Parasite Prevention: Isn't It Too Cold To Care?

Year Round Preventative Care

The days are cold and snowy, but did you know that your pet is still at risk for parasites? Let’s discuss the importance of year round preventative! For dogs, we recommend giving Heartgard Plus once monthly year round. This medication protects against intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms in addition to heartworms. Your pet can be infected with intestinal parasites at any time of year, even in the heart of our winter months. Because these parasites can be transmitted to the humans in the household, giving Heartgard Plus to your dog(s) during the winter months is just as important as it is during the warmer months of the year.

We recommend flea and tick prevention with Nexgard or Frontline Gold from spring through fall depending on our weather. However, depending on your pet’s lifestyle, you may need to administer flea and tick prevention year round. If your pet visits the grooming facility, dog park, day care, dog classes or boarding facility regularly, your pet is exposed to other dogs --- those dogs may be carrying fleas or other parasites. If this fits with your dog’s lifestyle, year round flea and tick prevention is advised. Nexgard has the advantage of protecting your dog against mites as well. (Nexgard is for dogs only and should not be used in patients with seizure disorders.)

In most households, our feline friends have fewer outside interactions than dogs, especially in the winter months. Keep in mind, though, that if you have an active dog who is regularly exposed to others, your dog could be a source of parasites for your indoor cat, even in the winter months. If your cat hunts, intestinal parasites are a risk as well. As with dogs, roundworms and hookworms can be transmitted to the humans in the household. If you have any of these risk factors in your household, we would recommend Revolution topically once monthly for all cats.

2018 Promotions

Heartgard Plus: Buy 12 doses = $12 mail in rebate

Nexgard: Buy 6 doses = 1 dose free

Frontline Gold: Buy 3 doses = 1 dose free

Frontline Gold: Buy 6 doses = 2 doses free

If you buy 12 doses of Heartgard Plus and 12 doses of either Nexgard or Frontline Gold, you will receive a $50 mail in rebate.

For cats, Zoetis is no longer offering the Buy 6, Get 2 Free or the Buy 9, Get 3 Free offer for Revolution. Instead, they will be launching their Zoetis Petcare Rewards program on March 1st. When you purchase Revolution, you will earn dollars to be used for any veterinary care at St Francis.

In addition, we will once again be offering our Parasites and Your Pet Promotion to provide you with additional savings on your year round parasite prevention.

Dogs: Purchase 12 Heartgard Plus or Tri-Heart Plus, a 4Dx Test, and a fecal test and receive 10% off plus a $12 mail-in rebate.

Cats: Purchase 12 dosages of Revolution and receive 20% off a fecal examination.

If you have any questions about the best preventative care for your pet, please contact us at (651) 645-2808 or group@stfrancisabh.com.

Courtesy of Laura Berg, CVT, Director of Preventative Care Services

Reducing The Stress Of A Veterinary Visit

Sabrina Reed, CVT, our Director of Behavioral Services, recently completed a three-month internship with Dr. Margaret Duxbury of Veterinary Behavior Specialties of Minnesota. She is also a Fear Free Certified Technician. She is a great resource for questions about training or basic behavioral modification, and is playing an integral role in helping our doctors manage our patients’ behavioral conditions. For more complex behavioral cases, we will refer you to Veterinary Behavioral Specialties of Minnesota to work with a board-certified behaviorist.

Many of you have talked with Sabrina in the past month about things that we can do to reduce the stress to our pets when they come into the veterinary clinic. Getting your dog used to the car for short trips up and down the block or training your cat to go into the carrier for food are excellent ways to reduce stress associated with the veterinary visit. Some of these measures can be quite simple. For example, rather than carrying your cat’s carrier by the handle, try carrying the carrier by supporting the bottom instead. This can mean the difference between a wild carnival ride and a smooth transport for your cat – it is much less stressful.

For our avian patients, working with a towel at home can greatly reduce the stress of a veterinary exam and procedures such as blood draws or grooming. Start by offering your bird special treats on a towel. Once comfortable with walking on this new object, you can begin to lift up the corners. Make this a fun ‘peek-a-boo’ game. Eventually, with slow steps, your bird will allow you to flip the towel over his or her head.

