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Feline Inappropriate Urination

Kevin Roeser, DVM and Jennifer Blair, DVM

Inappropriate urination or house soiling can be a challenging issue for cats, their owners, and veterinarians alike. For many cats, the underlying cause of this behavior is multi-faceted, making management more challenging. However, with patience and consistent behavioral modification, most owners can successfully manage this issue long term.

Cats that are exhibiting inappropriate urination should initially have a complete physical examination performed by a veterinarian followed by specific diagnostics that help to exclude an underlying medical cause for the behavior. Recommended diagnostics may include a) a complete urinalysis and culture to rule out infectious or inflammatory causes; b) radiographs (x-rays) +/- an ultrasound to identify stones, masses, or structural abnormalities; and c) baseline blood work to rule out concurrent or underlying diseases.

Feline Tooth Resorption / Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions

Dr. Kevin Roeser

Feline tooth resorption, also known as Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORLs), cervical line lesions (CLLs), neck lesions, cervical line erosions, and feline caries/”cavities”, are a common dental concern for cats. These lesions begin just below the gum line and progressively invade and destroy the affected tooth. As the tooth structure is damaged, the pulp (nerve and blood supply of the tooth) is exposed. This can result in chronic dental pain – think of it as a major toothache!

It is estimated that well over 50% of all cats will experience this disease at some point in their lives. Tooth resorptive lesions can be found in cats as early as 18-24 months, but most affected cats are middle-aged. Asiatic breeds (Abyssinians, Siamese, and Himalayans) may be predisposed, though all breeds may be affected. The cause of these lesions is yet unknown.

This month, our feature article was inspired by two eighth grade girls, Scarlett Morton and Elsa Yager, Girl Scout Troop #54296, working on their Girl Scout Silver Award Project. The Silver Award Project is a project designed to help the community. They chose to educate our community on blue-green algae, because sadly, Elsa’s family dog, Barney, passed away suddenly last year due to this toxin. Their hope is to spread the awareness of the dangers of this toxin to help save other pets’ lives.

View their project here!

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are bacteria that grow in slow moving or stagnant water such as ponds, lakes, or streams, especially in areas where water is rich in nutrients such as fertilizer. These bacteria are often called algae because of their appearance on the water, but they are not truly algae. These bacteria grow rapidly during the summer months, leading to accumulations along the shores. You cannot always visualize these algal blooms. Sometimes there is a ‘pea soup’ appearance to the water, but affected water can range from clear to blue to even red in color.

Welcome, Dr. Jessica Lewis

We are excited to announce the addition of our new doctor, Dr. Jessica Lewis, on Tuesday, May 29th. Dr. Lewis joined St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital in the spring of 2011 as a veterinary assistant while she was obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. She was promoted to a veterinary technician in 2013 and continued to work at St Francis part-time while earning her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at the University of Minnesota. She completed a one month externship at St Francis during her clinical rotations and is elated to finally officially join the team as a veterinarian.

Jessica’s professional interests include small animal internal medicine, preventative care, nutrition, and anesthesia/pain management. She has completed the Fear Free Certification program and strives to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress related to veterinary visits. Jessica is a member of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV), and Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV). In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, practicing yoga, and throwing the frisbee for her Australian Shepherd, Tig.

You are invited!

Please join Dr. Charlie Cosimini (aka Dr. Chuck) for a book reading/signing event.
Bring the whole family! Space is limited, so RSVP today!

When: Monday, May 14th, 7-8 pm

Where: St Francis Integrative Services

Located next door to St Francis at 1235 Larpenteur Ave W

To RSVP, please call (651) 645-2808 or email group@stfrancisabh.com

(This event is free. Donations of any amount will be accepted for the Falcon Heights Elementary Read-A-Thon.)


It’s Spring: Heartworm Disease and Lyme Disease

It’s April – and it finally is beginning to feel like spring. April is both Heartworm Awareness Month and Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can affect dogs, cats, and ferrets. Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks and is primarily a disease that affects dogs.

