COVID-19, human coronavirus not contagious from pets, but you still need to protect them if you get sick.

Many people are still worried about the relationship between COVID-19 and their pets.  This  new virus has us changing our game plan weekly, it seems.  But this is what we know so far:




  • Cats and Dogs can (rarely) naturally contract the COVID-Sars-2 virus. They rarely get sick, but it they do, it has been mild and self-resolving
  • Minks (and therefore, presumably Ferrets– although *I couldn’t find any professional references to pet ferrets/ COVID-19*) can naturally contract and become symptomatic with COVID-19.  Minks have developed respiratory signs AND gastrointestinal disease. Some died.  This demonstrated that they were able to pass the disease amongst themselves.
  • In the LABORATORY setting (where research animals have been super infected), cats, ferrets and hamsters have been found to pass the virus to animals of the SAME species.
  • Domesticated animals (as far as we know to date) canNOT transfer COVID-19 directly to humans.
  • It does not seem that pets from COVID-19 households can transfer the virus to a human.


  • Stay away from your pets, especially your ferrets (whose genetic lineage seems to more seriously affected).  Sorry no snuggling while you are feeling lousy in bed. 🙁
  • Have someone else in the family care for the pets, if possible.   If that’s not possible, wear a mask and gloves while tending to your pet.  Avoid petting or intimate contact.  Keep them out of your quarantine room/ bedroom.  Consider asking a friend to care for your pet while you are ill.

For more detailed information, please see the CDC’s Page on COVID-19 and Animals



George before his dental treatmentWatch George’s dental treatment video  Here



Ever wonder what all goes into a  dental treatment?  This video shows you a “Basic Dental Treatment” at Cimarron. (Most dogs don’t get George’s super cool neck wrap, but dogs with neck problems do!)



Have you wondered why  pet dental treatments cost so much?  When you watch George’s dental treatment video, you will see all the equipment it takes to anesthetize George, monitor him, x-ray, clean and p


olish his teeth.  George  didn’t even need extractions or periodontal treatments which take longer and utilize even more equipment!  A dental treatment without extractions in a dog George’s size (about 35 pounds) takes about one and a half to two hours from setup to tear down and cleaning/ sterilizing all of the equipment. That’s with about 3 people working on the project!  That’s a lot of manpower and a lot of detail to ensure not only the patient we are working on stays safe, but the next patient we treat will be safe too!


Telemedicine consults for pets, telehealth consults for pets, virtual vet visitsCimarron Animal Hospital is now offering  Telehealth Consults (also called Telemedicine)- Virtual Veterinary Health Care –  for our patients!  While there is a fee, it’s still less expensive for you AND less stressful for your pet!  They are a nice way to do recheck exams- when the Doctor doesn’t need to lay hands on the pet.  We can communicate through Skype, Face Time or Phone.  We will have a private texting app available soon as well!

Our Doctors do have to have a “valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship” to be able to do Telehealth Consults.  The Doctor participating in the virtual care communication needs to have seen a patient, in person, within at least a year. They need to be intimately knowledgeable of the pet’s current medical condition and have established a relationship with members of the pet’s family.  If any of those factors is not in place, a Telehealth Consult is not appropriate.

Some examples of how we might use Telehealth Consults:

  • Rechecks after surgery  ($18.00)
  • Allergy rechecks  ($25.00)
  • Diet and Medication change rechecks/ consults  ($25.00)
  • Behavioral Consults ($40.00)

1. Download the Medici Patient app for iOS or Android:

2. Complete your information to register in the app.

3. Once you are in the app, go to the section titled “Connect with your doctor” and select “Add an activation code.”

4. To connect with Dr Bohnke, you will enter the code KAFW5HSS7W

Call us if you would like more information about our Virtual Veterinary Health Care options!  520 886-1125

To see other new services, click here

Your Cimarron Team wants you to feel safe bringing your pet in to the clinic, so this is what we’re doing to help control the spread of COVID-19 as businesses reopen:

Doggie valet, doggy valet, pet valet, curbside pet

Curbside Check In.  If you would prefer not to come into the clinic, we will send our Pet Valet out to your car to collect your pet and the  medical history questions.  Our Pet Valet will bring your pet inside for his/ her exam with the Doctor. Your Doctor will then call you on your cell phone or come out to your car to discuss the findings.  Our Client Service Liaison will call you for payment over the phone.  After we’ve finished, your pet and anything he needs will be delivered back to your car!  Just let us know that you would like Curbside Check In when you make your appointment!

