News / Blog
It’s Spring: Heartworm Disease and Lyme Disease
It’s April – and it finally is beginning to feel like spring. April is both Heartworm Awareness Month and Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can affect dogs, cats, and ferrets. Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks and is primarily a disease that affects dogs.
Fortunately, we have good protection for both of these diseases. Providing your pet with a monthly heartworm preventative is essential for anyone who has any mosquito exposure. We recommend Heartgard Plus for dogs and Revolution for cats and ferrets. To protect your dog against Lyme disease, we recommend a combination of a flea and tick preventative (Nexgard or Frontline Gold) as well as the Lyme vaccine for those dogs who have tick exposure.
From A Cat’s Perspective
Bringing your cat to the veterinarian can be a very stressful and scary experience -- for both you and your cat. One of the biggest stressors for your cat going to the doctor can be the carrier itself. Not only does the carrier mean that they are leaving the comfort of their own home to go to a potentially scary place, but the actual ride in the carrier can be very frightening. When a carrier is carried from the handle of the carrier, it is very similar to your cat being forced on to a roller coaster they don’t want to ride.
To help to eliminate the stress of the ride for your cat, we recommend carrying your cat’s carrier like you are handling a fragile package -- support the bottom of the carrier with both hands. This helps to eliminate the undulating movements of the carrier, helps to keep the carrier from accidentally bumping into walls and doors, and eliminates the possibility of the bottom falling out or the lid unlatching during carrying.
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.
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.
We would like to take this opportunity to share our Purpose Statement and Core Values with you. As a team, we are proud of our values and strive to uphold them every day. Our values guide each of us as we work to create an exceptional experience for you and your pet at every visit.
We would like to take this opportunity to share our Purpose Statement and Core Values with you. As a team, we are proud of our values and strive to uphold them every day. Our values guide each of us as we work to create an exceptional experience for you and your pet at every visit.
At St. Francis Animal Hospital, our purpose is to provide compassionate and quality care for our patients, to build meaningful relationships with our clients, to share our knowledge and experience, and to exceed the expectations of those who demand the very best of veterinary care.
We have a fundamental commitment to excellence in veterinary medicine. We create value for our clients by providing quality and excellence in all that we do and the way in which we do it.
We are committed to providing compassionate care for our patients and their people. We treat our patients and clients as if they were members of our own families.
We are dedicated to lifelong learning and to providing exceptional client education each and every day. By sharing our knowledge, we can work together with our clients to make careful and informed medical decisions about the care of their loved ones.
We have mutual respect for each other, our clients, and our patients. We respect the special relationship that each individual shares with his or her pet.
Most people enjoy chocolate, and not surprisingly, most pets do too! Unfortunately, chocolate can be toxic to pets and can lead to severe clinical signs including vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, ataxia (‘drunkenness’), increased heart rate, heart arrhythmias, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature, difficulty breathing, and even death.
The toxic compounds in chocolate are methylxanthines – this includes both theobromine and caffeine. These compounds inhibit cellular receptors, stimulate the central nervous system, and enhance cardiac and skeletal muscle contractility. In addition, the high fat content in chocolate leads to local gastrointestinal irritation (vomiting and diarrhea), and in severe cases, a serious disease called pancreatitis. Clinical signs occur within 12 hours, but most pets will begin exhibiting signs within 1-4 hours of ingestion.
Different types of chocolate have different amounts of theobromine and caffeine. Relative amounts of methylxanthines in chocolate are as follows:
|Compound||Theobromine (mg/oz)||Caffeine (mg/oz)|
|Baker's unsweetened chocolate||393||47|
|Dry cocoa powder||737||70|
St. Francis Animal Hospital's 25th Anniversary Open House
Sunday, September 10th, 1-4 pm
St. Francis Animal Hospital, recently voted "Best Place For Pet Care" in the Roseville Review, will host its 25th Anniversary Open House on Sunday, September 10th from 1-4 pm. You will have the opportunity to meet our doctors and staff and take a full tour of our facilities. Several educational stations will be set up throughout both the St Francis and St Francis Integrative Services locations to showcase our preventative care, surgery, anesthesia, dentistry, laboratory, radiology, acupuncture, laser therapy, massage therapy and hospice/palliative care services. We will also have a special kids' station for kids to experience what it's like to be a veterinarian!
