Patient of the Month

Sophie LaFace

March, 2020


Rocket McCuaig

November, 2019
A fine example of why pet insurance is an
excellent idea!
Rocket is a 7 year old mixed breed dog whose owner brought her in
when she started acting strangely at home. She was wheezing,
lethargic, unsteady, and her head was tilting to one side. Rocket’s
bloodwork and x-rays all looked normal, yet she continued to

Ornage Townsend

September, 2019

Ornage came to our hospital when her owners found her laying in the yard crying and vomiting. Bloodwork, radiographs and an exploratory abdominal surgery helped the doctors diagnose her with Acute Necrotizing Pancreatitis, a very serious and sometimes fatal condition. The most important aspect of treating this condition is nutritional support but if our patient refuses food, how can we possibly get the nutrients they need into their bodies to support them while they recover? 

Zuzu Prokopetz

July, 2019

Zuzu, a 13-year-old dachshund mix, was out for a walk one day when she suddenly collapsed. Her owner had noticed she was slowing down a bit over the past week. During her exam with the veterinarian, a large tick was found on her neck. It was very engorged and had likely been there for several days. Some species of ticks transmit a neurotoxin through their saliva to their host which causes a progressive paralysis. Owners will notice a gradual onset of weakness over several days and eventually hind limb paralysis. Treatment is simple - remove the tick!

Ranger Krajinovic

June, 2019

Ranger, an adorable little German Shepherd mix puppy, wasn't doing very well soon after being adopted. He didn't seem to have much of an appetite, was having diarrhea and even vomited up a worm! Ranger came in to the hospital where Dr. Christel examined him and found that he had severe roundworm infestation. Roundworms are the most common intesinal worm found in puppies and can be passed from their mother while they're still inside her or they can be contracted from the environment.

Colby Ius

February, 2019

Colby is a 1 year old Bichon Frise who first came into our hospital for his puppy vaccines. Upon examining him, Dr. April noticed that Colby’s lower jaw was quite a lot shorter than his upper jaw, causing his lower canine teeth to grow up into the roof of his mouth. This is called a malocclusion and it is a hereditary defect. Currently, there is no testing available for this trait in North America. Colby was referred to a veterinary dentist, Dr. Theresa Jacobson, for evaluation and treatment. Dr.

Lola Vandermeer

January, 2019

Lola is a very sweet 10-year-old Yorkie who has struggled with skin issues for a long time. Some of Lola's symptoms were itchiness, hair loss and abnormal skin. Her belly became bald and darkly pigmented and her ears became red and irritated. Sometimes Lola would even experience vomiting and diarrhea on bad days. After trying some different anti-fungal medications, antibiotics, steroids and medicated baths without much change, Lola was referred to veterinary dermatologist Dr. Kinga Gortel.


Chloe Koopmans

June, 2018

Seven-year-old chihuahua Chloe never had any major health concerns, but her owners knew something was up when she didn't greet them at the door. Chloe was not very interested in food, and her gums looked a little pale. Chloe's blood work showed a low number of red blood cells (RBCs), and the fluid portion of her blood was yellow tinged. These are signs of immune medicated hemolytic anemia, or IMHA, and Chloe was started on some medications. Canine IMHA is when the body's immune system attacks its own RBCs as if they were forgeign.

Redgie Lodder

August, 2017

Redgie is a 2 year old Bernese Mountain Dog who came in to see us when his owner noticed he was shaking his head a lot.  This is a common sign of ear issues in our canine companions and Redgie's owner was sure she saw a piece of spear grass in one of his ears.


May, 2017

During the month of April, Dr. Rob Klemmensen volunteered with the Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT) and the Maun Animal Welfare Society (MAWS) in Botswana Africa. We decided it would be fun to feature one of the amazing dogs Dr.

Coco Evans

March, 2017

10 month old Coco Evans was born with a class II malocclusion, a common abnormality in small breed dogs where the teeth do not "fit together" properly. There are many patterns of malocclusion in dogs and many are believed to be of genetic orgin. In cases where the abnormal "bite" causes a malpositioned tooth to penetrate into gum tissue or the palate, the patient will experience loss of the ability to chew properly, tissue damage or tooth trauma and chronic pain.

Ollie Wiens

February, 2017


Huck Tjader

November, 2016

Huck was recently diagnosed with a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.  This is a condition where the pancreas is not producing digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes help break down starches, fats and protein. They are stored inside the pancreas and secreted into the duodenum when ground up food passes out of the stomach and into the small intestine.

Tallie Kurulok

September, 2016

Tallie is a good natured little dog who loves having adventures with her family.

