…skilled service…compassionate care

NEW Texting Abilities

We are always looking for ways to improve communication with our clients. Great news! Effective immediately, when you arrive and park in our lot for an appointment, TO CHECK-IN, please text your last name and your parking space number to 408-356-2181. We’ll then be able to keep you updated via text with information about your appointment. As we implement this new communication tool, please Be Patient! We are facing unusually high demands for urgent care and our regular appointment times are filled to capacity.

COVID-19, It Drags On and On

Just how far would you go to help a pet in need? Do you know that the El Gato team regularly log in many miles daily as they walk back and forth from the parking lot to the office in order to serve you, the clients, and treat your pet. From inside to out, working throughout the day in the hot sun, the smoky air in the parking lot, the team cares for your pets? And that is something they do gladly.

Sometimes it is frustrating, and my team and I thank you for your patience and understanding during this awful crisis. I recognize that appointments may fall behind, that it is uncomfortable for you sitting in the parking lot and worrying. Even if you haven’t felt patient and understanding from time to time, we get it, but please be respectful of our staff as they work tirelessly. Aggressive and unkind behavior from clients will not be tolerated.

This has been a tough time for all of us and, along with you, we can’t wait until you are invited back inside to the waiting and examination rooms. But that can’t happen until the need for social distancing ends. When the time to open up comes, we’ll certainly let you know and be there to welcome you inside.

The next time you see one of my team, remember how much we care about you and your pet. If you feel your appointment is taking too long or are in any way concerned about the care, let us know, and we’ll gladly re-schedule you or can discuss in more detail. The social distancing has prolonged the length of the visit, slowing the process of checking in, exam, checking out, so plan to spend extra time during your visits. Again, thank you for your patronage and your understanding.

Pet Diabetes Awareness

November is pet diabetes awareness month, yet we are concerned year-round with the health of your pet.

Yes, pets can get diabetes, same as people. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) tells us that it is generally more common in older pets, but can occur in younger or pregnant pets. Dogs are usually between 4-14 years of age and cats older than 6 years of age. It occurs twice as often in female dogs than in male dogs. If detected early and managed with the help of your veterinarian, pets can live long and happy lives.

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot use glucose because of a lack of insulin – the main energy source for the cell’s energy – then cells cannot function normally. Tell your veterinarian if you see these signs in your pet:

• Excessive water drinking
• Increased urination
• Weight loss, even if there seems to be an increased appetite
• Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
• Chronic or recurring infections

Our doctors can run tests to determine if your pet has diabetes, then prescribe insulin for your pet. As always, you play a major role in day to day care of your pet and a diabetic pet is no different. Daily management may include:


• High Fiber diet
• Appropriate daily exercise
• Weight management
• Spay female dogs


• High-protein, low carbohydrate diet
• Daily exercise – talk to your veterinarian or staff for a plan

Call to schedule an appointment if you are concerned your pet is experiencing these symptoms.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

So why DID the chicken cross the road? To get to El Gato Veterinary Hospital, of course! If you aren’t aware, Dr. Sarah Griffel, known as the “chicken whisperer”, treats back yard chickens. If you have a backyard chicken flock, let us know what you see as the good, not so good of having a flock. We’d love to share that with other clients who may be thinking of adding a hen or two to the family.

We’ll get you started with ideas. The number one reason people want their own chickens, especially now during a pandemic, is that you get your own fresh eggs. You don’t have to worry about going to the store or searching out the perfect eggs, you will already have them, and on average, when a hen is laying, she’ll produce about one egg every 24 hours. Depending on the number of hens you have and if they are all producing, you may have eggs to share. Chickens are fun to watch, each with their own personality. They provide great fertilizer and keep the unwanted bug population at bay. Just remember, check with your local animal control and zoning offices to see the rules for keeping backyard chickens and keep the neighbors happy by only having hens. No roosters please!

