Spring: Is Your Pet Protected?

The sun is out, the snow is melting, and everyone is excited to be outside enjoying springtime. But is your dog or cat adequately protected from the dangers that lurk outside?

Dog Preventative Care

All dogs should be on year round heartworm and parasite prevention. At St Francis, we recommend Heartgard Plus. Heartgard Plus is a chewable treat that is given once monthly. It protects against heartworm disease as well as the most common intestinal parasites: roundworms and hookworms.

Tick-borne diseases including Lyme disease, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichiosis are common in Minnesota. Flea infestations are common as well and can affect all of the animals in the household. As such, all dogs should receive a monthly flea and tick preventative. We recommend either oral Nexgard or topical Frontline Gold. Most dogs should receive this year round as well, especially if they travel or have contact with other dogs in a day care, grooming facility, boarding facility, or classes.

Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, talk to your veterinarian about the lifestyle vaccinations. We recommend the Leptospirosis and Lyme vaccines for nearly all dogs. Depending on exposure, your dog may also benefit from the Bordatella vaccine and the canine influenza (H3N2) vaccine.

Dogs should receive a 4Dx Test to test for Lyme, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and heartworm disease as well as a Fecal Parasite Profile annually.

Cat Preventative Care

Cats need protection too! Heartworms are mosquito-borne and can be fatal in cats. Even indoor cats are at risk. Revolution Plus not only protects your cat against heartworm disease, but it also offers protection against fleas, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, and three species of ticks: the black legged or deer tick, the Gulf Coast tick and the American dog tick.

In addition to the core vaccines, cats who go outside should also receive a feline leukemia vaccine and be tested for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) annually. We also recommend a Fecal Parasite Profile annually.

Rebates and Promotions

We offer numerous rebates and promotions to help keep the costs of your pet’s preventative care affordable. We can help you choose the best program for your pet based on his or her needs.


  • Buy 12 Heartgard Plus, receive a $12 mail-in rebate
  • Buy 6 Nexgard, receive 1 Free
  • Buy 3 Frontline Gold, receive 1 Free
  • Buy 6 Frontline Gold, receive 2 Free
  • Buy 12 Heartgard Plus and 12 Nexgard or Frontline Gold, receive a $50 mail-in rebate


When you purchase Revolution Plus, we recommend that you sign up for the Zoetis Petcare Rewards Program: https://www.zoetispetcare.com/rewards. This earns up to 350 points ($35) for 12 doses of Revolution Plus.

St Francis

In addition, St Francis adds value by offering our Parasites & Your Pet Promotion. For dogs, when you purchase 12 Heartgard Plus, a Fecal Parasite Profile and a 4Dx Test, you will receive 10% off of the package. For cats, when you purchase 12 Revolution Plus and a Fecal Parasite Profile, you will receive 10% off of the package.

Online Pharmacies

Can’t I just buy these medications online? These products are available online, but you must be very cautious about online pharmaceutical purchases. Our prescription policy explains why.

Our hospital currently does not authorize fax or phone prescriptions to 1-800-Pet Meds, Chewy or other pharmaceutical warehouses for prescription products. We have thoughtfully chosen this policy for the following reasons:

  • Some of the products at these pharmaceutical warehouses are diverted products that do not come directly from the manufacturer. Since we cannot be sure of the origin and handling of these medications, we cannot support the product that you receive.
  • Some of these companies fail to employ licensed pharmacists or veterinarians trained in drug storage, handling, or pharmacology. Instead, they are simply large warehouses staffed with customer service personnel. Therefore, there are no trained professionals to discuss side effects, adverse reactions, or appropriate medication selection and administration. Unfortunately, this veterinary training is lacking even in our trusted human pharmacies such as Target, Walmart, and Walgreen’s.

    Federal and state regulatory agencies have taken legal action against some of these companies for fraud, illegal distribution of drugs, and selling misbranded products. We hope that this will improve as they begin to have legitimate contracts with manufacturers, but for now, this is still a concern.

    By authorizing a phone or fax prescription at one of these Internet warehouses or human pharmacies, we are responsible for the products that you receive. For the reasons discussed above, we cannot support products that are obtained from these companies.

