…skilled service…compassionate care


People as well as dogs and cats get diabetes. It is a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells and the levels of glucose are primarily controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by the pancreas. Diabetes can occur at any age but for dogs, usually 4-14 years of age and cats older than 6. It occurs in female dogs twice as often as male dogs and some breeds may be predisposed to diabetes.

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops the body from making insulin and requires insulin injections to survive.
  • Type 2 diabetes the body cannot keep blood sugar at normal levels yet can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle changes including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a quality diet, and being active.
  • Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy in females who have never had diabetes and usually goes away after birth however, increases the risk for type two diabetes later in life.

Diagnosing and treating diabetes

Tell your veterinarian if you see the signs listed here involve your pet. If you or your doctor suspect diabetes, simple tests can be run to verify a diagnosis. Unlike people, dogs and cats usually require insulin to treat diabetes. Yet daily exercise, proper weight and dietary management, as well as regular examinations including blood and urine tests help your pet have a good quality of life. While daily exercise is strongly recommended for cats, that can be difficult. To see if your pet may be at risk for diabetes, take the pet diabetes quiz. Go to: https://usa.petdiabetesmonth.com/risk-quiz.aspx.

  • Excessive water drinking and urination
  • Weight loss even with an increased appetite
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
  • Chronic or recurring infections including skin and urinary infections


As with human health insurance, pet insurance is designed primarily to pay for accidents and unexpected illnesses. Also, plan coverage can vary with illness and accidents, so it is very important to understand how pet insurance works and to review your options prior to signing up for pet insurance. If you have an insurance plan, please provide your insurance form to us.

If you are considering getting pet insurance but don’t know which policy might best fit your needs and wallet, here is a website that may help you review your options and determine if pet insurance is right for you https://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com for a comparison chart. If you have additional questions about our process, please ask our staff or, if you have specific policy questions, contact the insurance company in which you are interested.

Kodi’s Kolumn! by Kodiak (Kodi) Bibb – Head K-9 in charge! (That’s me on the right!)


El Gato will be closed Thanksgiving Day so please plan ahead for any appointments, refills, or other needs. Just a reminder, I know you are so thankful for the many blessings you share with your family – especially your pets. It is important to remember that not all people and pets in our community are as fortunate as we are. I hope you will join us in filling the Second Harvest Food Barrel in the lobby. Be sure to provide non-perishable food, undamaged cans and items such as canned meat, tuna, vegetables and dried good such as rice and other grains. You may also donate dollars to the Animal shelters in our area that take such good care of our homeless animal friends. They give thanks to you.

If you are able to share a Thanksgiving table with your family and friends, please do not allow your dog or cat to share in your food. I always remind my friends to be so careful. We don’t want any accidents.

Food That Can Be Toxic For Pets

  • Stuffing Often made with onions, scallions or garlic, ingredients extremely toxic to our pets and can cause a life-threatening anemia
  • Ham or other pork products High in fat and can cause pancreatitis, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Turkey bones Can splinter and damage stomach and intestines
  • Mashed potatoes Can contain butter and milk, which can cause diarrhea
  • Grapes / Raisins Can cause severe, irreversible and possibly fatal kidney failure in dogs
  • Chocolate The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your pet

Senior Wellness Month

I may look like a Spring Chicken to you but I actually fit the “senior” definition because I am 9.9 years old! How time flies! My mom keeps me in good shape with great exercise, good diet, and especially superb veterinary care. You can do the same with your senior pet. We are good at hiding signs of pain and disease so having regular wellness visits to verify that your pet stays in great shape will help you be together for as long as possible.

Staff Spotlight – Dr. Christina Waller!

Growing up in Huntington Beach, Dr. Waller was always surrounded by animals, with 8 different species of animals in her house. Throughout her youth she volunteered for a local pet rescue and went to summer camps at the Santa Ana Zoo. When it was time for college there was one clear choice, the University of California, Davis, where she graduated with a BS in Genetics in 2000 and in 2006 Dr. Waller graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Since graduation, Dr. Waller has lived in the South Bay Area working in small animal medicine. She loves living in this area because it’s close to mountains for hiking and camping and close to the beach, which is her happy place.

When she’s not at work, Dr. Waller enjoys working out, walking her dog Brock Lee, reading, spending time with family and friends, but mostly spending time with her husband and 2 daughters. She stays busy volunteering for Art Vistas, Project Cornerstone, coaching for Girls On The Run and leading her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.


National Cook for Your Pet Day – Nov. 1.

This is one of my favorite days! There are a great many recipes you can make for your pets from main courses to treats. Just be sure to clarify with my mom, ah, your veterinarian, if what you want to prepare is good for your pet. Remember, avoid chocolate, onions, avocados, garlic, salt, yeast dough, tomato leaves and stems, and milk-based foods. Then when you find a recipe you like, share it with us. We might like to test it too.

National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day – Nov. 7.

Created in 2015, this day is dedicated to education, and increasing awareness, for dog parents whose pet has been diagnosed with canine lymphoma. Canine lymphoma is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in dogs. Lymphoma affects many organs in the body but most commonly it affects the lymph nodes and can spread to other organs. Common symptoms are enlarged lymph nodes, decreased appetite, lethargy, weight loss, swelling of head and extremities, increased thirst and urination. Diagnosis is made by aspiration and / or biopsy of the affected tissue or organ. Treatment is usually chemotherapy depending on the type of lymphoma, and prognosis can vary with the type of lymphoma, acute versus chronic, t-cell versus B-cell. For more information, see https://purdue.edu/vet/pcop/canine-lymphoma-research.php.

Adopt A Senior Pet Month

Take it from me, Kodi, senior pets are super! We make great pets. Generally, we are mellow, already know our house manners and our personalities are already developed. There are many great senior pets whose owners are no longer able to care for them, and these pets are looking for another forever home. Please consider adding a senior pet to your family. Check with Muttville, https://muttville.org/ or breed rescue groups for great senior pets available for adoption.


Sadly, for us but great for her, our wonderful Sandra is moving on to a new job closer to home. Sandra has been a caring, supportive and generous team member for many years. The long daily drive to and from Gilroy made her decide to work closer to home. We will miss you Sandra, but we know you will have more time for your family and your chickens! Thanks for your energy and compassion to our clients and their pets.


Please welcome Summer Kieselbach, RVT, who comes with a wealth of experience from Sacramento. She has 2 pets, Enzo, a 14-year-old terrier mix, and Roger, an orange and white cat and Summer loves to take both on walks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are especially grateful for you, the amazing families, who entrust your pets to our care and wish you, your family and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you.