Thursday, December 29, 2011

Official Greeter, Kitty, Moe~

Wishing you and yours good health and great happiness throughout the season and coming year. From all of us at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo (and from our Official Greeter Kitty, Moe!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

AAHA Suggested Pet Gifts!

AAHA Suggests Pet Gifts

Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo is proud to be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, and we're happy to pass on the annual AAHA list of suggested pet gifts.   We especially approve of Number One!

Special edition: AAHA's top 10 holiday pet picks 

With Santa’s reindeer gearing up for a sleighful of deliveries to pets and their people, pet owners are hitting the stores to do their own shopping for their furry friends. From stainless steel water fountains to Angry Birds toys, pet gifts this season will have pets (and humans) drooling and howling for more.
Here are some staff favorites from the team at AAHA that are sure to get tails wagging and paws pouncing this holiday season.

1. Time:
For the owner on a budget or for the pet who has everything, the gift of time is the top gift for any pet this year."  According to my cats, the best present I can give them is my time," a staff member says. "They would like nothing better than for me to spend hours petting them and brushing them and scratching them and just loving them."

2. Thundershirt:
The holidays can be a stressful time for anxiety or stress-prone dogs. A Thundershirt can help reduce anxiety by creating a snug, comfortable fit that comforts dogs when in stressful situations.
"Everyone is talking about how these can help dogs that exhibit behavioral issues when stressed," one staff member says. "They’re most often applied to calm thunderstorm fears but I hear of people using them in situations they know their dog finds stressful."  For a stressed pooch, a Thundershirt may be the perfect gift that can keep on giving all year round.

Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment Wrap


3. Through a Dog’s Ear (CD series):

This series uses music to help calm anxious dogs in stressful settings like shelters and hospitals. Instrumentation on each album is carefully chosen to relax dogs by gradually slowing their heart rates. Many of the albums have been tested for effectiveness on dogs in shelters, clinics and homes.  Through a Dog’s Ear


For Fun Loving Pets!
4. Hartz Angry Birds cat toys: Don’t forget that cats love Angry Birds, too! The Angry Birds Running Bird toy stimulates your cat’s predatory instinct by shaking and vibrating its catnip innards, driving cats crazy and tempting their paws to pounce.
Angry Bird Cat Toy

5. Hartz Angry Birds dog toys:
Angry Birds = happy dogs. Based on the popular mobile game app that pits birds against greedy green pigs, the double-sided Angry Birds flyer will have your dog chasing it down just so that he can get his teeth on this toy’s ballistic nylon.

6. Homemade dog treats:

If purchasing special goodies from bakeries isn’t your thing, make your own doggie treats.
"You can always make dog biscuits with cookie cut-outs," one staff member says. "I recently made a disgusting liver bar recipe. I liquefied chicken livers in a food processor, added corn meal and flour, and then baked them. After, I cut them up into bars. It was gross to make and smell while they were baking but my dogs LOVED them."
Other recipes include mixing baby food, corn meal and dry milk. Peanut butter is always a good add-in, staff says.

7. Baked doggie goods from local doggie bakeries:
Fancy doggie goodies from specialized bakeries can whet your pet’s palate in a way that everyday treats can’t quite do.
"Christmas and his birthday are the only times my dog gets to indulge with these!" says one AAHA staff member.

For the sophisticated pet

8. Stainless steel water fountains:
Upgrading to a stainless steel water fountain this year may be a popular choice for pet lovers who want to add some class to their pets’ drinking style.

"I think crowds will love it this season since stainless steel is so fashionable in many kitchens and it is easy to clean," one staff member says.

9. Travel carrier:
Take your pet to grandmother’s house in comfort and security this holiday season. Travel carriers help to contain your pet while riding in the car, making it a safer and more comfortable drive for both you and your pet.

 For the safety-conscious pet
10. Car seat harness:
There is no better gift than taking your pet with you when you travel - provided that your pet can travel securely! Buying a car seat harness will ensure that your pet receives the same level of safety that you do when you travel.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FROM OUR VETS: FDA issues warning on chicken jerky for dogs

Government Agencies

FDA Issues Warning on Chicken Jerky for Dogs

by News Desk | Nov 20, 2011
Pet owners should be aware that chicken jerky products from China may be associated with reports of Fanconi-like syndrome in dogs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned.