We'll have information available to learn more about Chiropractic for Every Body, Cause for Paws, Dig It Dog Grooming, Veterinary Surgical Specialists, Sarah Beth Photography, Avian Suites, Care Credit, Minnesota Companion Bird Association, Heartgard/Frontline Gold/Nexgard and more!
Dr. Chuck, otherwise known as Dr. Charlie Cosimini, will be signing your copy of his new children's book, A Hedgehog With a Sneeze. Purchase your copy in advance at Amazon.com or purchase a copy directly from Dr. Chuck at the event. Please bring cash or check payments; Dr. Chuck will be unable to take credit card payments. The cost is $10.
In addition, we will have drawings for great prizes including gift certificates for services and products from St Francis and St Francis Integrative Services; a 12 month supply of Frontline Gold; grooming services at Dig It Dog Grooming; free laboratory screening tests from Idexx; a 4K Waterproof Action Camera; St Francis mugs and T-shirts; a signed copy of A Hedgehog With A Sneeze; dog, cat, and avian gift baskets; and many other special items.
We also hope that you will make a donation to benefit our local rescue group: Cause for Paws. If you've been looking for a special individual to add to your house, Cause for Paws will have information about pets that are currently up for adoption. Cause for Paws may even have kitties for you to meet on site!
Toby, our mascot, will be there to greet everyone, but due to the small size of our clinic, he asks that you not bring pets of your own to the event. Again, due to our small size, for everyone's safety, we ask that you do not bring pets of your own to the event. Additional parking is available on the street or in the Cub Foods parking lot.
Please help us celebrate our 25th Anniversary on Sunday, September 10th from 1-4 pm. If you have questions, you may contact us at (651) 645-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to sharing St. Francis Animal Hospital with each and every one of you!
Open House: 25th Anniversary Celebration
St. Francis Animal Hospital will host an Open House on Sunday, September 10th from 1-4 pm. You will have the opportunity to meet our doctors and staff and take a full tour of both facilities. Several educational stations will be set up throughout the clinics to showcase our preventative care, surgery, anesthesia, dentistry, laboratory, radiology, integrative services, and hospice/palliative care services. We will also have a special kids' station for kids to experience what it's like to be a veterinarian!
We'll have information available to learn more about Chiropractic for EveryBody, Cause for Paws, Dig It Dog Grooming, Veterinary Surgical Specialists, Sarah Beth Photography, Avian Suites, Care Credit, and more!
In addition, we will have drawings for great prizes including gift certificates for services and products from St Francis; a 12 month supply of Frontline Plus; complimentary laboratory screening tests; dog, cat, and avian gift baskets; and many other special items.
We hope that you will make a donation to benefit our local rescue group, Cause for Paws. If you've been looking for a special individual to add to your house, Cause for Paws will have information about cats that are currently up for adoption.
You will also have the opportunity to have a book signing by our very own author, Dr. Charlie Cosimini --- also known as Dr. Chuck. You may purchase his book in advance on Amazon or by clicking here; they are also available in the lobby at St Francis. Dr. Chuck will have a small quantity of books available to sell during the Open House. Please bring cash or check payments; we will be unable to accept credit cards on this day. The cost is $10.
Toby, our mascot, will be at the main St Francis location to greet everyone, but due to the small size of our clinic, he asks that you not bring pets of your own to the event. Again, due to our small size, for everyone's safety, we ask that you do not bring pets of your own to the event. Additional parking is available on the street and in the Cub Foods parking lot.
Please join us on Sunday, September 10th from 1-4 pm. If you have questions, you may contact us at (651) 645-2808. We look forward to sharing both locations, St. Francis Animal Hospital and St Francis Integrative Services, with each and every one of you! We thank you so much for your dedication to St Francis over the past 25 years!
Canine influenza had received media attention recently and many pet owners have questions. Previously, this was a disease that had not affected the Midwest states, though in the past month, 34 cases have been confirmed in the Chicago area. To date, we have had five cases in Minnesota.
The following information is provided courtesy of Veterinary Information Network: VP Client Information Sheets:
Influenza A virus in dogs (canine influenza virus, CIV, canine flu) is a respiratory tract disease that mimics bordetellosis (Bordetella bronchiseptica infection, kennel cough, infectious tracheobronchitis). However, unlike many cases of bordetellosis, the dog needs veterinary care.
Canine influenza is caused by a highly contagious virus that was identified in Florida in 2005 when it caused several severe respiratory outbreaks in racing greyhounds. The disease appears to occur most frequently in high-density dog populations: dogs who are housed with numerous other dogs in places such as shelters, boarding facilities, breeding kennels, pet stores, rescue groups, dog shows, and greyhound racing tracks. The disease is thought to have originated as a mutation of an influenza strain that affects horses and is not related to typical human influenza strains or the avian flu.