Caesar Belleperche

June, 2016

Caesar was a gentleman who brought a lot of joy to his “humans” over his lifetime.  He lived to the age of 11 years, but like all our pets, we know it was never enough time.   

Diesel and Zeus

May, 2016

Obesity in Canadian pets is a common problem and has serious health consequences.  Intervertebral disc disease, arthritis, ligament injuries, hypertension and diabetes are some medical conditions obese pets are at increased risk of developing.  This month we are excited to share the weight loss journey of two special pets.

Boomer Bartsoff

January, 2016

Boomer is a happy go lucky guy who came into West Kootenay Animal Hospital 6 weeks ago with some concerning symptoms.  He had gained 4.7 kg in 2 months, his coat was thin and brittle.  His normal bouncy personality was dull and lethargic and most concerning of all he had abnormal reflexes and his face was puffy, with a sad tragic expression.

Zero O'Brien

December, 2015

This month, Zero reminded us all of the importance of keeping holiday treats  safely out of reach of curious pets.  Zero is a 3 kg Chihuahua who enjoyed a dark chocolate orange with the help of the 3 cats who live with him.  One of the cats knocked the chocolate orange to the floor, allowing Zero to enjoy a dangerous treat.

'Newt' Durkin

October, 2015

Anyone who has ever suffered from a slipped disc will be able to relate to Newt’s story. Newt is an eight year old Yorkshire Terrier with a sweet disposition who became suddenly ill over a weekend. Newts’ symptoms were rapid in onset and involved a number of neurologic signs. He was disoriented, uncoordinated, weak and had several seizure like episodes. On examination Newt had symptoms of both spinal cord disease and central nervous system disease. We suspected meningitis, a condition that can occur in Yorkshire Terriers.

Rufus Prokopetz and Blue Ralph

August, 2015

This month we are featuring two special pets – Rufus & Blue.  Rufus is a 6 year old small breed dog and Blue is a 2 year old Sphynx cat.  Both Rufus and Blue came to the clinic this month with foreign material obstructing their digestive tracts.  In Rufus’ case, surgery was required to remove a large piece of rubber ball that he had accidentally swallowed!  Blue’s obstruction was a little more interestin

"Jersey" Boden

June, 2015

“Stenotic nares” is a medical term that means the nostril openings are too tiny. It is a common condition in brachycephalic breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs and Shih Tzus. Small nostril openings make it very difficult to breath and move air during exercise & excitement. To understand what it feel like for these dogs, think about how it feel when we have a bad sinus cold- trying to eat and breath, talk and breath and even do light is not easy! Jersey is the happiest, sweetest little French bulldog who recently underwent surgery to correct his stenotic nares.

"Casey" Tremblay

April, 2015

Lumps, bumps and tumors in pets come in all sizes.

Dooley Brown - Laycock

March, 2015

Dooley is an Australian Shepherd cross puppy who was adopted from the Nelson SPCA.

"Remy" Spencer

January, 2015

Remy is a 3-year-old mixed breed dog who was adopted from H.E.A.R.T.S Rescue. Remy is a true athlete who loves hiking, mountain biking and skiing. Unfortunately in November, Remy cut his Achilles tendon while back country skiing. The Achilles tendon is the vital support that attaches the calf muscle (gastrocnemius) to the ankle. Rupture of this tendon is a very serious injury requiring surgery, casting and a long recovery to ensure full return to function. Remy has been an amazing patient and we have all enjoyed seeing how much is attitude has changed over the last 2 months.

"Purdy" Raugust

October, 2014

Purdy arrived at West Kootenay Animal Hospital as a very sick kitten.  24 hours prior to becoming ill, Purdy had been treated for fleas with Hartz UltraGuard topical flea product.  Cats are very sensitive to the pyrethrin family of pesticides.  While these products are designed to kill insects, such as fleas they can also cause salivation, severe muscle trembling, weakness, seizures and even death in pets.  While over the counter products, such as Hartz , are designed to look similar to Advantage or Revolution, their safety and effectiveness are very different.  Pur

"Ruckus" Campbell

June, 2014

Ruckus is an 8 year old mixed breed dog who is blind as a result of bilateral glaucoma. On May 29th, 2014 he was brought to the clinic for rapidly progressing muscular weakness. Initially, Ruckus was weak on both of his hind legs, which progressed over a 24 hour period to flaccid paralysis of both hind legs. By the time Ruckus arrived at the animal hospital he was also losing function in his front legs. During his examination we discovered an engorged and feeding tick. The tick was removed and over the next 48 hours Ruckus made a full recovery.

