Warm Temperatures Mean Parasites Are Active

Our unseasonably warm temperatures, with highs routinely above freezing, mean that fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes (which carry heartworm disease) can be out and active. We recommend year-round parasite prevention for dogs and cats to keep your pet protected from these disease-causing organisms. Please contact us if you need preventatives for your pet.

Back To Business As Usual!

We have completed the majority of our construction project at St. Francis Animal Hospital, which means that we are back to seeing appointments at our main building as usual. You will still see some evidence of construction, as a few portions of our project cannot be completed until the springtime (such as the outdoor sidewalks), but the clinic is back to normal function. 

St. Francis Integrative Services will continue to be used for our acupuncture service. 

We are filled with gratitude and appreciation for everyone who navigated the challenges of construction with us, and are enjoying sharing our new, bigger, and brighter space with you!

Librela Has Arrived

St. Francis has a strong emphasis on providing excellent palliative care for our patients with chronic diseases, injuries, or pain. One of the most common issues we see in our canine patients is degenerative joint disease (DJD, also known as arthritis). Dogs with DJD can lose the ability to be active parts of their family, may struggle to move around their home, can experience difficulties with urination or defecation, and may exhibit aggressive behaviors as they try to protect their bodies from anything that might hurt. We take a multimodal approach to arthritis management. This approach utilizes a combination of medications, therapeutic diets, laser therapy, acupuncture, and supplements to try to give as much pain relief as possible.

We are very excited to be able to have a tool to offer for dogs with chronic arthritis pain. Librela is a novel approach to pain control in dogs with arthritis. Given as a once-monthly injection, Librela is a monoclonal antibody that targets something called Nerve Growth Factor. This protein is one of the primary mediators of pain and inflammation in arthritis. Dogs can have improvements in their mobility as soon as 1-2 weeks after their first injection, although in some patients it can take up to 2 months to see effects. Librela often allows us to lower or discontinue some of these patients’ other arthritis medications.

Not all patients are good candidates for Librela, and it is important to discuss the pros and cons of this medication with your pet’s veterinarian prior to scheduling them for a Librela injection. Librela should be avoided in patients with neurologic dysfunction (i.e. intervertebral disc disease), pets under 12 months of age, and pets who are pregnant or nursing. Reported side effects may include changes in urination, skin rashes or infections, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, or pain at the injection site.  Less common, but serious, side effects may include weakness, paralysis, or mental changes.

If you are interested in Librela for your dog, please call or send us a message via PetDesk and we can discuss the next steps. We love having a new pain management tool available for our sore dogs!

February Is Dental Health Month

Every February, veterinarians highlight the importance of dental care for pets. We know that dental disease is one of the most common diseases seen in cats and dogs and is also one of the most treatable. Types of dental disease in pets can include:

  • Congenital abnormalities such as impacted teeth, misaligned teeth, or disease due to abnormally long or short jaws
  • Traumatic issues like tooth fractures
  • Abscessed teeth
  • Gum infections
  • Masses/growths on the gum tissue
  • Periodontal disease (infection of the bone and tissues around the teeth)

Because pets do not let us perform thorough oral exams while they are wide awake, the only way for us to truly assess the health of your pet’s teeth and gums is to perform an exam under anesthesia. We gain so much valuable information from an anesthetized exam! While your pet is under anesthesia for an oral assessment, we also perform x-rays of the teeth and remove any tartar that is present.

At home, you can help keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy through daily tooth brushing and providing daily opportunities for chewing (while also avoiding chews that are too hard, such as antlers and Nylabones).

For the month of February, we are offering 10% off dental health products, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental chews. Stock up this month so you can keep your pet’s teeth healthy year-round!

If you think your pet might benefit from a dental cleaning, please let us know and we can discuss the next steps. Happy Dental Health Month!