Psstt... Don't Forget Your Pet's Monthly Preventative!
Heartworm disease is prevalent in Minnesota. Since it is transmitted by mosquitoes, even the dog that ‘never leaves the house’ is susceptible. We have treated eight cases of heartworm disease in unprotected pets at St Francis over the past 12 months --- this is a significant increase from past years.
Adult heartworms live in the heart and pulmonary vessels. The offspring, or microfilariae, enter the bloodstream, where they are then ingested by a mosquito. The immature heartworm develops into the infective stage (L3) within the mosquito, where it can then enter the new host when the mosquito takes another meal. Once the immature heartworm is introduced into its new host, it migrates to the heart and finishes its development. This entire process takes 5-6 months.
Treatment of heartworm disease consists of administering an arsenic compound called melarsomine in a series of three injections. Treatment is expensive, and serious side effects and complications can occur. It is much better to prevent heartworm disease than to treat it post-infection.
Heartgard Plus and Tri-Heart Plus are safe and effective heartworm preventatives when used properly. The active ingredients are ivermectin and pyrantel. Please make sure you remember to give your dog his or her monthly heartworm preventative. For cats, we recommend Revolution (selamectin) topically once monthly for heartworm prevention. All of these preventatives also protect your pet against the most common intestinal parasites (roundworms and hookworms).
We recommend Nexgard or Frontline Gold for protection against fleas and ticks in your dog. Nexgard contains afoxolaner and is a chewable tablet. Frontline Gold is a topical product that contains fipronil, (S)-methoprene, and pyriproxyfen.
Why do we care about tick control? We have several species of ticks in Minnesota, and even those small dogs in the city are susceptible to ticks if their yard has any brush or tall grass. The ticks carry Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, all very serious diseases. Because of our abnormal weather patterns this year, we started seeing ticks as early as February and have continued to find large numbers of ticks on unprotected pets well into this summer. Please remember to give your pet his or her monthly flea and tick preventative.
If you have any questions about protecting your pet, please contact us at (651) 645-2808 or email@example.com.
We encourage you to take advantage of the Buy 12 Heartgard and 12 Nexgard or 12 Frontline Gold and receive a $50 rebate promotion!
Roseville Rose Parade: Rosefest 2017
- Please join us in celebrating Rosefest 2017 by attending the Rosefest Rose Parade starting at 6:15 pm on Monday, June 26th. St. Francis Animal Hospital is currently #32 on the list of parade participants.
- We’ll be handing out dog treats, information about our practice, and coupons to use at St. Francis Animal Hospital. Please give a shout out and wave to us as we pass by!
- We will be closing at 4:30 pm to attend the parade. We are very sorry for any inconvenience. For more information about the parade, please visit the parade website by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you there!
Cause for Paws
- Cause for Paws is a small, all-volunteer Minnesota nonprofit 501 (c) (3) group founded in 1998. Their main focus is on finding loving, permanent homes for stray and abandoned cats and kittens. We have provided care to the cats at Cause for Paws since 1999.
- This group is funded entirely by donations. Please consider donating dry or canned cat food or cat toys. Monetary donations or gift cards to Petco or Petsmart are also always appreciated.
- If you are interested in meeting some of the cats or are searching for your next feline family member, please visit Cause for Paws at their next adoption day. It will be held on Saturday, July 8th, at the Petco in Highland from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m
- CongratulationsCongratulations to Audrey Ruddy (University of Illinois), Ellyn Harris (Ross Veterinary School), and Hannah Hodnefield (Iowa State University) for their acceptance into veterinary school for the upcoming academic year. They will be amazing veterinarians!
- 25th Anniversary
Mark your calendars for our 25th Anniversary Open House on Sunday, September 10th from 1-4 pm. Continue to check out our Facebook page on the 25th of each month for exciting giveaways! We love celebrating this milestone with you!
- Happy Anniversary
Graduation from veterinary school is a great accomplishment, and this month, we celebrate two important anniversaries commemorating that day: Patricia Novak, DVM: 20 years (U of M 1997); and Jennifer Blair, DVM, CVA, CVFT: 15 years (U of M 2002).