"Roxtar" Walter

April, 2014

Congenital disorders are conditions that exist at birth or develop during the first months of life. Some congenital conditions like cleft palates or hernias are obvious on a puppy’s first visit to the vet. Others are not visible and can be more difficult to diagnose.

Roxtar is a lovely Miniature Schnauzer who was recently diagnosed with a Portosystemic Shunt (PSS). A PSS is an abnormal vein which allows blood from the intestinal tract to bypass the liver and enter directly into the general circulation.

"Harley" Ius

February, 2014

This month we are featuring Harley as our patient of the month because of his beautiful Smile.  Really we should feature Harley’s owner, Cindy, as our client of the month because of the wonderful job she has done in reversing Harley’s periodontal disease.

"Ripley" Winckers + "Lady" Geick

December, 2013

This month we are featuring two special dogs, “Ripley” Winckers and “Lady” Geick. Ripley and Lady were both blood donors recently. Blood transfusions can be a lifesaving procedure for our pets in a variety of situations. Trauma and severe bleeding, life threatening anemia, platelet and coagulation defects and sometimes plasma is used in patients with severe protein loss.

'Snickers' Caputo

October, 2013

In February 2013 Snickers came to the hospital to examine a lump in her heck which had developed suddenly. After much testing it was determined that Snickers has lymphosarcoma. Lymphosarcoma or lymphoma is a form of lymph node cancer common in both human and pets.

Snickers was started on a chemotherapy protocol including an oral medication and intravenous drug, both of which are given every third week.

'Misha' Gagne

August, 2013

As Canadians we anxiously await the arrival of summer. As Veterinarians, however, summertime is a season where we see more accidents and injuries in our patients.

"Charlotte" Guy

May, 2013

After many years in any job, you may start to think you have “seen it all” and then in walks Charlotte. Over the years we have seen dogs consume many expected objects like bones, sticks, balls and string. As well as less common items like corn cobs, toy soldiers and even a set of false teeth but Charlotte was the first dog to walk through our door with a happy face coffee mug, firmly wedged over her lower jaw.

"Marlin" Klemmensen

April, 2013

Marlin is an 8 year old male cat owned by Drs Rob and Elaine.  Marlin and his 2 brothers were found discarded in a garbage bag at 5 days of age.  He and his brothers were hand raised and have become healthy, pampered, indoor cats.  Recently, Marlin stopped eating and become very lethargic.  Symptoms developed quickly and it was discovered that Marlin had severe anemia.  A blood transfusion from his brother helped buy time to find the underlying cause of his anemia.  While initial testing revealed infection with Feline Leukemia virus, this diagnosis seemed unlik

'Wallace" Hayes

January, 2013

Wallace is certainly a testament to how resilient our pets can be when faced with illness and injury!   Wallace came to his present owner Helen with a number of injuries from a previous car accident, including an oronasal fistula (a hole between the mouth and the sinus cavity, in Wallace’s case from mouth trauma).  Surgery had only partially closed the hole, so he was prone to sinus infections.

'Bella' Schmidt and 'Shasta' Paul

September, 2012

This month we are featuring two special dogs, Shasta and Bella, who are recent amputees.  Limb amputation is always a last resort for our pets but in certain circumstances it can be a lifesaving option for a much loved family member.  Shasta, a senior dog, underwent amputation of her right front leg due to a very aggressive soft tissue cancer.  After exploring limb saving options such as debulking surgery and radiation treatments, it was determined that given the size and aggressive nature of the tumor the only guarantee of a cure was amputation.  Despite

Bentley LaBounty

July, 2012

Bentley is a young miniature dachshund with an unusual condition. In early June he developed swelling, crusting and bleeding at the tips of both ears. The eat margins (or edges) developed small, painful cracks causing Bentley to flap and shake his long ears resulting in bleeding. To discover the cause of Bentley’s abnormal ears, biopsies of the ear margin was done. The diagnosis was Proliferative Thrombovascular Necrosis. While the underlying cause of this rare condition is not well known, it is thought to be an immune mediated disorder.

Padfoot Stringer

June, 2012

This winter Padfoot, a healthy 3 ½ year old Terrier/Maltese dog became painful on his right hind paw after playing. Initial x-rays appeared normal and a ligament injury was suspected. However, Padfoot did not recover and continued to favor his right hind paw. One of his middle toes was swollen and painful. Further x-rays showed evidence of lysis of the toe bones indicating a tumor of the pad. Padfoot underwent amputation of one toe and a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the toe was confirmed.

Oscar Singer

April, 2012

Oscar is a very special patient at West Kootenay Animal Hospital. He has had a wonderful life and will be turning 15 in May 2012. The list of illnesses Oscar has had and recovered from (acute respiratory distress syndrome, cholangitis, pancreatitis, bowel obstruction and recently lung lobe torsion, to name only a few!) is extensive. What is truly amazing, however, is the love and commitment his human family has for Oscar. It inspires us and reminds all of us at West Kootenay Animal Hospital why we entered this profession.

