Dr. Jon Klingborg


Dr. Jon Klingborg (‘Dr. K’) is a small animal veterinarian in Merced, California. His practice includes dogs, cats, and other furry creatures (chinchillas, hamsters, etc.)

    He has been a vocal advocate on animal welfare and has encouraged veterinarians to take a leadership role on such issues.  ‘Dr. K’ has lectured at state and national veterinary conventions on animal welfare issues, and was instrumental in developing The CVMA’s Eight Principles of Animal Care and Use and the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Principles—landmark documents that states how animals should be treated by veterinarians and society.

    In 2006, ‘Dr. K’ was named a “Distinguished Practitioner” by the National Academies of Practice—an honor bestowed upon only 150 practicing veterinarians in the United States.

    Dr. K served as President of the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) in 2004 -2005.  This is the largest state veterinary association in the United States.  During his term, he spoke out about important issues such as ear cropping, cat declawing, and pet cloning.  He interviews on these issues have appeared in media around the world—from Boston to Bahrain, California to Korea.

    Dr. Klingborg has also been very involved in Mentoring the next generation of animal doctors.  As Guest Faculty to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. K lectures to veterinary students on the importance of good client communication to a successful practice.

Blog posts by Dr. Jon Klingborg

Oops . . . they did it again!

Eleven years ago, the February 1998 Consumer Reports magazine tested and ranked various pet foods, and found a number of premium brands to be deficient in necessary nutrients, while giving a superior rating to several grocery store and budget brands.  
The May 1998 issue of Consumer Reports issued a retraction for the February rankings and advised owners to ignore its recommendations on pet foods-- “for now.”  This was only the second “oops” in Consumer Reports magazine’s history.  Veterinarians weren’t as surprised by the retraction as we were by the original rankings, because CR found that budget dog foods like Wal-Mart’s Ol’ Roy were equivalent to more expensive brands (such as Nutro, Science Diet and Iams.)   
Now, we fast-forward to the March, 2009 issue of Consumer Reports.  The magazine has asked eight veterinary experts for their opinions in the article “Q&A: Vets weigh in on Fido’s food”.  


And the winner is . . .

This is the time of year when we find out which pet has won the Rover Awards—the canine and feline version of the Oscars.
The Rover Award winner for Art Direction goes to Molly the anxious cat.  Her creative placement of cat poop in the middle of the den was her attempt to spell S-O-S.  She stopped using her litter box when the household teenager started playing the video game Rock Band. Molly may not be entertained by the loud music, but sure certainly has a flair for ‘carpet art.’  Perhaps it is time to find a new location for the litter box?
This year’s Rover Award for Costume Design goes to a talented puppy named Chewy.  A sculptor at heart, he carefully reshaped the shoes in the house to resemble modern art.   Of course, Chewy’s muse was Ennui, the Goddess of Boredom .  A little exercise and a few toys might have saved those shoes.


Leader of the Snack

On the average day, over half of the pets that I treat are ‘heavier than ideal,’ and about 10 percent are what I would call morbidly obese—meaning that their weight is going to cause serious health problems in the near future.
Most owners feel guilty when told their pet is too fat, but I’ve come to realize that it really isn’t their fault—the feeding of our pets is an innate human behavior—almost as basic as laughing or walking.
Even toddlers seem to understand this relationship. Children don’t need to be coached to share their food with the family dog. Instead, youngsters take great delight in throwing handfuls of delicious bounty off of the high chair tray and down to the waiting furry friend below.


The DiVot Code

While conducting some ‘field research’ for my latest article, I was fortunate to stumble upon a secret society that knows the answer to one of the world’s most perplexing mysteries.  For years, the Knights Fescue have closely guarded the truth, but they let me into the inner circle and now I can finally explain “Why do dogs eat grass?”
Insisting that we meet on his turf, the Chief of the Knights Fescue gave me directions to his hidden fortress—the Temple of Sod.  It was located in the old, seedy side of town.  The Chief Knight was dressed in green and wore a ceremonial blade around his waist.
When I asked why dogs eat grass, the Knight answered, “Because they don’t have thumbs.”  He went on to explain that dogs understand their world based on how it feels in their mouth. Dogs test everything for pressure, taste, and texture. Since they can’t pick things up with their paws, everything ends up in the mouth!