Fortunately, we have good protection for both of these diseases. Providing your pet with a monthly heartworm preventative is essential for anyone who has any mosquito exposure. We recommend Heartgard Plus for dogs and Revolution for cats and ferrets. To protect your dog against Lyme disease, we recommend a combination of a flea and tick preventative (Nexgard or Frontline Gold) as well as the Lyme vaccine for those dogs who have tick exposure.


From A Cat’s Perspective

Bringing your cat to the veterinarian can be a very stressful and scary experience -- for both you and your cat. One of the biggest stressors for your cat going to the doctor can be the carrier itself. Not only does the carrier mean that they are leaving the comfort of their own home to go to a potentially scary place, but the actual ride in the carrier can be very frightening. When a carrier is carried from the handle of the carrier, it is very similar to your cat being forced on to a roller coaster they don’t want to ride.

To help to eliminate the stress of the ride for your cat, we recommend carrying your cat’s carrier like you are handling a fragile package -- support the bottom of the carrier with both hands. This helps to eliminate the undulating movements of the carrier, helps to keep the carrier from accidentally bumping into walls and doors, and eliminates the possibility of the bottom falling out or the lid unlatching during carrying.


Parasite Prevention: Isn't It Too Cold To Care?

Year Round Preventative Care

The days are cold and snowy, but did you know that your pet is still at risk for parasites? Let’s discuss the importance of year round preventative! For dogs, we recommend giving Heartgard Plus once monthly year round. This medication protects against intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms in addition to heartworms. Your pet can be infected with intestinal parasites at any time of year, even in the heart of our winter months. Because these parasites can be transmitted to the humans in the household, giving Heartgard Plus to your dog(s) during the winter months is just as important as it is during the warmer months of the year.

We recommend flea and tick prevention with Nexgard or Frontline Gold from spring through fall depending on our weather. However, depending on your pet’s lifestyle, you may need to administer flea and tick prevention year round. If your pet visits the grooming facility, dog park, day care, dog classes or boarding facility regularly, your pet is exposed to other dogs --- those dogs may be carrying fleas or other parasites. If this fits with your dog’s lifestyle, year round flea and tick prevention is advised. Nexgard has the advantage of protecting your dog against mites as well. (Nexgard is for dogs only and should not be used in patients with seizure disorders.)

In most households, our feline friends have fewer outside interactions than dogs, especially in the winter months. Keep in mind, though, that if you have an active dog who is regularly exposed to others, your dog could be a source of parasites for your indoor cat, even in the winter months. If your cat hunts, intestinal parasites are a risk as well. As with dogs, roundworms and hookworms can be transmitted to the humans in the household. If you have any of these risk factors in your household, we would recommend Revolution topically once monthly for all cats.

2018 Promotions

Heartgard Plus: Buy 12 doses = $12 mail in rebate

Nexgard: Buy 6 doses = 1 dose free

Frontline Gold: Buy 3 doses = 1 dose free

Frontline Gold: Buy 6 doses = 2 doses free

If you buy 12 doses of Heartgard Plus and 12 doses of either Nexgard or Frontline Gold, you will receive a $50 mail in rebate.

For cats, Zoetis is no longer offering the Buy 6, Get 2 Free or the Buy 9, Get 3 Free offer for Revolution. Instead, they will be launching their Zoetis Petcare Rewards program on March 1st. When you purchase Revolution, you will earn dollars to be used for any veterinary care at St Francis.

In addition, we will once again be offering our Parasites and Your Pet Promotion to provide you with additional savings on your year round parasite prevention.


We would like to take this opportunity to share our Purpose Statement and Core Values with you. As a team, we are proud of our values and strive to uphold them every day. Our values guide each of us as we work to create an exceptional experience for you and your pet at every visit.

We would like to take this opportunity to share our Purpose Statement and Core Values with you. As a team, we are proud of our values and strive to uphold them every day. Our values guide each of us as we work to create an exceptional experience for you and your pet at every visit.

Purpose Statement

At St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital, our purpose is to provide compassionate and quality care for our patients, to build meaningful relationships with our clients, to share our knowledge and experience, and to exceed the expectations of those who demand the very best of veterinary care.

