Happy Ending for a Holiday Weekend

July 1, 2012:

One of our kind-hearted, long-time clients, Susan von Beck, owner of Cardiff’s Lodge, saw a posting by WA Pet Rescue, about an injured chocolate lab youngster…

“A male chocolate lab, approximately one year or less, was turned into a vet clinic by good Samaritans who found him unable to move on the side of the road…  …He has been attacked by something – other dogs, mountain lion in the area, or ??? and is beat up pretty bad.  The clinic will keep him for 3 days for an owner reclaim – but it is unlikely.  He will be euthanized on Tuesday if no one shows up to claim him.

They have him on pain meds and antibiotics but he will need surgery to close the large gashes under his arms and chest.  He is shocky so it is hard to evaluate his temperament.  Sweet but seems shell shocked or unsocialized.  He is eating and improving and could make a recovery if given the chance.

Located in eastern Washington near the Idaho border. Contact me if able to help.  Serious inquiries only please.

Susan offered to finance his surgery, recovery and find a foster home for him, if the rescue group could transport him west.  The woman who posted the information knew a vet who would do the necessary procedures at a reduced cost. 

Eli – What a sweet face!

An update came from one of the people helping the little guy:

Two days later:

“Here’s our morning update for our little chocolate lab pup – about a year old per Dr. Vogel.

Dr. Vogel had a chance to examine him more carefully this morning and he believes the injuries most likely resulted from another dog. He has skin damage that extends into the muscle a bit but likely won’t need stitches, just a thorough cleaning of all wounds.  Most of his injuries are on his legs and one on his ear.  Dr. Vogel hopes to be able to perform the procedure today or tomorrow at the latest.  I’ve asked him to also neuter him, microchip and give him his DHPP and Bordetella.  I will also ask him to please run a stool sample, too.  Susan, is there anything else you require?

 Once Dr. Vogel has completed the necessary procedures we’ll have a better idea of when it would be best to transport him but it will be the end of this week at the earliest…
…Does anyone have any leads on possible rides for Eli from Spokane to Seattle this weekend.

Dr. Vogel is wonderful. So helpful and caring about little Eli. Thanks to him for all his hard work and compassion.

A Comfy Trip West

With multiple lacerations, after his surgery Eli had 8 drain tubes and over 60 stitches.  But with a new name and a successful surgery behind him, Eli was transported west to Susan on July 10th by a generous family.

Susan brought him to Dr. Frank and Harmony Animal Wellness Center for post-op monitoring while she rehabilitated him.

By the end of July, instead of a foster home, Eli had received the gift of a new permanent home with Josh and Marijke!!

Eli’s New Home

August 28, 2012

We received an update from Josh after Eli had time to settle in:

“Hi Kris,
…Eli has, slowly, been getting more comfortable with us, every day we can see improvement. He does not feel the most secure every day, as some loud noises and quick movement will still startle him, but not as much as day one.

All of his wounds healed up very nice, he will have some nice scars but that only adds character, right? We were surprised at how fast he healed. We thought that the large gash under his right front arm would take longer than it did, but really, I removed the last stitches less than two weeks after we picked him up and they fully healed by the next week.

He has been learning basic commands like heal and sit, wanna go out, things like that… …we wanted him to feel safe before we started overloading him with homework.

His eating has been a little challenge for us… …it’s almost like he needs someone telling him it is alright to eat, makes you wonder…

He has gotten along well with every dog we have met. He will walk up and sniff them so that is good, we can tell that he wants to be friends, he is just not sure what he is suppose to do. He does not play with us or with his toys, but we also noticed that he was very happy and playful around about three different dogs now, all three female and older.  [We’re thinking that being around another dog] will help him become the dog that he really is inside.

…yes go ahead and post this story up on your Facebook page.
Thanks, Josh”

Don’t you just love happy, new beginnings for our animal friends??? 

“Ready for our walk?
Let’s go please”

We’d like to give big virtual hugs to everyone whose labor of love gave Eli a happy new start with a loving family
– from the people who cared enough to stop even though he wasn’t moving and bring him to the clinic; to Tracie; Bernice; Robin; Dr. Vogel; the family who transported Eli; everyone else involved we don’t know about; and of course Susan, Josh and Marijke.


