Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

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

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

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

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Oakdale, MN 55128
651-501-3766

 

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