November 2019 – Ned and Edna Spaeth
Ned and Edna are house rabbits; they live indoors and reside with Dosia and her dog Lydia. They were sterilized and they live in happy harmony with no chance of baby bunnies!
Rabbits are hind gut fermenters, like horses. They have a cecum which allows them to break down grasses into energy. They need a high fiber diet of timothy hay and pellets as well as lots of water to prevent hairballs and to keep their digestive tract working normally. Ned and Edna use a litter area in the house; litter can be pelleted food or paper litter. Clay cat litter is discouraged as rabbits eat their night fecal material and digest it more thoroughly to obtain nutrition. Clay litter can cause a blockage in the intestines.
We recommend that rabbits be sterilized. Male rabbits can spray urine as a result of their hormones; females may develop uterine cancer if not spayed. We perform many rabbit surgeries and they have some unique anesthetic requirements in terms of medications and monitoring.
Rabbits make great pets for those who want an independent housemate. They do tend to chew on cords and this should be prevented by covering cords with cord protectors. Rabbits like to carry toys around in their mouths and they are very inquisitive. As their teeth grow throughout their lives, it is important that they have appropriate chew items as well as hay to keep their teeth worn properly.
Congratulations, Ned and Edna, on being our December Pets of the Month!!!
October 2019 – Tigger Kiessling
It seems only fitting that in this fall season, the season of pumpkin spice lattes and leaves morphing into the autumn hues, that we should honor a true Orange Tabby cat this month! Tigger has been a patient for twelve years; he has been a wonderful kitty for his exams and during his boarding stays at our hospital. He is an adored member of his family and he has a canine housemate at home.
Tigger has been on a special diet since 2015, when he had a urinary obstruction. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is an issue that plagues many cats, and cats may have painful urination, blood in the urine, urination outside of the litter box, and urinary stones/urinary obstruction which result in a blockage of the urinary tract. Male cats are at higher risk; typical patients are indoor cats, middle-aged, possibly overweight, who typically drink less water and eat dry food diets. All cats with FLUTD have some degree of chronic bladder inflammation which may resolve with dietary change. In addition, minimizing stress in the environment can be promoted by keeping felines in a calm household with many areas to climb and encouraging play times for cats to express normal predatory behavior. The rule of thumb for litter box numbers is “the number of resident cats plus one additional box”, and cleaning the boxes multiple times daily is necessary.
In Tigger’s case, he had a urethral obstruction. The obstruction was relieved and Tigger was placed on a diet to discourage him from forming urinary crystals and urinary stones in the future. The medication in the prescribed diet keeps the urine at a pH level where crystal formation is less likely to occur. We prefer cats to eat canned food as a rule, but due to other dietary sensitivities, Tigger eats the dry prescription diet. Cats require a diet high in moisture and high in protein, low in carbohydrates. Canned food is the best option and encourages hydration in our feline patients, as well as reducing the risk of obesity.
Thank you to Tigger and to his caring family member, Pat, and his canine friend, Abby, both of whom he allows to share his household and to partake in his daily cat adventures. Congratulations, Tigger, on being our October Pet of the Month!!
September 2019 – Robin Russ
Meet our September Pet of the Month – Robin! He is a Bearded Dragon, also known as a Beardie to those who are familiar with this species.
The Inland Bearded Dragon is generally considered one of the all-time best lizard pets. It is known for being alert, hardy and tame, and Bearded Dragon owners love watching their lizards, whether during a feeding frenzy while chasing crickets or simply interacting with each other. Bearded Dragons exhibit interesting behaviors, too, such as “arm waving,” in which a female (and occasionally males) may lift a front leg in the air and “wave” it as a submissive gesture. The spiny “beard” from which the lizard gets its common name may also be extended, though it’s uncommon for tame captives to do so; dragons typically do this when alarmed.
As Bearded Dragons are designed to live in a hot, arid environment, appropriate housing and feeding are critical to successfully caring for these reptiles in Michigan. Ultraviolet lighting with new bulbs every six months, supplemental heating, safe substrate that cannot cause a bowel obstruction (reptile “carpet” instead of sand), and food that is fed a diet high in calcium as well as supplements that can be sprinkled on their food – these things are necessary for growth and maintaining health.
The Russ family has excelled in creating the optimal habitat for their Bearded Dragons, Sissy and Robin. They are committed to these little creatures, and Mary has done research on how to keep them healthy. We examine them annually and we are always excited for their arrival at our hospital.
Congratulations, Robin, on being our September Pet of the Month!
August 2019 – Elsa
As dogs and cats age, they need extra support and care. Signs of osteoarthritis and other disorders of the muscles and joints are often not obvious as discomfort is expressed in many ways. Increased sleep time, personality changes, lack of attention to family members, reduced appetite, increased thirst, panting at rest, difficulty rising or climbing onto furniture, fear of using stairs….all of these may indicate discomfort in our older pets. Traditionally, we have used anti-inflammatory medication to treat musculoskeletal disease. Now, we are trying to manage pain and discomfort using new medications and methods.
Multimodal drug therapy involves using different medications, which work together well in the body, to manage weakness, pain, swelling, and nerve dysfunction. In addition, we utilize acupuncture as well as cold therapy laser treatments to help our patients live longer, happier, more fulfilling lives.
Elsa is a thirteen-year old German Shepherd. Elsa’s family, Karl and Sheila, are committed to keeping her active and healthy for as long as possible. It is important to Elsa’s physical and psychological well-being that she be able to play Frisbee, enjoy traveling, and go for walks on the beach. In order to do these activities, Karl and Sheila made modifications to help Elsa to stay strong and to keep her mind sharp. Her exercise is assisted by a special harness to aid in her mobility. Her games are shorter and less strenuous but she enjoys them very much. Her medication protocol is modified as needed to address any additional signs of weakness or discomfort. Acupuncture is used to increase her energy level and manage her musculoskeletal issues. Overall, Elsa is doing fantastic and she continues to thrive despite her advanced age.
Congratulations, Elsa, on being chosen as our August Pet of the Month!!