Happy Labor Day Weekend – Enjoy!


Much Better Now

A New Diagnostic Tool for Vets

We are excited to introduce our clients to the OraStrip Quick Check Canine.  OraStrip Quick Check Canine allows us to identify periodontal disease, either visible or microscopic, within 10 seconds of use.

OraStrip has the ability to detect the specific bacteria that cause periodontal disease before clinical signs appear, allowing us to take action and prevent further oral disease and decay. 

By running this small strip of paper along the dog’s gum line, we can sample the bacterial content in the saliva and compare the paper’s color change to the color scale. 

This simple test can help the owner and veterinarian formulate either a preventive maintenance plan or a treatment plan to avoid further illness caused by periodontal disease. 

Once the sample has been collected, we remove the strip from the dog’s mouth and wait 10 seconds before reading the result.

While holding the strip near the colors shown on the comparator card color chart, we will determine and record the number of the color closest to the color on the pad.  If the color is not uniform, Dr. Frank will base his decision on the most intense color seen on the pad.

Dr. Frank will then interpret the results, knowing your particular pet.  In general, a numerical result of 1 or above is associated with active periodontal disease, while a score of zero is not associated with active periodontal infection.  For dogs with a history of periodontal disease, a score of zero reflects favorable ongoing management.

Checking JJ’s teeth and gums

Remember, the mouth is the gateway to the body, and disease here can often lead to disease elsewhere in the body.  Prevention is the best medicine.  If this test is something you are interested in, please let us know.  We can perform it right in our office at a minimal cost. 

If you are not in the Monroe/Seattle area, ask your vet if he or she uses the OraStrip.

Fireworks Again??

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Here in the Seattle area fireworks are a big business – private individuals as well as communities set off fireworks on and near the 4th.  How do your pets react to fireworks? 

YIKES! Make them stop!!

Many pets become mildly to extremely nervous and stressed with sudden noises in general and with fireworks in particular. 

Remember – even if you can’t hear any fireworks going off in your neighborhood, your dog, cat and/or horse can hear fireworks far in the distance that you can not.

Fortunately, there are products available to support pets of all sizes and shapes during this stressful time.  Here are some options on the market that we carry in our clinic:

  • HomeoPet® Storm Stress and Anxiety TFLN
  • Composure SoftChews by Vetri-Science® – A calming formula providing C3™ *, L-Theanine and Thiamine to support balanced behavior.  *C3™: Colostrum Calming Complex is isolated from colostrum proteins which have a calming effect.  It is best to start giving Composure in advance, well before expected fireworks, to give it time to build up in your pet’s system.  
  • Harmonease® Chewable Tablets – Composed of a natural blend of extracts of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense (one of the fundamental herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine).  The tablets help dogs overcome their stress during noisy and fearful times.  It is best to start giving Harmonease® in advance, well before expected fireworks, to give it time to build up in your pet’s system.
  • Thundershirt – Uses gentle, constant pressure to calm your dog, effectively aiding anxiety, fearfulness, barking and more.
  • Adaptil® For dogs only.  A synthetic copy of the natural canine appeasing pheromone proven to help support dogs in a range of stressful situations including fireworks. This product is available as a collar, spray or diffuser.
  • Feliway – For cats only.  A synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.  Feliway comes in a spray or diffuser 

If you are not in the Pacific Northwest, your vet may carry some or all of these products.  If you’re unsure what might be most helpful for your pet, call your vet to discuss options.

Pets, Thunderstorms and Fireworks – An article with information, safety tips and links to additional articles about pets and fireworks.

Pets and the Holidays

The holidays are upon us – time with family and friends, times of giving and cozy fires, times of cooking and shopping, times of rushing, anxiety, tension and stress.  For us and our pets.


Though not many of our pets actually have to brave the shopping malls with us, they are there when we bring home bags from that mall. 

They are there when we worry over whether our mother-in-law will like what we bought her, when we wonder if we’ll ever get Chanukkah cards sent. 

And our pets are there when we leave the Christmas gift wrap and ribbon out on the table, bring in a tree and decorate it with lights and tinsel.

Try to take some time to relax with your dog or cat during this holiday season, it will help your stress level as well as theirs. 

To help your pets stay healthy and happy this month, here are some things to keep in mind as you go about your holiday activities.    


