…skilled service…compassionate care

Closed for Labor Day – September 6

Be sure you have sufficient medication or food for your pets because the office will be closed all day, September 4-6. We will be open on September 2 from 8-12 and from 9 -1 on September 3. These will be for tech appointments and prescription refills only. If your pet requires emergency veterinary care during that time, please contact MedVet Campbell, 905 Dell Avenue, Campbell, 95008 408-371-6252. If you are unable to get your pet to the emergency clinic or SAGE, please consider using 360 PetCab.

PetDesk vs. Phones

“Your call is important to us, please hold…”. We have all heard those words before, and we recognize that we must place clients on hold from time to time. Our goal is always to serve you promptly, yet we must obtain as much information about your pet’s needs as possible. Please understand that while you wait on hold and we are helping other clients, when it is your turn, we’ll do the same for you. We will provide you with the same courtesy.

In order to reduce phone time, please consider using our PetDesk app to schedule appointments, access your vaccine records and request prescription refills, among other things. One other PetDesk benefit is that you will also earn PawPoints to be used toward nail trims, exams, and other treatment. If you haven’t signed up for PetDesk, go to the app store or visit https://petdesk.com.

Important Appointment Notice!!

Scarcity in the number of veterinary professionals here and nationwide, along with the increased number of pets needing medical care, presents a scheduling challenge. Your time is valuable, and so too are the appointment times. Please plan ahead and understand that currently, non-urgent appointment times for regular annual exams or routine checks may not be available for up to two weeks. If your pet requires appointments before medications can be refilled, or if you are planning a trip out of town and want to take your pet with you, please plan well ahead because appointments are booking out for two weeks.

Once you arrive for your appointment, be patient. On occasion, an emergency client arrives and must be treated ahead of your pet. We will make every effort to inform and accommodate you with information and/or another appointment time. We are committed to treating all pets’ medical needs properly and thoroughly.

Most clients understand and respect that patients need to be seen by a doctor. Sometimes, however, clients do not arrive for an appointment or do not call to cancel or change the appointment. That means a much-needed appointment time will be vacant and unable to be used by another client. In an attempt to mitigate this problem, effective September 1, 2021, El Gato Veterinary Hospital will:

  • Impose a $90 fee if you fail to arrive at all for a regularly scheduled appointment after two missed appointments.
  • Require a $200 deposit for scheduling a surgery/dental procedure. That deposit will be forfeited if you miss your appointment or fail to give a 24-hour cancellation notice.

Leptospirosis, Increasing in Los Angeles County

According to FOX 11, veterinarians in the Westside area of Los Angeles have seen a significant increase in dogs sick with leptospirosis, a disease caused by infections with Leptospira bacteria. This is a zoonotic disease meaning it can affect both dogs and humans. It is rarely seen in cats, and if it is found, it seems to be mild.

The American Veterinary Medical Association states that dogs can become infected mostly by contact with infected urine-contaminated water sources, and other contaminated sources like soil, food, and bedding are also possible. Human cases stem from contact with the infected during recreational activities such as swimming.

The good news is that leptospirosis in dogs can be prevented by annual vaccination for at-risk dogs and by reducing your dog’s exposure to potential sources of the bacteria.

Infected dogs may show signs that include: fever, shivering, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, changes in the frequency or amount of urination, dehydration, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice, muscle tenderness, or reluctance to move. Some dogs may develop kidney or liver failure as the disease progresses and have difficulty breathing. Treatment includes antibiotics and supportive care if caught early enough. If not caught early enough, this disease can be fatal.

If your dog is diagnosed with leptospirosis, there is a risk of infection to the humans in the family, but you should still take precautions. These include:

  • Administer the medications prescribed by your veterinarian to your dog.
  • Avoid contact with your dog’s urine
  • If your dog urinates in the home, quickly clean the area with a household disinfectant and wear gloves to protect yourself
  • Wash your hands frequently after handling your pet or your pet’s urine

If you think your dog may have been exposed or exhibits signs like the ones above, please contact the office.

Animal Pain Awareness Month

September is designated as animal pain awareness month by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). Animals experience pain just as people do but are more pain tolerant. It is more difficult to notice they are in pain unless you know what signs to watch for. The IVAPM recommends that if you see any of the following common signs of pain, please have your pet examined.

  • Decreased activitytake note if your pet is not as active as usual
  • Not going up or down stairsthis can be the early signs of osteoarthritis or perhaps an injury
  • Reluctance to jump up onto surfacesapplies particularly to cats
  • Difficulty standing after lying downmay also be a sign of osteoarthritis
  • Decreased appetite, weight lossthis may be mouth pain perhaps attributed to dental issues
  • Over grooming or licking a particular areacan be a sign of referred pain
  • Howling, growling, hissing or spitting
  • Stiff posture
  • Anxious expression
  • Changes in urinary / defecation habits
  • Stops grooming

Does your dog have eye goop?

Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine published a recent article about when your dog’s eye goop may be problematic and when to visit us. Their veterinarians reported that the color of the goop might indicate certain conditions.

White color, if not excessive and generally located in the inner corner of the eye, is nothing to be concerned about. Use warm water and a cotton ball on the lower lid to get rid of it.

Clear as with the white discharge, it is not of concern unless it is excessive and returns within minutes of cleaning. Tear duct blockage, allergies, foreign body, ulcers could have clear discharge.

Green to greenish-yellow pus-like goop often means there is inflammation or infection in the eyes. Other causes include foreign bodies, dry eye, corneal ulcer, or extra lashes curling into rather than away from the eye. They all require veterinary care.

Protect Pets Outdoors

The drought and habitat reduction cause wild animals to move into more urban areas. Those animals, raccoons, opossums, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, snakes, to name a few, are mostly nocturnal and are searching for food and water. Unfortunately, your pets, especially the smaller ones, can become their meals. Please keep your pets in at night, do not leave pet food outside, and monitor your pets even when in your yard.

If you hike with your pets, be sure they are on a leash. Safety first. It is wise to carry a whistle, always have your phone, and walk with a friend. Be sure your pet is current on all of his vaccinations. If you or your pet are injured, you both should get medical attention.


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

New Plan for Animals in Disasters

Disasters are nothing new in California, and many people work hard to save and serve the animals affected by those disasters. In fact, my mom, known to you as Dr. Bibb, volunteered for service in a previous California wildfire. (She’s the one in the middle).

Given that disasters do not recognize geographic boundaries and support groups come from different agencies, the UC Davis veterinarians and California legislators identified a new coordinated statewide emergency program to help animals in disasters. The new team, funded by a $3 million dollar a year grant, will be called the California Veterinary Emergency Team and will be administered by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. U.C Davis’ Amy Quinton writes, “The California Veterinary Emergency Team would be available to mobilize a response to disasters anywhere in California, operating under a memorandum of understanding with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Office of Emergency Services. Between disasters, the team would recruit, train and drill volunteers, conduct research, and train veterinarians and veterinary students on best practices in shelter and emergency medicine.”

I give this plan a solid Labrador Tail Wag and say, “press on”!

National Service Dog Month

September is National Service Dog Month! I think every month should be service dog month. I’m glad at least one month has been designated to recognize the amazing work that service dogs do to help everyone. Think about it, here are just a few jobs dogs do:

  • Support veterans or individuals suffering from PTSD
  • Guide blind individuals so they can maneuver confidently and safely in their community
  • Assist individuals to identify medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, and now, COVID.
  • Provide protection for law enforcement
  • Assist the military and law enforcement with a bomb and/or drug detection
  • Herd animals for farmers
  • Protect wildlife. For example, in Africa, dogs mingle among goat herds to keep big cats or other predators from killing the flocks. That way, the farmer does not need to kill the cats to protect his herd.
  • Assist in environmental research. Dogs in Washington State identify whale poop so it can be collected for research
  • Search for lost or missing individuals
  • Search for buried human remains
  • Offer companionship through countless ways. Simply allow a timid child to read aloud in order to gain confidence or support an autistic child.

I challenge you to think of other ways dogs are super! I am really proud that my brother Kodi and I are certified service dogs. Of course, the Chihuahuas, Willow, and Charley serve as great companions, which in my mind, is a great service!

Super-Sized Rescuers

Among the many amazing service dogs, Maria E. Gray, PhD, founder of the American Academy of Canine Water Rescue, (501(c)(3), https://www.academyofwaterrescue.org, trains and uses Newfoundland dogs to rescue drowning victims. The dog/handler teams train extensively to be able to to rescue individuals from the land, boat, and eventually from helicopters. Blackwatcharchangel, aka “Angel” – shown here training in Italy – is one such dog.

This team trains with the Squola Italiana Cani da Salvataggio, Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs, a Civilian Protection Unit, with over 400 operational dog/handler teams that patrol the beaches of Italy and work with the Italian Coast Guard to facilitate rescues. These great waterdog teams made 83 rescues last year – and this during COVID. In fact, Angel is the only American dog certified by the SICS!

Unintentional death by drowning is among the leading cause of fatalities worldwide. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that between 2010 and 2019, there was an average of 11 drowning deaths per day.

While the Canine Water Rescue handlers train to rescue drowning victims, their overall message is safety education. They encourage all swimmers and boaters to learn water safety lessons and wear a life jacket when in or near the water. Look closely, even Angel wears a life vest, and she is an amazing swimmer. Have fun in the water and stay safe.

Family Day – September 27

This is family day and a great time to be grateful for your family members, especially if they have four paws and a tail. This includes the cats too! I never forget my great family.