The FDA issued the following alert:

Unbearably Cute Puppy by Douglas Gray
Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA's Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or go to

Our vets urge you to call the clinic if your dog is experiencing these symptoms, and  with any concerns about the health of your pet.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Lake Elmo Elementary Spirit Club Visits Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo
Last month, Dr. Baillie welcomed the Spirit Club from Lake Elmo Elementary, our neighbors across the street.  The after-school club makes monthly visits to discover what it takes to run a business, and all about being an entrepeneur.  In this case they only had to walk across the street to meet our clinic animals including front-office Kitty Moe, to receive a tour and a talk about being a veterinarian.   Dr. Baillie has been hosting visits and tours for young people for years, including dozens of Girl Scout troops who have played the X-ray guessing game, seen the 'backstage' spaces at the clinic, and learned about animal care.   

Monday, November 21, 2011

Long-time Vet Tech Sara

Sara--One of the first employees in
 at Cedar Pet Clinic, Lake Elmo
Long-time vet tech Sara is leaving Cedar Pet to help train the next generation of veterinary technicians, a job that is critical to veterinary medicine and the proper care of our patients.  Sara was one of our first employees in Lake Elmo, starting with us when still a student;  she has been a critical part of the vet tech staff, and will be much missed.  Her new job is as Program Chair for the Veterinary Technology Program at the Minnesota School of Business/Globe University, supervising instructors and students, particularly by coordinating and recruiting externships.   We'll still see her -- she will continue as a volunteer with our work at the Wildcat Sanctuary -- and we wish her all the best in her new position.   Sara is shown in the accompanying photo, with Dr. Noemi Plantz, monitoring a tiger during dental work at the Sanctuary earlier this year.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FROM OUR VETS: Canine Influenza Disease and Vaccination

Dr. Baillie writes:  Recently, in both Minnesota and the national news, there have been reports of an outbreak of Canine Influenza H3N8  and increased recommendation for vaccinating certain dogs against this virus.  We have been following this story through the professional publications and want to put this story in context.
This virus is a mutation of the Horse Influenza virus and has caused significant outbreaks of respiratory disease; it started at greyhound tracks in 2004 and then spread to boarding facilities and dog parks in the Eastern and Southern states. The virus causes significant respiratory disease. The main symptoms are cough, runny nose and fever. Many exposed dogs will develop antibodies and clear the infection without getting sick. It spreads rapidly when close-proximity conditions exist,  primarily by aerosol spread and  direct contact with infected dogs.  It is similar to human influenza in that symptoms will vary tremendously between infected individuals; some  will have mild signs and others developing much more serious disease.  The biggest risk is the concern for secondary bacterial pneumonia. 

Treatment approaches would be to prevent  dehydration and place infected dogs on antibiotics.  We recommend that any dog with respiratory symptoms be seen and consideration be given to starting antibiotics.  Although there have been deaths associated with this virus, overall most dogs will respond to treatment and nursing care.  Vaccination does exist for this virus, but vaccinated dogs may still acquire the virus, show some signs of illness, and shed the virus.

The important thing to recognize that there has not been a case of this disease confirmed in Minnesota, Wisconsin or Iowa yet.  Screening tests are available for this virus and other causes of dog respiratory disease.  We will be happy to discuss testing your dog and treating if needed.

Currently, we are not recommending routine vaccination for Canine Influenza.  If you intend to travel to the East or South especially over the holidays or winter, and your dog will be going to dog parks or be boarded during your travels, please contact us to discuss the possibility of vaccinating your dog.  The vaccine is a series of two injections a couple weeks apart and it would be best to do this in advance of traveling.

Do call us with any questions about canine influenza and the health of your pet.  We'll be glad to consult with you.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Cedar Pet visitors are accustomed to being greeted by kitty Moe in our reception area, and our staff enjoys occasional seasonal photography with him as the star. You might recall "Springtime Moe" from earlier this year. Here, vet tech Sarah presents Moe in an October mood, both awake and napping. Moe, who was found by our staff in a drainage ditch outside the clinic a few years ago, is a benevolent ruler of our reception area. What a good cat!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FROM OUR VETS: Senior Pets

Are you living with a senior citizen pet? Aged animals have special requirements. With attention to these needs, you can extend the life span and quality of life of your elderly pets.
Senior Dog
Photo Credit:  Akita Dog Profile by Kim Newberg

Continual dental care is very important. Many ailments such as liver and kidney disease, heart problems and arthritis can be attributed to infected teeth and gums. Also the foul odor and taste accompanying dental diseases must be uncomfortable for the elderly pet.

The primary heart disease of older dogs and cats is congestive heart failure. Dry, persistent coughing may be the first indicator. Medications can help your pet live comfortably and live longer.

