Mountainview Small Animal Hospital Blog


Mountainview Small Animal Hospital is proud to announce that Dr. Tran has finished her year-long course of study and her final exams, and is now certified in Veterinary Acupuncture. She is excited to be able to offer this alternative therapy to her patients in order to help improve their quality of life by combining Traditional Chinese Medicine with our Western Medicine protocols; together, they can be used to treat and/or relieve symptoms from conditions such as arthritis, neurologic disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, paralysis, muscle injuries, and more.

Acupuncture is a very safe, relatively painless procedure where hair-thin needles are placed over different “points” on the body to stimulate the body to heal itself-naturally. Traditional Eastern Medicine describes acupuncture as a method that rebalances the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), that travel along the 12 meridians in the body, by inserting small needles into the acupuncture points, it can redirect the flow of energy and restore the body to balanced health.

The Western Medicine rationale is that the body’s acupuncture points are located at nerve clusters and blood vessels and by stimulating these areas trigger physiological effects such as increased blood flow, improved immune function, as well as stimulating the release of endorphins (a pain control hormone), serotonin, and small amounts of cortisol (a natural steroid).

Dr. Tran plans on expanding her studies in the field of alternative medicine by continuing her education to include herbal medicine, food therapy and Tui-na (a form of acupressure/massage therapy). Her belief is that we can combine the best of both Eastern and Western medicine to help our patients live long, healthy and happy lives.

If you feel acupuncture might be beneficial for your pet, call our office to learn more, or to schedule a consult with Dr. Tran.

Check out these interesting articles for more information:
DVM360 Article on Acupuncture
National Geographic on Acupuncture
Washington State University on Acupuncture

posted in:  ALERTS  |  NEW SERVICES

This Is Cheeto

I think in some ancient, unknown language the word Cheeto must mean ‘explorer’.

This great orange adventurer came to us about a year ago as a young, stray tom cat that just needed neutering and vaccines and was going to be returned to the community (trap and release) from whence he came; but Jean fell in love with him one Sunday—texting the office manager Debbie photos of him ‘hugging’ her which bought him a reprieve. He quickly managed to charm Kimmy and a host of other employees to the point where most everyone was asking if he could stay.
Cheeto soon realized the one person he needed to work his magic on was Dr. Hempel, so, seizing the perfect moment (while Dr. Hempel was hanging some cabinets) Cheeto made his way into the tool bag, getting comfortable amongst the drills, and other assorted power tools. Not getting the reaction he wanted, Cheeto proceeded to jump into the cabinet, while Dr. Hempel was still in the process of hanging it–not minding the loud sounds of the drill, forcing Dr. Hempel to stop his work and pet him. It worked. He was allowed to stay.
Little did we know the kind of shenanigans this super- inquisitive ginger was going to get into.
The first incident of note this fearless individual took part in was the great escape into the attic, only to fall through the ceiling in the kennel. One day, poor Alyssa was quietly folding some laundry when she heard a loud crashing sound and saw a great orange streak of fur go flying out of the room amidst a pile of destroyed ceiling panels and dust. Much to his dismay, after Cheeto was inspected and found to be free from injury, he was vigorously shampooed to remove any attic debris he may have collected on his journey. You would think he would have learned from this experience, but no, on a second occasion, months later, Maria was in the kennel and heard the desperate meowing of a cat in peril. She followed the sounds of distress to the storage closet-only to find the lower half of an orange cat dangling from yet another broken ceiling panel, trying frantically to pull himself back up. His reward after his rescue? Another thorough scrubbing in the bathtub. He was not amused and has not been in the attic since.
Most people think of cats as fastidious groomers –taking great pride in their appearance. Cheeto does not fall into this category. Instead, on every occasion where he can make an escape, he will run to the nearest pile of dirt he can find and roll around in it until he is fully coated like an uncooked, breaded, KFC chicken breast. On one or two occasions, clients have come to inform us of the orange cat that just shot out the front door, only to have the receptionist stroll out, knowing full well, Cheeto is taking a luxurious dirt bath in the front planter. He has been known to race employees at full speed out back, to the open warehouse door, only to slam on the brakes the moment his paws hit the dirt and nose dive into his happy place, rolling and chirping in delight as he works the dirt, leaves and sticks into his fur. In retrospect, had we known of his propensity to dirt dive, we probably would have named him Pigpen, given the puffs of dust that often waft from his coat when he’s being petted.
His love of dirt can only be matched by his love of snacks. He knows where all his favorite snacks are stored, and he knows exactly how to get to them. He has been found inside cabinets where he has opened a jar of treats, and while enjoying one or two for himself, he will unselfishly toss many out onto the floor for the waiting Smudge, Rascal or Charlie to enjoy as well. He learned how to unlock his cage at night, so he must be double locked, to keep him from all night snacking expeditions and the inevitable burglar alarm activation. He is truly the smartest cat I’ve ever known–his ability to problem solve is astounding and you can’t help but love him even though he is always into something. It’s like when you have a toddler and it’s suddenly gone quiet….you just know something’s up and you have to go see what they’re getting in to.