July 2019 – Mary Drechnowicz
Beagles are unique creatures, and Mary is no exception! She is a much-loved member of the Drechnowicz family. Mary has food allergies – she is on a prescription dog food and she adores hypoallergenic dog biscuits. In fact, those hypoallergenic dog biscuits are the key to the fond relationship between Dr. Owings and Mary.
Mary has a history of severe neck pain – so severe that she cannot function. She develops anxiety, pants, refuses to walk, backs up instead of walking forward, and generally feels horrible. She has recovered with the support of her family. The dog treats help the doctors and staff at Kibby Park Animal Hospital squelch Mary’s anxiety and facilitate treatments. She is very anxious and she tends to like routines. Mary gets a biscuit each and every time that she allows us to place her on the table for her examination. She munches on the biscuits during all of her procedures and she also receives a biscuit when she is finished with her examination. After several visits, Mary looked forward to the treats and decided that the desire for food outweighed her anxiety about her medical visits. Mary has been conditioned to the positive reinforcements that she receives for allowing us to performs exams and other medical procedures.
It is CRITICAL that we work to strengthen our relationships with our patients. We rely on our amazing clients to assist with the examinations and procedures that the patients receive while in the exam room. Many of our clients have actively participated in exams – holding a cup full of whipped cream or peanut butter, helping with calming the patient, providing a hand when we need assistance stabilizing a pet on the table – and this is often the difference between total cooperation and total chaos. Pets love their families. They enjoy having family members present for their examinations and they feel more secure when they are able to have a family member pet them, give them treats, use positive reinforcement such as promises for a car ride as motivators, or simply lift the pet down after the exam onto a waiting lap. We feel incredibly fortunate to have wonderful clients, like the Drechnowicz family, to make our hospital as low stress as possible for our patients.
Congratulations, Mary, on being chosen as our Pet of the Month!!
June 2019 – Daniel Dauberman
At Kibby Park, we see cats, dogs, rabbits, and other pets…like reptiles! Dr. Owings has two adopted Leopard Geckos at home, Rose (age 13) and Maui (age 15). Rose had two previous homes, and Maui was originally a classroom pet. Our featured Pet of the Month for June is Daniel, a long-time patient of Kibby Park and a special Ball Python. Daniel will celebrate his thirteenth birthday this month!
Reptiles can be great companions. Some species can be challenging to care for in Michigan – their environment should generally be around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit and they need UV lighting (sunlight) to maintain health. Fortunately, we can design indoor habitats to maintain health in our reptile friends. Most reptiles require vitamin and mineral supplements and their diets vary – some eat protein sources only and others require fruits and vegetables and some occasional pelleted food for proper nutrition.
Daniel visits our hospital on annual basis for a physical examination, and we discuss his eating habits and his health status. Daniel, like most Ball Pythons, stops eating for several months in the winter. We monitor his weight and his behavior; when the day length increases, Daniel resumes his normal food intake and he lets his owner, Dieter, know when he is ready for a meal.
Daniel sheds his skin several times during the year. As a juvenile, he shed his skin more frequently as he was growing. Sometimes Dieter will soak Daniel in a shallow warm water bath to keep him hydrated and to assist with shedding his skin properly. Daniel receives excellent care at home and he is one of three snakes residing with Dieter.
Congratulations to Daniel on being chosen as our Kibby Park Animal Hospital Pet of the Month!!
May 2019 – Munchkin Fojtasek
Munchkin is a wonderful senior kitty who is a true “people” cat! He is a social cat and he loves spending time with his family. He is a caregiver; his housemate kitty Emma passed away over a year ago from cancer and he always gave her comfort during her exams. He would finish his appointment and would hop up on to the chair then join her on the table to offer her companionship and support.
Senior cats often develop osteoarthritis, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, and kidney disease. Munchkin has experienced all four conditions, but with preventive care and monitoring, he has lived a fantastic life and is now twenty years of age! He eats primarily canned food with a little dry to maintain a healthy body weight and to encourage hydration. Dr. Owings administers acupuncture treatments regularly and Munchkin receives laser treatments for his osteoarthritis. His life is enhanced by his daily medications, his housemate kitties, and his amazing family who dote on him every single day.
It takes a village to manage senior pets. Munchkin’s devoted family, our veterinarians and our veterinary technicians, our Kibby Park staff members, Munchkin’s cat sitters, and Dr. Beal from Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Center and Dr. Steve Bailey from Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital – all have been committed to the belief that Munchkin’s life should be the very best life that a cat could experience. At twenty years of age, Munchkin has seen the world change in terms of his medical care. Twenty years ago, there were few if any medications or treatments for osteoarthritis in cats. Radioactive Iodine Treatment was a new procedure to treat hyperthyroidism in 1998. Dr. Owings was graduating from MSU College of Veterinary Medicine around his birthday in June of 1998. Munchkin has benefited in many ways from the evolution of pain management and innovative treatments for feline diseases and he is beyond grateful. We have all learned a lesson from Munchkin’s positivity and his zest for life and for love – happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product of a life well lived. And he has lived his life very well. *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
2018 PETS OF THE MONTH
December 2018 – Ace and Sparky Vaive
Ace and Sparky are senior beagle brothers who reside with their amazing family members, Phyllis and Larry. They are the hound “centers of the universe” in the Vaive household, and they are much loved and adored.
Phyllis and Larry have worked diligently to maintain the boys at healthy body weights. It is a combination of regular evaluation of their weights and feeding them their metabolic requirements daily, with no excess. They are on special diets to help with their allergies, and Sparky recently had knee surgery. Phyllis and Larry have gone the extra mile to prevent future allergy issues and to encourage healthy joints and bones by keeping the boys fit and trim. Congratulations, Ace and Sparky, on being chosen as our December Pets of the Month!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
October 2018 – Koko Leonard
Every once in a while, a dog or cat comes into one’s life and a magical and loving bond forms. We call these pets our “Heart Dog” or our “Heart Cat”. The bond that exists between Koko Leonard, an eleven year old Pit Bull Terrier, and her owner, Lisa, is one of trust and unconditional love.