Kidney failure is one of the most prevalent old age problems and a leading cause of death. Special diets can reduce the demands on the kidneys and so extend their longevity.

Infectious diseases such as Feline Leukemia and Canine Hepatitis are as dangerous to older as to younger pets. Elderly pets should continue to receive their annual vaccinations.

Unfortunately, malignant and benign tumors show up in senior dogs and cats. Depending on how early they are noticed, many tumors can be removed.

Weight control is as important in pets as in people, especially as they get older. Aging muscles lose some of their tone and cannot adequately support additional weight. This leads to joint weakness and arthritis. Obesity places more demands and stress on older hearts.

Do not forget routine health care. Bathing, grooming, eye and ear care, toe nail trimming and parasite control all contribute to the happiness and well being of every pet. Most importantly, tender loving care (TLC) will let your senior citizen pet live more comfortably with you.

(from the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Everybody Wins Pet Show--2011!

Everybody Wins Children's Pet Show gives out 27 awards this year. Shown is Peekaboo the Pekinese with owner and Dr. John Baillie: Peekaboo's ribbon was for Kindest Eyes in the pet show! See all photos below:

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Cats of Kilkenny

Sometimes, it just improves the day to hear a nice poem about our animal friends...

Cats of Kilkenny

Photo Credit:  Two Young Cats by Petr Kratochvil
There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many,
So they fought and they fit, 
And they scratched and they bit,
Till, excepting their nails,
And the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there weren't any.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Cat Food Recall from Purina

Photo credit:  Cat by Anna Langova
FROM OUR VETS:   Purina is recalling some cat foods due to salmonella contamination.   Click on this link for the latest from the American Animal Hospital Association, one of our most important affiliate organizations.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Puppy Power at Cedar Pet

Puppy Power at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo
These two beauties -- Dr. Baillie calls them Big Puppies -- visited Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo together one day recently, and prompted a rash of staff photography. The bulldog, Spike, is in our animal care staff Zoe's family, and was there for a special purpose -- a puppy play date. Clumber spaniel Forest is an only puppy, and owner Jayde, one of our vet techs, wanted the six-week-old to have some socializing and puppy play time; Spike was a willing participant. They played together under the admiring gaze of the staff. Forest, whom practice manager Mila says always looks sleepy, did wake up enough to chew on Spike's ear; the two wore themselves out with fun and spent part of the afternoon spooning and sleeping close together.

What a life!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

FROM OUR VETS: Dr. Noemi Plantz talks ticks!

We’re in tick season in Minnesota and Wisconsin now, and it’s a long season… this year, clients started to tell us about ticks on their dogs in February, and we expect to be hearing the same stories up until December. Wood ticks and deer ticks differ in size, and a bit in appearance (who’s looking that closely?!), but both species can transmit disease to your dog, even if your dog spends minimal time outside. Because of their grooming habits, it is unusual for cats to have problems with ticks.
Adult Deer Tick
Prevention is best with tick-borne diseases. Your dog should be vaccinated for Lyme’s disease yearly, and Frontline Plus should be used to prevent ticks from attaching long enough to transmit bacteria. Most tick diseases require the tick to be attached and feeding for at least 24-48 hours. If your dog is protected with Frontline Plus, ticks will die within a few hours of attaching to the skin. Frontline should be continued into November, as ticks will be active during these months.
All of the diseases we list here have been diagnosed in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and all have been seen by our practice.
Lyme’s disease: caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, and transmitted through deer ticks. Symptoms include recurrent lameness, decreased appetite and energy, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, the kidney can be involved and symptoms will progress very fast.
Ehrlichiosis: caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia canis. Symptoms include decreased appetite, decreased energy, and fever. Severe cases of the disease can decrease platelet function in the blood and could lead to bleeding disorders.
Anaplasmosis: caused by the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Symptoms include decreased appetite, decreased energy, fever, and painful swollen joints. Some animals develop vomiting and diarrhea.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: caused by the organism Rickettsia rickettsii. Symptoms include decreased appetite, decreased energy, fever, painful muscles and joints, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting and diarrhea. Some dogs develop severe signs such as heart arrhythmias, bleeding disorders and neurological signs (dizziness, seizures).
Many of the symptoms of tick borne diseases are similar, and can be vague and difficult to distinguish. If your pet is showing any of the symptoms listed, give us a call. We can test for exposure, and for infection.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What A Difference; A Year of Growth in a Boxer Puppy

On the left, exactly one year ago, technicians Kirstin and Kris happily support a set of newborn boxer pups. It is always a fine moment when our staff helps bring these wonderful babies into the world. And it's even more fun when we get to watch them grow up.

