We are excited to kick off summer with our June Pet of the Month, Brewski! We think he’s a rock-solid choice and we’re sure you’ll agree after reading his story. The almost three-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever joined Michael and Kat’s family in October of 2015. They had no idea at the time he would break one-hundred pounds. He still thinks of himself as a lap dog; a really, really big lap dog.
Aside from laps, Brewski loves the people attached to those laps. He also loves food-all the food-but especially cauliflower. One of this active and energetic dog’s favorite things is water. Swimming, hoses, sprinklers, if there’s water, Brewski’s drawn to it. Normally, he sticks to warmer days, logging ten-plus hour days swimming, diving for rocks, and chasing ducks, but he once went swimming on a 37 degree January day in 2017. Despite his imperviousness to cold, Brewski is sensitive to people and notices changes around the house.
The biggest change was the addition of Bianca, Kat and Michael’s newborn daughter. Brewski has taken to her and is very affectionate and caring towards his human sister. Since she’s come home, he has been looking out for her, especially when squirrels get in the backyard. Brewski does not like squirrels in the backyard.
Recently, Kat brought Brewski to see us because he was not feeling like himself. He had vomited twice in 12 hours, was very lethargic, and not interested in food. This was very concerning because, as we mentioned earlier, he loves all food. During his exam, Dr. Weinrick became very concerned about a foreign body in his GI tract so we took two radiographs of his abdomen. Upon examination of the radiographs, she found a very peculiar and troubling object in his intestines. The next step was to do a barium series to ensure the object was in the intestines and to determine if anything was able to move around it. After we gave him the barium, he vomited it up within 30 minutes. This was not a good sign, but he was stable, so we set up a foreign body surgery for the next day and sent him home to rest with instructions to get him to an emergency hospital if his condition worsened before his surgery.
The next morning, Dr. Weinrick wanted one more radiograph before surgery to see if the object had moved. As we watched the image develop on the screen, we were all surprised to see the object was gone. Kat had reported he was feeling a little better that morning and had tried to pass stool the night before, but wasn’t able to produce anything. With his improved demeanor and apparent desire to eat, we fed him a small amount of bland prescription food and monitored him closely. When he kept it down and basically begged for more, we may have sent up a little cheer. After Dr. Weinrick relayed the great news to Michael and Kat, they sent us an email a short while later with a photo attachment. Turns out, Brewski did have a bowel movement the night before and they were able to find the offending foreign body. He had swallowed a rock. A rock!
He continued to keep food down the rest of the morning and went home without needing surgery. It was the best result for one of the best dogs. That’s why we think Brewski is a rock-solid choice for Pet of the Month.
Our May Pet of the Month is a living embodiment of the classic literary institution of a “gentle giant”. Please sit back and allow us to tell you a story about Harley, the Great Pyrenees.
Harley was adopted in 2013 from the Michigan Great Pyrenees Rescue. When his new parents, Anne and Bruce attempted to load him into their SUV, he refused to jump into the back. It took both of them to lift his 115-pound frame into the vehicle. Harley has since been taught to put his front feet on the back and one of them can lift the rest of him.
Anne and Bruce chose a Great Pyrenees because they are known for being friendly to small animals and it is because of this trait we have deemed him a “gentle giant”. Bruce and Anne have provided photographic evidence of his gentle demeanor as he interacts with the family’s six cats, one rabbit, and their foster kittens. They were also warned Great Pyrenees have a tendency to wander. Despite their fenced yard, they have found Harley likes to “walkabout” their rural neighborhood. His first stop is the muddy wetland and burrs behind their house and then off to check out a nearby pond and surrounding fields. Eventually, after an hour or so, he makes his way to the front porch to be lured inside with a treat.