So, when all is said and done, we realize Cheeto is an adventurous soul and needs to be in an environment where he can exercise his superior cat intellect and thrive. Someplace where he will be safe, but can still get into some harmless, Tom Sawyer-esque mischief. He has a potential home on a large Oregon ranch, where there is a fish pond, horse barns (complete with mice to chase) and a little cat-friendly dog, we just have to get him there. Until that day, when he gets to go to his forever home, we will do our best to keep him entertained and content, and if you see him cruising passed the front desk, (or sailing over the front counter) say hello to one of the coolest cats you might ever meet.

posted in:  HOSPITAL PETS

Charlie Gets a Forever Home

“Charlie” was a 3 month old kitten with a broken jaw that was brought in by Animal Friends for Dr. Hempel to evaluate back in October. Charlie seemed fairly healthy otherwise, and had such a great disposition and so much personality that Dr Hempel offered to do the repair and find this little fella a home. It is with great excitement that we can report Charlie went to his forever home this past Wednesday and is bringing joy to a wonderful couple that love him so very much.

His new mommy wrote us a lovely thank you letter:
“I want to say ‘thank you’ to all of you for the loving and expert care you gave to Charlie as an abandoned, injured kitten.
It has been fourteen years since I lost a sweet cat/companion to cancer. We’d had him for about 16 years, and he often slept with me on my pillow. Then I did a lot of traveling with my husband for his job and didn’t feel it was good to leave a cat to be alone most of the time.
Our circumstances advanced to being retired, but I had long thought we’d never have a dear cat in our lives again. Then Alyssa started bringing Charlie home for overnight. I was encouraged to hold him in the room where he was kept. He was so easy to bond with. My dear husband recognized my love for cats and could tell this cat and I would be great friends. He let me know it was time for me to find ‘cat love’ again and encouraged me to say ‘yes’ to Charlie.

I know from Alyssa that the staff and doctors of the animal hospital have taken a big liking to Charlie, so I hoped and prayed we’d be allowed to have him.
We (both my husband and me) are already bonding, and Charlie is getting used to his new ‘home’ and doing a lot of exploring.

Mountainview will see him occasionally when he needs shots or routine care. Thank you many times over for this dear, sweet new cat in our lives.”

Happy Christmas everyone–may you find joy in the little things. Sometimes the little things are black and white and covered in fur.


Saying Goodbye to Jean

Some of our regular clients will notice a familiar face is missing here at Mountainview–Jean has moved out of California this past week.
For almost 10 years, Jean was one of our extremely talented, compassionate RVTs providing excellent care to our patients and we are sad to see her leave us. She and her husband purchased their dream home with property on a lake–so rather than wallowing in woe, we will choose to be happy for her knowing the bliss she must be feeling in her gorgeous new place. We know our clients will miss her too, but feel they will bond with Katie, who recently achieved her RVT designation and is working hard to fill Jean’s shoes.
We wish Jean and her husband the best, and hope to see her now and again when she pops into CA for a visit.