Koko and Lisa are always together. Lisa is clearly the caregiver, as Koko is aging and has a chronic disease which requires daily medication. Koko does her share of caring as well, keeping Lisa company whether she is at home or at work. Koko is a sweet girl who has never met a stranger, and she approaches people with a trusting heart. She loves to sleep in bed under the covers and lazy mornings after breakfast are her favorite times!
Commitment to care for a pet throughout his or her entire life, from the day that they are welcomed home to the day when you share a tearful and difficult good bye, is exemplified by so many of our clients. The amazing stories of many of our patients and their dedicated families could fill a book, and we have used these stories to inspire us in our daily interactions with our KPAH clients and their pets. We appreciate Lisa’s daily devotion to Koko’s health and happiness, and we know that it is often challenging. Congratulations, Koko, on being selected as our KPAH Pet Of The Month!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
September 2018 – Doodlebug, Daisy Duck, and Mouse Jones
George and Leona Jones are animal lovers; their pack includes two Miniature Dachshunds and one Boston Terrier. The dogs have a great relationship with one another and George and Leona try to give their girls the very best lives!
In November of 2014, Mouse became weak and had difficulty walking, particularly on her right side. She could not move about freely, and had sustained a back injury known as an Intervertebral Disk Herniation. A disk which normally cushions the spinal cord had ruptured and was causing damage, leading to decreased function of the spinal cord and the nerves to the legs which allow movement. Mouse had emergency surgery at Dogwood Veterinary Referral Center, and with the wonderful care provided by George and Leona, she made a complete recovery and was able to regain the ability to walk and run.
Dachshunds and other dog breeds with longer backs can be prone to degeneration of the intervertebral disks, leading to incidents like the one described with Mouse. Thankfully, George and Leona noticed Mouse’s signs immediately and she is now able to move about and play with her “sisters”. Congratulations to the Jones dogs – Mouse, Doodlebug, and Daisy Duck – for being honored as our Pets of the Month!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
August 2018 – Gunner Olfier
Gunner is a one-year old German Shepherd. As a young dog, he began to have gastrointestinal issues and lost a significant amount of weight. He was diagnosed with a condition called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).
EPI leads to the inability to digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The pancreas is designed to produce insulin and to digest food. In Gunner’s case, his pancreatic enzymes are too low to allow him to properly digest his food. His family mixes pancreatic enzymes with his food every time he eats to help with his digestion and with the absorption of nutrients. Gunner’s family is committed to keeping him healthy and happy, and he is an active dog with an excellent body weight who can run and play!
Congratulations, Gunner, on being honored as our August Pet of the Month! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
July 2018 – Dixie Hughes
Dixie is an amazing girl. She is a ray of sunshine for those that she adores, and her energy keeps her busy! Anxiety is something that Dixie has battled all of her life, and noise phobia was one of the original issues. Dogs have a very real fear of noises originating from fireworks, thunderstorms, gunshots, and even smoke alarms. If these fears are ignored, anxious dogs may become frantic and escape the house or yard in search of relief from panic. In addition, noises which are loud to human ears are deafening to dogs.
Please let us know if you have noted any signs of these noise phobias, such as shaking, drooling, panting, pacing, barking, hiding, and destructive behaviors. We can help! Finding a safe place in your home for your dog to rest and to avoid the panic-inducing stimuli is the first step!
Congratulations, Dixie, on being our Pet of the Month, and enjoy your summer! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
June 2018 – Ophie Ortiz
Ophie is a special dog; she is much adored by her family. Ophie is a busy girl – she is a Rat Terrier and Heeler Mix, and she is designed for speed and ingenuity. Dogs like Ophie prefer to be entertained; toys that encourage problem solving are fun and keep Ophie occupied. Some examples of interactive toys are a Tail Teaser (stuffed toy dangling from a pole), Kibble Nibble (self feeder that rolls around dispensing dry kibble or treats), Manners Minder (dispenses treats if the dog demonstrates a certain behavior) and Trixie brand dog puzzles (allows dogs to figure out how to get treats by solving a puzzle).
We are at a phenomenal point in dog culture, one where it is widely accepted to encourage dogs to be dogs. Foraging for food, minimizing bowl feeding, promoting activity, keeping dogs busy and focused, and exercising daily – all of these ideas promote a happy and healthy dog. Please inquire about environmental enrichment and classes here at Kibby Park Animal Hospital. We have classes for dogs 8 weeks and up; many of our patients are senior pets and they enjoy attending class as well!
Congratulations, Ophie, our June Pet of the Month! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
April 2018 – Rogan Knibloe
A kind, gentle, giant soul with an equally enormous and generous heart, Rogan Knibloe was one of the most amazing patients at our hospital. He was always patient and friendly, and one of my fondest memories is of watching him slowly amble across the yard with Jay, heading home from the hospital. Rogan moved at his own pace, and Jay deliberately slowed down to keep him company as they walked.
Like many giant breeds of dogs, Rogan had his share of challenges. With the support and devotion of his dad, Jay, his Grandma Bonnie, and his Aunt Elizabeth, he survived serious orthopedic issues which affected both knees and required many surgeries, and he regained his strength. His passing was a shock to us all; our hearts go out to Rogan’s family and friends, and our staff members are heartbroken. We will miss Rogan very much.
Thank you, Rogan, for demonstrating to myself and to others who were fortunate enough to know you that slowing down and savoring every moment of our existence is the best way to experience this crazy thing that we call “life”. *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
March 2018 – Oreo and Jack Foote
Oreo and Jack cannot wait for spring. They enjoy the safety of their enclosed yard and they spend many hours exploring their urban “savannah”. Cats need environmental enrichment to maintain physical and mental health. Supervised outdoor activity in a safe enclosed area or Invisible Fence is a fantastic way to allow cats to practice behaviors that are inherent to being felines. Hunting, scratching and digging, sunbathing, marking territory, and climbing are all normal cat activities.