Image credit: Andreja Donko | Shutterstock
Cats: Tips For A Stress-Free Trip
Courtesy: Boehringer Ingelheim
Compared with dogs, nearly three times as many cats in the U.S. did not receive any veterinary care in the past year. Often, this is due to difficulty in taking some cats to the veterinarian. We know that a trip to the veterinarian can be more stressful for cats than for dogs. In this issue, we provide you with some tips to help make your clinic visit more pleasant. Many of these tips may also apply to nervous dogs as well.
Buying a Carrier
- Top-loading carriers make it easier to place your cat inside
- Carriers with a top and side opening have additional versatility
- If your carrier has a removable top, your cat may feel more secure remaining inside throughout the exam
Practice at Home
- Leave the carrier out for several days before the appointment so your cat gets used to it
- Put treats, toys, blankets and a favorite person's clothes in the carrier for a comfortable and familiar environment
- Reinforce your cat's positive associations with the carrier using calm praise
- Never dump your cat out of the carrier - either let her walk out or gently remove her from the carrier
- Always put your cat in a carrier when traveling in the car - it's safer for you and your cat
- A synthetic feline pheromone such as Feliway in the carrier may help your cat stay calm during transit
- Drape a blanket or towel over the carrier to reduce motion sickness
- Take your cat for a few short car rides to build familiarity
- Do not feed your cat for several hours before traveling to reduce motion sickness
- After each successful car trip, reward your pet with positive attention and treats
At the Clinic
- Practice regular care such as brushing, nail trimming and teeth brushing at home
- Touch your cat's face, ears, feet and tail at home so she will be used to similar procedures at the clinic
- Go to the veterinarian for visits that don't involve exams or procedures to create positive associations
- Ahead of time, ask the clinic staff if you can take your kitty directly to an exam room upon arrival
- Speak softly, because if you remain calm, chances are your cat will too
- Reward good behavior with treats and ignore bad behavior - never speak harshly or use punishment
- Avoid direct eye contact with your cat
- Handle your cat with a towel if necessary
- Speak in soft, soothing tones but avoid whispering
With these strategies, we hope that you feel more comfortable bringing your cat to the veterinary clinic. We recommend annual examinations for all cats, even those who reside indoors. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit, please contact us at (651) 645-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer: Hot Temperatures and Your Dog
Your pet can rapidly overheat in the following situations:
- When an animal is left outdoors in hot humid conditions without adequate shade
- When exercised in hot humid weather
- When left in a car even on a relatively cool (70°F) day --- this equals approximately 100°F in the car
- Other predisposing factors may be obesity or diseases affecting a pet’s airway.
Preventing heat stroke is key, but if your dog has been in one of these situations, it is essential that you recognize the signs and respond promptly.
Initially the dog may appear distressed. He or she may be restless or panting more than usual. As the hyperthermia progresses, your dog may drool large amounts of saliva from the nose or mouth and may become weak or unsteady. You may notice the gums turning lavender or bright red in color.
What to Do
Remove your pet from the environment where the hyperthermia occurred. Move your pet to a shaded and cool environment, and if possible, obtain a rectal temperature. Begin to cool the body by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits, and in the groin region. You may also wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water. Directing a fan on these wetted areas will help to speed evaporative cooling.
Most importantly, transport your pet to the closest veterinary facility immediately.
What NOT to Do
It is very important to not overcool the pet. Most pets with hyperthermia have body temperatures greater than 105°F, and a reasonable goal of cooling is to reduce your pet’s body temperature to 102.5-103°F while transporting her to the closest veterinary facility. Offer fresh cool water but do not force water into your pet’s mouth.
The most important thing is to prevent situations in which your pet could overheat. Never leave a pet in the car, even on a moderately warm day. Walk your dog in the early morning or evening hours when it is cooler and always have fresh water available when your pet is outside.
Anxiety: Thunderstorms or Fireworks
Does your dog shake when it starts to thunder? Does he hide when it begins to rain? Does she destroy the furniture when she's left alone during a thunderstorm? If you've answered yes, your dog may have a thunderstorm phobia. Fireworks can cause the same response.
If your pet has thunderstorm phobias or anxiety associated with fireworks, please talk to us - - we can help! Composure, herbal calming supplements (Composure or Solliquin), calming collars (Adaptil collar or NurtureCALM), or anti-anxiety medications such as trazodone, alprazolam, or Sileo are great options for your pet.