Curbside check-in has been pretty chill for most of the pets-- even the high strung ones!

Bob is usual pretty high strung when he comes in. Curbside check-in seems to be fine with him!

Fill Out your paperwork from home and Submit for easier service!

Health Screening Questions. We know they are a little invasive.  We’ve all suffered them.  Know that we aren’t going to deny your pet service, regardless of your answers.  We will just take extra precautions so that we don’t get sick, so we can continue to be here for you!  If you have been sick within the last 2 weeks, please let us know.  And, if so, please consider postponing and Wellness services for your pet for a couple weeks.  Of course, if your pet is sick or in pain, PLEASE bring him, regardless.  Just let us know your status as well!  (Plus, we just Care- about People, too!)

Image result for dog on the phoneTelemedicine Appointments.  Stay at home and still get your pet’s care.  We can schedule phone, video or text chats for appointments that don’t require the Doctor to actually touch your pet!  This is especially useful for recheck appointments and behavior appointments.  If you think this might be an option in your pet’s case, ask your Client Service Representative!  * These “Televet Consults” do have a fee, but are less expensive than in clinic visits.

Image result for cat maid 

 As a medical facility, we are pretty sanitary already, but we have increased our human contagious disease protection to include:

  • Spraying or wiping down counters, door knobs, door frames, drawer pulls, sinks, faucets, toilet handles and seats, chair arms and backs, phones, computer keyboards and mouses (mice?)— anything people touch.
  • Staff members with upper respiratory symptoms will be asked to stay home.
  •  Hand sanitizer or soap is available in all rooms for use by staff and clients
  • We are asking clients who are ill to please let us know before coming in the clinic.  We are happy to provide Pet Valet Service for you.  If you prefer to come inside, we ask you to wear a mask — for all our safety.
  • We encourage our clients to wear face masks— just in case.  We do!

Together, we humans will weather this storm with a little extra vigilance in good hygiene and the kindness of heart that is in all animal lovers.

From the CDC:

  •  At this time, there is no indication that COVID-19 is contagious from humans to animals.  HOWEVER, the CDC is recommending that people sick with Coronavirus minimize exposure to pets (no snuggling your pets if you are isolated due to illness  Image result for sad face emoji)—just in case…
  • While Coronavirus does not spread easily from porous/ rough surfaces, pet fur could be a source of infection to another human.  Just another reason to minimize contact with your pet if YOU are sick– for the sake of your loved ones.  And let us know if you have been sick while living with your pet.

“She’s slowing down” is the biggest problem we hear about senior pets.  Most owners aren’t concerned about it. They expect it. But it’s a Big Red Flag to veterinarians.  Sure, it could mean “just arthritis”, as most people assume.  But, it could also mean a lot of other things!  Things that can be treated!


  • Arthritis
  • Internal diseases like kidney disease, liver disease
  • Infections such as Valley Fever, Lyme’s disease, Heartworm disease

All of these conditions can and should be treated to give your older pup happy, comfortable Golden Years.


X-rays will help determine whether a senior pet has arthritis.  The joints most commonly affected are the hips and knees, but the spine is also often involved.  Small breeds with short, “twisty” front legs and  other dogs with limbs deformities will often have arthritis in those abnormal joints.

Heart Disease?

If radiographs aren’t revealing, ask your vet to check your dog’s heart– especially if your pup is a large or giant breed!  Heart disease in large breed dogs causes rear end weakness that can look just like arthritis! (When the heart can’t pump enough blood to the back of the body, muscles get weak and waste away, just like in arthritis!)

Heartworm Disease?

If Heartworm disease is common in your area, this can cause weakness due to the heart disease the worms cause.

Infectious Disease?