These training exercises take time, but will make a big difference in your pet’s perception of visiting the veterinary clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Can’t You Refill My Pet's Medication or Food?

The Board of Veterinary Medicine requires us to maintain an active Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR). This means that we are legally required to examine your pet within the past 12 months in order to refill prescription medications or prescription food items.

Why Is A Nail Trim So Expensive?

It is true that a nail trim at a veterinary clinic is more expensive than going to a grooming facility. At a grooming facility, you are paying a groomer or a grooming assistant for that service. At a veterinary clinic, you are paying a certified veterinary technician or a veterinary assistant to perform this service. These are skilled individuals with medical knowledge and advanced training in the veterinary field -- there is an additional cost for that knowledge and skill.

While the majority of pets will do great with the groomer, if your pet is fearful, anxious, or has a medical condition, it is beneficial to have this procedure performed by a skilled medical professional. If needed, we are also in a position to recommend sedation or additional care for your pet.

Why Should I Leave A Voice Message?

We understand that there has been some frustration with our phone system. We know how it feels to hear an answering machine when you’re worried about your loved one. Please know that we make every effort to answer the phone at the time of your call, but if all of our technicians are working with a patient or client or all lines are in use at the time of your call, we cannot always do so immediately.

Voicemail is a great option if you need to request a refill of a medication, leave an update for the doctor, or have a non-urgent question. For more urgent needs, please know that we will call you back as soon as possible. On average, we return calls within 1-2 hours if the message was left during our normal business hours. If your pet is experiencing an emergency during business hours, please hang up and call back immediately.

We are exploring the following measures to help with communication: a) adding receptionist(s); b) adding additional phone lines; and c) adding a call queue to allow you to stay on hold until we are able to answer the call. If you have additional suggestions to help us improve our customer service, please let us know. We really welcome your feedback on this issue.

Why Did You Recommend Urgent Care or Emergency Care?

Our primary goal is to ensure that your pet receives the highest quality of care at all times. Sometimes, that means that it is best for your pet to receive care at a different facility -- St Francis is a small general practice. If your pet is experiencing a true emergency situation (i.e. severe trauma, severe bleeding, respiratory distress, or repeated seizures), your pet requires emergency care that is above and beyond what we can provide. In those scenarios, we recommend that you seek emergency care immediately at either the Animal Emergency & Referral Center or at the University of Minnesota. We may also recommend a referral to a 24-hour care facility if your pet requires more intensive care or care that will extend into the evening hours. For example, if your pet requires oxygen, IV fluid therapy, a feeding tube, or will require monitoring post-anesthesia (i.e. emergency surgery, urinary obstruction), we may recommend a referral. Lastly, we very rarely find ourselves in a situation where we have reached our capacity with regards to the number of patients we can properly care for. If we cannot provide your pet with the best quality care, we will be honest with you and may recommend that you seek care at an urgent care or emergency facility.

News Briefs

February: Pet Dental Health Month

February is Pet Dental Health Month. At-home dental care is so important in the maintenance of your pet’s dental health. During February, stock up on toothpaste and dental chews and receive 10% offof all of these products.

For tips on brushing your pet’s teeth, please visit this page on our website: Dental Care For Your Pet.

New Veterinarian: Jessica Lewis, DVM

Many of you know her already --- she’s been at St Francis since 2011 as a Veterinary Assistant and a Veterinary Technician. In May, she will graduate with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. We are very excited to announce that she will join the St Francis team on May 29th as our 7th veterinarian.

Congratulations, Dr. Jessica Lewis!

Marie Adamczyk: 15 Year Anniversary

Congratulations to Marie Adamczyk on her 15 Year Anniversary at St Francis. Marie started at St Francis in 2003. In addition to being an amazing technician, she serves as one of our Senior Veterinary Technicians, is our Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Officer and is the Veterinary Assistant Team Leader involved in the management and training of the veterinary assistant team.


Image Credit: defy | Shutterstock