And on the right, on this date, mother Ruby on the left, and former puppy Thor on the right, posing with our staff on a recent visit to the clinic. Thor has gone from one pound at birth to 56 pounds at this weighing; Dr. Baillie calls him "a big, good-natured boxer, typical of the breed". And beautiful, too. Thor's sister Jada is also in the practice.

Technician Kirstin, by the way, is now a first-year veterinary student at Ross University on St. Kitt's Island. She writes regularly to the clinic, and recently reported that she and her husband have adopted a local dog down there. We know it will be in good health!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

FROM OUR VETS: Human medications that poison pets

Photo Credit:  Medical Tablets by Vera Kratochvil
(Extracted and summarized from an article by Ahna Brutlag, DVM, for the Pet Poison Helpline)
Pet poisonings from human medications can happen. Dogs can chew into pill bottles, packages can be mixed up; both over-the-counter and prescription human meds can make your dog very very sick. If you think your pet has ingested human medications – or any poisonous substance -- call us at once. (Our website carries contact information for the Animal Emergency Clinic for after-hours help.)
Here are the top ten human medications that pets ingest:
1. NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen)—Topping our list are the common household medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), which include common names such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil and some types of Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve). While these medications are safe for people, even one or two pills can cause serious harm to a pet. Dogs, cats, birds and other small mammals including ferrets, gerbils, and hamsters may develop serious stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as kidney failure.
2. Acetaminophen—When it comes to pain medications, acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) is popular. Even though this drug is safe for children, it is not safe for pets—especially cats. One regular strength tablet of acetaminophen may cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells, limiting their ability to carry oxygen. In dogs, acetaminophen leads to liver failure and, in large doses, red blood cell damage.
3. Antidepressants (e.g., Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro)—While these and other antidepressant drugs are occasionally used in pets, overdoses can lead to serious neurological problems such as sedation, incoordination, tremors and seizures. Some antidepressants also have a stimulant effect leading to a dangerously elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Pets, especially cats, seem to enjoy the taste of Effexor and often eat the entire pill. Unfortunately, just one pill can cause serious poisoning.
4. ADD and ADHD medications (e.g., Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin)—Medications used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder contain potent stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate. Even minimal ingestions of these medications by pets can cause life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures, and heart problems.
5. Benzodiazepines and sleep aids (e.g., Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)—These medications are designed to reduce anxiety and help people sleep better. However, in pets, they may have the opposite effect. About half of dogs that ingest sleep aids become agitated instead of sedate. In addition, these drugs may cause severe lethargy, incoordination (including walking “drunk”), and slowed breathing in pets. In cats, some forms of benzodiazepines can cause liver failure when ingested.
6. Birth control (e.g., estrogen, estradiol, progesterone)—Birth control pills often come in packages that dogs find irresistible. Thankfully, small ingestions of these medications typically do not cause trouble. However, large ingestions of estrogen and estradiol can cause bone marrow suppression, particularly in birds. Additionally, intact female pets are at an increased risk of side effects from estrogen poisoning.
7. ACE Inhibitors (e.g., Zestril, Altace)—Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are commonly used to treat high blood pressure in people and, occasionally, pets. Though overdoses can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, and weakness, this category of medication is typically safe. Pets ingesting small amounts of this medication can potentially be monitored at home, unless they have kidney failure or heart disease.
8. Beta-blockers (e.g., Tenormin, Toprol, Coreg)Beta-blockers are also used to treat high blood pressure but, unlike with ACE inhibitors, small ingestions of these drugs may cause serious poisoning in pets. Overdoses can cause life-threatening decreases in blood pressure and a very slow heart rate.
9. Thyroid hormones (e.g., Armour desiccated thyroid, Synthroid)—Pets—especially dogs—get underactive thyroids too. Interestingly, the dose of thyroid hormone needed to treat dogs is much higher than a person’s dose. Therefore, if dogs accidentally get into thyroid hormones at home, it rarely results in problems. However, large acute overdoses in cats and dogs can cause muscle tremors, nervousness, panting, a rapid heart rate, and aggression.
10. Cholesterol lowering agents (e.g., Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor)—These popular medications, often called statins, are commonly used in the United States. While pets do not typically get high cholesterol, they may still get into the pill bottle. Thankfully, most statin ingestions only cause mild vomiting or diarrhea. Serious side effects from these drugs come with long-term use, not one-time ingestions.
Additional information can be found online at