Cody Bella

March, 2012

Cody is a very special dog. In June 2011, Cody developed a chronic cough. Extensive testing and referral to the Washington State University revealed sad news, Cody has several tumours at the base of his heart, in his abdomen, and in his right shoulder. Cody underwent a pericardiectomy, surgery to prevent fluid from building up around his heart, and was started on low dose metronomic chemotherapy. Cody has responded extremely well to his treatments.

'Sunshine' Bagshaw

November, 2011

Sunshine is a lovely senior dog with a sweet and sunny disposition, with a condition known as laryngeal paralysis. This condition is relatively common in older large breed dogs and is characterized by loud breathing sounds, voice changes, tiring easily with exercise and excessive panting. The laryngeal nerves control the opening and closing of the larynx or voice box muscles. Paralysis results in the abductor muscles being unable to work properly and it becomes difficult to breathe through the paralyzed laryngeal folds.

Guiness Isherwood

August, 2011

Trigeminal neuritis is a disease of sudden onset where the fifth cranial nerve (trigeminal nerve) becomes inflammed. This results in drooling, difficulty eating or drinking, jaw paralysis and the inability to close the mouth. Guiness is a very happy 5-year-old chocolate lab that recently developed this condition. While relatively uncommon, trigeminal neuritis usually resolves in 1-6 weeks with supportive care such as diet changes to allow the pet to eat (soft food made into meatballs usually works!).

Bones DeVuono

July, 2011

Antifreeze is a common toxin for household pets. It has a pleasant taste and unfortunately very small amounts can be fatal. Bones is a happy 4 year old yellow lab who decided some antifreeze would be a tasty snack. Fortunately for Bones he was caught in the act and brought in for treatment immediately. Antifreeze is metabolized very rapidly by the liver and it is these toxic metabolites that lead to kidney damage and ultimately acute kidney failure. Treatment involves giving fluids and ethyl alcohol intravenously for several days.

'Loki' Mailey

March, 2011

Loki is a friendly male cat who was adopted from the SPCA. He arrived at his new home with a history of previous upper respiratory infection and an infected left eye. When Loki was brought in for examination, the tissue lining the eyelid was so swollen and painful it was impossible to examine his eye. Rhinotracheitis Herpes Virus was suspected as the underlying cause of Loki’s eye problem. Herpes virus is very common in cats especially in shelter environments, which can be prevented by vaccination. Symptoms include sneezing, conjunctivitis and lethargy.

Riley Zanussi

February, 2011

Riley is a 9 year old large breed dog with an unusual type of tumour. Riley has an insulinoma. This is a tumour in the pancreas which produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone which allows extra sugar to be removed from the blood stream and stored as starch and fat, keeping the blood sugar level stable. The insulinoma produces excess insulin resulting in dramatic drops in the blood sugar. In Riley’s case this caused him to have a number of symptoms including disorientation, trembling, listlessness and even seizures.

Samara Scoffham

November, 2010

Samara, a curious 7-year-old Siamese cat had a difficult month. Over Thanksgiving Samara was hospitalized for periodic vomiting, lethargy and decreased appetite.  Initially she seemed to improve with supportive treatment but over the next week Samara started to deteriorate.  Blood tests and x-rays did not determine the cause of Samara's illness.  Exploratory surgery was the next step and the results were surprising. Samara had swallowed a large amount of sewing thread, which had become wrapped around her tongue and then swallowed.  Because the thread was so

Frank Raito

September, 2010

Frank is a 5 month old mixed breed puppy who became lethargic, stopped eating and had a low-grade fever. Within a few days the cause of his illness became obvious. Frank developed a large abscess below his jaw and along the side of his neck. Treatment required surgery to flush and drain the abscess as well as a Penrose drain and antibiotics to clear up the infection. Once the abscess was drained Frank began to improve immediately

Brutus Kruk

May, 2010

Brutus came to the clinic and was a very sick bulldog. For 2 days he had been lethargic and off his food. He was also coughing, retching and bringing up blood-tinged fluid. Examination, blood tests and chest x-rays revealed bacterial pneumonia with consolidation of his right cranial lung lobe. Brutus was hospitalized and started on IV fluids and antibiotics for 24 hours. There are many different underlying causes of pneumonia in dogs.