In situations where cats cannot go outside, encouraging normal behavior is critical. Height and foraging for food are two ways to keep kitties happy. Adding cat trees and feeding predominantly canned food while placing treats or small amounts of dry kibble in locations all over the home would be a couple of ways to enrich the lives of indoor kitties. In addition, 30 minutes of active play per day, divided into 2-3 sessions, promotes fitness and allows cats to hunt and chase toys.
Laser pointers are fun toys for cats – not dogs. Dogs can develop serious light chasing issues as their frustration with the evasive laser light increases. Cats may also become frustrated, and we recommend giving cats a treat as they catch the “light” intermittently throughout the game. Big socks stuffed with catnip are fun for cats to attack and wrestle, as well as using Da Bird feather toy, utilizing Kibble Nibbles and other interactive feeders, and teaching cats to fetch or to perform tasks using the clicker training principles.
Thank you, Oreo and Jack, for many years of being wonderful patients at Kibby Park! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
January/February 2018 – Memphis Adams
Young dogs have a great capacity for learning – and for developing habits that are undesirable to other dogs and to humans. Behaviors like jumping, stealing food, counter surfing, chewing…..all of these can be troublesome to address and we are here to help!
Memphis is the canine family member of one of our Veterinary Assistants, Ashlee. Reward based training and classes are two methods that we recommend to develop a strong bond with your puppy or adult dog. Dogs enjoy learning and daily challenges, whether they are juveniles or seniors. Many older dogs attend class and they enjoy the evening out with their family and seeing other dogs and humans at classes in the training facility adjacent to our hospital.
Counter surfing is easily reinforced in the home simply by leaving food items on the counter rather than storing safely away from the super-sensitive nose of a dog. If a dog finds access to food on a counter once out of every ten times that they check, that is enough to encourage this behavior. Instead of punishing the dog, focus on prevention of the behavior and you will have success. Jumping is another commonly reinforced behavior. Touching the dog when it jumps is positive reinforcement even if pushing the dog in a downward motion. Instead, teach Fido the right thing and reward him accordingly. If you have trained Fido to sit, make sure you are ready to use the command and intervene before jumping is initiated. Rewards are great motivation and we recommend rewarding the desired behavior.
Memphis has grown into a handsome boy and he lives with a pack of three other dogs. He is social and friendly, and he creates his own fun if given the opportunity. Please let us know if you are interested in attending class with your canine family member; it is an investment that will continue to offer benefits throughout your relationship with your dog and you will enjoy the experience!
Congratulations, Memphis! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
2017 PETS OF THE MONTH
December 2017 – Lexie Tracy
Lexie Tracy is our December Pet of the Month! Lexie is a two-year old Australian Shepherd/Poodle Mix; she is a sweet girl and she is absolutely adorable!!
Lexie lives with Yvonne Tracy, and she has brought great joy to her life. Lexie is a wonderful companion and she is the perfect combination of two dog breeds who love to learn. Yvonne keeps Lexie entertained with time outdoors and a variety of toys.
During the long winter, many dogs undergo a lifestyle change due to the inclement weather and the difficulty getting out in the deep snow and frigid temperatures. Indoor games are very important to keep your dog from becoming bored during Michigan winter months. Hiding toys and helping the dog to find them is a fun activity, as well as using food puzzles and working on leash walking and clicker training in the house. Please let us know if you need ideas for fun activities to keep you and your canine family members happy and balanced during indoor time this winter. In addition, please remember to use pet-safe sidewalk salt as traditional salt may result in chemical burns to the paws of cats and dogs.
Congratulations, Lexie, on being our KPAH Pet of the Month!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
October 2017 – Simba Veneklasen
Simba is a two year old Shetland Sheepdog; he is a treasured member of the family and much loved by Avè and Steve. Simba leads an active life and loves to be outdoors with his family.
Shetland Sheepdogs are one of the breeds known for having a strong work ethic. They like to stay busy and to have a job rather than being sedentary. Originally bred to herd small sheep in the Shetland Islands, they love to go for walks and to chase a ball. They are excellent at learning skills in agility and obedience and clicker training classes. There are also Shelties who compete in herding competitions. If not given a healthy outlet for their energy, Shelties can develop behavior issues such as tail chasing and excessive barking. In intelligence testing, the Shetland Sheepdog ranked sixth out of 132 breeds, and could recognize a command 95% of the time after only five repetitions.
As Michigan becomes quiet and the snow flies, we need to find activities for our dogs to do indoors as well as outdoors. Please inquire about fun indoor games and clicker training that can be utilized all year round to keep our dogs happy and healthy.
Congratulations, Simba! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
July 2017 – Sadie Schubring
Sadie is almost a year old! She is a spayed female Chesapeake Bay Retriever and she is a sweet girl!
Summer is a fun time for dogs who love to play outdoors. Keeping Sadie safe from summer heat while allowing her to enjoy the beautiful weather is a challenge for her family and for other families with active dogs. We recommend that Sadie go for her walks early in the day and that her coat be soaked with water if it is really humid outside. Dogs cannot sweat, and they have difficulty cooling themselves. Panting actually raises up their body temperature, and they can easily be affected by heat exhaustion. Offering a dog shade and a water bowl outside in high heat, high humidity can result in a false sense of security and heat stroke. Even riding on a pontoon boat on the lake can easily lead to issues, and it may be best to leave dogs home.
Sadie has a unique haircoat; it is great for swimming and for protecting her skin when running through fields. Her hair color is known as Deadgrass. She is a beautiful dog and we have enjoyed seeing her grow and develop over the past year.
Happy birthday, Sadie, and congratulations on being our July Pet of the Month!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
May 2017 – Alli and Roxy Friday
Parker is a Goldendoodle, and Cooper is a Sharpei/Boxer mix and together, somehow, their opposite personalities work! When Matt Curfman and Jason Cure combined their families, Parker’s gregarious personality and Cooper’s reserved personality were a bit of a challenge to mesh.
