Cedar Pet Clinic Blog


Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means that animals can acquire it and pass it to humans, and vice versa. Fortunately, this is rare. It’s also rare for this disease to affect cats as it is far more prevalent in the canine population. Genus leptospira, for which the disease is named, is a group of complex bacteria responsible for making dogs ill. One of the most common places to find this bacteria is in standing bodies of water such as ponds. 

How Dogs Acquire the Bacterial Infection for Leptospirosis
Once your dog has picked up the bacteria that causes this illness, it will remain in his body until he sheds it by urinating. The most common methods of contamination include:
  • Exposure to the urine of another dog or infected wild animal, by digging in soil or by sharing bedding materials
  • Drinking bacteria-filled water
  • Eating tissues of an animal that already has the infection
  • A bite from another dog or wild animal who actively carries the virus
The leptospirosis bacteria can spread to different parts of your dog’s body. While most dogs have strong enough immunity to partially fight the infection, it’s usually not strong enough to prevent transmission to the kidneys. This causes significant health issues that require prompt medical intervention.
The specific strain of bacteria, the age of your dog, and whether she has received a vaccination against leptospirosis determine whether the infection will be mild, moderate, or severe. Because severe cases can turn fatal without the proper care, we encourage you to schedule an immediate appointment with Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo if you notice any of these symptoms:
  • Joint or muscle pain that makes movement difficult
  • Increased urination
  • Decreased appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Vomiting 
Treating and Preventing Leptospirosis
After learning more about your dog’s symptoms, our veterinarians will need to do some blood and urine tests to confirm a diagnosis of Leptospirosis.  Once a diagnosis is obtained, and depending on the severity of your dog's symptoms, medications such as antibiotics and supportive care (often including intravenous therapy) will be done and can require multiple days of hospitalization and care before your dog starts to feel better.
The good news about leptospirosis is that it’s easy to prevent with a vaccination. We are happy to help you evaluate your dog’s health and lifestyle to determine if she’s a good candidate for the leptospirosis vaccine. Feel free to contact us with additional questions or to schedule an exam for your dog. 
Image credit: Jupiterimages | iStock | Getty Images Plus

Safety Tips to Keep You From Getting Caught Off Guard While Fishing With Your Dog

Are you hooked on fishing? If so, it’s easy to understand why. There are so many amazing spots to relax and enjoy fishing here in Lake Elmo. We know many of our clients want to share in the excitement with their dogs by bringing them shoreside or on the boat. To make sure your fishing trip is fun and carefree, we want to share some ways to keep your pup safe while on your fishing adventure.

Your dog will surely love your fishing trip, but there are some things to keep in mind:

1. Be Mindful of Where Your Dog is and What Your Dog is Doing

It can be difficult to keep your eye on your dog while you’re casting, reeling your line in, while watching your bobber, or fighting a fish. But being aware of where your dog is at all times while you fish can help you avoid accidents.
Keeping an eye on your dog will also keep her from wandering off and possibly getting lost.

2. If You’re Fishing from a Boat, Your Dog Will Need a Life Vest

As we mentioned, not all dogs naturally know how to swim. Even dogs that can swim can also end up in trouble. Dogs that slip or fall off a dog can become disoriented and not immediately begin paddling. Make sure you prevent your dog from risking her life by using a properly fitted life vest at all times on the boat. We recommend West Marine in Bayport for k9 life vests.

3. Shade, Shade, Shade

Whether fishing from the shore, hiking back to a secret fishing hole, or fishing from a boat, your dog will need a place to lie down in the shade. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re fishing, and time in the sun quickly adds up.

If you are worried about your dog getting sunburned, you can use a pet safe zinc-free sunblock on her nose and thin areas of fur. Also, find a shady spot and place a bed, blanket, or towel down, so she has a cool place to relax and watch you reel in the next ‘big one.’

4. Bring Plenty of Fresh Water

Completely preventing your dog from drinking lake water can be difficult, but bringing along fresh water can encourage her to not drink as much lake water or standing water. This can prevent dehydration, upset stomach, and ingesting harmful bacteria, such as blue-green algae which can be toxic to dogs.

5. Keep Hooks Out of Paw’s Reach

Don’t let your dog get hooked. From paw injuries to accidentally swallowing a hook, your dog can face serious cuts or injury that can result in blinding, surgery, or worse.