Any form of general illness can cause weakness.  For instance, Valley Fever is common in the desert southwest and can be a slowly progressive, insidious disease that causes a dog to just feel weak and sick. Ask you vet if your pet might have any diseases common to your part of the country.

Metabolic Disease?

Metabolic diseases common in the senior years like Kidney disease and Liver disease also make a dog just feel lousy and lazy, just as they do in humans.

Help Your Pet Live Life to its Fullest!

Don’t let your older dog slow down without knowing why! There is so much that can be done for all of these conditions to help dogs feel better, be more active, and be a part of the family again!  Insist that your vet explore the possibilities and don’t settle for “it’s just arthritis”!

high blood pressure in catsHigh Blood pressure, or “hypertension”, is a common condition in cats over the age of about 7 years. It is often associated with other disease conditions common in aging cats such as Hyperthyroidism, Kidney disease and Heart disease. Approximately 13-20% of cats that develop hypertension have no underlying disease. They have “primary hypertension”.

Complications of Hypertension

Sudden blindness is a common complication of high blood pressure in cats.  This blindness is caused by detachment of the retina in the back of the eye.  This retinal detachment can be reversed if the high blood pressure if resolved quickly.

High blood pressure can also cause kidney disease and complicate heart disease.

Signs of Hypertension:blindness, retinal detachment in catsblood in cat eye due to hypertension
  • Depression
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Inactivity
  • Head pressing (headache?)
  • Increase drinking and urination
  • Seizures
  • Sudden onset of paralysis (due to a blood clot to rear limbs)
  • No signs in the early stages– this is the best time to start treatment!

All cats over the age of 7 years should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year

All cats with diseases that can cause high blood pressure, or be worsened by high blood pressure, should be checked every time they have a checkup– at least twice yearly!

FDA approved drug for feline hypertension availabeTreatment

Medication is available to treat hypertension. It is usually easily given and well accepted by cats.  The FDA has recently approved, Semintra, in a convenient liquid form, to treat feline hypertension!  It’s important to also treat any underlying conditions (thyroid disease, kidney disease, heart disease).  Your cat may even be able to come off the blood pressure meds with treatment of the underlying condition!


After your cat starts medication, your  veterinarian should monitor your cat’s blood pressure  every 3-7 days until normal and stable, then every 3-6 months, depending on the underlying cause. Your vet will let you know your cat’s ideal monitoring schedule.


The prognosis for high blood pressure in cats is good to excellent! Your cat can live a normal life with medication and proper monitoring. You can learn to watch for subtle signs of recurrence of high blood pressure so you can help right away! Your kitty’s happiness can be restored with prompt blood pressure rechecks medication adjustments!


“We had a kitty patient with “end stage” kidney failure and high blood pressure that we were able to keep happy, active and eating for over 2 years! ‘Tuxedo’s’ owners were so in-tune with his behaviors that they could tell when his blood pressure was elevated. They would bring him in right away for a BP check any time he was acting unusual- not following his regular routine.  Every time, we were able to adjust his medications and make him feel like his “old self” again within hours!  It was so rewarding!”…  Dr Deb Bohnke

Omega-3 fatty acids have a number of potential benefits in dogs and cats with allergic skin, such as reducing inflammation and improving the skin’s general condition. When the skin is healthy, its natural barrier function against allergens (pollens, dust mites, molds) improves, minimizing the allergic reaction.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

The two health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are long chain omega-3 fatty acids and are found abundantly in fish.  Flax seed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, a shorter chain omega-3 fatty acid that requires the enzyme delta-6 desaturase to convert it into EPA and DHA in the body. Humans and dogs have
limited ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. Cats have even less ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA.
Therefore, supplementation with a high quality omega-3 fish oil is recommended for humans, dogs, and cats.

What are the important health benefits of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in dogs and cats?
  • Decreasing Inflammation: One of the key functions of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA is supporting the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. Dogs and cats can suffer from numerous inflammatory conditions that can affect their health and well-being. Studies have shown supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids from fish supports dogs and cats with inflammatory conditions associated with the skin, joints, kidneys, and heart.
  • EPA promotes healthy triglyceride (fat) levels within the blood of dogs
  • Shiny Coat and better skin condition. Essential fatty acid supplementation is known to maintain general skin and coat quality in dogs and cats. Human studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation supports weight loss.


