Thursday, June 2, 2011

Come to our Open House!

Hi I'm Bonnie Markoff, inviting you to join me at Animal Care Clinic's annual Open House and Wine n' Beer Gala, as we raise money to support Guide Dogs of America, the American Cancer Society, and Brighten a Corner. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of our hospital and learn how we care for your pets and how you can help to keep them healthy. Enjoy fine wines and beers, artisan cheeses and sausage tasting. And don't miss our unique silent auction where you can buy a day with the vet, a private lesson from Dodger's pitcher Ted Lilly, and much more. We hope to see you there! Cheers!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Animals in the News!

There are so many interesting news stories out there about pets and other animals, veterinary medicine or other animal related topics!  Each week we'll be gathering some stories that might be interesting to you, so keep posted each week for new stories!  This week's articles are all related to animal behavior.  Training tips, techniques and behavior problems are some of our most common questions.   Hopefully you'll find the information is some of these articles useful and interesting!


•"Dog pee - it's kind of their Facebook profile" - A study recently published in Animal Behaviour found that female dogs are just as likely to mark with urine as males.  Much of this has to do with pecking order.

•"Canine Corner:  Human intellect is key to avoiding incidents with stray dogs" - Read more here about dog bit prevention.  Broad estimates show that 10-12% of dog bites are from strays, so learn how to avoid dangerous encounters.

•"Hope for dogs with storm or noise phobias" - A common phobia dogs have is being scared of the noise from storms.  This article has some helpful information on how to help your four-legged friend cope with and get over their storm phobia.

•"Female Dogs Aren't Easily Fooled" - In a research project aimed at studying physical understanding of objects dog's see showed results researchers weren't expecting.  Male dogs tend to use scent more and female dogs paid closer attention to what they could see.

•"Declawing cats should be a last resort" - This article explains the surgery of declawing and some things about it many people may not know.  The veterinarian also explains some other options to try before using declawing as a last resort option.

•"Pet Talk:  Curb your cat's conniptions at the vet" - It is very common for cats to throw tantrums when they visit the vet, especially if they are not exposed to other people frequently.  Learn some tips to make your cat's vet visits less interesting, which will make the entire experience easier on you, your vet, and less stressful for your cat.

•"MRI Anxiety Eased by Therapy Dog" - One 16-year old girl found that when she needed an MRI because of frequent headaches it helped to calm her by petting her dog for 15 minutes prior, allowing doctors to get better quality images because this is such a motion sensitive test.  Since then many other patients have benefitted from the same therapy.

•"Cats rub to say 'Hi' not 'I'm Hungry'" - With pet obesity on the rise, it is important that we read cues from our pet's well.  Don't mistake your cat rubbing against your leg to mean that they want food.

•"Start socializing puppy before completing vaccination schedule" - Don't wait for the final round of vaccines to begin socializing your puppy, as this period is the most important and influential time for socialization.  Instead find a puppy kindergarten class and start around 7-8 weeks old if possible.

•"When owners stay, the cat's can play" - Regular interactive playtime with your cat can reduce boredom, misbehavior and even keep your cat healthier!

•"Kittens learn to be class acts at kindergarten" - Trainers and veterinarians are beginning to offer Kitten Kindergarten classes across the U.S.  Classes are designed to help with behavior and social skills that will make for a happier adult cat.

•"So long litter-box:  These cats are potty-trained!" - Learn how to train your cat to use the toilet instead of a litter-box.  IT can be done, but takes planning and patience!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Animals in the News!

There are so many interesting news stories out there about pets and other animals, veterinary medicine or other animal related topics!  Each week we'll be gathering some stories that might be interesting to you, so keep posted each week for new stories!

Healthcare and Prevention:

•"Parasites can spread from pets to humans" - Pets can spread parasites to people, but regular checkups and preventive care can prevent these zoonotic diseases.  This article mentions the most concerning parasites, who is most at risk and how to prevent disease transmission.

•"MU researchers pioneer animal diabetes treatment" - University of Missouri veterinarians are designing a device that can track glucose concentrations over a 3-day time period, allowing vets to make better decisions on care and diabetic management.

•"13 Foods Never to Feed Your dog" - We all like to indulge our pets, but it's important to make sure those foods are safe as there are some human foods that can be harmful to dogs!

•"What to do when you suspect your pet is in pain but is hiding it" - The difficulty veterinarians have is our patients cannot tell us exactly how they feel and what is wrong.  Learn some signs to look for that you may not realize can be a clue that your furry friend is in pain or uncomfortable.

•"Exercise and the couch-potato pooch" - Similar to their human owners, about 65% of dogs are overweight!

•"Exercise you pooch and both of you will lose your paunch" - Consider your dog's breed to determine the best exercise regimen for your pooch so that you can both get healthy and keep from pushing your pet beyond it's limits.

Pampering Pets and Fun Stuff:

•"Dog Massage?  Isn't Petting Enough?" - Though there is little scientific evidence and research that supports massage therapy, many pet owners believe it can offer the same benefits that people enjoy.

•"Spoiled Pets:  6 Ways to Pamper Pets" - Most U.S. families consider their pets as another family member and extend certain luxuries to their canine/feline family members.

•"When the Fur Doesn't Fly" - Pet-stay facilities convenient for air travelers.

•"Japanese couples enlist pet dogs as canine 'witnesses' in marriage ceremonies" - As the pet industry grows in Japan, one hotel is offering couples a "dog wedding" package.

•"Pick a Pet:  How to choose the right dog for your children" - The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 37% of families have pets.  Children with pets tend to get more exercise, but there are some things to consider before jumping in!

