Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Spring and Easter Safety

Peeps, Easter eggs, and chocolate bunnies: these are just a few of the best Easter treats for kids. Unfortunately, when you’re a pet, these seemingly harmless treats can lead to an emergency trip to the veterinary ER. If you’re prepping Easter baskets, planning to grill out, or gardening, you’re not alone. These are great ways to stay busy during the Stay at Home MN order. 


As Lake Elmo and surrounding community continue to wait out the worst of COVID19, we hope you’ll celebrate spring and Easter safely with your family while keeping your pets in-mind. So, don’t worry! Be hoppy and leap into Spring and Easter worry-free with these safety tips for pet parents.


Skip the Plastic Easter Grass


That shiny plastic grass in Easter baskets may seem harmless, but it can become a serious safety concern when it comes to pets. Dogs, cats, and other pets often feel tempted to play with and eat this fun Easter novelty. Unfortunately, many pets wide up swallowing the grass in the process. This can result in plastic tangled in your pet’s intestinal tract or knotted around the tongue. Both of these scenarios can result in an emergency visit to the ER and surgery.


A safer choice: The good news is, you don’t need to go to the store to buy Easter grass this year. Try using DIY paper strands made from construction paper. You can either cut it into strips or pass it through the paper shredder. Other DIY options include tissue paper or newspaper. 

Keep the Chocolates and Easter Candies Stored Out of Paw’s Reach


Some of the best sweets found in Easter baskets and Easter eggs can cause curious pets serious trouble. Around Easter and during spring, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  and Pet Poison Helpline receive a surge of calls regarding pets consuming chocolate, candy containing xylitol, nuts, and raisins. The best way to avoid your pet getting accidentally poisoned is to keep Easter treats out of reach of your pets. Be sure to also read the labels of sugar-free candies, too. These often contain “sugar alcohol” which is another name for xylitol, a fatal substance for dogs.


A safer choice: Bake or make your pets their own Easter treats. You can find some excellent recipes for cats and dogs that are safe and tasty. They’ll feel like they’re part of the celebration and enjoy healthy and safe snacks. 


Don’t Let Pets Play Near the Grill


As the weather warms, it’s a great time to spend time outdoors grilling burgers, hotdogs, and veggies. The mouthwatering smell of grilled food doesn’t just attract “oohs” and “ahhs” from your kids. Pets are often attracted to the appetizing smell of grilled foods. To keep your pets safe, don’t let them play or relax nearby your grill. Pets can try to steal scalding food or bump into and knock over the grill, causing serious burns.


Lilies Aren’t Safe for Felines


Lilies and Easter are a classic combination. Unfortunately, these gorgeous blooms that emerge around Easter are poisonous for cats. All it takes is your cat munching on one or two leaves from an Easter lily to need to be rushed in for urgent help. Lilies can be fatal for felines. It’s best to not bring lilies into your home if you have a cat. 


A safer choice: Read over the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets and choose plants and flowers that are safe for your four-legged family. 


Clean Up Garden Tools and Store Chemicals


If you’re using your time at home to spruce up the garden, keep your pets safe by cleaning up all sharp garden tools and storing away pesticides and herbicides immediately after use. If you grow vegetables, use pet safe fencing to keep your dog or cat from eating your crops. 


A safer choice: Avoid using commercial pesticides, herbicides or cocoa mulch near your pets. It’s important to remember that dogs and cats can both be poisoned by eating rodents that consume pesticides. The best choice is to skip the chemicals or find non-toxic and natural options.


We Hope Your Easter and Spring Will Be Hopping with Happiness!


We hope every-bunny has an egg-citing Easter and spring, despite the cloud of the novel coronavirus. Remember to keep yourselves safe and healthy along with your pets. If your pet needs care, we are here for you with precautions in place to keep you, our staff, and your pet safe.


COVID-19 Update


We are continuing to monitor the current public health situation closely. 
The health of our staff, clients, and patients is of the utmost importance, as always. 

As of Monday, March 16, we are instituting two new policies designed to limit exposure in our facility, in addition to the expanded infectious disease control protocols we instituted last week. 


  • Our lobby is currently closed and we are operating on a curbside basis for all appointments and product pickup. 
    For all appointments, we will have a staff member meet you at your vehicle to bring your pet inside. The doctor will connect with you by phone to discuss examination and treatment of your pet and take a card number over the phone. A staff member will then bring your pet and a receipt to your vehicle.
    For any medication or food pickups, please give us a call to let us know you are here. We can take a card number over the phone and have a staff member bring the product and receipt out to you.

