Vaccines: Did You Know?

Many of us give very little thought to vaccinations.  We receive our pets’ reminders, schedule an appointment, and update the recommended vaccines.  However, not all vaccines are the same, and here at St Francis, we place as much thought and discussion into choosing your pets’ vaccines as we do into developing new protocols or choosing which medications we will recommend.

In July, we transitioned to a different line of canine vaccines to allow us to provide more protection for your dogs with fewer injections.  We chose this line of vaccines for two reasons.

  1. These vaccines allow us to deliver Lyme, Leptospirosis, +/- Distemper, Adenovirus 1 and 2, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza all in a single vaccine. Of course, with COVID-19, we don’t get to show you the benefits of this in person, but you can certainly imagine --- when your dog is due for all of these vaccines, rather than three separate injections, we now only have to give one.  At St Francis, we strive to provide the very happiest of visits for your pets, and certainly fewer needle pokes mean happier pets!

    Combination vaccines are not new to St Francis.  Many of you will remember when we transitioned to combination vaccines for cats over six years ago, allowing us to provide protection against feline Herpesvirus, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia, and Rabies with a single injection.
  2. Our new Lyme vaccination is even more comprehensive in its protection. Given the high prevalence of Lyme disease in Minnesota, we wanted to make sure that we were providing your loved ones with the best protection possible.

We carefully evaluate overall efficacy and safety of any new vaccination brought into our practice, and these vaccines have an excellent record for both.  We have been very pleased with all aspects of the transition.

Lyme and Leptospirosis: Providing Optimal Protection For Your Dog

Is your dog receiving Lyme and Leptospirosis vaccines?  If not, you may want to consider adding these important vaccinations depending on your dog’s lifestyle.

Lyme: Lyme is endemic in Minnesota.  Most dogs are at risk, even if they are only in your backyard or on neighborhood walks.  Have you ever found ticks on your dog, children, or yourself?  Is your yard surrounded by brush?  Do you take your dog walking, hiking, picnicking, fishing, or camping?  Do you have a cabin?  Does your dog frequent areas with deer?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions, we would recommend vaccination against Lyme disease in addition to providing your dog with a monthly flea and tick preventative such as Nexgard or Frontline Gold.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is caused by a spirochete bacterial organism found in the urine of wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, chipmunks and rats.  If infected, dogs may develop gastrointestinal signs, kidney disease, or liver disease.  In fact, it is now the #1 infectious cause of acute kidney failure in dogs.  In addition, Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning your dog can pass it on to you.  Protecting your dog(s) will help protect your entire family.

If your dog is not yet receiving these vaccines, we can add these at his or her next annual appointment, or if you are recently up-to-date with your veterinary visits, these vaccines may be scheduled with one of our veterinary technicians by reaching out to us by phone at (651) 645-2808, email at group@stfrancisabh.com, or via PetDesk.

Dr. Katie Cartledge: Farewell Wishes

It is with great sadness that we announce the departure of Dr. Katie Cartledge from St Francis Animal Hospital.  After 8 years at St Francis, she was presented with a new opportunity in Minnetonka.  We are sad to say goodbye, but are excited for her to embark on this new journey.  Her final day at St Francis will be November 14th, and she will begin practicing at Gehrman Animal Hospital on November 23rd.  She wanted to share the following with you.

St Francis Animal Hospital has been my second family for the last 8 years and it is with a heavy heart that I announce my departure, mid-November, to join Gehrman Animal Hospital.  St Francis is where I have spent the majority of my formative years as a veterinarian.  I have learned so much from my fellow veterinarians and support staff.  In my time here at St Francis, I have appreciated the opportunity to develop close relationships with our amazing clientele, seen a variety of patients - feathered and furry, and been a part of the wonderful St Francis team and community it serves.  I am truly grateful to have been a part of the St Francis team and to be able to have worked with so many of you and your animal family members.  I find comfort knowing my patients will be well taken care of in my absence.  Thank you so much for 8 wonderful years.

With gratitude,

Katie Cartledge, DVM

We want to assure each of you that St Francis will continue to provide you with the exceptional care that you have known and loved throughout the years.  We have an excellent team of doctors, technicians, and assistants to continue the care of your loved ones. 

If you have any questions that we can answer for you during this time, please reach out to us via email (group@stfrancisabh.com) or phone (651-645-2808). 

Employee Spotlight: Madison Baumgartner


Each month, we will spotlight one of our team members in order of years of service at St Francis Animal Hospital. 

Madison joined St Francis Animal Hospital in 2018 as a veterinary assistant.  She finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota where she majored in animal science with a pre-veterinary emphasis, and recently began her first year as a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.  She is interested in practicing both large and small animal medicine, and after having worked at St Francis, she is excited to hopefully incorporate holistic/integrative medicine into her career.

Madison grew up in Bismarck, ND with animals all around!  Her family has had cows, goats, pigs, sheep, horses, cats, and dogs.  If she had to choose favorites, it would be her cat, Mystery, and her Border Collie/Black Labrador Mix named Bandit.

In her free time, she enjoys taking time for herself.  This may include relaxing with a good book, taking an exercise class, hanging out with friends or just catching up on her favorite television show.

Why did you choose to become a veterinary assistant?

I chose to join St. Francis as a veterinary assistant to gain knowledge of the field of veterinary medicine before starting vet school.  I find it so rewarding to be able to help out the technicians and veterinarians with anything they need.  As a student, this allows me to see all of the interesting or unusual cases without yet having the pressure of developing a treatment plan on my own.  I think that is why I currently love the observation part of it.  As an assistant, you also get integrated with all the aspects of veterinary medicine including medications, medical terms, and the culture as a whole.

What makes St. Francis different than other veterinary practices?

I have never been surrounded by so many people who truly want to teach and help me succeed.  I never worry about asking too many questions because I know someone will always be able to answer them for me.  And with that, the knowledge of the doctors and staff and their dedication to what they do is so amazing and inspiring.  I know that choosing to work at St Francis was the best decision I have made!

News Briefs

Clinic Closure: Staff Meeting October 27th

We will be closed for s staff meeting on Tuesday, October 27th 1:00-2:30 pm.

2020 Neighborhood Favorite

Thank you to everyone who voted to make us a 2020 Neighborhood Favorite on Nextdoor.com!  We are so honored and grateful to receive these amazing accolades year after year.

Welcome To St Francis

Please join us in wishing a warm welcome to our newest team members: Stacy Gustafson, Client Services Representative; Mickayla Schulz, CVT, Veterinary Technician; Zack Zamora, Veterinary Assistant; Carlie Servais, Veterinary Assistant; and Kelly Yang, Kennel Assistant.  They are all wonderful additions to our St Francis family!