posted in:  NOTICES


In order to spend time and celebrate with our families we will be closed the following Holidays (dates) for 2017:
Easter Sunday– April 16th
Memorial Day–May 29th
Independence Day– July 4th
Labor Day–September 4th
Thanksgiving–November 23rd
Christmas Eve–December 24th
Christmas Day– December 25th
New Year’s Eve–December 31st
New Year’s Day– January 1st 2018

Be assured that there will be staff on premises as usual for boarded or hospitalized patients, and they will be well taken care of even though we will not be open to the public.

posted in:  NOTICES


See Harvey. Harvey likes to show the world his sparkling clean chompers and his pet parents are thrilled about his super fresh breath. Harvey wants all pets to be as proud of their smile and be as healthy as he is. Be like Harvey. Harvey Abell

Bad breath and icky looking teeth are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dental disease. Plaque covered, infected teeth can shower the bloodstream with harmful bacteria that can wreak havoc on organ systems which could lead to premature heart disease, kidney disease and other systemic disease processes that might otherwise have been prevented. This makes Harvey sad.

During the month of February, veterinary hospitals all over the nation strive to spread the word and help pet parents keep their pets in the best health possible by recommending a thorough oral exam and if needed, a dental cleaning that includes ultrasonic scaling of the teeth, periodontal disease assessment via gingival probing and finally, enamel polishing to keep the tooth surface smooth and discourage further plaque build up. Spreading the word about pet dental health makes Harvey happy.

Let’s keep Harvey smiling and get your pet’s dental exam right away–and if a cleaning is recommended, schedule during the month of February and get 15% OFF the cost of the dental package! Call soon, we book up FAST!

For more information see our Dental Services page.

posted in:  DENTAL HEALTH

Update on Samantha

We received an update, complete with Christmas photos, from Samantha’s new family and we learned she is doing very well; and, as illustrated in the photo, has become quite close with her new fur-brother “Indio”. She also enjoys spending time (sharing the couch) with her cat-cousin “Louie”. We could not have hoped for a more perfect home for this lucky puppy and are looking forward to many more updates from her wonderful new forever family.



“Shalunya” is Russian for minx or naughty. “Shalunya” is the pup Katie (our receptionist) fell in love with.

In August 2016, she was brought in at about 8 weeks old by Animal Friends of the Valley with a broken and displaced lower jaw where the bone had become horribly infected. Her mouth was full of pus and it was a pretty nasty mess in there. She had great difficulty eating so gruel was made so she could lap it up when she wasn’t being hand fed. The smell from the infection was an entity all its own – if it got on your scrubs no one would come near you for the rest of the day. Staff members were gowned up like Haz Mat workers when they handled the puppy. But none of that mattered to Katie. Katie would bring in extra scrubs in order to be able to hold the puppy and love on her despite her icky mouth. She and the puppy started to bond.

After a thorough exam of the mouth and after carefully considering the bone infection, Dr. Hempel determined, “I can help this puppy…..” So he did.

After two weeks on antibiotics to get the raging infection under control and (during that same time period) after the shelter released her to us permanently, she was taken to surgery where the jaw was re-aligned, wired together, and then a surgical molding compound was applied to the teeth to act as a stabilizer while the jaw healed. Healing was a long process, but she was a trooper-in fact she didn’t seem to realize there was anything wrong with her.
Realizing the puppy’s recuperation would be a lengthy one , Katie did not want her to miss out on learning good puppy manners, so she began working with her; teaching her basic commands and later some fun tricks like “shake”, “roll over” and “play dead”. She named her “Shalunya” due to her playful nature and propensity to be a bit of a rascal. On many occasions Katie took the puppy home to socialize with her bigger dog, and her Maine Coon cat. The cat seemed unimpressed by the pup, and barely reacted to her presence; but her big German Shepherd was afraid of the new puppy and would hide in the other room when Shalunya was in the house—dashing Katie’s hopes of being able to keep the puppy herself.

Once Shalunya was healed up and it became evident that she would be able to lead a normal life with little to no long term ill effects, Dr. Hempel gave the okay to find her a forever home.