Hook Safety:

  • Bait smells scrumptious to your dog. Don’t let her make your bait into a buffet.
  • Shiny lures can look like toys to a naturally curious dog.
  • Put all hooks that aren’t being used away in a tackle box out of reach of your dog.
  • Be careful when casting to not snag your dog.

If your dog does accidentally get hooked in the paw, do not let your dog try to remove the hook or put weight on the paw. This could lead to further damage or swallowing the hook. If your dog gets a hook embedded in her paw or elsewhere, bring her in immediately or bring her to an emergency vet after hours. Do not try to remove the hook yourself.

If you are experiencing an emergency during the day, call us at 651-770-3250. If it is after close, we recommend Como Park Animal Hospital or the Animal Emergency and referral center.

Fishing with your furry best friend can be a blast! You and your dog can enjoy some fresh air, the thrill of landing a fish, and she’s guaranteed to sleep well once you arrive home.

Make a splash while keeping your dog safe this summer. Get ready to share some fish tales that include your furry friend, and enjoy your fishing trip.

Photo Credit: Svetlana123 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

How to Prepare to Provide Your Cat or Dog with Necessary First Aid

As April springs into full-swing, we want to celebrate National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. As pet parents, we always try to keep our pets safe. One essential procedure that many pet parents forget about is providing their dog, cat, or other pet with first-aid. When it comes to your pet’s safety, you should be prepared to be a first responder when an injury or illness occurs.

Poisoning, Toxins, and Ingestion of other Household Hazards

The first step to keeping your pet safe when it comes to household hazards is education. Do you know what your dog, cat, or bird can or cannot eat? Most people know that anti-freeze is dangerous, but did you know garlic can be, too? Luckily, the AVMA has put together a helpful brochure you can use, then print and keep in your First-Aid kit as a reference.

If your pet eats something he or she shouldn’t, call us immediately.

Tips for Pet First-Aid for Injuries

Trust us, pets tend to get into some mischief, and unfortunately, it isn’t always harmless. It’s essential to know how you should respond if your pet gets hurt. Here are some of the most common types of injuries pets face and how you should respond. For almost all of the following scenarios (except choking), you should try to muzzle your pet to protect yourself from incidental bites.

Bleeding from Cuts or Internal Injury

Minor cuts or scrapes: Cover the wound with gauze. Wrap it tightly and apply pressure. It can take three minutes or more for blood to begin to clot.

Major Cuts: If your pet suffers an unfortunate but serious cut, tourniquet the limb with gauze orca band, then cover and apply pressure to the wound. Bring your pet into us immediately or go to an emergency vet clinic. If it takes more than 15-20 minutes, you will have to loosen the band for about 20 seconds so the limb can receive circulation.

Internal Injuries

If your pet suffers an internal injury, bring them in ASAP. Signs of an internal injury include bleeding from orifices, bloody urine, and irregular pulse (too fast or weak).


Chemical burns should always be addressed quickly. Flush the wound with ample water and bring your pet in.

Burns from Hot Substances: Apply an ice pack to the burn. It's a good idea to make an appointment with us so that we can help in prevention of infection.


Check inside your pet’s mouth for what they’re choking on. If you can easily reach the object carefully remove it, but be aware that you could be easily bitten due to your pet's anxiety and stress levels. If you can’t reach the object, call us or a nearby emergency clinic immediately for further instructions. 

Possible Broken or Fractured Bones

If your pet breaks a bone, try to immobilize them by swaddling them or carrying a heavier pet, like a larger dog, in on a makeshift stretcher.

How to Prep a Pet-Ready First-Aid Kit

Everybody has a first-aid kit lying around, but not many people stock theirs with pet-friendly supplies. Being prepared can get your pet out of a lot of trouble and decrease the severity of a wound or illness.

First-Aid Supplies for a Pet-Ready Kit

  • Poisons and toxins List
  • A list with our number (651-770-3250) and the emergency vet nearest you
  • Your pet’s vaccination paperwork and tags
  • A leash
  • Self-cling bandage (like what they wrap your arm with after you donate blood)
  • A muzzle
  • Gauze
  • Tape
  • Antiseptic
  • A towel (and a pillowcase for cats)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gloves
  • A rectal thermometer with petroleum jelly
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers

We hope this article helps you feel prepared to help your pet should you ever be faced with an emergency. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt, call our veterinary team. From allergic reactions to bug bites to porcupine quills, we see it all!

Photo Credit: absolutimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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)