What results should I expect to see in my dog or cat after omega-3 fatty acid supplementation?

Improved coat condition is common when pets start taking omega-3 fatty acids. This may take a month or two to manifest as old fur falls out and new, healthier fur fills in. The anti-inflammatory effect of a therapeutic dose of omega-3s will also help to reduce your pet’s skin inflammation and decrease the numbers of infections secondary to allergen exposure and self-trauma (chewing, licking and scratching).
Research shows that fatty acid levels reach a steady state within about one month of starting supplementation. Results vary for every pet. Consistency in giving your pet omega-3s is key to seeing results.

Are there any safety issues if my pet receives an over-supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids?

Platelets are a type of blood cell important for formation of a blood clot to stop bleeding if the body is cut or injured. Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the ability of platelets to stick together and form a blood clot quickly if taken in excess.

Do omega-3 fatty acids affect behavior and mood in dogs and cats?

The effects of omega-3 fatty acids on behavior in dogs and cats have not been well researched. However, one recent study did show that dogs with aggression problems had lower blood levels of DHA and higher omega-6 to omega-3 ratios than dogs without aggression. Although this study does not prove cause and effect, it does suggest that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may be beneficial for pets with aggressive conditions.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has also been researched in humans with cognitive dysfunction. Results of these studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in maintaining cognitive function. Therefore, improved behavior may be appreciated in older pets, especially those suffering from cognitive dysfunction.

Selecting a Quality Fish Oil Supplement

PURITY  Your pet’s omega 3 fish oil should be microdistilled for purity, without the use of chemicals or excessive heat, in order to effectively remove heavy metals, such as mercury and lead.

The therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids we currently recommend for dogs and cats :

20 mg/ pound Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) per day.

Make sure to read the supplement facts on the label to know how much EPA and DHA is in each capsule. A “1000 mg” soft gel refers only to the size of the soft gel, not the levels of EPA and DHA.

We recommend avoiding cod liver oil as it is too high in vitamins A and D when administered at a therapeutic EPA+DHA dose and can cause toxicity of these vitamins.

The total daily dose can be administered at a single time daily or can be divided over the course of the day.


AAFP certified Cat Friendly Practice

What does it mean to be a Cat Friendly Practice?  Cats are unique among pets: how they think, how they feel, how they react to the environment around them.  We understand how to comfort them and how to heal them with both medicine and compassion. We take their special needs into consideration.

We are certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners as a CatFriendly Practice!

  • Special waiting area, just for cats!
  • Happy kitty pheromones in the air to relax the jitters.
  • Towels to cover them so they can hide if they want.
  • Special exam room, with soothing music and treats, just for cats.
  • Free run of the exam room, to explore as they want.
  • Examinations performed where they feel most comfortable, whenever possible.
  • Gentle restraint (sedation available if needed for “must do “ procedures or just to help the visit be bearable—with your agreement, of course!).
  • Special room for housing, away from dogs and scary sounds of the hospital.
  • Hideaways in the kennels for security.



ALL of our staff is required to attend a certain number of Continuing Education courses to stay abreast of current topics in  veterinary medicine, particularly Feline medicine/ psychology.

One Veterinarian

  • Total of 30 hours of RACE approved veterinary CE every 3 years
  • 15 of the 30 veterinary CE hours must be in feline medicine and surgery

Other Veterinarians and Veterinary Team Members

  • Total of 15 veterinary CE every 3 years
  • 7 of the 15 hours must be in the feline medicine and surgery

That’s a LOT of cat- specific Continuing Education hours!

Don’t you want to bring your cats to a vet clinic that Cares about cats for who they are, not just as another animal to deal with?  Visit our Cat Friendly Practice next time your kitty needs its annual Wellness Visit!

For more information about the Cat Friendly Initiative, Click here


Kitty and Canine Calming Kits have arrived!