As a large breed, Harley was at a greater risk for hip and mobility issues. In December 2017, Anne noticed he was moving more stiffly and seemed to be uncomfortable when she was petting him. After a thorough exam and discussion, Dr. Weinrick sent Harley home with medications to help with inflammation and pain. It appeared to work and he was doing well until March of this year. He was again having mobility issues. This time Dr. Weinrick recommended a long-term course. After baseline blood work, he was put onto the lowest effective dose of carprofen and has been able to resume his neighborhood “walkabout”.
Harley continues to enjoy his furry roommates, the snow, and lying in his favorite spot, on the sofa, snoring. His discomfort and stiffness appear to be controlled on carprofen and joint supplements. He still refuses to jump into the back of Bruce and Anne’s Escape and they definitely weren’t able to help with his distaste for temperatures over 70 degrees. All things considered, though, we think this is a story that warrants a storybook ending:
“And they lived happily ever after.”
It is April, so it’s time to announce our next Pet of the Month! Our pet of the month is very appropriate because this time of year was particularly hard before her allergies were controlled. It is with great honor we announce Ruthie as our Pet of the Month!
Ruthie was named after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg because of her black coat and dash of white down her throat when she was adopted in the summer of 2015. The newlyweds, Nate and Caitlin, were on the hunt for the perfect dog to add to their growing family. As a teacher, Nate had summers off and he spent every day at the Humane Society of Huron Valley walking dogs, looking for a match. During one of his visits, he met a tiny black furball who had recently arrived from Ohio. He picked up the very sick, 8 week old puppy and knew immediately she was the one when she snuggled right up in his arms. Nate and Caitlin report she has "been a love bug ever since!"
Ruthie first came to City Pets Vet Clinic in 2016 because she was experiencing one of her worst allergic reactions Caitlin and Nate had ever seen. Ruthie had suffered from allergies since she was a puppy but this time her fur was patchy and Benadryl was no longer helping. After her exam, Dr. Hui recommended Apoquel and steroids to get the symptoms under control and antibiotics to treat a skin infection. The medications helped to suppress her symptoms and she started to feel better but as soon as the course of medication ended, the scratching started again. It was time to try a diet trial and they were all in. Nate and Caitlin switched her food to a limited ingredient diet and eliminated all other foods. They began to see changes but Ruthie would still have flare ups when the seasons changed. At this point, Dr. Weinrick was concerned about seasonal allergies on top of her food allergies. Ruthie was given a cytopoint injection and now both of allergies appear to be under control with only an occasional flare up.
With her allergies managed by her new diet and the diligence of her pet parents, Ruthie is able to chase frisbees, cuddle, and play with her friends at Lucky Puppy and City Pets without itching all the time. Ruthie is obsessed with her Grandma and as of September is the best big sister to the family's new (human) addition. Nate and Caitlin's only real complaint is how hard it is to capture her toothy smile and wiggly butt on camera.
After a long hiatus, Pet of the Month has returned with an old dog full of new tricks. Allow us to introduce you to March’s Pet of the Month: Smokey An!
Smokey is a very sweet, 14 year-old miniature pinscher mix. He experienced his own version of a Christmas miracle when his new family decided to adopt him last year in early December. At the time of his adoption, he had untreated diabetes and mature cataracts rendering him almost completely blind. Oh, did we mention he is the An family’s first dog?
Despite his disabilities, he still enjoys long walks-his current record is four miles-around his neighborhood. He also doesn’t allow them to impede him from hopping onto the sofa to nap or “looking” out of the car window. It seems he has become a creature of comfort in his new home as he loves warm baths, ripping the stuffing out of toys, and what his family calls the snack lifestyle, while despising the rain, peanut butter, and bananas. And like any senior, he loves to bark at the neighborhood kids, probably to get off his lawn.
Smokey is a senior adoption success story and while he doesn’t appear to be an ideal first dog, he and the An family see things a bit differently.
We've been anxious to introduce you to our June Pet of the Month, George! When Deb and Steve went to the Humane Society of Huron Valley, after much urging by their grandchildren, they weren't looking for a puppy nor a hound, but a 12 week-old, 14 lb Treeing Walker Coonhound named George stole their hearts. George was sweet, playful, and kid-friendly at home, it wasn't until the family's first puppy obedience class they realized "there was something a little different about George."
