Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

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 When a microchipped pet isn’t returned, it’s often due to out-of-date owner information.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

Prescription Safety: What You Need to Protect Your Pet

What’s our prescription for your pet’s health? Staying up-to-date and aware of your pet’s health needs. We know your pet’s health is your number-one priority, but sometimes pet parents can be become busy or misread a symptom and make a decision that isn’t safe for their pets. When it comes to pet prescriptions there are some common mistakes we see pet parents make when faced with a sick companion animal.

The 3 Most Common Pet Medication Mistakes

When your pet feels under the weather, you probably jump into action, but are you effectively treating your pet? Here are the most common missteps pet parents make which can result in greater risk for their pets.
 

1. Self-diagnosing a pet using the internet

 
While resources like WebMD for Pets or PetMD are often veterinary-approved and written  resources, it's important to not jump to conclusions. Only a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine can truly diagnose your individual pet. These resources are a good place to start, and then continue with the conversation with a veterinarian who knows your pet's medical background.
 

2. Treating a pet without consulting a vet

 
There are some great over-the-counter and holistic treatments for some pet ailments. But using these without consulting a veterinarian can be dangerous or life-threatening. Often OTC medicines have lower doses of the active ingredients found in prescription medicines, making them less effective in smaller doses, but dangerous when a pet receives multiple doses or is exposed to the active ingredients long-term.
 
If you have questions about OTC treatments or a holistic method, please make an appointment to discuss it with us, first. We’re happy to advise you on what’s best for your pet’s unique health needs.
 

3. Using expired medicines, an expired prescription, or a prescription written for another pet

 
  • Expired medicines are dangerous because their ingredients degrade over time. 
  • Expired prescriptions can be less effective or dangerous for pets because as your pet ages, she may gain weight or her health status may change. Each prescription we write takes into account your pet’s most current health needs.
  • Using a prescription not prescribed for your pet is extremely dangerous. When deciding the best treatment for your pet we take into account your pet’s age, weight, breed, individual health history, and specific health needs. Using a prescription not tailored to a pet can result in severe health complications and even death.

Why You Should Always Fill Your Pet’s Rx from Veterinarian or Veterinarian Approved Online Store

We understand that when your pet is sick, you want them to feel better as quickly as possible, but it’s never worth the risk to use a medicine not prescribed for your pet or buy prescription medicines from a pharmacy or website that isn’t certified. 
 
Consulting with us takes the guesswork out of treating your pet and will give you peace of mind. We stay up-to-date with the latest studies in pet health, and we have decades of experience so we can tailor your pet’s treatment to his or her needs.

Other Considerations When It Comes to Your Pet’s Medicine
 
Veterinarians and veterinary approved pharmacies take precautions to store and ship prescription medicines in safe conditions. Maintaining shelf-stable conditions includes ensuring the medicine is kept at the proper temperature and verifying that packaging remains intact so medicine isn’t exposed to the elements and doesn’t break down or spoil.
 
As your veterinarian, we know your pet's medical history, and are happy to answer any questions you may have about your pet’s prescription.
 

We Care About Your Pet’s Health
 
We want your pet to live a long, happy, healthy life. From anxiety medications, to flea and tick prevention, we can find the best methods to treat your pet.
 
Let’s work together to keep your cat purring, your dog’s tail wagging, and your rabbit snuggle-ready. No symptom is too small to ask about - we can answer your questions about OTC and prescription medicines and help you keep your pet comfortable for years to come. 
 
If it’s time for a prescription refill or your pet’s annual exam, give us a call at 651.770.3250 or make an appointment using our pet portal
 
 
 Image credit: Anchiy | iStock | Getty Images Plus

Protecting your Pet’s Heart: What You Need to Know About Pet Heart Disease

We love our pets with all of our hearts, and they love us back equally. As a pet parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your best friend, and we want to help you do just that. We believe the first step in protecting pets is educating their parents, which is why we want you to know the facts when it comes to your pet’s heart health.
 
Did you know that heart disease in pets is almost as common as heart disease in humans? That’s right - pets, large and small, can develop heart complications and heart disease. From Great Danes to Chihuahuas, tabbies to Siamese cats, ferrets to rabbits, all creatures are at risk of developing heart problems.
 