Sileo is a gel containing dexmedetomidine that is absorbed through the gums. It is an FDA-approved treatment for noise aversion. For most dogs, it calms without causing excessive sedation, though as with any medication, it is important to monitor closely for adverse effects with use. It should be administered 30-60 minutes prior to the event and can be redosed every 2 hours up to five times.
If we prescribe Sileo for your dog, it is very important that you understand how to dose it appropriately. Please discuss proper use of the dosing syringe and locking mechanism with the staff to avoid accidental overdose. Click here to learn more about Sileo and to watch a video on proper administration.
Please contact us at (651) 645-2808 if your pet suffers from anxiety associated with fireworks or thunderstorms.
Favorite Animal Hospital
Congratulations to St. Francis Animal Hospital for being voted Women’s Press Magazine’s Favorite Animal Hospital in May.
Thank you for your patience during our construction this past week. St Francis will soon have a new roof --- and hopefully no more leaking!
We will be closing early on June 26th for the Rosefest Parade. We will also close early on September 27th and will have limited availability on September 30th.
Image credit: uhercikova | Shutterstock
Tick-Borne Diseases in Minnesota
Warmer weather is here, the flowers are blooming, the days are longer --- and the ticks are out. What do you need to know about ticks and your dog?
First, we recommend a 4Dx test every year. This test evaluates your dog for heartworm disease as well as three tick-borne diseases: Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis.
If your pet tests positive for Lyme, Ehrlichia, or Anaplasma, it's important to understand that this test only indicates the presence of antibodies against these organisms. A positive test indicates exposure to these organisms, but it does not necessarily indicate that your dog has clinical disease. A positive test warrants additional testing to evaluate whether therapy is necessary.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by deer ticks. Symptoms may include lameness, reluctance to move, swollen or painful joints, lack of energy, or an increase in urination. Lyme disease can cause chronic damage to the joints and kidneys. Neurological abnormalities and cardiac signs may occur, but are rare. If your pet tests positive for Lyme, we recommend a quantitative test called a Quant C6. This test provides a numerical measurement of your dog’s antibody level. If this value is low, treatment may not be necessary. This value will also provide a baseline prior to treatment to allow us to measure success of therapy if needed. Some patients require extended therapy to treat this disease. If your pet has any applicable clinical signs, we may also recommend specific testing to evaluate his or her kidney health.
Anaplasma or Ehrlichia
Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by brown dog ticks and lone star ticks, while Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by brown dog ticks, deer ticks, and western black-legged ticks. Symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of energy, depression, lameness, swollen or painful joints, bleeding abnormalities, or pale gums. Some pets may develop life-threatening changes to their red blood cells or platelets with this disease. Anaplasmosis is more common than Ehrlichiosis in Minnesota.
If your pet tests positive for Anaplasma or Ehrlichia and is not symptomatic, these diseases may not require treatment. However, both diseases can cause life-threatening changes to the white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets. We recommend a follow up complete blood count (CBC) for all patients who test positive for these organisms.
If your dog is showing any clinical signs of any of these tick-borne diseases and he or she tests positive, we would recommend treatment. Some pet owners request to treat their pet regardless of the results of the ancillary follow up tests. Treatment of all positive pets is controversial within the veterinary community, but since the treatment is reasonably safe, we would support this decision if desired.
Treatment, Follow Up, and Prevention
1) An extended course (28 days) of doxycycline is the treatment for any of these tick-borne diseases. This is an antibiotic.
2) For Lyme patients, we recommend a follow up Quant C6 in 6 months. A decrease in this antibody level by at least 50% is considered a successful therapy. An inadequate decrease in this antibody level warrants an additional course of antibiotic therapy.
3) In subsequent years, we recommend a 4Dx + Quant C6 at the time of your dog’s annual testing. Because your dog will likely be positive for Lyme for many months to years, we will need to continue to evaluate the Quant C6. In addition, Lyme disease can lead to protein loss via the kidneys. This is a specific type of kidney disease called glomerular disease. We may recommend a urine test to screen your dog for abnormalities.
4) For Ehrlichia and Anaplasma patients, no additional follow up is necessary unless the CBC was abnormal. These patients will often be positive on the 4Dx test for several years.
Prevention of tick-borne diseases is the key. If you are not already doing so, please make sure you are using excellent tick prevention once monthly. We recommend Nexgard (oral chews) or Frontline Gold (topical). All dogs with exposure to ticks, even if minimal, should be vaccinated for Lyme disease. Unfortunately, there is no vaccination for Ehrlichia or Anaplasma at this time.
