Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Rabies: What You Don't Know Can Hurt Your Pet

Perhaps you grew up watching movies, such as Old Yeller, of dogs foaming at the mouth and becoming extremely aggressive due to having rabies. Even if you haven’t seen this movie, you have probably heard frightening tales of both people and animals with the disease. As a pet owner, it’s important to have accurate information so you don’t unknowingly place your companion animal in a risky situation. Although this disease is frightening and ultimately fatal, it is also avoidable.



Myths People Continue to Believe About Rabies

The virus that causes rabies is spread when an infected animal, which is usually a wild animal such as a bat or raccoon, bites or scratches your pet. A lot of people believe that their pet doesn’t actually have rabies until the virus reaches the brain. Sadly, this is not true. Your pet has the disease from the moment of contact with another infected animal. In as little as 10 days and as much as two months, the infection travels to his brain and central nervous system. The incubation period of rabies depends on the area of the body where the infected animal made contact with your pet and the depth of the scratch or bite.

Another misconception about rabies is that companion animals can only acquire it when they are bitten by a wild animal. As mentioned above, the disease can be spread with a simple scratch when the claws of the infected animal contain saliva. Additionally, unvaccinated companion animals can spread the disease amongst each other.

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Protect Your Pet During Fireworks Season

The 4th of July is a fun, busy holiday for many families. With it taking place on a Monday this year, it gives you the chance for a long three-day weekend. If you're like many pet owners in the Lake Elmo area, your dog will be within earshot of a fireworks display, or maybe even at an event where fireworks take place. Sadly, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that more pets get lost over the Independence Day holiday than any other time of year. That's the bad news. The good news is that you can greatly reduce the chances of this happening to your pet by getting a microchip and following a few simple tips.

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Keep Your Pet Safe and Close to Home This Summer

If you're like most pet owners, you consider your pet an important part of your family and plan to include her in as many activities as possible this summer. As long as you pay attention to some important safety considerations, there's no reason why your pet can't join in the summer fun.

Dogs at Backyard Barbeques

It's rare to get through an entire summer season without hosting or being invited to at least one backyard barbeque. Some dogs may love these events for the opportunity to socialize. Unfortunately, your dog may also try to sneak food that you normally wouldn't allow him to have. Whether you're the host or a guest, make sure everyone else in attendance knows not to give your dog people food that could make him sick. To avoid your dog snatching up dropped food, be sure to keep him leashed and away from the serving area.

Dogs need to be kept away from the grill since they can easily burn themselves jumping up to snatch a forbidden treat. Some dogs have even been known to swallow the utensils used to grill the meat when they're overly excited and in an unfamiliar situation. Cats can also slip outside when they smell the enticing aroma of meat on the grill. The best way to prevent an accident with your cat is to keep her in an enclosed room if you’re hosting or at home if you’re a guest.

Not All Dogs Know How to Swim

Some dog owners become lax supervising their dog around water because they assume that he naturally knows how to swim. This isn't true of all dogs. Some breeds lack the ability or the natural instinct to swim when the water is over their head. If you do take your dog to a beach or pool this summer, make sure that you're within arm’s length from him at all times. It is also imperative that you put a life jacket on your dog if he joins you on a boating excursion.

Summer Travel

If you're hitting the road with your dog or cat this summer, be certain that you keep her contained within a pet carrier. This keeps your pet safe in addition to preventing her from distracting the driver. Pets, like children, need plenty of stops along the way to eat, stretch, and relieve themselves. They also do better when you bring some comforts from home, such as their favorite toys and bedding.

Because dogs and cats are creatures of habit, they are more likely to run off while traveling than when at home. That is why having microchip identification for your pet is so important. We are happy to offer this service at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo. If you experience an emergency during regular office hours, contact us immediately at 651-770-3250. After hours, call Animal Emergency Referral Service of Minnesota at 651-501-3766.

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)