"How to grow a beautiful, yet dog-safe garden" - If your dogs roams your backyard with access to your garden and other plants, make sure there are not any plants that could be poisonous and choose pesticides that are safe to your pets.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meet Greg Marsolais! Our Featured Veterinarian of the Week!!

Dr. Greg MarsolaisWe are privileged to have Dr. Greg Marsolais provide specialty surgical services at Animal Care Clinic. Dr. Marsolais started with us as a veterinary technician, in the mid 90’s, when we were still located on Granada Street. Greg graduated from California Polytechnic University in 1998, and then went on to graduate from Iowa State University with dual degrees of Master of Science in Veterinary Clinical Sciences and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Marsolais also spent time as an intern at the Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Florida before completing his surgical residency at the University of Illinois. Aside from completing research in canine rehabilitation, he has developed his skills and interests in orthopedic, neurologic, and soft tissue surgery. Dr. Marsolais currently resides in the Monterey Bay area, with his family.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meet Bonnie Markoff! Our Featured Veterinarian of the Week!!

Dr. Bonnie MarkoffDr. Bonnie Markoff is the owner and founder of Animal Care Clinic. She is almost a San Luis Obispo native; she moved here at the age of 9 and attended elementary and high school in SLO. Dr. Markoff graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Animal Science and then went directly to UC Davis for veterinary school, earning her DVM in 1988. She is a Board Certified specialist in Canine and Feline Practice, a Diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. In 2001 she had the special honor of being named a Fellow at UC Davis in small animal abdominal ultrasonography. Dr. Markoff’s special medical interests include internal medicine, oncology, pain control, diagnostic imaging and figuring out the “tricky” cases.
Bonnie lives with her Border Collie, Pete; Australian Shepherd, Zeke; and Catahoula cross, Teague.  She enjoys photography, landscaping, hiking, traveling, kayaking, singing in the church choir and playing percussion in her church band. She sits on the advisory board for the Animal Science Department at Cal Poly. Bonnie also works often on short-term missions for Christian Veterinary Mission and other faith based groups to bring veterinary care and leadership skills to people in need throughout the world. She most frequently visits Mongolia and Zambia on these trips.  She is also leading Animal Care Clinic in a partnership with the University of Baja California to bring both veterinary medical and leadership training to the students in Mexico.
This summer Dr. Markoff will be participating in the MR340 – a kayak race across the state of Missouri – 340 miles down the Missouri River in 3.5 days!  This will be a fundraiser for a the American Cancer Society, Guide Dogs of America and the Mongolian organization Dr. Markoff volunteers with.  To support Dr. Markoff and her team on this adventure, go to and check out the Open House and Wine Gala page!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Animals in the News!

There are so many interesting news stories out there about pets and other animals, veterinary medicine or other animal related topics!  Each week we'll be gathering some stories that might be interesting to you, so keep posted each week for new stories!

"Pets show signs when they aren't well, doctors say" - How do you know when your pet is sick?

"Moms Talk:  Dealing With the Loss of the Family Pet" - Mom offers tips to cope with the loss of a pet family member

"Canines comfort people in hospice" - U.S. hospices turn to dogs to provide therapy services

"Story of rescue dog Braveheart inspires thousands" - Kentucky rescue dog inspires online animal lovers

"Zoo manages 'geriatric' animal collection" - Geriatric animal population challenges Honolulu Zoo

"Designer pets come with health costs:  vet" - Designer dog breeds come with higher health risks

"Cummings School students train to respond to animals in danger during disasters" - Course gives veterinary students a taste of doctoring in a disaster

" 'Dr. Google' not always best when pets are ill" - Internet info doesn't replace reliable veterinary care

• "Veterinary Q&A:  Why does it cost so much to clean a dog's teeth?" -A veterinarian explains why teeth-cleaning costs vary

"Dr. Elizabeth Bradt: Dangers of pet dentistry without anesthesia" - Dentistry without anesthesia may do more harm than good

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Acupuncture and Its Applications

Written by Natasha Lilly, DVM

Acupuncture is most associated with ancient China where it is rooted in TraditionalChinese Medicine (TCM). The first written record of acupuncture is found in a 2,700 year-old Internal Medicine text, and exists as one of the oldest medical texts in the world. The first veterinary text was written in China around 450 BC, addressing the treatment of horses with acupuncture and TCM herbal medicine. Today, acupuncture is practiced world-wide, from extremely rural locations to areas where sophisticated western medicine is the standard of care.

The practice of acupuncture employs solid metallic needles for skin penetration.Needles are placed in specific points that effect various changes in the body to aid in healing injuries or disease conditions, decrease pain, stimulate or regulate immune responses, and/or help decrease anxiety or behavioral issues. Research involving acupuncture has shown physiological responses in the body including increased blood and lymphatic flow, stimulation of nerve function, increase in the release of neurotransmitters, influence of inflammatory responses and stimulation of hormone release. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Some of the more common conditions for which acupuncture is used in veterinary medicine are listed below.

•Musculoskeletal Conditions- arthritis, spinal disease, trauma, muscle atrophy problems
•Immune system disorders- allergic dermatitis, chronic allergic diseases, lick granulomas, chronic skin conditions
•Neurologic problems- nerve injury, paresis, paralysis, degenerative neurologic conditions, seizures
•Systemic diseases/urologic diseases- chronic kidney disease, liver disease, incontinence

If you have questions about acupuncture or think your pet may benefit from treatment, please call us or come by!