Rule of Thumb – If it’s not good for you to eat or for your stomach, keep it out of reach of your cat or dog.  It won’t be good for them either.  That includes ornaments, ribbons, tinsel, pine needles.  If you’re not eating the mistletoe, please make sure Fido or Kitty can’t accidentally snack on it when you’re not looking.  

Some Specifics (from the AAHA website HealthyPet.com):

Electrical cords:

Holiday lights mean more electrical cords for kittens and puppies to chew.  Be sure you have cords secured and out of the way.


Lighted candles should never be left unattended.  That is even more important if left at kitty’s eye level or within puppy’s chewing zone.  An exuberant tail or a swat of a paw can easily upset lighted candles with hot wax.  Anchor candles securely and away from curious faces and feet.

Holiday plants:

Holly and mistletoe are extremely poisonous when eaten, as are lilies. The lovely poinsettia is not poisonous, but its milky white sap and leaves can certainly cause gastric distress. The best approach is to keep holiday plants out of your pets’ reach.

Holiday tree:

Make sure your tree is well secured. If you have a tree-climbing cat or a large dog with a happy tail, anchor the top of the tree to the wall or ceiling using strong cord or rope.  

Clean up dropped tree needles frequently, ingested pine needles can cause intestinal problems.  Also, preservatives often used in the water in a tree stand can cause gastric upsets, so be sure it is inaccessible or not used.  And it’s important to avoid aspirin additives in the tree water.


Sharp or breakable ornaments, dreidels and even aluminum foil should be kept out of reach.  String objects, especially tinsel and ribbons should be kept away from pets.  That can be difficult during present opening times, but these things are as hard on your pets’ digestive systems as they would be on ours if we ate tinsel, string or ribbon.


Please refrain from giving cooked bones to your pets, even if they beg… Cooked bones can splinter while being chewed.  For healthier alternatives to cooked bones, please see our previous posts on bones.
Why not cooked bones?, Are raw bones ok for my pet? and Feeding raw bones in multiple dog households

Stress and company:

With everyone coming and going, watch out for open doors and sneaky pets.

Make sure your pets have updated collars and tags on in case of escape.  A microchip and two forms of ID on each pet will help if your pet escapes. 

Ask guests to keep an eye out for pets under foot and remind them that sometimes your normally friendly dog or cat may be less than willing to deal with enthusiastic children and rooms full of unfamiliar people. 

Provide a special quiet place with a blanket and fresh water for your pets to retreat to when the festivities get too stressful.

Zoey and Grandpa de-stressing together


Lesser Known Holiday Pet Safety Tips:

Please do not allow guests to feed your pets human food.  There are many holiday foods, including gravies, chocolate and alcohol, that can cause mild to severe illness in your pet.  Sometimes the food is fine, but the stress of guests around can cause a digestive problem.  It’s best to keep your pet’s diet as consistent as possible.   

Reduce stress by keeping meals and exercise on a regular schedule.  When pets are stressed by holiday activity or during travel, they may require more water.  Dogs typically pant more when they feel stressed.  Keep fresh water available for them to drink.

Natural Products for Pet Stress:

There are many safe and natural stress relievers to choose from.  If you have guests or will be gone a lot; if you are bringing your pets with you as you travel; or if you are stressed and you are concerned your pets may start to reflect your stress… Here are a few options we have available at our clinic:
(For people outside of the Seattle area, check with your local vet, natural pet store or health food store for these products.  Or we can mail items to you – call the clinic for information on purchasing from us.)

  • HomeoPet® Anxiety, TFLN (thunder, fireworks or loud noises) or Travel Anxiety – Homeopathic drops that can be dosed either directly into the mouth, in water or put on a treat or on food.  These are safe for both dogs and cats and can be used for general anxiety, travel anxiety or loud noises.
  • Composure Chews – Tasty treats for dogs and cats containing thiamine, L-Theanine and a Colostrum Calming Complex.  They can be given frequently throughout the day and the dosage can be significantly increased during times of increased stress.  These are recommended to be started several days in advance to build up in their system.
  • Harmonease® – Chewable tablets for dogs made of plant extracts shown to stop typical stress behaviors such as spinning, lick granuloma and cowering.
  • D.A.P. and Feliway® – Pheromone products for dogs and cats. These products reassure and calm your pets using familiar pheromones.  They come in a spray, room diffuser or pet collar.
  • Thundershirt – According to some experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin, pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system of both people and animals.  This product is a gentle, constant pressure “shirt” that wraps around your dog to reduce anxiety.  This pressure has a dramatic calming effect for 80% of dogs. 