    We have made an effort to make the cost of our medications comparable to these companies so that we can help you provide the best care for your pets at a reasonable cost. In addition, we offer our own online store via our website at www.stfrancisanimalandbird.com. Manufacturer rebates and guarantees are honored via our Vetsource Online Store.

    If you would still like to purchase elsewhere, we will provide you with a written prescription for the product. We cannot and do not, however, warrant or guarantee, in any respect, products that you do not receive from us or our online store. Please note that this policy does not apply to prescriptions for generic human medications that are prescribed for your pet by your veterinarian through a licensed human pharmacy.

    For more information, visit the FDA at: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/resourcesforyou/ucm133237.pdf.

    If you have any questions about the best ways to protect your pet this spring season, please reach out to us at (651) 645-2808 or group@stfrancisabh.com.

    Employee Spotlight: Amanda Hernandez, CVT

    Amanda joined St. Francis after graduating from Minnesota School of Business with her Associate degree in Applied Science (AAS) in Veterinary Technology in 2008. She is a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT). In addition to her technician duties, she currently serves as our Director of Laboratory Services and is one of our lead technicians.

    When she is not working, Amanda enjoys motorcycle trips with her husband, sporting events, fitness, and spending time with family and friends.

    She shares a home with her husband, Chris; their stubborn 75 pound American Bulldog/Boxer mix, Chance, who loves to snuggle, play with his rope toys and go on adventures; and their new addition, a sweet Boxer named Lewis.

    Why do you love being a veterinary technician?

    I have always wanted to work with animals since a very young age.

    Being a technician means I can help animals in need and help educate clients on taking care of their furry children.

    Why do you love working at St. Francis Animal Hospital?

    I enjoy being part of a group that has such compassion for animals and their owners. We are a very dedicated team and want to give the best care possible to our patients. I think this sets St. Francis apart from other clinics.

    Reducing Anxiety: Fear Free Tips

    Lobby Etiquette

    When bringing animals into the clinic lobby, be mindful of others in the area. Although your pet may be friendly, not all animals will react the same and may already be stressed from their trip to the vet. We ask that you keep your dog on a leash and in close proximity to you so that you can remain in control. Cats, birds and other small animals should be kept in their carriers or cages while in the lobby. Lastly, if you feel that your pet may be stressed or could react to other animals, don’t hesitate to call and our staff can come and assist you with bringing in your pet.

    We Love The Vet!

    We try to make every visit as enjoyable as possible. This photograph demonstrates the fear free practices applied within our clinic. Using this approach, we kept this dog distracted with food and were able to draw blood without any stress. She was so distracted by the treats on the wall and our approach, that the procedure didn’t appear to be bothersome at all – it made for a positive experience at the clinic!

    Cat Carriers and Bird Cages

    Taking your cat or bird to the veterinarian can be very stressful. One of the main stressors for your feline or avian companion is leaving the comfort of their home and taking a trip in a carrier or cage. Without supporting the bottom of your carrier or cage, their trip becomes increasingly turbulent and can feel as if they are swaying around on a roller coaster. Holding the carrier or cage from the bottom will make the ride more enjoyable and prevent any possibility of the bottom of the carrier falling out below your pet.

    Sabrina Reed, CVT, Director of Behavioral Services

    News Briefs


    Did you know that you can make your purchases on AmazonSmile to help pet rescues? A portion of all purchases made on AmazonSmile will be donated to a charity of your choice. In April, consider donating to Cause For Paws Inc in Roseville MN. Cause for Paws is a local feline rescue group that we work closely with.


    Did you know that large corporations now own a growing percentage of veterinary practices? Mars Inc owns more than 2,000 veterinary practices including the hospitals branded as Banfield, VCA, and Blue Pearl. We are proud to be an individually-owned neighborhood practice and a member of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association (IVPA).

    Medication Refills

    Did you know that you can request your refill online via our website? We ask for a 24 hour notice for most medications, though for special-order items, it is best to provide a 5-7 day notice, especially for herbal therapies. Would you like a 90-day supply of your medication? This is available for most refills and will be more convenient and cost-effective for you – just ask us!