With a great deal of work, Matt and Jason have successfully made a wonderful home for Parker and Cooper, which includes exercise, management of behavior issues before they become a problem, and consulting our staff if questions arise. We are thrilled that their devotion to their dogs has resulted in a great example of two dogs living in harmony despite their differences in energy level and character traits.
Congratulations, Parker and Cooper, on being our Pets of the Month!!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
April 2017 – Alli and Roxy Friday
Alli and Roxy are two special girls! Roxy is thirteen years old, and Alli is her nine year old sister. They live with their family, Mike and Annette Friday, and are adored and appreciated.
Roxy is an acupuncture patient of Dr. Owings, and she enjoys her monthly visits and the peanut butter treat that she receives during treatment. She has severe osteoarthritis and her strength and mobility have improved since she began her acupuncture treatments. Alli was a new puppy patient shortly after Dr. Owings purchased Kibby Park Animal Hospital nine years ago. Alli has been the baby of the family and she is a great companion to Roxy.
The “Golden Girls” are much loved by their family, and we are thrilled to feature these two sweeties as our Pets of the Month! Congratulations, Alli and Roxy!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
February 2017 – Cooper and Harper Bendele
Chris and Matt Bendele lost their beloved Chocolate Labrador, Montana, and their hearts were broken. How could they open their hearts to another pet when they were still grieving? Time heals, but they will never forget their special girl. This fall, they were ready to welcome another dog into their home. Surprise! They fell in love with not one, but TWO Black Labrador puppies, Harper and Cooper!
To say that raising two puppies is difficult would likely be an understatement, but Chris and Matt have worked hard to shower these puppies with love and to raise them to be well trained and independent of one another. It is super important to give each puppy individual time and attention, and they are definitely striving for these goals. Montana was a super dog, and Chris and Matt are encouraging these two puppies to follow in her footsteps. Congratulations, Harper and Cooper, on being our Kibby Park Animal Hospital Pets of the Month!!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
January 2017 – Kenzie, Kirby, and Lacey Jennings/Stevens
Often, elderly dogs will benefit from sharing their home with a younger dog (or two!). The increase in intellectual stimulation and activity enhance their mental awareness and motivate the elderly dog to interact with family members and to increase their activity level. Sue and Mary Lou are careful to keep the puppies busy, so that Lacey isn’t their primary source of entertainment. As a result, a bond of affection and mutual respect has developed between Lacey, Kenzie, and Kirby. Lacey has even taught the puppies how to play ball and how to chill out and cuddle when the winter days are cold!
If you are considering adding a younger dog to your household to enhance the life of your mature or elderly dog, feel free to call us or to make an appointment to discuss how to make this a successful endeavor for your entire family. Congratulations, Lacey, Kenzie, and Kirby!!!! *Photo by Tailwagger Photography
2016 PETS OF THE MONTH
February 2016 – Pudge Mulvaney
Pudge presented to our hospital in April of 2014, weighing 28.3 pounds. He and his family have worked very hard to achieve a healthy weight for Pudge. He is no longer at risk for diabetes and other obesity-related issues in Schnauzers.
Six pounds may not seem like a lot of weight for humans, but think of it this way: each pound of excess weight leads to an additional 3-4 pounds of pressure on the spine and bones in a dog’s body. 6 X 3 = 18 pounds, the minimum amount of additional stress on Pudge’s musculoskeletal system prior to his amazing weight loss. Congratulations, Pudge, on being our February Pet of the Month!!
January 2016 – Cagney and Lacey Jennings
Sue and Mary Lou have learned to be excellent veterinary nurses! They are adept at administering medications include insulin injections twice daily for Cagney. They are making sacrifices to allow Cagney and Lacey to live full lives as senior Miniature Schnauzers. They adhere to a strict time schedule to keep Cagney’s blood glucose in a healthy range. The love that Sue and Mary Lou have for their special canine companions is an example of true dedication and stewardship.
Thank you, Sue and Mary Lou, for all that you do! Cagney and Lacey love and appreciate you both more than you will ever know. Congratulation, Schnauzer sisters, on being chosen our Pets of the Month!
2015 PETS OF THE MONTH
December 2015 – Max (Rough Coat) and Louie (Smooth Coat) Eby
Senior pets need extra consideration, particulary in the winter months. Muscle and joint pain may be exacerbated by wading through deep snow and by cold temperature. Discomfort due to dental disease may cause difficulty chewing and pets may lose weight or decline to eat their food. Lack of humidity in the home during the winter may lead to dry skin and haircoat, and nutritional supplements may be helpful. Cindy monitors her boys for all of the above issues, and more; she is happy to go the extra mile for them as they would do the same for her…mutual adoration!
We are thrilled that Max and Louie bring joy and happiness to Cindy’s world, and we would like to congratulate them for being our Pets of the Month!
October 2015 – Karma, Smoke, Manny, and Louie Owings-Wilcox
Once upon a time, Dr. Owings fell in love with a Chihuahua puppy. After her friends warned her that it would be difficult to integrate a Chihuahua puppy into a home filled with pit bull type dogs, she elected to give it a try. Manny and the other dogs blended seamlessly, and she kept Manny forever (despite his hysterical barking). The End.
Once upon a time, Dr. Owings had a family member who adopted a black pit bull from someone who could not keep him any longer. Dr. Owings knew that black pit bulls are often difficult to adopt out (as are other black dogs, historically) so she elected to take him home to her house for a trial run. She fell in love with the dog, whose name is Smoke, and she kept him forever. The End.
Once upon a time, Dr. Owings fell in love with a Schnauzer-Poodle mix puppy. She took him home and everyone loved him. The humans in the family named him Louie, and they kept him forever. The End.
So, you see, Dr. Owings really likes dogs. Even when they dig holes, wrestle in front of the television while the humans are watching football, chase skunks around the yard causing their human family members to also get skunked, they are forgiven. For they are dogs, and they are loved.
Skunk Odor Removal Home Remedy
- Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 Gallon
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide – 1 Quart
- Baking Soda – 1/2 Cup
- Liquid Dish Soap – 2 Teaspoons
- This remedy is for more stubborn skunk odor cases involving a cat or dog’s fur. Begin by performing steps 1 through 4 in Skunk Odor Removal Home Remedy 1.
- Pour apple cider vinegar onto the dog’s fur and massage the vinegar into the skin and fur.
- Massage the vinegar into the pet’s fur and skin for ten full minutes to neutralize and eliminate the skunk odor in the pet’s coat.
- Rinse the cat or dog’s fur thoroughly with running water.
- Wash the pet with a gentle pet shampoo to eliminate the odor of vinegar that will remain in the pet’s fur.
September 2015 – Luke Mixon
We evaluated Luke’s diet and made some simple modifications which were instituted by his family. So far, Luke has reduced in weight from 121 pounds to 84 pounds and he is on his way to his perfect body weight. He is a great example of what can result when an entire family commits to improving the health and well being of a dog or cat. We couldn’t be happier with Luke’s progress!
If you have a furry family member in need of weight reduction, please ask us for help! It is easy and despite common beliefs, you do not have to starve your pet to encourage weight loss. We see many positive benefits from an optimal body weight, such as decreased incidence of arthritis, cancer, inflammatory disease, and metabolic disease such as diabetes mellitus.
Congratulations, Luke, on being our Pet of the Month!
August 2015 – Charlie Rodriguez
The next morning, Sonya Rodriguez contacted our hospital to explain that the newly adopted dog had opened the door while no one was home, exited the residence, and was struck by the car as it passed by her house. She was very concerned about Charlie, and anxious to hear about his condition.
Our fantastic clients stepped up to the plate and offered monetary donations to allow Charlie to have major surgery at Michigan State University Veterinary Hospital. He had seven fractured ribs which needed to be addressed, and he had a hind limb amputation due to the severity of his injury. He was also neutered.
Charlie recovered from his accident and subsequent surgeries at MSU uneventfully. He lives with a wonderful family who loves him very much. We are so grateful that we were able, with the help of our clients, to save Charlie and to reunite him with the Rodriguez family.
In 2015, the Barkley and LuLu Council For Animal Welfare, also known as the Barkley and LuLu Fund, was established to help patients like Charlie and their families. This is a nonprofit organization and your donations are tax deductible. We distribute funds to veterinarians in the area to assist with patient care. In addition, we also fund the Jackson Cat Project and other animal-related causes. If you would like to donate to this fund, you may send a check to the Barkley and LuLu Fund, PO Box 115, Clarklake, MI 49234. In addition, you may donate online at barkleyandlulu.org; all donations and shirt sale income are dedicated to helping pets in our community. Thank you for your consideration.
June and July 2015 – Gilly and Ivy Drennan
Dogs belong to various classes, such as Working Group (Alaskan Malamute, Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky), Herding Breeds (Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Bouvier), and Toy/Non-sporting Breeds (Maltese, Italian Greyhound, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), among others. When choosing a purebred dog for your family, it is wise to keep these classifications in mind when predicting the activity level of your future pet. For example, Border Collies require many hours of dedicated exercise, ball playing, and general utilization of brain power to remain socially and emotionally healthy and happy. A sedentary lifestyle with no ability to use their natural herding skills is not recommended for this breed, or for any herding dog breeds. All dogs require exercise, and running in a fenced yard may not be enough for high energy dogs or dogs who have issues with weight management and obesity.
Ivy loves to play B-A-L-L (we have to spell it or she goes berserk), and she runs in harness pulling a sled with Liz’s Siberian Huskies. Gilly loves to hang out in the yard with the family and to herd Ivy while she is chasing her B-A-L-L. Dr. Owings has a Chihuahua who likes to chase Gilly while she chases Ivy while she chases her B-A-L-L. This pattern is consistently repeatable and predictable. If these dogs miss their workouts, there is a change in their behavior because their lives, when together, are structured and they anticipate having fun together.
Ask us about ideas for providing exercise and intellectual stimulation for your dogs. There are many interactive toys available, as well as special headcollars, leashes, and no-pull harnesses to make your walks with your dog(s) more fun. In addition, Liz offers private one hour behavior consultations and group Clicker classes to encourage a strong bond with your canine family members.
April 2015 – Walter Shuffield
Walter is the most appreciative and sweet guy; he received a dental cleaning and had multiple skin masses removed before left Kibby Park Animal Hospital. He was accepted by Angel and Charlie, the Shuffield’s resident dogs, and soon Walter was adopted by Patrick and Sherri. Our staff was thrilled as Sherri and Patrick are amazing people and because Sherri is a member of our staff, we get to see Walter regularly. He has thrived in his new environment, and he is a now a true member of the Shuffield family.
Walter is a senior dog, and he has lost the extra body weight he was carrying around due to his interactions with Angel and Charlie. He is also more alert and active than when he came to our hospital, and that is a benefit of senior dogs residing in a home with one or more other dogs. The intellectual stimulation and increased physical activity were the perfect prescription for Walter, along with the love of his new family! Congratulations, Walter Shuffield, on being our April Pet of the Month!!!
March 2015 – Marta Lectka
The Lectka family has long been a fan of Boxers; they love Miss Marta very much and she is a valued family member. Boxers are wonderful dogs, and Marta is truly no exception. She is always happy to visit us at Kibby Park and she announces her presence with her “happy noises” and wags her whole body while wearing one of her famous sweater ensembles.
Congratulations, Marta, on being our March Pet of the Month!
February 2015 – Louie
This winter has been particularly challenging for potty training, but with careful supervision every time Louie goes outside to potty, along with rewards timed to encourage the behavior of “going potty”, Louie is progressively becoming trained to go outside to use the bathroom.
Puppies are adorable, and they are precious little sponges of knowledge. They do well with positive reinforcement, and not so well with negative reinforcement and punishment. Dr. Owings tells her children that if Louie has an accident in the house or chews up a Lego, it is human error and that they all need to be more careful with keeping him monitored. We love watching puppies grow and develop, and we want to help you strengthen the bond between your family and your puppy throughout their entire lives.