  • Under recommendation from the American Veterinary Medical Association, CDC and other leaders, we are deferring wellness appointments and elective procedures to preserve medical supplies and encourage social distancing. 

  • At this time, these appointments will be deferred through April 1. For previously scheduled appointments, we will reach out as soon as possible to reschedule. |


Thank you for your understanding as we work to safeguard the health of our staff and community. We will continue to assess our policies as the situation develops. 

Protecting Your Pet’s Heart

Heartworm disease is one of the most serious illnesses your dog or cat can contract. This disease slowly steals your pet’s ability to breathe and steadily takes their life. Without proper preventative care, no dog or cat is immune from heartworms. While your pet probably occupies a huge spot in your heart, heartworms grow, multiply, and expand to fill your pet’s heart. These parasites damage organs and prevent blood from circulating around the body.

Luckily, pet owners have the ability to protect their pets from this fatal disease.

What Should All Pet Parents Know About Heartworm Disease?

All it takes is one mosquito bite for a dog to cat to become infected with heartworms. When an infected mosquito bites a pet, it deposits heartworm larvae into the bloodstream. The larvae grow and develop into long, thin, strand-like worms. Heartworms go on to reproduce and multiply, eventually interrupting the natural circulation of blood, clogging the lungs, and damaging the heart, kidneys, and liver.

What else should you know? Over time, one heartworm larvae can produce up to 250 worms living inside your dog or cat. Heartworms grow from 4 to 12 inches and live up to seven years.

As these worms thrive, they cause major damage to vital organs, making it hard for pets to breathe and eventually stopping the heart.

Is there a treatment for heartworms?

There is currently no treatment for heartworms in cats.

For dogs, there is a treatment, but it’s costly and complicated. The most common treatment is three rounds of melarsomine dihydrochloride, which contains trace amounts of arsenic. While this kills the heartworms, they remain trapped in a dog’s bloodstream. Even after they begin to breakdown, they can still cause heart failure.

How Can You Prevent Your Pet from Getting Heartworms?

Heartworm disease is deadly, but you can protect your cat or dog through prevention. Visiting us for an exam is the first step to protect your pet. We can check your pet for heartworms and prescribe a preventative medicine that works for your pet. Preventative prescriptions come in chewable, injectable, and topical forms.

1. Chewable and Oral Prescription Heartworm Prevention

Heartgard and other chewable preventative medicines can be given to pets at home. Many have flavor additives that make them more palatable for pets. There are also oral medicines that can be given to dogs and cats with meals.

2. Injectable Heartworm Prevention

ProHeart 12 and other injectable heartworm preventative prescriptions are convenient and effective. We can administer one quick shot and your dog is protected from heartworm for an entire year. Since year-long protection is more effective, this method is a one-and-done with your pet’s annual exam.

Injectables like ProHeart 12 are excellent for busy dog parents. Their long-lasting protection means that you don’t have to risk forgetting to give your dog a monthly chewable.

3. Topical Medications

Topical heartworm preventatives can be given to a dog or cat with just a few drops on the back of the neck. They work by being absorbed into your pet’s skin and killing heartworm larvae.

One drawback of topicals is that they can transfer or wipe off from contact. It’s easy to forget your dog has medicine on its neck and accidentally stroke this area, which can be dangerous for unsuspecting adults and children. Sometimes dogs and cats can lick or groom the area where the medicine is applied, which can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Pay careful attention to where you apply any topical medicines and caution anyone interacting with your pet to stay away from the area. Monitor your pets closely to make sure they aren’t licking or rubbing the medication off of their fur. 

You Can Prevent Your Pet from Getting Heartworms

Your pet only has one life and one very important heart, and one mosquito can take that all away. Heartworm disease is deadly and heartbreaking. Don’t risk running out of your pet’s preventative medicine or letting your dog or cat go unprotected. Schedule an appointment and we’ll be happy to discuss your options. We can provide your pet with a year’s worth of heartworm protection during an exam with ProHeart 12. Give us a call today.



Image credit: Dominika Roseclay | Pexels


After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
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Oakdale, MN 55128


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(located 2 blocks east of 35E)