If you would like more information on these diseases, visit our website at www.stfrancisanimalandbird.com in the Pet Resources: Pet Library section. Dogs and Ticks, a website hosted by Idexx, also contains excellent information. If you have additional questions, you may reach us via phone (651-645-2808) or email (email@example.com).
Have We Seen Your Cat Lately?
(Courtesy: Boehriger Ingelheim)
Did you know that there are 86.4 million pet cats in the United States, compared with 78.2 million pet dogs, making cats the most popular pet? A third of U.S. households own at least one cat and more than half of those own at least two.
Despite the fact that in the last five years the number of pet cats has increased, the number of feline veterinarian visits is declining. Compared with dogs, nearly three times as many cats did not receive any veterinary care in the past year. The American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association recommend a minimum of one annual wellness exam for cats, with more frequent exams for senior and geriatric patients or those cats with medical or behavioral conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I've heard that cats are naturally very healthy and don't need to go to the veterinarian as often as dogs do. Is this right?
A: Cats are no more or less healthy than dogs and require annual wellness exams just as much as dogs do. Also, cats are notorious for hiding illness, and cat owners may not be aware that their cats are sick until the illness has become critical and requires longer and more extensive treatment.
Q: I can't get my kitty in a carrier to take her to the veterinarian. She runs off and hides and then when I find her and pick her up, she tries to bite and scratch me. It's been almost two years since she's been to the veterinarian. Any ideas would be helpful because I know she needs her shots.
A: Your cat is just being fearful of the carrier because it means a ride in the car and a visit to an unfamiliar place. Try keeping the carrier open in your home with her favorite blanket, toy or treats in it. This allows her to become accustomed to the carrier and see it as a comfortable place to sleep or play.
After a couple of weeks of this, try getting her in the carrier and taking a short ride in the car. Do this several more times so she'll begin to lose her fear and allow you to get her to the clinic for the exam.
Q: My cat is very healthy, so I don't know why she needs to go to the veterinarian every year for an exam. If she gets sick, I'll know it and we'll go then.
A: Did you know that cats instinctively hide illness? There's a good chance you won't know if your cat is sick, especially in the early stages of any illness. Annual exams may uncover an underlying illness or condition. Diagnosing illnesses or conditions and beginning treatment early can save your cat a lot of suffering later if the disease or condition has progressed.
If we haven’t seen your cat recently, we would love to do so!
To schedule an appointment for any of your pets, call us at (651) 645-2808.
Happy 1st Anniversary: St Francis Integrative Services
We are proud to celebrate St Francis Integrative Services’ First Anniversary! In addition to our state-of-the-art traditional veterinary care that you’ve known for years, we are pleased to offer massage therapy; laser therapy; Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) including acupuncture, food therapy, and herbal therapy; hospice and palliative care services; and pet bereavement counseling.
All of these services are performed in a quiet, relaxing location next door to our main practice. Our Integrative Services space is located at 1235 Larpenteur Ave W, just to the west of St. Francis Animal Hospital’s main location. Consultations and services are by appointment only.
To schedule, please call us at (651) 645-2808 or visit our St Francis website.
Chiropractic for EveryBody also provides chiropractic care from our Integrative Services location. Together, we provide your pet with a range of treatment modalities in an environment that supports health and well-being for all.
To schedule chiropractic care, please contact Chiropractic for EveryBody at 952-484-5460 or visit their website.
Dr Sandra Soucheray
Dr. Sandra Soucheray will be providing relief veterinary care at St Francis on Friday, May 19th. Dr. Soucheray owns Dr. Soucheray’s At-Home Veterinary Care and will be providing periodic care at St Francis. You will find that she provides the same level of exceptional care and education that all of our doctors provide. Please give her a warm welcome when she’s at St Francis!
Pet Project Rescue Fundraiser
Join us today from 12 pm to 4 pm at the annual Pet Project Rescue fundraiser at the Bauhaus Brew Labs located at 1315 Tyler Street NE in Minneapolis. St Francis is sponsoring the event and will be providing a $100 Gift Certificate to bid on at the Silent Auction.
To learn more about Pet Project Rescue, please clickhere to visit their website.
St. Francis Schedule Changes
Please take note that we will be closing early on Wednesday, September 27th and Friday, September 29th. We will not be scheduling any appointments on Saturday, September 30th. St Francis is hosting a national veterinary practice management meeting and there is an important St Francis wedding. It’s a big week in September!
Image credit: wildpixel | iStock | Getty Images Plus