As the family grew more excited to "start the lessons where all the secrets to having a well-behaved dog would be revealed," they had no idea what trials awaited them. Upon seeing the other dogs in the class, George became over-excited (though according to Deb and Steve, this may be a gross understatement) and became hyper-focused. He continued to bark at the other dogs, while they tried every treat or trick they could to distract him. While Steve and Deb waved cheese and hot dogs in front of him, he strained against his leash to play with his classmates. Recall seemed impossible because while his classmates would return to their owners, George "pin-balled" from classmate to classmate, ignoring his owners' increasingly embarrassed calls. There was little else they could do, but leave the class after four brutal sessions.
At 6-months old, George was relentless to gain access to other dogs and critters when he spotted them. He would howl, bark, and jump, whatever was necessary to reach them. His obsessive nature eventually led to his tail becoming a focal point for his stimulation. As his focus intensified, any kind of anxiety or excitement would set George to chasing his tail. With each rotation, he would bark and this could go on for long periods every day. George seemed miserable and his owners can't even describe the agony of watching the puppy that stole their hearts suffer with his obsessive behavior.
In November of 2014, Deb brought George to see Dr. Hui. While medical and physical causes were being ruled out, George began to circle in the exam room. It appeared it was behavioral and he was started on a medication to help control his anxiety. As is the case with many anti-anxiety medications, it took some time to get a good idea if it was helping and, unfortunately, for George the first medication wasn't helping much. After many conversations and a brief weaning period, George started on Prozac. After a few weeks, it appeared to be working well enough to help him start training, a key part, along with exercise, to controlling his anxiety and obsessive nature. Deb and Steve found a private trainer to help identify when the spinning was about to start and how to get his attention. They began to work with a different trainer to help with leash walking and intermittent spinning. Deb and Steve adjusted and "learned to put George on a leash indoors when he was anxious, give him clear direction when he seems uncertain, and make sure he gets plenty of exercise." George was nearly two years old and was eating better, he knew several commands, and was more manageable.
George's experience is not unique when it comes to anxiety in pets. It can take weeks, sometimes months, to find the right combination of medication, training, and exercise to alleviate enough anxiety for a pet to become comfortable. Behavioral cues can exhibit in many ways, if you have concerns, please contact the clinic. George's story highlights another important aspect of raising a healthy dog: puppy classes. They can reveal early warning signals if your pup has anxieties about other dogs or people. If nothing else, they offer an opportunity to form positive associations with meeting strangers and new experiences.
A year later, George still hasn't lost his intensity, but Deb, Steve, and George's persistence has paid off. He is much more relaxed and confident, even winning a few photo contests with his "movie-star" good looks and improved obedience. He takes all the attention in stride and is just like any other dog now: "show him a bike trail, bunny tail, or plump pillow at the end of the day, and he's the happiest of dogs."
We're hoping you'll take a minute to meet our May Pet of the Month, Clay, as we're sure you'll see, he's definitely worth a look!
Clay had done a lot of traveling in his relatively short life, before he came to City Pets Vet Clinic in September of 2016. He was born in Kentucky or Indiana, then adopted in Florida when he was 3 months old. His owners, Robert and Bethany, were walking passed a pet store when they saw his wrinkly little face. He looked so sad, they had to see him out of the cage and he never went back in. They later learned, unfortunately as is often the case, the pet store was notorious for selling very sick and poorly bred dogs. Three days after getting home, Bethany noticed Clay was lethargic and barely able to breath. They immediately took him to the emergency veterinary hospital where he was treated for severe bacterial pneumonia and a temperature of 105.8! He spent three nights in the hospital, but he recovered.
