has a long history of confusing the public (including Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin), the monument’s mystery was reignited after its appearance in the bestselling novel “The Da Vinci Code”by Dan Brown. Now, countless theories have been proposed, but no confirmed meaning exists.

Next, putting your feline’s favorite blanket or toy in their carrier helps — it makes them feel more comfortable and relaxed if familiar scents surround them. Furthermore, car rides can be challenging if your cat continues to meow. One way to mitigate this is by covering the carrier with a blanket or towel — enclosed spaces make some cats feel safer! You could also spray cat pheromones around and inside the carrier before traveling. This spray releases pheromones that help relax and de-stress your cat. It’s like essential oils but feline friendly! If your furry friend is still stressed out, aggressive, or not cooperating even after trying these other methods, ask your vet about different medications you can use an hour or two before your appointment to calm your kitty down. Dr. Saunders used one on me, and it worked like a charm!

For more tips and tricks you can use when preparing your cat for a vet visit, please don’t hesitate to contact Petersen Pet Hospital!

Is your cat a tuna fanatic? If yes, these crackers are the purrfect treat for them! With only four simple (and healthy!) ingredients, these snacks provide your feline friend with the satisfying crunch and intense tuna flavor cats go wild for.

So, what are the conspiracy theories out there behind this vague inscription?

• Masonic symbols lead to the hidden location of the Holy Grail with the outside letters “DM,” meaning “Devout Mason.” • A tribute to Anson’s late wife with the letters standing for “ Optimae Uxoris Optimae Sororis Viduus Amantissimus Vovit Virtutibus ,” meaning, “Best of wives, best of sisters, a most devoted widower dedicates [this] to your virtues.” • The monument is a dead end with jumbled letters to taunt those who look too deeply into inscriptions. While these theories have been the predominantly believed meanings for centuries, one recent discovery may make the most sense. Linguistic expert Keith Massey utilized his expansive knowledge of Latin to develop the phrase “ Oro Ut Omnes Sequantur Viam Ad Veram Vitam ,” which translates to “I pray that all may follow the Way to True Life.”This phrase was common on ancient Christian tombs. The primary hint was the mysterious “DM,” which Massey determined was “ Dis Manibus ” or “for the Manes,” another phrase seen on ancient Christian tombs. Massey explained, “My solution provides a straightforward and grammatical sentence, all parts of which are attested in tomb inscriptions and texts predating or contemporary with the creation of the Shugborough inscription.” Do you agree? Is this finally the true meaning behind this riddle, or is there still more to be uncovered?

INGREDIENTS • 6 oz undrained tuna • 1 cup cornmeal

• •

1 cup flour

1/3 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 F.


In a bowl, mix ingredients together until combined.

3. On a flat surface, roll pieces of dough into 1/4-inch diameter balls. 4. On a greased cookie sheet, place the dough balls and bake for 20 minutes. 5. Let cool and invite your cat to dig in!


Inspired by


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

Inside This Issue

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


There Isn’t an Easy Cure for Pet Allergies



Dr. Knutson Gave Roxie a Helping Paw Subway’s Corner: Does Your Cat Dislike the Vet?





Tasty Tuna Crackers Can You Solve This 18th-Century Cipher?



A Guardian Angel Covered in Fur







We all wish our pets would be there for us in an emergency. Dogs, cats, and other animals can accomplish amazing feats when provided with enough love and care, and a cat from Liverpool named Willow recently proved that many times over. A cat’s sense of smell is incredibly effective at detecting when something is abnormal, and Willow used her nose to save her owner in the nick of time.

4 a.m. He could tell something was wrong, as this was abnormal behavior for Willow, so he followed her to the bedroom, where he spotted his wife. She was

slumped over and unresponsive, and he immediately called her an ambulance. Doctors informed Amanda’s husband that she was moments away from slipping into a diabetic coma, but Willow had smelled something off and gotten help before it was too late. Most pets would get a few extra treats for their heroism, but Willow’s feats earned her a more prestigious award. The National Cat Awards named Willow as a finalist for their “Moggy Marvels” category. If Willow wins, she’ll receive a trophy, a £200 pet store voucher, and a year subscription

For many with diabetes, falling into a diabetic coma is a constant concern, and they regularly check their blood sugar levels and take insulin shots to avoid that scenario. Amanda Jameson, a 51-year-old woman from Liverpool, received a diabetes diagnosis years ago but had always stayed on top of it. In April 2023, she fell asleep while her blood sugar was dangerously low. Thankfully, her cat, Willow, noticed something was wrong and sprang into action. Willow went to the living room, where Amanda’s husband had fallen asleep watching television. Willow proceeded to bite his leg and jump on him until he woke up around

to Cats Protection’s “The Cat” magazine. Although Willow likely doesn’t care about the trophy or the subscription, she’ll be happy enough with £200 worth of goodies and her owner safely by her side.

Contact us! 319-743-0554


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