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.