I hate bringing my cats into the clinic!  One is “fine” in the carrier in the car, except for the plaintive wailing and the bug eyes staring at me as if to say, “You Traitor!  Why are you taking me to my death?!”  The other has barrier anxiety, so just getting him IN the carrier is a matter of stuffing the pillow with claws, splayed in 17 directions, into the upturned box and somehow getting my hands out and the door closed before he can burst his way out again. And, I’m an expert cat-wrangler!  My poor baby who (once) trusted me then screams bloody murder for the mere 6 minute drive to the clinic!  So… they don’t come in more than they have to. Fortunately, I have the luxury of an in-home veterinarian ( me!) to examine them periodically.  (Thanks goodness for the clinic reminder system that reminds me when to do that or years would go by before I looked in their mouths!).  So, I can really understand cat owners’ trepidation at the concept of bringing their kitties in for their checkups!  (And we all know that, since cats are masters at hiding their illnesses until they are on death’s doorstep, that once or twice a year (“Oh God!”) vet visits are super important!)

You know what I do as soon as I get into the clinic? Sedate the barrier- issue cat so he can tolerate being confined to a kennel for the day! ( Bug-eyed “Spot” is usually content once he gets out of the moving car.)  I sedate my dog, too!  She loves the car ride, loves to greet all the people, but HATES to have her nails trimmed and her anal sacs cleaned!  She is so stressed that she whines incessantly if I leave her in a room by herself- let alone a kennel!  Her life is so much nicer ( mine, too) if she is sedated! 

So, I started thinking… I’d like to start sedating MY animals before they even get in the car. ( Hey, wouldn’t my clients, too?)   Then they don’t have all that extra anxiety!  As my teen-aged son would say, “He**,  yeah!”  So….

Kitty and Canine Calming Kits Save the Day!

  A couple days of natural calming medication and a stronger sedative– depending on your pet’s level of anxiety and what we need to get done– to take home BEFORE the Visit!  Bring in a calmer pet, have a calmer car ride, less anxiety, less guilt, and your are getting them in to the vet for the check ups/ procedures they need to stay healthier longer!

Bring your anxious pets to us!  We’re ready!  Every pet responds differently to sedatives, depending on the medication, their metabolism and their level of arousal before the meds kick in.  If the at-home sedation isn’t quite enough, we can give more while they are here!  They may go home and “sleep it off” all the rest of the day, but that has been determined to be beneficial for creating an amnesia response to the stressful stimulus, too!  This makes the next visit less arousing ( probably still need meds, but they’ll work even better)– that’s the theory, anyway!

Calming Kits contain

  • Natural meds for 3 days
  • Sedative medication
  • Instructions and tricks for training your pet to tolerate the experience more
  • Feliway (calming pheromone) for cats.

It’s helped dozens of pets already!  Pet parents are loving it too!  

Ooohh Nooo, it’s Otitis Externa! again…

Nearly every dog gets at least one in their lifetime!  Ear infections are one of the top 3 most common pet health insurance claim reasons! They’re crazy! They’re everywhere!  

Sometimes they are frustrating!  They can be hard to beat! They often recur. They are PAINFUL!


Outer ear infections in dogs are most often caused by :

  • Bacteria (various kinds, many of which are antibiotic resistant)
  • Yeast.
  • Both

There is almost ALWAYS an Underlying Cause that needs to be treated in order to cure the infection and prevernt recurrence.

ALLERGIES to food products–  Be on the alert for:

    • no other symptoms of allergy such as itchy skin/ persistent licking
    • Maybe Bottom scooting
    • Maybe Periodic loose stools, diarrhea or vomiting

ALLERGIES  to environmental factors ( pollens, dust mites, molds, etc), especially if:

    • Licking, scratching other parts of the body, too

Anything that plugs the ear canal such as

    • Wax accumulations
    • Thick or matted hair in the ear canal
    • Foreign bodies such as a grass awns or insects (ticks love ear canals!)
    • Tumor or polyps

Water in the ear– from swimming or bathing

Hormone problems suppressing the natural immune system


  • Shaking of the head
  • Ear scratching
  • Red and inflamed ears
  • Offensive ear odor
  • Black, Brown, reddish or yellowish discharge (fi you think it’s “dirt”, it’s probably not– see a vet!)
  • Constant tilting head may signal middle ear infection


Because a number of problems can cause an ear infection, it is important that your dog or cat see the veterinarian at the first sign of symptoms. The veterinarian will also make sure the eardrum is intact before prescribing medication because some medications have been known to result in hearing loss if administered to a pet with a ruptured eardrum.  Your veterinarian will prescribe proper medication and treatment.

