Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



Why Dr. Foote Became a Veterinarian


Tame the Turkey Trots - Go Easy on the Thanksgiving Food
Pets get Diabetes?
Why I Became a Veterinarian



Tame the Turkey Trots - Go Easy on the Thanksgiving Food

We love our pets and want to involve them in our every day lives.Thanksgiving is a day filled with family and lots of yummy food. You want to include your dog or cat in the celebration. But resist the temptation to give your dog or cat too many goodies during the holiday. 

Turkey, chicken and other bird bones can splinter as your pet chews on the bone. These splinters can pierce your pet's intestine causing a life-threatening infection. The bones can also become stuck in the intestines and cause your dog or cat to become sick. The bones can also cause vomiting and diarrhea by irritating your pet's stomach.

Giving your pet the fat from your meat may be tempting, but you will pay for it later. Fatty foods can cause several problems. The fat causes many pets to vomit or have diarrhea. The fat can also give your dog or cat pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a serious illness and will mean your beloved pet will be spending some time at the veterinary clinic. Learn more about Pancreatitis in Dogs and Cats.

Thanksgiving foods are full of calories. A four ounce piece of turkey is 200 calories. Giving a cat a four ounce piece of turkey is like you eating an 3 3/4 Big Macs. Giving a 10 pound dog a four ounce piece of turkey is like you eating a McDonald's Hamburger. The calories add up. You can give your dog or cat some healthy vegetables. You may not think veggies are a treat, but your pet does. Green beans (not green bean casserole), carrots, celery, are a few lower calorie veggies that your pet can enjoy without packing on extra pounds. Making a apple or pumpkin pie? Give your pet a slice of apple or a teaspoon or two of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix). 



Pets get Diabetes?

Diabetes is an illness that occurs when the pancreas fails to make an inadequate amount of insulin. Insulin is needed to allow body cells to use glucose (sugar) as food. Cells are fooled into thinking they are being starved. The animal’s fat, stored carbohydrates and proteins are broken down creating more sugar in the blood. Some of the excess glucose is removed from the body by the kidneys. Glucose draws water into the urine. This leads to your pet peeing more and drinking more because of the water loss in their urine.

Causes: genetic, pancreatitis, obesity or another disease

Symptoms: weight loss, increased drinking, increased urination, increased appetite, oily coat, dandruff, obesity with recent weight loss, jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin, eyes and mouth). Symptoms that occur later include decreased appetite, vomiting and lethargy.

Treatment: insulin injections, fluid therapy, increased activity. If the cat or dog is overweight, weight loss and a change in diet can help .

Home care: Feed your pet measured amounts of food twice a day. We may change the food your pet eats. Special Diabetic foods help the body keep a more constant amount of glucose in their body. Monitor how much your pet is eating and drinking. Also monitor how often the cat or dog pees. Exercise and weight loss can help lower the amount of insulin your pet needs. Some pets no longer need to get insulin injections when they are at a healthy weight.  

How to give Insulin: Roll the insulin bottle between your hands before filling the syringe. Never shake the bottle. Give insulin injections just after the pet has eaten a meal. You can give your pet a teaspoon of baby food just beforeyou give the injection. This will help distract your pet and will reward them for getting the injection. The injection should be given just under the skin in the shoulder area, away from the spine. If your pet gets away and some of the insulin is squirted out, do not draw any more to inject into the dog or cat.Insulin should be kept in the refrigerator. Used syringes and needles can be put in an emptied plastic laundry detergent bottle. When the bottle is full, put the lid on it and throw it into the garbage.

Diabetic diary: Keep track of the amount of food your pet is eating. Also note when you gave the insulin injection and how much you gave. If you are using urine dipsticks to test for glucose and ketones in the urine, write that down as well. This information will be helpful to us at your pet's next check up. 

What happens if my pet gets too much insulin or isn't eating: Call us if your pet isn't eating well. We have some tips on helping pets eat. Hypoglycemia can happen if your pet hasn't eaten before the insulin injection or if too much insulin is given. Hypoglycemia means the blood sugar is too low. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include seizures, weakness,collapsing, lethargy and other abnormal behavior. Wipe Karo syrup on your pet’s gums and tongue and call us immediately if you see any of these symptoms.

Fast Facts: Diabetes often affects older pets more than younger pets. Male cats are more likely to be diabetic than female cats. Female dogs are more likely to be diabetic than male dogs and can be triggered by pregnancy. Some breeds of dogs are more likely to become diabetic: Keeshond, puli, miniature pinscher and Cairn terriers.



Why I Became a Veterinarian 

From the time I was 12 years old; I made a decision to become a veterinarian and never really seriously considered anything else. I did look into other medical science related fields as a backup plan in case I did not pass the rigorous admissions tests, applications and interviews for veterinary college admission. My heart and soul was always to become a veterinarian.
How I came to this decision was a culmination of a couple of factors. I really liked science, especially biology. I liked being around people and helping them solve problems. I also felt that animals had a special way of communicating with humans, and I wanted to understand that. We did not have loads of animals growing up, but my pet dog Sean  helped me  know the importance of having a companion animal. I worked hard at my studies, found the opportunities to advance and made the grade for acceptance into veterinary college. I continue to be fascinated and challenged by this profession, and its importance to our everyday lives. I cannot imagine a day when I would not be somehow engaged in veterinary medicine.

As I practiced veterinary medicine, I discovered a passion for understanding pet behavior, and how that affects the bond with the owner. After taking additional education in animal behavior, I became a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant. Adding behavior services to our practice has enriched my career and helped many families and pets enjoy a healthier life together. We saw such a difference helping clients improve pet behavior, we incorporated only low stress/pet friendly handling for all pets for all visits. Okaw Veterinary Clinic is now one of the first Certified Low Stress Handling clinics through Dr Sophia Yin's program. I have seen firsthand, aggressive, difficult to examine dogs and cats now pull their clients through the door because they want to come to the veterinarian. This is what keeps me going, even after the most difficult cases.

I have always looked at the pet's health in a holistic, way for  considering both the physical and behavior health. When I see our clients understand the importance of nutrition, preventative care and good behavior  for their pets, I feel we have done our job well.

Dr. Sally J. Foote - Graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine - 1984  CABC-IAABC   2011

Okaw Veterinary Clinic
140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953
(217) 253-3221


Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
Sat 8 am - noon
Closed Thurs & Sun

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