Many Chinese Shar-Peis suffer from over-breeding, which can result in numerous issues including hot spots , corneal ulcerations, and irritation caused by their signature wrinkles. Clay dealt with all of these issues at one time or another. In fact, it was his corneal ulcerations and irritation that first brought Clay to City Pets Vet Clinic. The wrinkles on his face caused both his upper and lower eyelids to roll inward, which brought his eyelashes and the hair on his eyelids in direct contact with his eyes. This direct contact caused constant irritation and discomfort. Dr. Hui first saw Clay after he had an ulcer debrided at another clinic to check his progress. While this bought him some relief for a period, the irritation and discomfort returned by February. It was at this time Dr. Weinrick suggested surgical intervention to trim back the upper and lower eyelids to prevent them from rubbing on his eyes. The difference was immediate after the surgery and only became more noticeable as his swelling went down.
Despite all Clay has been through, Robert and Bethany noted that none of it ever dampened his puppy-like nature. He remained playful and energetic. Every night before bed, Clay experiences something his owners have dubbed "a madness" where he sprints at top-speed from room to room, jumping on them, spinning around, and flying off to another room. Once he settles, he gets his bedtime snack and culminates with "puppy kisses" for both his people. He also has many names at home including Pickles, Pip, Smoosh, Polar Bear, and more. He responds to all of them. It also appears Clay is deathly afraid of drinks. Robert and Bethany don't know why, but if you extend a drink towards him, he hightails it into the other room. At least after his surgery, he'll see those scary drinks coming his way much better.
February’s Pet of the Month, Stravos Antonova, is perfect because his story is one of true love. When Maria and Steven wanted to find a companion for their mini-lop, Zoe, they found themselves at Midwest Rabbit Rescue, a no-euthanasia shelter. They had concerns about finding a match because Zoe could be a little aggressive and short-tempered at times. The first few rounds of bunny speed dating didn’t do much to ease their fears. Zoe beat up each of the male suitors despite their bigger size, until she met Stravos. She was curious and though she put him in his place, she wasn’t aggressive. Our young Romeo didn’t fight her or run away; he just bowed his head and used his sweet personality and charm to win her over. Maria and Steven tried a few more Casanovas, but none could charm Zoe like Stravos did. They followed their heart and took him home the next night. Within days, Zoe was cuddling and grooming him. Their owners credit Stravos with turning their crazy bunny into a little sweetheart.
Stravos has been settling in comfortably with his new family and has already learned a few very important things. He’s already learned where the refrigerator is and also the most important sound a bunny can learn: the sound of the fridge door opening. As soon as he hears the door open, he zooms straight to the bottom drawer and grabs a whole head of lettuce-his favorite treat (see picture). Unfortunately for him, a head of lettuce is just a bit too big and he doesn’t get too far. The final thing he’s learned is if you run in front of your people and they trip over you, it leads to treats and cuddles, something his owners report he uses to his full advantage.
How could we not pick Stravos as our February Pet of the Month? His story is one of second chances and a handsome charmer. Soul-mates and lettuce. Family and refrigerators. But, most importantly, it’s a story of love.
This story of love was made possible by Midwest Rabbit Rescue. If you are interested in adopting a new rabbit companion, please visit their website: www.rabbitrr.org
AH AH AH Choooo....Darn those allergies. September brings those nasty seasonal allergies but we're here to cheer you up with our Pet of the Month! September's featured pet is Archie, a cute 4 1/2 year old Cairn Terrier. He lives with Brooke, Shawn, Lily, and Chloe Gates; you can thank Chloe for helping keep our clinic nice and clean. She recently left us to pursue her studies and while we miss her greatly, we still get to see her and Archie occasionally.
At an adorable 8 weeks old, Archie was a Christmas present from Shawn to Brooke. Brooke had a Cairn Terrier growing up and always wanted another. What a wonderful gift! Archie now has a little Yorkie sister named Maude. Like most big brothers, he both tolerates and loves her. Archie loves to sleep in late, ride in the car (his favorite!), take walks, and hang out with his favorite toy, his "santa" pillow. He can't fall asleep at night without his santa pillow; he falls asleep with it in his mouth and will walk around and whine until he finds it. Archie must be having a tough time this week because he hates wet grass and refuses to go outside in the rain.
