Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Start Your Fall Off on the Right “Paw” with Our Top Safety Tips

We love this time of year in Lake Elmo. As the leaves redden then fall, the air cools, and we finally get a break from the heat, we fall in love with this beautiful city we call “home.” And we’re not the only ones--It seems like everyone, including our pets, just breathes a little easier in autumn.

And while we want you to make the most of this season before the snow arrives, we also want to help keep you, your beloved pet, and our community safe from the dangers that emerge this time of year.

So, unpack those sweaters, leash up your pup, and enjoy the cool weather. Breathe easy by avoiding these fall dangers:

1. Fungi Aren’t Fun for Pets

The mushrooms seem to pop up out of nowhere in fall. While they can make the landscape picturesque, they have the potential to make your dog or cat extremely sick as well. It’s true that most mushrooms are harmless, but the wrong ones can be deadly. It’s best to avoid them on your walks and always supervise your pet when they’re in an area where mushrooms may grow.

 2. Don’t Let Your Dog Feast on Fallen Fruit

If your dog or cat likes to forage for fruit, you want to try to break this habit. While a nibble of an apple or a carrot every now and then can make an excellent treat, gorging on fruit from the ground can make your dog or cat sick.

3. Watch Out for the Back to School Blues

Does your cat or dog seem glued to the window, waiting for their little humans to return home from school? This time of year pets are still adjusting to the change in schedule. Be sure you keep your pet mentally stimulated to break up the boredom.

Dogs and cats often become more sedentary in autumn as well. Between dusk creeping earlier and the kids having homework, keep your dog or cat active with scheduled playtime. Set some time aside each evening to keep your cat rolling, tumbling, and purring. Enjoy the wonderful weather by taking your dog on an evening stroll.

And of course, don’t let your dog eat the kids’ homework… or any other school supplies. 

Some supplies that can be dangerous for dogs:

  • Glue
  • Glue sticks
  • Pencils 
  • Pens
  • Yarn
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Snack bags (which can cause suffocation) 

4. Beware of Antifreeze and De-icer

As you winterize your car, properly dispose of antifreeze and de-icer containers or store them sealed and out of reach of your pet. The ethylene glycol in antifreeze attracts curious kitties and hungry hounds. It smells and tastes sweet but can easily cause kidney failure.

Clean up any antifreeze spills or drips. It just takes one teaspoon to get a cat or dog very sick.

5. Halloween Candy is a No-No

From chocolate to xylitol, Halloween candy can be poisonous if it gets into the wrong paws. Make sure you don’t leave that candy bowl within paw’s reach and remind your kids how dangerous it can be to share with the pets.

6. Don’t Let Pests Play a Trick on Your Pet

Remember to check your dog for ticks after walks. Ticks like to hide in between toes, in the armpits, and under the ears.

Jumping into piles of raked leaves may be a blast, but these piles can harbor pests like fleas and ticks. They can also make a cozy spot for mice and rats to stay warm. They could also carry fleas, ticks, or even the bacteria causing leptospirosis.

Have a Safe Fall from Us Here at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo!

After you’re done sipping the latest pumpkin spice creation, enjoy some fresh air as you rake, bag, and dispose of the leaves. Bring that extra Halloween candy into work to share, watch for wild mushrooms, and keep that antifreeze locked up tight. Prevention is always easier, safer, and less stressful than reacting to an emergency.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, active fall. We at Cedar Pet Clinic are here if you have any questions or if you need to record your dog’s pre-Thanksgiving weight!

Image credit: Elena Rogulina / Pixabay

Benefits of Immunizations

Calling All Pet Parents: It’s Immunization Reminder Time!

We cannot predict when your pet will get sick. Of course, we wish we could.  Luckily, with the help of vaccines, we can prevent some of the most painful and fatal diseases that at one time took the lives of countless pets.

Busting the “Over-Vaccination” Myth

Some pet parents believe vets overly vaccinate pets. This is simply not true. Our team, along with all other veterinarians, take an oath to use science and our skills to benefit society and protect animals. We promise to prevent needless suffering of animals and their keepers--and this is precisely what immunizations do: protect pets from pain and senseless death.

This is why the myth and rumor of over-vaccination continues to break our hearts and put pets at risk.

Why Does Your Pet Need Vaccines?

Just what impact do vaccines have on your pet? Let’s take a closer look.

Vaccines help your pet’s body build up antibodies that will attack and defeat viruses and bacterial infections that they may later come in contact with. Without vaccines, your pet’s body is unprepared to fend off the illnesses and poses a greater risk, and sometimes guaranteed death, if they cross paths with certain viruses.

Core Vaccines

Core vaccines are essential for all cats and dogs. When it comes to vaccines, we consider “core” vaccines universally recommended no matter where you live. Why? These protect both you, your pets, and other animals from serious illnesses. From rabies to parvo, vaccines keep your pet alive and provide you with peace of mind.

Core Vaccines for Dogs:

  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Adenovirus (canine hepatitis)
  • Rabies

Core Vaccines for Cats

  • Distemper (panleukopenia)
  • Calicivirus
  • Rhinotracheitis
  • Rabies

Non-Core Vaccines

Don’t confuse “non-core” with “less useful.” While non-core vaccines may seem less necessary because they are not required, they are just as vital when it comes to safeguarding your dog or cat from illness, suffering, and possible death. We may recommend non-core vaccines that will help your pet, based on lifestyle and pet's overall health.

