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.

We are excited to announce that Christine Severance, one of our Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT), has recently completed training through the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB) to become a Certified Pet Bereavement Counselor. She has a special interest in hospice and palliative care as well as pet loss and grief counseling. With this certification, she will be able to provide our clients with valuable resources during these difficult times. To learn more about the APLB, please visit their website at: http://www.aplb.org. Congratulations, Chris!


Every dog should have a Heartworm Test performed every year. Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes and live in your dog’s heart and vessels of the lungs. This simple blood test will tell us if your dog has heartworm disease and allows us to initiate appropriate treatment.


If your dog is over 8 years of age or has never had a baseline chemistry panel, this is an excellent panel to perform. It provides us with a basic Heartworm Test as well as valuable screening information about your dog’s liver, kidneys, blood glucose, and protein level.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council has developed important guidelines for protecting pets and pet owners from parasitic infections. St. Francis Animal Hospital is committed to providing you with these important guidelines and helping you make choices that will protect your loved ones.

Roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are intestinal parasites found in both dogs and cats. A nationwide study revealed that more than 1 out of 3 untreated dogs were infected by at least one of these intestinal parasites. While pets infected with intestinal parasites may exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, malnutrition, blood loss, and even death, many infected pets show no clinical signs of illness, yet can be shedding up to 200,000 parasite eggs in the feces every day!


To our valued clients,

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

  • Novartis, Zoetis, Bayer, Merial, Merck and other veterinary drug companies have informed the veterinary community that they do not sell their products to these warehouses nor do they sell the majority of their veterinary products to human pharmacies such as Target, Walgreen’s or Costco. Since they cannot be sure of the origin and handling of these medications, veterinary drug companies will not honor product guarantees on veterinary medications purchased from Internet warehouses or human pharmacies. They will only guarantee medications that are dispensed by licensed veterinarians.
  • 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 appears to be true 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.

It is springtime – and time to think about protecting your pet against heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Each year, we strive to make prevention of these diseases affordable for you. In 2015, we bring you amazing promotions to help you keep your pet healthy.

Our St. Francis Animal Hospital Promotion