The All-Star Vet staff know Kitto well since we bring him in often to say hello. He bounced into his first annual checkup like the spotlight had just caught him as the curtain rose up. Showtime!
Our vet tech translated my notes for the doctor:
“History: Kitto is here for his annual today. Would like us to give benedryl for vaccines because he was sore last time. Left ear is a little itchy. Used vasoline, seems to help from the itching. Likes to eat sticks and rocks. Seems to be doing great and very athletic.”
Kitto weighed 11.0 lbs, the same as he did in October. Dr. Clemens told us that he’s super healthy, and he is doing extremely well free-feeding/watering on “Wellness Core” and Merrick Backcountry and Limited Ingredient foods. We mix them up because we want him to have a varied, balanced, high-quality diet. We also gets single-ingredient meats occasionally when we make them for ourselves, and AllProvide (raw diet) as a treat.
Time with the Doctor is a precious flurry of playing with and inspecting the dog, as well as getting to know us as the dog’s owners. Dr. Clemens was impressed with Kitto’s muscle tone, the spring in his step and posture of his skeleton, and his soft fluffy coat. His heartbeat is steady and strong, and his joints and muscle tone are perfect.
Dr. Clemens observed that Kitto gets plenty of exercise and is in great physical shape. We don’t trim his nails as they’re wearing down correctly from his everyday routines. She also felt around his muscle groups and abdomen to see that his intestines were soft and working fine (in spite of some of the weird things he eats).
We showed her the Play! game to demonstrate Kitto’s gentle nature and asked him to sit/stay with treats on the floor around him to demonstrate his willingness to “work”. Even in the strange environment, Jess could not get him to break early for the treats. Since I set up the trick, Kitto waited patiently for me to release him. Kitto’s ability to pay attention and discern the release word from I my speech as I talked to the four of us was a big surprise. Dr. Clemens repeated the trick for her crew later when Kitto was out of the room. I’m impressed that Kitto performed, but not surprised. Kitto loves to perform.
Kitto got shots for DAP, Leptospirosis, Bordatella, Rabies, and Lyme. Lepto and Lyme aren’t necessary for all dogs, but Kitto is outdoors with us and exposed to nature often, and both diseases are an issue for dog owners here in central Indiana.
We have lab results pending for:
Stool – A check for problems discernible from feces < 24 hrs old. Gross AND effective!
Heartworm – We need a 1yr healthy baseline. Heartworm is tricky to diagnose.
Bloodwork – We ran the full series of tests, also for that 1 yr healthy baseline. I warned Dr. Clemens that Alaskan Klee Kai tend to show at the high end of normal due to genetics and also a high protein diet. She was already aware of this issue and what it might look like.
Skin Cytology: cocci (bacteria) in left ear. A minor ear infection we caught because we noticed him itching sometimes. Dr. Clemens swabbed it, and the picture for this article is what she could see under the microscope. The large, light blue shape is a skin cell. The darker little bits inside of it are attacking bacteria. We’ll fix Kitto up with some medicated drops in just a few days.
Neutering: We agreed that neutering Kitto at 16 weeks old as recommended by All-Star Vet last year was the right thing to do for him. He is a wonderful little guy, physically a superstar, without any mounting, marking, or aggressive behaviors common to dogs that wait until later in their lives for this procedure. I have pictures and a great story to tell about this, and why I waited until now to admit following my Vet’s advice. That’s a subject for another post.
The total cost of the checkup including the lab tests, shots, etc. was about $400. Keep in mind that we did ask for a few extras. Kitto’s ear needed to be treated too, and we didn’t know that until we looked (with a microscope).
All of our pets deserve to get regular veterinary treatment. If life circumstances make regular vet visits difficult, please Google for low cost treatment events and clinics in your community, and be sure that your pets are spayed or neutered.