We first met Archie in 2014 and he's been coming to see us regularly ever since. Those awful allergies not only attack me but poor Archie too. The skin allergies started when he was about 2 years old, started seasonally but then continued all year. He was miserable, scratching his whole body and causing infections. His owners tried everything – food changes, oatmeal baths, food supplements, coconut oil, olive oil, antibiotics, and steroids. We could clear up the infections but the allergies continued. They finally did allergy testing at MSU and discovered an allergy to mites. Archie now gets bleach baths (following strict dilution instructions from MSU) and is on an allergy medication, Apoquel. Within a couple of days the itching was gone! It’s been just over a month now and his skin is looking great and he is so much happier.
We’re so happy for Archie. Hopefully the rain will stop soon and he can enjoy going outside again, allergy free!
Well don’t you know about the bird? Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word! Our August Pet of the Month is a special b-b-bird by the name of Xolani. She is a 7-month-old Cape parrot with lovely red, gray, and green coloring. Her parents Anita and Scott, experienced bird owners, did their research and decided young Xolani would fit right in with their flock. They were getting her from a breeder in Oregon and after deciding she was the one for them, were told she had a crooked beak (known as scissor beak). Left untreated scissor beak can have devastating effects on a bird’s health and quality of life.
Xolani was lucky to have been taken under the wing of such caring parents. Anita and Scott make sure she has what she needs, lots of things to chew, and has her beak trimmed regularly to keep it healthy. They contacted City Pets regarding Xolani’s special issue; Dr. Weinrick looked over pictures to ease her parents mind before she was even a patient. After her initial exam, Dr. Hui started trimming her beak, graciously accepting the role of the “bad guy”. This is no small sacrifice because parrots have long memories and are known to hold grudges.
“She loves toys! Her favorites are brightly colored wooden blocks and chunky wooden puzzle pieces. These help keep her beak worn down between trims. Snap peas are relished and kale is refused every, single time. She likes to "talk" and we often hear her practicing new words. Most mornings during feeding she will fly over, look in her dish and ask "what's that?”. Xolani is a wonderful girl and we are so happy she is with our family.”
We took a break from all the Pokémon Go hype to search far and wide for our Pokémon, er…Pet of the Month, and we found one worthy of the hunt! We’d like to introduce JoJo, the crooked tooth bunny. JoJo was adopted by Donna and Hsiao-Wen in June of 2015. Donna and Hsiao-Wen already had an impressive menagerie of animals, but JoJo fit right in. He gets along well with his pit bull, chihuahua, and two cat friends. He even loves his bunny roommate, Coffee Beans, as long as there is a fence between them. He enjoys nice weather outdoors in his playpen and has free run of the house. While we can’t confirm he likes “Razz berries”, his favorite occasional treats are blueberries and blackberries. This is actually what brought him into our clinic.
In September of 2015, Donna brought him in for a wellness exam and because his front four incisors were severely mal-aligned. Donna knew he would probably need a tooth trim because he had a history of dental issues. Doctor Hui was able to trim his teeth back to a reasonable length. Rabbits' teeth are continually growing, but are kept in check naturally by their diet. Due to JoJo's severe misalignment, Dr. Hui recommended removal of all four of his incisors. After some discussion, it was decided regular trimming would keep JoJo the most comfortable with minimum risk.
So now whenever he tries to eat his blackberries and they escape his mouth, Donna brings him in to see Dr. Hui. He is doing very well and tolerating his trimming schedule, so for now, his family will keep him healthy with regular visits to City Pets. And even though he doesn’t like being picked up, he appreciates the forehead and cheek rubs he gets when he comes in.
Don’t forget to “Like” or “Share” JoJo’s story. You can also find all our other Pets of the Month on our Facebook page or website.