Her forever family came in one day and saw her picture at the front desk and asked to meet her. Katie brought her up and the puppy immediately gravitated to the family’s teenage daughter. A few days later, the entire family came in to get to know Shalunya and decided they wanted her as a permanent member of their family. Since Shalunya had a couple more weeks of medications to finish, Dr Hempel spayed her and she was given the last of her vaccine series. While waiting for their new puppy to be released from care, her new family would come in twice a week to visit and play with her.

Finally, three anesthetics, four months and many medications later, this lucky pup’s big day came, and on December 1st Shalunya, whose new name is now “Samantha” (which is SO much easier to pronounce!) went home to her new family.

Please visit our Facebook page for more photos from this sweet puppy’s story:


“Newton’s Story”



The local shelter we work with, Animal Friends of the Valley, brought this pup in for evaluation. He had been attacked by a much larger animal and had terrible wounds all over his tiny body, including a deep wound to the abdominal cavity. Despite his grave injuries, this little guy still had the sweetest disposition and Dr Hempel couldn’t bear knowing he might be put to sleep due to the extent of his wounds–so he asked permission from the shelter to proceed with the risky surgery. Permission was granted and the little dude pulled through the surgery and his wounds healed up after lengthy treatment and hospitalization.
After the allotted shelter waiting time, he was released to our permanent custody for re-homing.
He was so tiny, none of the baby T-shirts fit him, so he had his outfits fashioned out of tube socks, cut to fit. In this photo he is showing his flair for fashion, modeling a men’s brown dress sock. His affinity for sock wear earned him the temporary nick-name “Tube Sock Steve”, but we know his forever home will give him a name that fits his personality.
The best part of this story is how Dr Hempel’s family fell in love with him as much as the staff did, and after some ‘convincing’ (by his wife, daughter and granddaughter) Dr Hempel agreed to add this little fella to the Hempel household where he will be allowed to cuddle with his new best friend Tessa, whom he has grown to love.
After getting to know him they decided to call him “Newton” (“Newt” for short). When “Newt” is not losing at tug-of-war with “Eddie”- who currently outweighs him by about 15 lbs, he is spending quiet, cuddle time with his favorite person Tessa, who exclaimed when “Newt” was brought home for good,”this is the best day of my life!”
I bet “Newt” thought the same thing.


Our Journey Into Paperless-ness

dog paperwork

It’s really (finally) happening!
For those of you who have been in the office in the last 6 months, you may have already been subjected to the trials and tribulations of our on-going march towards being a paperless practice. For that, we salute you. Thank you all, for your extraordinary patience while we convert from utilizing those giant, paper-packed medical charts to the computer based files. “I am really going to miss searching for those misplaced, over-stuffed, 15 pound charts”, said NO ONE, EVER.
Over our six month journey to be good Earthlings, we’ve set up Medical Exams, Pet Report Cards, Dental Charts and ‘Petly’ Prescription Requests (just to name a few) in our Cornerstone Program. However, we still have a few more processes to work out before our proposed “Kick-the-Charts-to-the-Curb” launch date of January 1st 2016. Even then, we know there will still be a de-bugging period before we can become the seamless medical note taking, well-oiled data entering machine, that we aspire to be.
In advance, we would like to thank you again for your patience while we continue to streamline the process. In the end we will be better able to serve you with easily accessible medical records (through Petly for our clients and via computer files for us), clearly written Dr’s notes (yay! no more Doctor’s handwriting!), online RX requests via Petly and so much more.
Until January 1st, we will continue to obtain paper cuts (the big ones that can only be inflicted by those super thick manila charts, that hurt REALLY bad, especially when you get alcohol in them), to have over flowing charts explode on us, and generally continue to curse their existence. After that, we will only have to worry about the computers going down…..
Wait…WAIT…. WHAT?!

posted in:  IN THE NEWS


Free vaccines for life programFree Vaccines For Life Program

Everyone at Mountainview was so kind. Dr. Hempel took his time explaining exactly what was wrong with Oggi and how she could be helped. Even the staff called two days in a row to see how she was doing. Happy to say she’s smiling again.
— Deborah W.