Another natural option available in many good pet stores and most health food stores is Rescue Remedy, a Bach Flower Essence.  It is a natural stress reliever that many people keep on hand at home and in travel kits.  It can often help both people and animals recover from travel fatigue and stress.  Put a few drops in the water bowl or portable water container.  For very stressed pets, rub a drop on their ear or put a drop on the towel in their crate or carrier.  

There are other quality flower essence brands your local stores may carry.  Sam’s, a top quality pet store in Monroe, carries Pet Essences® flower essences for pets.  Alaskan essences is another brand recommended by several highly respected dog trainers in the Seattle area.

If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic or inappropriate, call your veterinarian, veterinary emergency clinic, and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center‘s 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP.

Thanksgiving Tip for your Cats and Dogs

Our Pets and the Holidays post mentioned in the letter to our clients is not quite finished.  But here is a tip that particularly pertains to Thanksgiving.

Norma Rae, Jack, Punky and Tsunami

The Thanksgiving turkey or chicken will leave a lot of tantalizing bones.  Please don’t feed them to your pet, no matter how cutely they look at you.

Beware of cooked steak bones, too.  Cooked bones can splinter and small, sharp bones or bone chips can lodge in your pet’s throat, stomach or intestinal tract.

If you’d like to give your pet a Thanksgiving bone treat, please read our post on feeding raw bones.  We also have an additional post on the topic of raw bones.  It contains a few more general tips as well as information for people with multiple dog households.

The most important tip of all — Don’t forget your after meal nap!


— Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving —

9/11 Canine Heroes (today)

This week a couple of us with the clinic received an email from one of our regular blog readers.  It was so touching that Dr. Frank and Kris decided to copy the email for our post on this weekend of remembrance ceremonies and events. 

This morning as I watched the ceremonies on TV hosted by Brian Williams, he talked to the last survivor pulled from Ground Zero, Genelle Guzman-McMillan.  Brian Williams mentioned the dog who found her scent and Genelle said his name was Tracker.  I’m assuming he is not with us anymore and I know nothing else about him, but the pictures below are search and rescue dogs who also worked on “The Pile” and at the Pentagon who are still alive today.

We don’t know where this email originated, but we are honored to spread these photos to our little piece of the canine-lovers world.


During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3,000 people died, nearly 100 loyal search and rescue dogs and their brave owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors.

Now, ten years on, just 12 of these heroic canines survive, and they have been commemorated in a touching series of portraits entitled ‘Retrieved’.  The dogs worked tirelessly to search for anyone trapped alive in the rubble, along with countless emergency service workers and members of the public.

9/11 search dogs who are still alive.  True heroes of 9/11 still with us today…

Their eyes say everything you need to know about them.  Just amazing creatures.


Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days.


Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Center on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler, Lee Prentiss, were there for eight days.


Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble.


Bretagne and Denise Corliss

Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress,Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days.


Guinness, 15, from Highland, California, started work at the site with Sheila McKee on the morning of September 13 and was deployed at the site for 11 days.


Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to Ground Zero on September 24, working the night shift for five days.


Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines.



Abigail, above, was deployed on the evening of September 17, searching for 10 days, while Tuff arrived in New York at 11:00 pm on the day of attack to start working early the next day.


Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Center from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for five days.

Scout and Unknown Dog

Scout and another unknown dog lie among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors


Traveling across nine states in the U.S.from Texasto Maryland, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11.

Their stories have now been compiled in a book, called Retrieved, which is published on the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Charlotte Dumas' book - Retrieved

Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted Retrieved to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs.

“I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who although are not forgotten, are not as prominent as the human stories involved,” explained Charlotte, who splits her time between New York and Amsterdam.

“They speak to us as a different species and animals are greatly important for our sense of empathy and to put things into perspective.”


We at Harmony Animal Wellness Center couldn’t agree more, and we thank Charlotte Dumas for commemorating these dogs’ selfless work and lives.