The first question every pet parent wants to know: is heart disease fatal? The heartbreaking answer is yes, when left untreated for too long. Once a pet reaches the point of congestive heart failure, there is no cure or treatment.
 
Before you panic, keep reading to learn what you need to know to protect your pet from suffering the complications associated with heart disease.

Heart Disease and Dogs

 
Heart disease is a pretty common problem for our canine companions. Ultimately, about 10% of dogs experience heart disease.  Unlike the heart problems people face, the range of heart diseases and risk factors for dogs differs greatly.

The Most Prevalent Canine Heart Disease: Valvular Disease
 
Valvular disease may seem like a mouthful to say, but it’s pretty straightforward in its effect. 75% of dog heart disease we see is heart valve-related. 

What is Valvular Disease?
 
If you recall your middle school years and learning about how the human heart functions, you already have a good idea of how your dog’s heart operates:
 
Blood flows into the chambers, and the heart uses valves to stop the blood for a moment to re-oxygenate the blood before the thump and beat of the muscles pushes the blood out and around the body. The heart’s valves also keep the blood flowing in the right direction. 
 
Valvular failure occurs when these valves wear and change in shape. The seal they form isn’t as tight as it needs to be, and a tiny bit of blood leaks in the wrong direction with each pump. 
 
Over time, the heart has to compensate for the lack of efficiency by enlarging to push enough blood through the body. Eventually, the heart cannot keep up: the muscles wear out, the walls of the heart become thin and stretched, and the heart fails.

What Dogs Are At Higher Risk for Valvular Disease?
 
This disease is most frequently seen in the smallest dog breeds. It can be found in medium and large dogs, as well, but is much more prevalent in small dogs.

Other Deadly Heart Diseases in Dogs
One fact that will always be disappointing to us is that the second most common heart disease affecting dogs is completely preventable. Heartworm disease accounts for 13% of cases of canine heart disease. All it takes is a simple appointment and a prescription for heartworm prevention to ensure your dog is protected against this one.
 
Other canine heart diseases include myocardial disease and dilated cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy primarily affects large breed dogs. 

How Are Grain-Free Dog Diets Related to Heart Disease?
One question that keeps popping up from dog owners is: Why do I keep reading in the news that grain-free diets are linked to heart disease? As of right now, there is no conclusive evidence that a grain-free diet causes heart problems for dogs but there has been an increase in heart complications in low-risk dogs that eat strict grain-free diets, so the FDA is studying the issue.  Given the FDA concern, our doctors no longer recommend feeding a grain free diet unless specifically recommended for a health reason.
 
If you are worried about your dog’s diet, we can answer any questions you may have.

Heart Disease and Cats

 
Nine lives or not, you want to keep your cat’s heart in optimal condition! Like dogs, about 10% of cats will develop heart disease.
 
The causes of cat heart disease can vary. Some cats are born with malformations in their heart valves while others develop heart irregularities over the course of their lives. Like dogs, cat heart valves can wear out over time. They can also experience heart murmurs along with tears in their heart valves, walls, and arteries.  While it is not endemic to felines, cats can also contract heartworms.  
 
When left undiagnosed and untreated, heart disease will result in heart failure which is fatal for cats as well.

Heart Disease and Other Pets

 
As you’re probably aware, we see all types of companion animals: from birds to hedgehogs, turtles, and ferrets! We believe all animals deserve protection and the best care. We tailor our exams to make sure all pets’ hearts are in good health. Heart health is imperative to your pet’s longevity. If you have an exotic pet, we have the expertise needed for their special hearts, too!

Symptoms and Warnings of Pet Heart Disease

 
The key to treating heart disease before it transitions to heart failure is an early diagnosis. Unfortunately, the first stages of pet heart disease are often symptom-less. As the heart slowly enlarges, it is able to supply enough oxygen to the body; it’s not until the heart can no longer compensate that symptoms appear.
 
As heart disease progresses, pets then begin to show signs such as trouble catching their breath, weight loss, lethargy, coughing, and bloating. When these signs appear, it’s often too late.
 
Annual exams are the best way to catch heart complications early on. We can listen to your pet’s heart and explore deeper if needed. 
 
If it’s time to check your pet’s heart health or set up an annual exam, give us a call at 651.770.3250 or use our appointment portal to request your pet's visit to see us.
 
 
 Image credit: humonia | 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
651-487-3255

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128
651-501-3766

 

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)
651-293-1800