Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Spring is Heartworm Season

Even though it seems like Mother Nature can’t decide if it should be winter or spring in Minnesota, the snow will eventually give way to warm temperatures and more time spent outdoors. While the warm-up is certainly welcome after months cooped up inside, it’s important for pet owners to keep in mind that spring also means an increase in the heartworm parasite.

How Companion Animals Acquire Heartworm

A mosquito infected with heartworm can transmit the parasite to your pet through a single bite. Once in your pet’s body, heartworm can reproduce multiple times and grow to a length of 12 inches.

Spring is Heartworm Season

Heartworm infection is much more common in dogs but deadlier in cats. For cats, there is no approved treatment for heartworm. Puppies can begin preventive medication by eight weeks old without the need for any type of testing first. Once your puppy reaches six months old, we need to ensure that he’s heartworm negative before offering you preventive medication.

Heartworm Testing and Prevention in Dogs and Cats

The veterinarians at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo can tell if your dog has heartworm with a single blood test. With cats, it requires multiple blood tests to make a firm diagnosis.
We follow the guidelines of the American Heartworm Society and recommend that clients provide their pet with heartworm prevention 12 months a year. Not only does this keep heartworm from seriously threatening your pet’s health, it kills other parasites that could also be living inside of your dog or cat’s body.

Indications Your Pet Could Have Heartworm

As you might expect, dogs and cats experience different symptoms when they have heartworm. Cats will struggle to breathe due to the heartworm invading their lungs. In dogs, heartworm tend to live in the heart as well as its ventricles. Your dog will likely display at least a few of these symptoms:

· Appetite loss
· Coughing
· Fatigue
· Lethargy
· Vomiting
· Weight loss

Heartworm treatment is long in duration and uncomfortable for your pet. It's also expensive for you. The good news about heartworm is that it’s nearly always preventable. Our veterinarians are happy to discuss different products with you to determine which one is most appropriate for your pet. Some of the things we consider when making a recommendation include whether your pet is a dog or cat, her age, physical condition, and everyday lifestyle. It’s just one more way that we at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo demonstrate our commitment to quality preventive care for your beloved pet.

Image source: Pixabay

Support Our 2018 Food Drive!

Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo works hard to be good neighbors in the community we serve. Through community partnerships, we can combine our efforts to make a greater impact, and ultimately make our community a better place. One of our favorite partnerships is with Valley Outreach, which we've been able to support with a March Food Drive for eight consecutive years!

Valley Outreach helps to bridge the gap between the moment of a crisis a family may be experiencing and support through these difficulties. Through dignified encouragement and hope, assistance is available, whether through their food shelf, clothing closet, or emergency assistance fund. Each year, over 300 households benefit from the Valley Outreach programs.

About the Food Drive
2018 Food Drive
Any one of us can experience a hardship, whether financial changes, loss of a job, or by experiencing a change in health. Often, these hardships can make it complicated to care for a beloved family pet. Through the Feed a Family campaign, we help by being a drop-off center to collect donations of nutritional support for family pets. We all know how our pets can support us in times of hardship, and this helps keep pets and their people together. At Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo, we believe that animals are part of the family, and are so proud to be able to support Valley Outreach's good work.

In 2017 our clients and community demonstrated their incredible generosity and we were able to collect more than 1,000 pounds of pet food and supplies for Valley Outreach's year round food shelf! (Plus over $500 in cash donations!) We hope to make 2018 even better!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a donation? 
Drop by anytime during business hours, 8 am - 6 pm  Monday-Friday, and 8 am -12 pm on Saturdays.

What types of donations do you accept?
We can accept all kinds of pet food, even open bags. 

How much of the proceeds go to Valley Outreach?
100% of donations will go straight to Valley Outreach to support families experiencing difficulty in our community.

I want to support in additional ways, too! Where can I learn more?
Visit the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign page on the Valley Outreach website.

Receiving a donation of pet food during a period of financial difficulty can mean the difference between keeping a beloved pet and having to surrender him or her to a shelter. We appreciate your support and generosity!

Avoid Antifreeze Poisoning with Your Pet This Winter

It's hard to imagine getting through a Minnesota winter without antifreeze, especially this season of 2017 to 2018 that has been especially cold. As helpful as antifreeze is to get a cold engine to start, it can be toxic or fatal to your pets. Unfortunately, the clear color and sweet smell attracts pets to antifreeze and they may lap it up thinking that it’s water. A dog or cat only has to ingest a tiny amount to experience immediate toxic effects.

While drinking antifreeze spilled on a driveway is a common way for pets to become ill, your dog or cat could also get into antifreeze you have stored in the garage. It’s especially important to keep it in a tightly sealed container and to place it on a high shelf where your pet won’t be able to access it. Better yet, just don’t let your pet go into the garage.

If you notice a spill anywhere in the driveway or garage, clean it immediately. This is important to do even if your pet isn’t right by your side. She could find it later and become ill after consuming just a small amount.

Anti Freeze Poisoning

How to Determine Antifreeze Poisoning in Companion Animals

A cat only needs to drink one teaspoon of antifreeze to become seriously ill while a dog will show effects after one tablespoon. Most symptoms appear within half an hour, although it can take up to 12 hours. Symptoms become most severe in cats 12 to 24 hours later and in dogs 24 to 72 hours later.

The most common indications of antifreeze poisoning include excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, drooling, seizures, lethargy, lack of appetite, and depression. It’s essential that you seek immediate help for your pet if you notice any of these symptoms, even if you’re not sure that consuming antifreeze is the reason for them.

Treatment of Antifreeze Poisoning

Please contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo at 651-770-3250 for an emergency during office hours. When our office is closed, you may contact one of the following emergency veterinary providers:
  • After Hours Veterinary Care, St. Paul, 651-487-1941
  • Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, Oakdale, 651-501-3766
  • Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, St. Paul, 651-293-1800

Treatment for antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats typically involves inducing vomiting, providing hydration via IV fluids and sodium bicarbonate, oxygen therapy if necessary, and kidney dialysis if necessary. We may also provide your pet with prescription medication depending on the active ingredients in the antifreeze that she consumed. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with additional questions about wintertime poison prevention strategies for your pet.

Image credit: Jovanmandic /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)