Okaw Veterinary Clinic

140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953

(217)253-3221

okawvetclinic.com

Meet Meaghan, new at Okaw Vet

 

Contents:


Picking out your Best Friend
Tame the Turkey Trots - Go Easy on the Thanksgiving Food
Get to Know our Doctor - Why I Became a Veterinarian
Meet Meaghan - Our newest team member

 

 

Picking out your Best Friend

During my last week's Focus 580 program, the topic of pet selection and knowing what to expect in the cost of ownership of a pet kept coming up. If you are thinking about getting a pet, of any kind, finding out about everything in responsible pet ownership is important. Selecting a pet is an important step that should not be rushed. There are many considerations in adding a pet, and everyone's ability to care for this pet should be considered.

Unfortunately most people do not know much about what type  pet would really fit their lifestyle. They may decide on a dog or cat based on features such as soft fur to touch. Other factors such as time to train, time to clean the litter box, total cost of care, feeding, boarding or grooming of the pet are unknown and not anticipated. Our shelters are filled with 6 month old and older dogs and cats due to new owner?s frustrations with these factors in pet ownership. Planning ahead before you get a pet can save a lot of potential problems.

First of all, take a realistic look at the amount of time you have to feed, exercise, groom, and take care of toilet needs for  a pet. For dog lovers, even with a fenced in yard, you may have to go out in rain and snow to encourage your dog to potty. Basically dogs need at least 2 leash walks a day off the property for 15 minutes minimum for exercise and mental stimulation. Puppies need to play for at least an hour a day, 5 minutes of basic training daily and adhering to routine for feeding, play, and training. If your schedule is not routine, a dog would not be a good fit. Consider an alternate pet such as a cat or a bird.

Cats are less regimented to a schedule, but still need daily care. Litter boxes have to be scooped out daily to keep the cat happy about using the box. Cats do need play bouts of 5 ? 10 minutes of play with the owner to prevent mischief, and maintain a healthy weight. You will need to provide places for your cat to perch at various heights and a place for them to look out the window. Cats do need to claw to mark their territory. If declawing is not an option, provide multiple scratching posts and other places to claw. 

Birds are less demanding for their care, but do require special diets. Cages need to be cleaned regularly, they do need to be handled and have their beaks and claws maintained. Some of the larger birds tend to be noisy and may purposely scatter their food out of the cage. Some people are more allergic to bird?s feathers than cats or dog dander.   

Small mammals such as guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters are easy to care for, do not take up as much space and do not require as much veterinary care. They do need to have cages cleaned at least once a week, possibly more and there is an initial cost to getting the cages and wheels etc. The small mammals do not live as long as dogs or cats, yet we are seeing some live over 4 years now. These "pocket pets" do give a lot of companionship and affection and are a joy to their owner.

Having a pet is a commitment for the life of the pet. Consider contacting your local veterinarian when considering adopting or purchasing a pet. Many veterinary practices such as ours offer pet selection advice. Pet rescues will also spend time with you to be sure that the pet you are interested in will be a good match. Please follow the advice of these professionals when you consider a pet. Too often we see the cute kitten or puppy become the surrendered 6 month old unruly adolescent dog or cat.   

 

 

Tame the Turkey Trots - Go Easy on the Thanksgiving Food

We love our pets and want to involve them in our every day lives. Thanksgiving is a day filled with family and lots of yummy food. You want to include your dog or cat in the celebration. But resist the temptation to give your dog or cat too many goodies during the holiday. 

Turkey, chicken and other bird bones can splinter as your pet chews on the bone. These splinters can pierce your pet's intestine causing a life-threatening infection. The bones can also become stuck in the intestines and cause your dog or cat to become sick. The bones can also cause vomiting and diarrhea by irritating your pet's stomach.

Giving your pet the fat from your meat may be tempting, but you will pay for it later. Fatty foods can cause several problems. The fat causes many pets to vomit or have diarrhea. The fat can also give your dog or cat pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a serious illness and will mean your beloved pet will be spending some time at the veterinary clinic. Learn more about Pancreatitis in Dogs and Cats.

Thanksgiving foods are full of calories. A four ounce piece of turkey is 200 calories. Giving a cat a four ounce piece of turkey is like you eating an 3 3/4 Big Macs. Giving a 10 pound dog a four ounce piece of turkey is like you eating a McDonald's Hamburger. The calories add up. You can give your dog or cat some healthy vegetables. You may not think veggies are a treat, but your pet does. Green beans (not green bean casserole), carrots, celery, are a few lower calorie veggies that your pet can enjoy without packing on extra pounds. Making a apple or pumpkin pie? Give your pet a slice of apple or a teaspoon or two of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix). 



 
Get to Know our Doctor - Why I Became a Veterinarian
 
From the time I was 12 years old; I made a decision to become a veterinarian and never really seriously considered anything else. I did look into other medical science related fields as a backup plan in case I did not pass the rigorous admissions tests, applications and interviews for veterinary college admission. My heart and soul was always to become a veterinarian.
 
How I came to this decision was a culmination of a couple of factors. I really liked science, especially biology. I liked being around people and helping them solve problems. I also felt that animals had a special way of communicating with humans, and I wanted to be a part of understanding that. When I was 12, I was at our Scotty dog's check up and realized that Dr. Berglund did all this. Watching him work and finding out about what he learned to become a veterinarian put it all together for me. We did not have loads of animals growing up, but Sean really helped me to know the importance of having a companion animal in one's life. I worked hard at my studies, found the opportunities to advance and made the grade for acceptance into veterinary college. I continue to be fascinated and challenged by this profession, and its importance to our everyday lives. I cannot imagine a day when I would not be somehow engaged in veterinary medicine.
 
As I practiced veterinary medicine I discovered a passion for understanding the behaviors that pets show, and how they effect the bond with the owner, and their health. I have taken additional education in veterinary behavior medicine and became certified as an Animal Behavior Consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants in 2011.  Adding preventative behavior services as well as consultation services to our clients as well as referral from other veterinarians has enriched my career and helped many families and pets enjoy a healthier life together. I have always looked at the pet's health in a holistic, balanced way for both physical and behavior health through medicine, nutrition and the human animal bond.
 
Dr. Sally J. Foote - Graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine - 1984  CABC-IAABC   2011

 

 

Meet Meaghan - Our newest Team Member

I have been a huge animal lover my entire life. I have owned a variety of pets including cats, dogs, several types of rodents and even sugar gliders. My main goal, inside as well as outside the clinic, is to help as many animals as I can have the happiest and most fulfilling life possible. As of now I am working as a veterinary assistant, but plan on furthering my schooling to become a Certified Veterinary Technician as soon as possible. I am the proud owner of three cats: Edy, Sophie and our newest member Kittle. In my free time I enjoy being outdoors and spending time with my friends and family.