Young and Old, We Love Them All

Everyone loves a puppy or a kitten; they’re so cute and fun. Of course, that love deepens and intensifies through the lifetime of your relationship together. But, it seems, one day you have a puppy or kitten and soon when you turn around, they are slower, a bit grayer, perhaps limping, and may have other more challenging issues. As the care giver, it pains you to see this, you get a knot in the stomach worrying about what the future may bring, and not quite sure how to talk about your fears and thoughts.

Our team experiences the same feelings with our own pets, and we can honestly say to you, “we know how you feel”. We truly want the best quality of life for both you and your pet. We want to understand your pets needs as they age, and know the feelings, worries, and expectations you experience as you care for your pet. It is our hope that together, we can identify strategies for getting you both what you need and want; a great quality of life together.

If your pet hasn’t seen us for over a year, please call and set up an appointment. At the time you schedule, let us know if your pet has specific issues such as mobility challenges, vision or respiratory concerns. When you arrive, we want to hear what your challenges are as the caregiver. Thank you for loving and caring for these very special pets.


by assistant editor, Roo, aka, Super Searcher With a Nose for News.

Proof! Dogs Have Super Noses!g

You all know that dogs are super sniffers, but did you know how really great we are? Far be it from me to blow my own horn, or more humbly, that of my species, yet our ability to sniff things out is truly amazing! Recently, it was reported by chemists at Canada’s University of Alberta, through research supported by the Canine Accelerant Detection Association, that trained dogs could identify a billionth of a teaspoon’s worth of accelerant. Who cares, you might ask? These highly trained dogs can figure out if a structure fire was set using an accelerant, and if someone was injured or killed during the fire, law enforcement will really be on the job.

While I am not trained to identify accelerants, I am trained to locate buried human remains. Dogs are trained to search for many scents; human remains, drugs and narcotics, agricultural pests, missing people, medical conditions, diabetes, seizures and many more. Just understand, if something has a scent, a dog can be trained to tell you if that smell is present, and obviously, there doesn’t need to be much scent for a good nose like mine to identify it. To reinforce that point, here is a picture of a dog trained to scour the sea for whale poop samples which are used in research. WOW!

We say thank you to all of the wonderful dogs who put their noses to use to help people and wildlife. We also give big paws up to dogs who love us and bring us so much joy. Thanks pals!


Adopt a Senior Pet Month – November

When we think of senior pets, we generally don’t think of lonely homeless pets. Senior pets can be found in shelters often because their family was made homeless because of the wildfires or job loss and they can no longer care for their pets. Sadly many people do not see the value in adopting a senior pet, yet these pets are already adults, have lived in households, have been trained, and have lots of love to share. If you are considering pet adoption, please consider adopting a senior pet.

One place we support is Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. https://www.muttville.org. This wonderful non-profit organization in San Francisco is dedicated to improving the lives of senior dogs and helps to find them forever homes or provides great information on caring for senior dogs.

Homeless senior cats need help too. Golden Oldies Cat Rescue in Monterey, California, https://gocatrescue.org saves senior cats. These kitties already know how to curl up and purr in your lap. Check them out.

Happy November Birthday to two super teammates, Megan and Mary!!

November 12 – Fancy Rat and Mouse Day

In 1983, the non-profit organization, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association, (AFRMA) was founded. The purpose of the organization is to promote and encourage the breeding and exhibition of fancy rat and to celebrate their pets unique and positive qualities as companion animals. Did you know that the year 2020 is the Chinese year of the rat and in Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus? Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children. These individuals are believed to be clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life. For more information about this association, visit: https://www.afrma.org/.

November 26– Thanksgiving Day

Take a breather, pet your pets, and think about all you have to be thankful for; forget the other stuff, at least for awhile. And while you are digesting your dinner, remember to keep your pets from getting into the great food. We are always happy to see you and your pet, but we don’t want any emergencies on Thanksgiving.

Just in case you do need emergency veterinary care on November 26, Thanksgiving Day, El Gato will be closed so please consider using MedVet emergency veterinary clinic at 905 Dell Avenue Campbell, CA 408-371-6252. We will be open and in the office November 30.

Take care…and stay safe!