Quarter 2 Newsletter 2017

Dear Wonderful Client,

Spring is here and we have a packed schedule! Check out our monthly Promotions and read over the NEW Spay/Neuter Program! This Quarters Special will be this program in its trial run. If you know anyone with a new puppy or kitten the Spay/Neuter Program is tailored for them. Join us for out next Vetchat in May entitled “What’s Eating My Pet?” it’s all about parasites. The last VetChat was live on Facebook. We will be live again for the May VetChat. Come out to our first annual yard sale here at the Hospital on May 20th it should be loads of fun. Last but not least we are starting a puppy class at the end of April. Call for details.

Sincerely,    The River Rock Staff                                   P.S. Look for our next newsletter July1st

Case of the Quarter

Just last week we got to meet an adorable little mixed breed toy poodle named Lola. She loves to chew on toys and plays constantly. Lately, though, Lola has been having intermittent vomiting and occasional diarrhea. She had been seen at another vet last week for this issue and they treated for a regular upset stomach but that didn’t seem to do the trick.

When she came in for her exam here at River Rock, Dr. Varner ran some bloodwork and took x-rays of her stomach. The x-rays showed an odd shape with air in it inside her intestine. There didn’t seem to be a back-up of gas or food which would usually be present with an obstruction of the bowel so this was odd thing to see. Since the signs were mild and Lola was looking happy and alert otherwise, Dr. Varner decided to have Lola stay overnight and get fluid therapy to see if the odd shape would move through the intestine.

Unfortunately, it had not moved and so Lola went to surgery to have her abdomen explored. During the exploratory surgery Lola did very well and Dr. Varner found a hollow squeaker from a squeaky toy stuck in the intestine. It had been stuck for some time. Because of its hollow shape food could move through it occasionally but then would block  movement other times and it was those times that she would vomit. This is called a partial obstruction.

Now that the offensive squeaker has been removed Lola is doing much better and will be back to her playful self soon. Hopefully without squeaker toys!

Animals Saved in War Zone

We hear about ISIS and the war in Iraq on the news all the time. War has so many horrible stories and terrible outcomes but for two Zoo animals there may be a happy ending. Simba, the lion, and Lula, the bear, had been abandoned when bombs and soldiers attacked their city of Mosul. These poor animals were left in their zoo enclosures with little to no care. Many of the animals in the zoo died of starvation or were killed by airstrikes.

The rescuers in this case are from a group called Four Paws. Four Paws is a non-profit organization that emerged in 1988 in response to fur farms and battery farming of eggs in Austria. They have since grown to international proportions with a US office in Massachusetts. This group fights for the rights of animals all over the world. When the zoo in Mosul was abandoned with the animals locked in their enclosures with no chance of survival, Four Paws stepped up to help. Just recently the Iraqi forces were able to clear a few hours of time for veterinarians and workers from Four Paws to get in and rescue the poor animals and move them through Erbil and out to a center that will be taking great care of them permanently. For these two animals life will be infinitely better. Unfortunately, people are still bringing animals to that zoo thinking it’s still open. The rescue team was not equipped to transport the rest of these animals with Lula and Simba. Four Paws is planning a second trip with the Iraq government to get back and rescue the rest of the animals. If you want to know more about this group or its current projects plea
se visit their website www.four-paws.com.

To Breed or Not to Breed?

Many owners have come to us over the years asking for information on breeding their dog. When often ask why and we get a number of answers. There are many answers: “To have our kids experience the miracle of birth”, “Because we think she would like to be a mom”, “We heard it’s better for her development”, “We want to sell the pups to make some money”, “We want another dog like her” and so on. We have heard every one of these many times and they each have meaning for that family. While the reasons are varied our response is the same in most situations.

If you’d like to breed a dog there are some things to keep in mind. First, make sure she is old enough and healthy enough to go through a pregnancy and birth. This means she has to be on at least her second if not third heat cycle and full grown but not too old as well. Second, you need to be thinking about her genetics and whether or not the female and the male have characteristics you want to promote and will move the species forward. This means making sure to check for breed specific issues like hip dysplasia in Labradors, and heart problems in Boxers. This also means the congenital disorders like umbilical hernias and cleft palates. Even if these disorders were fixed they have a high likelihood of occurring in the pups. Having OFA testing done is one way to document that your dog doesn’t have these issues and this will often raise the price for which you could sell your puppies. Third, please make sure you have the funds to support any problems that may arise during a pregnancy including the potential to need a cesarean surgery if labor doesn’t progress normally. This usually means having at least $1,500 set aside for care and emergencies.

If you are thinking of breeding your dog please give us a call and we can answer any questions you may have. 989-750-7222

The River Rock Spay/Neuter Program

We know there are many options for pet care in Midland and we work hard to make the service at River Rock Animal Hospital affordable. Not only have we lowered prices on our spay/neuter packages but we are offering incentives to those clients who complete the recommended vaccinations and testing on their pet. We want to reward our clients for taking great care of their pets.

The program is simple. Just bring your puppy or kitten in for their vaccines and receive 5 Paw Points. When you come in for their boosters you get another 5 Paw Points. These points are like money. For every Paw Point you bring in you get a dollar OFF of your pet’s spay or neuter surgery! You have to bring in the Paw Points on the day of their surgery.

These Services will also earn you Paw Points:

  • A dose of heartworm or Flea/Tick prevention earns 1 Paw Point
  • Feline FeLV/FIV/HW test or Canine Heartworm Test earns 5 Paw Points
  • Intestinal Parasite Screening (fecal evaluation) earns 5 Paw Points
  • Microchipping your pet earns 10 Paw Points

Just remember to bring in all of your Paw Points when you bring your pet in for their spay/neuter surgery and you’ll be saving big!

What is an LVT?

Licensed Veterinary Technicians are an integral part of veterinary medicine here at River Rock. They care for patients, discuss treatments with owners, operate many of the specialized machines in the hospital, evaluate samples, monitor patients under anesthesia and assist the veterinarians. They are similar to nurses in human health care but with more varied jobs and responsibilities.

To become a licensed veterinary technician you can attend college for two years or you can apprentice for many years. Then you must sit for the Veterinary Technicia
n National Exam. If you pass you are eligible for a license as a veterinary technician. You do have to renew this licensed every year or two and keep up on your continuing education.

You do not have to be licensed to be a great assistant. But, the schooling teaches you things in a different manner than you’d learn in an apprenticeship and the license allows you to do many more things by law.

We love our LVTs here at River Rock and if you’d like to show them your support don’t forget

National Veterinary Technician Week Oct 15th-21st 2017

Questions? Please call

 989-750-7222 or email at



We would like to take a minute to remember the beloved pets who have passed on. As a hospital and family, we were honored to have known and cared for them. Our deepest condolences go out to their families:

Noah       Prince Charming   Tim         Tabby     Sheba     Sofia       Ebony     Oreo       Ruffus    Drago      Tilly        Furball   Faygo      Charlie   Ducky     Lilly        Izzy         Apollo     Faith       Sugar      Mikey     Bubba    Daisy      Hemi       Missy      Angel      Murry     Cassie     Mason    Channing 

Click here for the pdf

Quarter 2 2017

Click here for the doc.

Quarter 2 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *