Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Veterinary Technician Week


Veterinary technicians work hard every day to support the veterinarians they work with and to provide sick and injured animals with the best possible care. Recognizing this, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians started an appreciation week in 1993. 

Now in its 25th year, National Veterinary Technician’s Week is an opportunity for clinic staff and pet owners to show their appreciation for the excellent service that vet techs provide every day. At Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo, we would not be able to provide the level of care you have come to expect for your pet without the support of our nine vet techs.

No Two Days are the Same in the Life of a Vet Tech

As anyone who works in the veterinary field can tell you, the days move fast and unexpected changes are par for the course. That means veterinary technicians must be experts at prioritizing care and managing stress. They also assist in facilitating routine pet health care, including the following:

  • Administer medication, give vaccines, take X-rays, and collect laboratory specimens
  • Provide first aid 
  • Speak to pet owners to learn more about the animal’s health history
  • Help to prepare pets for surgery
  • Assist with keeping pets calm and restraining them for their safety

Veterinary technicians are often the first point of contact that our clients have with our staff beyond our client care team. Our Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo veterinary technicians have a special gift of helping both you and your pet feel comfortable in our care.

What Makes a Good Veterinary Technician?

People typically go into this line of work because they love animals and want to help them. When hiring a new vet tech, one of the first things we look for is a sense of compassion for pets and their families. Other important skills include the ability to communicate important information to clients, problem-solving abilities, and detail orientation. At Cedar Pet Clinic, all of our veterinary technicians are certified, meaning they attended either a two-year or a four-year education program and participate in continuing education every year.

Meet Our Team

We are proud of our team of dedicated veterinary technicians at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo. Please allow us to introduce them to you:

  • Jayde, 11 years of service
  • Kathleen, 6 years of service
  • Kelly, 6 years of service
  • Kristen, 7 years of service
  • Maggie, 5 years of service
  • Michelle, 10 years of service
  • Roxy, 1 year of service
  • Sarah, 6 years of service
  • Sue, 32 years of service
  • Nancy, our newest team member, since July 2018

Each of our vet techs loves pets so much that she shares her home with at least one furry friend!

Feel Free to Express Your Thanks

Veterinary Technician Week 2018 runs from Sunday, October 14 to Saturday, October 21. Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo plans to celebrate throughout the week. We also encourage you to thank a vet tech if you get the chance, and we thank you for entrusting our clinicwith the care of your beloved pets.

National Service Dog Month


Now in its 10th year, National Service Dog Month highlights the dedication and sacrifice of the amazing animals that help people with varying degrees of disability achieve as much independence as possible. Dick Van Patten, an animal advocate, actor, and founder of a pet food line, originally established the awareness campaign in September 2008 with the name National Guide Dog Month. In addition to highlighting these amazing dogs, Van Patten started the campaign to benefits schools across the country that train service dogs.

What Do Service Dogs Do?

Most people are familiar with service dogs for the blind and visually impaired. These dogs lead people with limited or no vision as they go about their daily activities. Other common activities of service dogs include alerting the deaf or hard of hearing to important sounds in their environment and retrieving dropped items for those with unsteady hands due to a disability. However, these are far from the only people who could benefit from having a service dog. They also act in the following capacities:

  • Wheelchair assistance
  •  Allergy alert
  •  Seizure alert, assistance, and response
  • Autism assistance
  •  Mobility and brace support
  • Support for post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric issues
  • Diabetic alert
  • Medical alert, assistance, and response
  • Emergency medical response
  • General guide dogs

While German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers are the most popular breeds of service dog, any dog with the right temperament, physical stamina, body structure, and health can undergo training to work as a service dog.

What Types of Training Do Service Dogs Receive?

According to Assistance Dogs International, a dog entering training to work with a disabled individual must complete four basic areas of training. These include obedience, manners, public access skills, and training for specific tasks. The total training time usually spans from 18 to 24 months, and dogs must complete a minimum of 120 hours of training in each area before receiving certification. Training is most effective when the service dog starts it as a puppy.

Once a dog receives a human partner, he or she must continue to exhibit excellent manners and behavior in public. While a disabled individual has the legal right to have a service dog in places of business open to the public, business owners also have the right not to have their day-to-day operations disrupted by an unruly dog. If the dog doesn’t appear up to the task of providing service for the handler, he or she may require additional training or dismissal as a service dog. Handlers can also apply for a new service dog upon the death or disability of their current dog.

We’re Here to Serve All Pets

The staff at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo has great respect for service dogs as well as their trainers and handlers. Whether you share your life with a service dog or a companion animal, we’re here to help keep your pet happy and healthy. Please schedule an appointment for specific concerns and be sure to visit us at least once a year for a preventive care exam.

Image credit: David Osberg / iStock / Getty Images Plus

It's Time to Check the Chip!


Pet owners have long understood the importance of microchipping their pets. After all, microchipping helps to raise the chances of a reunion with your pet should he or she ever be lost, and the process of insertion is quick, simple, and incredibly cost effective. 
However, there is a potential “catch-22” when it comes to microchipping: the information that the chip contains. The fact is - without the right information, a pet microchip is next to useless. 
How microchips work 
Microchips are programmed with a unique reference number, which is connected to a computerized file. This file contains the customer contact information. So if a lost pet is found, a shelter or veterinarian can scan the microchip, locate the owner’s contact details, and then contact the pet owner to inform them that their pet is safe and sound. Our preferred microchip provider, AVID ID, in combination with PETrac, reunites thousands of pets each week!
However, a microchip is only as useful as the information on the computerized file that it connects to. If this information is out of date, then the microchip is essentially worthless. It is vital that all owners of pets with microchips continually update their personal information with their microchip manufacturer.
“Check The Chip” Day 
Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget to update the computerized file that is linked to your pet’s microchip. In the 21st century, relocating is incredibly common. The average person will move 11.4 times in their lifetime!  Moving is an incredibly stressful process, and the chances of remembering to update your pet’s microchip with every move are slim - understandably so, given that there’s so much else happening, but still a problem should your pet ever be lost.
In an effort to rectify this issue, August 15th has been designated Check The Chip Day - a day dedicated to raising awareness to keep the registration information of microchips up-to-date. Lake Elmo residents are encouraged to use this day as a reminder to contact their microchip manufacturer and check they have the accurate information stored for each pet - and if not, update it. If you're unsure of the manufacturer, please use the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup tool: http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org.
What if your pet isn’t microchipped?
Check The Chip Day focuses primarily on updating microchip information, but it can also serve as a handy reminder of the importance of microchipping. When it comes to the efficacy of chipping, the statistics tell the story… 
  • Only 22% of all lost dogs in animal shelters will be reunited with their owners. 
  • However, 52% of microchipped dogs will be reunited with their owners. 
  • Fewer than 2% of all cats in animal shelters will be reunited with their owners… 
  • … but a staggering 38% of microchipped cats will be reunited with their families.
As these statistics show, microchipping makes a genuinely major difference to the chances of reunion with a lost pet. If your pet does not currently have a microchip, why not use Check The Chip Day as the inspiration to make an appointment with one of our veterinarians for your pet to have a microchip injected? With a single appointment, you can provide yourself with invaluable peace of mind, and increase your chances of reunion with your furry friend should they ever go astray. 
Infographic: Microchip Your Pet
"August 15th is Check the Chip Day" AVMA, www.avma.org/Events/pethealth/Pages/Check-the-Chip-Day.aspx.
MonaChalabi. “How Many Times Does The Average Person Move?” FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight, 29 Jan. 2015, fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-many-times-the-average-person-moves/.
“Why Microchip Your Pet?” Petfinder, www.petfinder.com/dogs/lost-and-found-dogs/why-microchip/.
Image Credit: Capuski / iStock Photo / 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)