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National Walk Your Dog Month

Written by Samantha Folger, CVT, Director of Nutritional Services

Now that the holiday season has come and gone, Minnesotans are looking out the window wondering when that ice will melt and longing for the warm days of spring. While some of our furry family members would prefer to skip the winter months by snuggling under the blankets, it's important to still try to encourage walking and exercise, even in these months

Whoever decided that National Walk Your Dog Month should be in January must not have lived in Minnesota. There are a few more challenges with walking your pet in the winter, but it very beneficial for your pet’s health and mental stimulation. It can help in maintaining a healthy weight, encouraging weight loss, decreasing destructive behavior, and strengthening the bond you have with your dog.

Hill's Science Diet has a great article for tips about winter walking. To learn more, visit their website at https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/play-exercise/walking-dog-in-winter.

If walking outside is out of the question for you and your furry family member, the Roseville Mall also has indoor dog walking on Sundays January 6th through November 24th from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. Please follow this link to review the rules before attending: https://www.myrosedale.com/events/winter-dog-walking-on-sunday-mornings/.

Did you know that some cats enjoy walking too? Cats can be taught to wear a harness and walk on a leash. Many cats enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood or at least a walk around the yard, though many cats will not be fond of the cold weather.

If you have any questions about your pet’s health, including diet or exercise recommendations, please contact us at 651-645-2808 or email us at group@stfrancisabh.com

Happy National Walk Your Dog Month!

For older pets that are unable to walk well or have mobility issues, consider going for a walk in a stroller. While they aren't getting the exercise that they would get if they could walk on their own, just being outside can be great for all of us!

Employee Spotlight: Stefan Knep, DVM

Each month, we will spotlight one of our team members in order of years of service at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital.

Dr. Stefan Knep received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from both the Free University in Berlin in Germany in 1990 and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. He spent twelve years at Long Lake Veterinary Clinic in Long Lake and joined the staff of St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital in April of 2005. In 2018, he accepted the position of Director of Equipment & Technology and now plays a key role in the management of the practice.

Stefan’s professional interests include small animal internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and canine and feline dentistry.

Stefan is a member of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV).

He lives with his wife, Heidi; three children, Maren, David, and Evan; his Dachshund, Licorice, and his "Kentucky Brown" mutt, Arlie, in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. In his free time, he is active in the youth soccer community and loves to ride his motorcycle. Dr. Knep can also provide guidance to those trying to raise their dog or cat bilingually—German and English.It is never too late to give your pet a decent education!

Why do you love being a veterinarian?

As veterinarians, we are fortunate to be able to combine our passion for animals with the scientific curiosity and knowledge that allow us to help these family members and improve their lives.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?

Working at St. Francis Animal Hospital provides the unique opportunity to work with a wonderful team of doctors and a dedicated staff. At the same time, we are able to serve the local pet community by delivering cutting edge medical and surgical care.

Thank you, Stefan, for all you do at St Francis!

Preventative Care

As we welcome the new year, let's review what happened in 2018. We had 40 dogs who tested positive for Anaplasma, 12 dogs who tested positive for Ehrlichia, 34 dogs who tested positive for Lyme disease, and 5 dogs who tested positive for heartworm disease.

Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Lyme disease are all tick-borne diseases. While the total number of dogs positive for tick-borne diseases was down from the previous year, there were still a lot of dogs affected by these serious diseases.

To help protect your dog or cat from these diseases, it’s important give your pets their monthly preventatives. We recommend chewable Heartgard Plus for heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention once a month year round. In addition, we recommend chewable Nexgard or topical Frontline Gold for flea and tick prevention.

For cats, we recommend applying Revolution topically. This medication prevents against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, ear mites, and fleas. For dogs with tick exposure, we recommend vaccination against Lyme disease. The first time your dog receives the Lyme vaccination, it needs to be repeated 3-4 weeks later. After the initial series, it is effective for one year. In addition, we recommend that most dogs be vaccinated against Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial organism that is transmitted in the urine of wild animals including rodents (squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and shrews). If your dog has not been vaccinated for these diseases, please call (651) 645-2808 to schedule an appointment.

News Briefs

Women’s Press Magazine’s What Women Want

Voting is open for Women’s Press Magazine’s What Women Want. Please vote for us for Favorite Animal Hospital or Veterinarian. To vote, click here. The deadline is January 31st so please don't delay!

Thank you so much for voting for us!

February Pet Dental Health Month

February is Pet Dental Health Month. We will not be offering discounts on dental procedures this year. Instead, take advantage of our ongoing promotion of $30 off if scheduled within 30 days of receiving an estimate. We will still offer 10% off of all dental products throughout the month of February.

Cause For Paws

Thank you to everyone who placed an ornament on our Christmas tree and donated to Cause for Paws. Thanks to you, we raised $536 to help care for these wonderful cats.

To learn more about Cause for Paws or to make a donation, click here to visit their website.