Core Values

Excellence
We have a fundamental commitment to excellence in veterinary medicine. We create value for our clients by providing quality and excellence in all that we do and the way in which we do it.

Compassion
We are committed to providing compassionate care for our patients and their people. We treat our patients and clients as if they were members of our own families.

Dedication
We are dedicated to lifelong learning and to providing exceptional client education each and every day. By sharing our knowledge, we can work together with our clients to make careful and informed medical decisions about the care of their loved ones.

Respect
We have mutual respect for each other, our clients, and our patients. We respect the special relationship that each individual shares with his or her pet.

Most people enjoy chocolate, and not surprisingly, most pets do too! Unfortunately, chocolate can be toxic to pets and can lead to severe clinical signs including vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, ataxia (‘drunkenness’), increased heart rate, heart arrhythmias, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature, difficulty breathing, and even death.

The toxic compounds in chocolate are methylxanthines – this includes both theobromine and caffeine. These compounds inhibit cellular receptors, stimulate the central nervous system, and enhance cardiac and skeletal muscle contractility. In addition, the high fat content in chocolate leads to local gastrointestinal irritation (vomiting and diarrhea), and in severe cases, a serious disease called pancreatitis. Clinical signs occur within 12 hours, but most pets will begin exhibiting signs within 1-4 hours of ingestion.

Different types of chocolate have different amounts of theobromine and caffeine. Relative amounts of methylxanthines in chocolate are as follows:

CompoundTheobromine (mg/oz)Caffeine (mg/oz)
White chocolate 0.25 0.85
Milk chocolate 58 6
Dark chocolate 130 20
Semi-sweet chocolate 138 22
Baker's unsweetened chocolate 393 47
Dry cocoa powder 737 70

St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital's 25th Anniversary Open House

Sunday, September 10th, 1-4 pm

St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital, recently voted "Best Place For Pet Care" in the Roseville Review, will host its 25th Anniversary Open House on Sunday, September 10th from 1-4 pm. You will have the opportunity to meet our doctors and staff and take a full tour of our facilities. Several educational stations will be set up throughout both the St Francis and St Francis Integrative Services locations to showcase our preventative care, surgery, anesthesia, dentistry, laboratory, radiology, acupuncture, laser therapy, massage therapy and hospice/palliative care services. We will also have a special kids' station for kids to experience what it's like to be a veterinarian!

We'll have information available to learn more about Chiropractic for Every Body, Cause for Paws, Dig It Dog Grooming, Veterinary Surgical Specialists, Sarah Beth Photography, Avian Suites, Care Credit, Minnesota Companion Bird Association, Heartgard/Frontline Gold/Nexgard and more!

Dr. Chuck, otherwise known as Dr. Charlie Cosimini, will be signing your copy of his new children's book, A Hedgehog With a Sneeze. Purchase your copy in advance at Amazon.com or purchase a copy directly from Dr. Chuck at the event. Please bring cash or check payments; Dr. Chuck will be unable to take credit card payments. The cost is $10.

In addition, we will have drawings for great prizes including gift certificates for services and products from St Francis and St Francis Integrative Services; a 12 month supply of Frontline Gold; grooming services at Dig It Dog Grooming; free laboratory screening tests from Idexx; a 4K Waterproof Action Camera; St Francis mugs and T-shirts; a signed copy of A Hedgehog With A Sneeze; dog, cat, and avian gift baskets; and many other special items.

We also hope that you will make a donation to benefit our local rescue group: Cause for Paws. If you've been looking for a special individual to add to your house, Cause for Paws will have information about pets that are currently up for adoption. Cause for Paws may even have kitties for you to meet on site!

Toby, our mascot, will be there to greet everyone, but due to the small size of our clinic, he asks that you not bring pets of your own to the event. Again, due to our small size, for everyone's safety, we ask that you do not bring pets of your own to the event. Additional parking is available on the street or in the Cub Foods parking lot.

Please help us celebrate our 25th Anniversary on Sunday, September 10th from 1-4 pm. If you have questions, you may contact us at (651) 645-2808 or group@stfrancisabh.com.

We look forward to sharing St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital with each and every one of you!