Examining the ear–Your veterinarian will use an otoscope to look inside your pet’s ear for debris and to check on the condition of the eardrum. If this is painful, your pet may need to be sedated or anesthetized for the exam. If the ear examination reveals a foreign body, tick or heavy debris buildup, sedation may also be required in order for the veterinarian to remove the irritant.

CytologyYour veterinarian will take a sample of the material in the ear canal and examine it under a microscope (cytology) to determine if an organism caused the infection, and which organisms are involved. This is a critical step of diagnosis and follow up!   Different organisms require different medications and the type of organism involved can change over time, even during treatment!


Cleaning-  Your veterinarian may need to clean your pet’s ear of debris prior to treatment in order for treatment to be most effective.  Some medications are inactivated in the presence of pus. Medication can not treat an infection if there is so much debris in the canal that the medication cannot reach the skin. Cleaning can sometimes be done in the exam room.   But anesthesia is often needed if your pet’s ear is too painful or there is an excessive amount of debris. Ears are suuuper sensitive– there is only 1 nerve between the ear and the brain! Making the investment in cleaning, even if it means anesthesia, early in the treatment process will help cure the infection faster and reduce the number of rechecks needed.

Medication treatment–Medication treatment is typically prescribed for one to two weeks. This can be painful for your pet, so be gentle.  Your veterianrian may be able to instill long-acting medication in your pet’s ears initially to minimize uncomfortable treatments at home. Depending on your pet’s condition, you may have to do daily cleaning at home.  Your veterinary team will show you how.


Prompt diagnosis and proper treatment will speed your pet’s recovery. .Be prepared for recheck examinations with your veterinarian.  Only your vet, using an otoscope, can  ensure that the infection is cleared up all the way to the ear drum.  Ear infections can be frustrating and take some time to treat due to the number of factors that complicate recovery:

  •   The cause of infection can change during the course of treatment-–  from a bacterial to a yeast infection, for instance
  • Resistance to typically used medications.
  • Not cleaning the ear enough so that medication can reach the infection
  • Not treating the ears deeply enough
  • Not treating long enough to clear the whole infection
  • Underlying problems such as allergies or thyroid disease.



Important warning–The longer an ear infection goes untreated, the harder it is to get rid of. Your pet will be in pain until you start treatment. Heavy head shaking, a sign of infection, can result in broken blood vessels in the ear flap  (this is commonly called an aural hematoma) that requires surgery. Frequent ear infections can damage the eardrum and close the ear canal, in which case surgical reconstruction may be necessary.


Recurrence of infection may happen for a number of reasons.  Sometimes the infection is persisting rather than recurring because it was not cured the first time.  This happens most often when patients are not rechecked with the veterinarian. An infection may look cleared at the ear opening, but still be brewing deep in the canal, near the ear drum.

Recurrences should always be treated and the underlying cause treated.  Dogs should not “always” have ear problems. They are painful and often a sign of a bigger problem!


  • Prevent water from getting in your dog’s ear during baths– put a cotton ball in ear opening to catch any accidental water that may get in. 
  • If your dog is a frequent swimmer, ask your veterinarian for a drying ear wash to use nightly during swimming season.
  • Use any ear flush prescribed for your veterinarian on a regular schedule. 
  • Treat the underlying causes!


Q. What is the best way to keep my dog’s ears dry?
A. Cotton balls are an excellent way to dry your dog’s ears if he is regularly exposed to water. Always be gentle and careful not to force build-up down into the ear, which can contribute to an ear infection.
Q. How soon should I take my pet to the veterinarian’s office if I think it has an ear infection?
A. Call and make an appointment immediately. Your pet is in pain. Your vet needs to determine the source of the problem and prescribe a course of treatment as soon as possible.