We are available by phone, email, or for in-office consultations regarding any behavior, training, or medical issues you may have with your growing puppy. Please let us know if you have questions in between appointments, as we can often help with problems such as jumping, barking, biting, growling, guarding of food or toys, boisterous behavior with children, and crate training.
January 2015 – Spice Marshall
Spice is a Doberman Pinscher, and she is affectionate, loyal, and active. She is a wonderful patient and she stays with us while her family is away. She loves the big fenced yard and she works off her energy outdoors with Sharon, Glen, Ashlee, or William when she is boarding. The Marshall family hopes that next spring, Spice will not have another encounter with a skunk, as that is an adventure that they would prefer not to repeat.
Thank you, Fred and Debbie and the Marshall cats, for taking Spice into your home and into your hearts! Congratulations, Spice, on being our first Pet of the Month for 2015!
2014 PETS OF THE MONTH
December 2014 – Calvin Woods
On May 12, Calvin began to stand on his own – he finally turned the corner and began to thrive. On May 29, Calvin weighed 29 pounds. He went into foster care with Dr. Owings’ mom in May and he learned to play and gained strength in his legs, correcting the angular deformity due to weakness and starvation (photo top right).
Around June 1, 2014, Calvin was adopted by Robert and Rebekah Woods. He found the absolute best family! He joins Winnie, Bella, Liddell, and Gracie in the Woods household. Calvin loves to snooze with the other dogs or the cats, and he even climbs on Robert’s or Rebekah’s lap for a little nap. He is a sweet boy, and he is very grateful for the opportunity to recover and to have the life that every dog deserves. He is now around 45 pounds and the picture of health! Kibby Park Animal Hospital wishes to thank everyone involved with Calvin’s care and rehabilitation.
October 2014 – Mochy Sinclair
Mochy has a disease called Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. This virus is spread through body fluids, such as blood or saliva, to other cats. It can be transmitted through bites, reproduction, and during gestation from the queen to the kittens. Fortunately, with a controlled indoor life, many cats experience few issues from their infection. Their immune systems are compromised so they are more likely to catch viruses and have diminished ability to fight potential bacterial or viral infections. Mochy has a happy indoor lifestyle. We have many patients with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus who live indoors in harmony with other cats, and those other resident cats remain uninfected.
In addition, Mochy presented in April, 2014 with an emergency urinary obstruction. His urethra was severely obstructed and had some structural abnormalities which made it difficult to relieve the obstruction with a urinary catheter. Mochy had a surgery which relieved the obstruction and he was an amazing patient. He has recovered from his surgery and he is doing very well. His family, Evelyn and Scott Sinclair, have been paramount in his recovery. We also wish to thank Dr. John Gumbs, our surgery specialist, for assisting us in saving Mochy’s life.
Congratulations, Mochy, on being our October Pet of the Month!!!
September 2014 – Kirsten and Jaeger Overeiner
Kirsten is the baby of the family, but that doesn’t stop her from keeping Jaeger in line at home. She enjoys playing with her brother, but when she has had enough, she lets him know! She is an excellent patient and we love working with Kirsten.
Jaeger has a condition called epilepsy, which was diagnosed when he was two years of age. He is doing well with combined treatment using herbal medication, acupuncture, and traditional medications. Epilepsy is challenging but can be successfully addressed with time and commitment. We are thrilled that Jaeger is a healthy, happy boy.
Congratulation, Jaeger and Kirsten, on being chosen as Pets of the Month!
August 2014 – Lucy Brennan
Eileen Brennan was volunteering at the Allegiance Health Oncology department when she reconnected with Dr. Owings. Her dearly loved but departed dog, Maggie, had been a patient of Dr. Owings and she was surprised to see that Dr. Owings was a patient in Oncology. Eileen happened to mention that she was looking for a little dog, and Dr. Owings knew that she and Lucy would be a perfect match.
Lucy is a very fortunate dog to have such a wonderful life with Eileen. After her rough start, Lucy was given a second chance and is spending her life with a special person who keeps her beautifully groomed, healthy, and happy. Congratulations, Lucy, on being our Pet of the Month!!
July 2014 – Bently Shier
Bently likes to learn and to interact with his family. Clicker training is utilized in dogs, cats, and even in Binder Park Zoo animals and Shedd Aquarium whales and dolphins. It is entirely reward based and teaches animals that when they do a certain behavior, they get a positive response in the form of a treat, a click, a verbal cue, or any combination of the three responses. It is great for dogs because it teaches them to pay attention to us in situations where we want to distract them from undesirable behaviors such as barking, chasing squirrels, or jumping. Our veterinary technicians, led by Liz Drennan, LVT, have utilized positive reinforcement in our exam rooms in the form of peanut butter, verbal cues, and other tools to encourage our patients to allow us to trim their nails, draw blood, or simply to do an exam on a patient displaying signs of anxiety.
Please check our website at kibbypark.com to check out the dates for Liz’s next class. Classes are held Tuesday evenings at Cascades Humane Society. Congratulations, Bently, on being our honored Pet of the Month!
June 2014 – Coleman Lazaroff
Coleman was hospitalized on intravenous fluids and intravenous medications to help him to survive the viral infection. Not only did Coleman survive, but his broken tibia healed and he found his forever home with his biggest cheerleader – Lisa Lazaroff.
Lisa has taken a total of three Pit Bulls from Dr. Owings over the past decade and is a strong advocate for responsible pet ownership as well as an advocate for Pit Bull terriers.
Coleman has grown into a friendly, social, easygoing guy and we are proud to say that he is one of the luckiest dogs that we know. Lisa and Dr. Owings teach together at Baker College, encouraging students to pursue a career in veterinary technology and enjoying the experience of promoting veterinary medicine.
Congratulations, Coleman and Lisa Lazaroff (AKA Birthday Princess of the Month!)!
May 2014 – Winston Jones
Pastor Steve Jones and his family were traveling abroad, leaving Winston in our care. He had some signs of nausea and diarrhea over the weekend, and he came into the hospital on Monday. His condition declined overnight, and he was transported to Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital by Dr. Owings. He was dangerously low in red blood cells and platelets, which are involved in blood clot formation, and was vomiting and having diarrhea.