Diggers Anonymous

“Hi.  My name’s Trencher, and I haven’t dug a hole in 25 days.” “Hello, Trencher,” howled a chorus of dog voices.  The next meeting of Digger’s Anonymous was underway.
Trencher had more to say.  “I dig when I’m bored.  As soon as that dirt starts flying, I get into the zone.  Let’s face it, digging is fun.”  Trencher looked off into space, uncovering a good memory.  
Trencher’s Sponsor interrupted the daydream, “what made you stop digging?”
“I didn’t stop—at first.   My owner just yelled and yelled at me.  I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t have any toys, my owner rarely took me for fun walks, and 15 minutes of play after his work day just wasn’t enough exercise.”
“So, what changed things?”


Are “Natural” Treatments Better?

Holistic or “natural” products are now being heavily marketed to pet owners.  Many people feel that natural products are safer because they don’t have "medicine" in them.  Before you give your pet a natural pill that promises good health and vitality, it is important for you understand the potential risks.

What separates a ‘natural’ product from a medicine?  Medicine, simply defined, is a substance that is used to treat or prevent a health problem.  If you are giving your pet a natural supplement with the expectation that it is going to help treat a health condition (for example, arthritis or a dull coat), you must admit that you are giving your pet a form of medicine.  


Introducing the Poobrador

I’ve been tinkering in my laboratory lately, developing a new type of dog for the whole world to enjoy.  After much work, I’m proud to unveil an entirely new breed—the “Poobrador.”  
The Poobrador is part Labrador and part Poodle, with a pinch of a few other breeds to add some extra fun. (In other words, it’s a secret and I’m not going to tell you!)   Like all other true dog breeds, the Poobrador has been carefully designed with a purpose, and this breed’s talents are truly amazing.


The Quick And the Dread

In this dream, you’re standing on dirt road in a town out of the old west. As your pet walks into the street to face you, shutters slam shut and doors lock—there’s going to be a showdown!  Your pet flexes his paws; his long nails glinting in the hot sun.  He gives you the squinty-eyed look that says, “Do you feel lucky?  Well, do you?”    He’s ready for a fight, and your heart starts to beat fast, because it’s another ‘Showdown at the Toenail Corral.’

    If this scene is similar to Toe Nail Trimming Day at your house, then you feel like most pet owners. Trimming an animal’s nails is unpleasant for everyone, including the pet. Dogs and cats seem personally offended when their nails are trimmed, and really, who can blame them?


Buckle Up!

Assembly Bill 2233 is intended to prevent the additional distraction of a wandering pooch while you are driving, putting on make up, and drinking coffee.

AB2233 does have some merit, because pets can be very distracting passengers.  Unfortunately, improperly secured animals become projectiles when they’re riding in a car that becomes involved in an accident.  Having seen the aftermath of many pets in fender benders, I can tell you that it is a sobering sight.  The best bets:  use one of the harness & seat belt gizmos that are designed for dogs to buckle up, or place the pooch in a secured crate, or leave the pet at home.


Little Dog Syndrome & Other DNA Stories

Our best friend’s DNA is probably the second most studied on the planet (next to human DNA, of course.)  Nearly every month, another doggie DNA breakthrough is announced somewhere in the world.  Recently, the cause of Little Dog Syndrome was determined by the National Human Genome Research Institute.  

    Yes, human DNA researchers are also studying canine DNA.  Why are these scientists trying on a dog’s genes for size?  According to Chief Scientist Dr. Elaine Ostrander, the selective breeding of dogs allows “us to more readily analyze the genetic causes of particular traits than is possible in humans.”



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