Non-core does not imply that the diseases they prevent are less lethal or less painful than the illnesses core vaccines prevent.

For example, the leptospirosis vaccine is a non-core vaccine, but leptospirosis can lead to death in dogs. And feline infectious peritonitis is always fatal for cats, yet the vaccine is a non-core vaccine.

Non-Core Vaccines that Protect Your Pooch:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
  • Lyme Disease
  • Canine Influenza
  • Corona Virus

Non-Core Vaccines that Protect Your Cat:

  • Feline Leukemia
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  • Chlamydia
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

Cat Health Spotlight: What is Feline Leukemia Virus?

While cars are the #1 enemy of cats, Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) takes a close second. Why? While automobile trauma is the leading cause of death for our feline friends, FeLV is a close runner up. 85% of cats diagnosed with FeLV pass away within three years due to related complications from the virus.

Why is FeLV so dangerous? This virus suppresses a cat’s immune system, leaving them vulnerable to other infections. And the virus, itself, can cause lymphoma, other cancers, and anemia.

Symptoms of FeLV:

  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Infections: UTI, bladder infection, upper respiratory infection, skin infection
  • Pale or inflamed gums
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizure
  • Miscarriage of kittens

How Does a Cat Become Infected with FeLV?

FeLV is passed from cat to cat through bodily fluids like saliva, urine, feces, nasal mucus, and breast milk. It can be transmitted from one cat to another when they groom each other, bite while playing, and at rare times when they share a litter box or food dish.

Cats that are allowed out are at higher risk for FeLV.

How Can a Cat with FeLV Be Treated for the Virus?

Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure for FeLV once a cat has caught the virus. We can only help manage symptoms and related issues.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Cat from FeLV?

The most effective way to protect your cat from FeLV is to have her vaccinated. The FeLV has significantly reduced the number of cats infected with FeLV over the past 25 years. It is safe to vaccinate kittens and cats. We recommend all cats get vaccinated, even if you intend for them to just stay indoors (because, as you probably know all too well: cats are master escape artists).

Sometimes we suspect caring pet parents are afraid to ask questions about their pet’s vaccines or the possible illnesses their pets are at risk for without vaccines. Don’t hesitate to ask questions at your appointments. We’re here to inform pet owners and protect pets.

Vaccines need to be current to be effective. If you’re unsure how long it’s been since your pet received her last immunizations, give us a call, we are happy to help! 

Photo Credit: Ablokhin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Check Out Why You Should Participate in Check The Chip Day!

Does your pet have a chip on his shoulder? No, not that kind. The tiny electromagnetic transponder that will help him be reunited with you if he becomes lost. If he does it’s time for an update! August 15th is National Check the Chip Day!

This special day, founded by the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association, is meant to remind pet parents how important microchips can be when it comes to their pets returning home. Today isn’t just about checking that your pet is microchipped but making sure that microchip is up-to-date with your current contact information.

A microchip can only do its job when it’s registered and current.

Why Do You Need to Check that Chip Today?

Here are the facts:

  1. One in three pets gets lost or stolen during their lifetime.
  2. A pet becomes lost every two seconds in the United States.
  3. 10 million U.S. cats and dogs become lost each year.
  4. Only 2% of lost cats that enter shelters are returned to their families.
  5. Only 22% of dogs that enter shelters are returned to their owners.
  6. Only 58% of pets with microchips have them registered with contact information.
  7. When a microchipped pet isn’t returned, it’s often due to out-of-date owner information.

How Can Checking Your Pet’s Microchip Increase the Odds of Her Safe Return Home?

This small microchip, enclosed in the tiniest glass cylinder you can imagine, is the size of a grain of rice, but it holds the key to your pet’s safe return. Until dogs and cats master the art of human speech, their microchips speak for them when they become lost. Each chip has a unique identification number linked to a database where your contact information is stored.

Microchips can be scanned when a pet is brought into almost any vet’s office (including ours!), a shelter, or by animal control.

But Let’s Look at How Useful A Pet’s Microchip Can Be:

  1. A microchipped cat is 20% more likely to be returned to her family.
  2. A dog with a microchip is twice as likely to make it back home.
  3. In the United Kingdom, where microchipping is enforced, 3 times more dogs are returned home.
  4. Dogs like Boozer have been reunited with their families after years apart thanks to his microchip.
  5. Cats like George have been reunited with their parents after over ten years after becoming lost.
  6. Dogs like Gidget end up thousands of miles from home, but his microchip saved this adventurous pup!

How can you check and update your pet’s microchip?

It only takes a few minutes to check and update your pet’s microchip.

If you have your chip information, you can use the manufacturer’s registry to make sure your pets’ information is up-to-date. Not sure of your pet’s microchip number? Make an appointment, and we will happily scan your cat or dog and provide you with their chip number. 

You can check your contact information with the AAHA Microchip Lookup, a non-profit that keeps a registry of all pet microchips.


If your dog or cat has a microchip already, great! Get busy checking that chip! If not, it’s time to make that appointment. Microchipping your pet is quick, easy, almost painless, and it can save your pet’s life and bring him safely home to you. 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128


Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)