Upon arrival at MSU VTH, Winston was given an emergency ultrasound and a most unusual finding was noted. He had ingested a button, and it was the source of severe Zinc toxicity. The button was very carefully removed using an endoscope as Winston could not have surgery due to his abnormal platelets and red blood cells. Although the button was removed, the Zinc remained in his system while he received treatment to bind the Zinc and remove it from his body. As a result, Winston developed acute pancreatitis, liver and kidney disease, issues with his eyes and skin, and various other conditions associated with Zinc toxicity.
Winston was hospitalized on December 17th ; he was released to Dr. Owings on January 3rd after 18 days in the Critical Care Unit at MSU. He spent several days with Dr. Owings and her family, and was reunited with Pastor Jones and his family on January 6th. His recovery was truly one of the most amazing experiences, and we are thrilled that Winston has now resumed his normal activities such as ball playing and spending time with his wonderful family. Congratulations, Winston, on being our Pet of the Month!
April 2014 – Kiya Maes
Geriatric dogs have specific needs as they age. For example, the signs of arthritis may be very subtle, such as drinking more water, sleeping more, slowing of normal gait, difficulty getting on the couch or into a vehicle, and panting. Kiya has osteoarthritis which is managed very well with diet, exercise, and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. In addition, Kiya has her teeth brushed regularly to maintain oral health. We adore Kiya, and we are thrilled to feature her as our Pet of the Month. Congratulations to Randy, Sandy, and Kiya!
March 2014 – Lucy and Mitzi DeCoste
Mitzi and Lucy have an older sister at home, Callie (Australian Shepherd) and she also enjoys fun activities like herding her sisters and showing off her amazing Aussie obedience skills. Congratulations to the DeCoste family!
February 2014 – Lucky Poll
At almost fourteen years of age, Lucky is living an idyllic life with Tim and Cathy Poll, their resident cats, and her younger canine brothers Baxter and Clydesdale. She has the usual senior dog issues but her family takes extra measures to address her osteoarthritis and to keep her happy and healthy. Congratulations, Miss Lucky!
January 2014 – Belle and Kia Williams
Kia accepted her sister, Belle, with some reservation. However, they have become close despite their age difference. Kia sometimes has to tell Belle to mind her manners, but overall, Belle helps keep Kia young and they have a fantastic relationship. It is possible to have pets of varying ages and still have a happy household. Congratulations, Miss Belle and Miss Kia!
2013 PETS OF THE MONTH
December 2013 – Maverick
Maverick is a great member of our team, although he does steal food from our lunches!
November 2013 – Gracie and Andrew Herman
Gracie and Andrew make Lana laugh and they keep her yard protected from both real and imaginary invaders. They are wonderful companions and they are fun and adventurous. The Scottish Terriers can find amusement in the simple things in life – and for that, Lana loves them even more!
October 2013 – Conan Landon
September 2013 – Chloe Kirkland
Chloe entered their lives as a shelter dog, shy but friendly. She has a wonderful home with Rod and Colleen. In fact, on any given day you will see Chloe and Rod walking through the Cascades together. Congratulations to Chloe on her forever home!
August 2013 – Winnie, Bella, and Penny Woods
Penny has been an excellent big sister to the “girls”; throughout their long months of dealing with skin infection and Demodectic Mange, she tolerated their puppy crazies and welcomed them into her formerly peaceful home. The youngsters are now growing up, and are healthy and happy. Liddell and Gracie are the sweet feline family members, and they are so fortunate to have such a wonderful home.
Thank you to Robert and Rebekah for their love of animals and for providing their furry family members with unconditional love.
July 2013 – Sugar
Dr. Gumbs repaired her fractured leg with a bone plate and she has completely recovered! Sugar has been adopted by a KPAH staff member and she is enrolled in Clicker Training class.
Best of luck to Sugar for a happy life full of treats and love!!
June 2013 – Percy Hardy
It warms our hearts to see the happiness that humans and animals bring to one another. We encourage everyone to welcome a dog, cat, tortoise, rabbit… any living creature into their lives and to experience the absolute joy of companionship.
“My sunshine doesn’t come from the skies, It comes from the love in my dog’s eyes”. ~Unknown Poet
May 2013 – Tarra, Tesla, and Tison Rubert
Tarra is a cancer survivor; when she was two years old she went through limb amputation surgery and chemotherapy at Michigan State University Oncology Center. She is an inspiration for her family and for our patients who face cancer diagnoses.
Tesla is the big brother of the family; he spends his days entertaining Tison and Tarra. He was Tarra’s biggest supporter when she went through her cancer treatment in 2010. Congratulations on being honored as our Pets of the Month!!
April 2013 – Carsyn and Deidra Annin
Congratulations, Dee and Carsyn, for being our honored Pets of the Month!
March 2013 – Haley and Louie Heyer
Haley was adopted as an adult dog; Hoover approved of Haley and she was allowed to join them as a permanent resident. Haley is a sweet girl and loves to do Clicker Training with Heidi.
Louie was adopted from Cascades Humane Society; he has a great personality and lets Heidi know how lucky she is to have him every single day! Thank you, Louie and Haley, for your significant contributions to Heidi’s life and for being such awesome patients.
February 2013 – Toby, Belle, and Babe Ghesquiere
2012 PETS OF THE MONTH
December 2012 – Bailey, Daisy, Lucy, and Gibbs Brundage
The Brundage Cavaliers are rather unique in that they are the host family for a wide variety of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel rescue dogs. These rescue dogs live with the Brundage family until they are able to be placed in their new homes. The rescue dogs often have sustained traumatic injuries and need time to heal, or they have lost their previous families due to moving, economic difficulties, or other factors leading to rehoming.
Whatever the circumstance, the Brundage family goes the extra mile to make these dogs welcome, and to help them to find their “forever homes”. Congratulations, and Happy Holidays!!