"Reznor" Earthy

April, 2010

Reznor is a very special dog. He is a 7-year-old Leonburger with a loving and gentle nature. Reznor came to the Animal Hospital in January 2010 after eating bird suet and becoming lethargic and refusing food. He was placed in the hospital on intravenous fluids and antibiotics but his condition continued to deteriorate rapidly. Reznor developed a severe arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) and grossly enlarged heart on chest x-rays. He was rushed to Washington State University (WSU) for a cardiac ultrasound and was admitted to their I.C.U.

"Sir Benjamin" Harrison

March, 2010

Chocolate ingestion is one of the most common toxicities we seen in dogs. Pets may be exposed to a variety of coca and chocolate products, which contain varying amounts of theobromine and caffeine, the toxic ingredients. Sir Benjamin is a small poodle that ate a large amount of chocolate for his body weight. Within hours of eating the chocolate, Sir Benjamin developed typical symptoms, including; excessive thirst, vomiting, restlessness and tremors. In severe cases chocolate intoxication can lead to seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, hyperthermia and even coma.

"Mia" Moffat

January, 2010

Mia is a beautiful 9-year-old Old English Sheepdog, whose right eye suddenly became red, painful and “odd” looking. Fortunately Mia was brought to the clinic quickly and it became apparent she had developed acute glaucoma in the right eye. Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure in the eye. Once the pressure in the eye starts to increase, dogs can lose vision and suffer permanent damage to the eye within a matter of hours. In Mia’s case the disease was caught early enough that aggressive medical treatment reduced the pressure and save Mia’s vision.

'Maggie' Crockett

December, 2009

Mr. Myogi Demkiw

November, 2009

Mr. Myogi is a happy-go-lucky 6-month-old Boston Terrier. Shortly after adoption he developed soft stool on occasion but not consistently. Over the next three months the soft stools and diarrhea became more frequent and he was brought to the clinic for consultation. Fecal floatation demonstrated numerous small motile organisms and a positive Giardia SNAP test confirmed a diagnosis of Giardia.

"Molly" Siddall

July, 2009

Molly is a 3-year-old mischievous Cairn Terrier. She had escaped one day and must have had a pretty good adventure, for when her owner finally found Molly, she noticed Molly was walking funny and kept licking at her paws. It was then discovered that Molly must have ran through something and she had tar all over her feet. It was so bad that Molly’s toes and pads were so stuck together, it almost looked like hooves. Her owner tried to bath her to soften the tar, but no luck.

"Ottis" Mears

June, 2009

Obesity is a common problem in our North American pets. Approximately 40% of cats are overweight or obese and indoor cats tend to be particularly prone. Overfeeding, inactivity and genetics all play a role in this increasingly common health concern in pets.

Bogart Jordt

May, 2009

Bogart is an 8 month old English Bulldog who was diagnosed with demodectic mange at 4 months of age.  Demodex is a type of mite that lives in the hair follicles of dogs.  It is not contagious to other dogs and if present in low numbers it doesn't cause problems.  However, in young dogs if something happens to upset the natural balance or supress the dog's immune system the mites can proliferate and cause serious skin disease.  In Bogart's case he was suffering from generalized demodectic mange as the mites were affecting all areas of the skin.  The treat

Coco Geysen

March, 2009

Coco is a 10 month old cat who went outside one morning and came home 3 hours later struggling to breathe.  She was hospitalized, treated for shock and stabilized.  X-rays taken over the first 24 hours revealed the development of Pneumothorax.  Pneumothorax is a condition often caused by trauma where air from the lungs or windpipe leaks into the chest cavity through a small tear.  It can also occur with penetrating wounds to the chest wall.  This prevents the lungs from being able to expand and fill properly and causes severe respiratory distress.  Coco had Tho

Freya Bialowski

February, 2009

Freya is a 11 year old Chow & Newfie cross dog who developed a large distended abdomen over the course of 1 week.  Testing and exploratory surgery determined the cause of Freya's abdominal distention was fluid build up secondary to a large mass associated with her left middle liver lobe.  During surgery the affected liver lobe was removed and submitted for evaluation by a veterinary pathologist.  the diagnosis was a benign tumor called a hepatoma.  Freya has recovered completely from her surgery.  Despite the extreme size of the tumor (1 kg) and our initial

Kia Dilling

January, 2009

Just like people, pets need regular dental care to keep their teeth healthy.  During your pets annual physical exam the doctor will also do a dental exam.  It was during Kia's yearly check up that a chip in one of the large upper 4th premolars was discovered.  Dental x-rays determined that two of the three roots on this tooth were abscessed and the decision to extract the tooth was made.  Broken and chipped teeth are very common in dogs and are often caused by chewing hard objects like rocks, bones and hard plastic chew toys.  If the pulp cavity of the tooth is