Starting on Tuesday, June 1st, we will begin allowing clients back into our building. While we wish we could go right back to the way things were prior to COVID, we are still in a pandemic and need to continue to take precautions to limit spread of the virus. We have developed protocols to keep our interactions as safe as possible for you, for our staff, and for our patients. Here is what you can expect when you come into St. Francis for your visit:
- Masks are required for staff and clients for all interactions, indoors and outdoors. Not all staff or clients are able to be vaccinated, and masking is the best way to ensure safety when we are in close contact.
- Anyone who is showing signs of illness, is infected with COVID, or is currently quarantined due to COVID exposure should reschedule their pet’s visit or ask someone else to bring their pet in.
- Anyone who wishes to remain curbside for their visits is welcome to do so! Please indicate your preference when you schedule your visit or when you check in with the concierge.
- ONE client will be allowed in the exam room per visit for doctor’s appointments. TWO clients are allowed in the room for euthanasia appointments.
- Technician appointments, medication pick ups, and food pick ups will remain curbside.
- When you arrive for an appointment, please park in a numbered spot and call the number for appointments (763-280-4031). This number calls our concierge desk. The concierge will answer the phone to get your pet checked in. If you are sent to voicemail, leave a message stating your name, your pet’s name, and the number we should call you back. The concierge will call you as soon as they are available to get you checked in.
- When your exam room is ready, a staff member will escort you and your pet into the building and directly to your room. Please ensure that your dog is wearing a well-fitted collar and leash. Dogs will have a second slip lead placed for their safety. Cats and small mammals should be in secure carriers.
- Your pet will be examined in the room with you (hooray!). Once we’ve finished in the exam room, your pet will move to the treatment area for any necessary treatments or diagnostic tests, and we will ask you to wait in your car. Please avoid mingling in the lobby area or hallways in order to limit contact with other clients. Your pet will be returned to you in your car as soon as their procedures are finished, and then staff will collect payment over the phone.
- Staff will thoroughly clean and disinfect the exam rooms between each client. Every exam room has its own air purifier.
- Starting June 1st, all St. Francis Integrative Services appointments will return to our Integrative Services location at 1235 Larpenteur Ave W. We will allow one person to enter the building for each appointment, and we ask that you wear a mask for the duration of your visit.
We are proud that we have been able to stay open throughout the entire pandemic. We are grateful to everyone who has helped us keep our staff and their families safe, and we pledge to do everything we can to keep you safe as well. Thank you for your understanding of our protocols. We are so looking forward to welcoming you back inside!
Leptospirosis in Dogs
Leptospirosis is an infection caused by a bacteria shed in the urine of wildlife. In our area, the main sources of exposure are raccoons and rats. Dogs become infected when they ingest contaminated water or soil. Signs of leptospirosis include lethargy, increased drinking and urination, fever, and poor appetite. In severe cases, leptospirosis can cause organ failure and death. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning that humans can acquire the disease from infected animals. Incidence of leptospirosis is increasing in recent years, and we are seeing greater exposure in urban dogs than we used to. In addition, small breed dogs (15 pounds and under) are now the most likely types of dogs to contract leptospirosis. Because raccoons and rats are ubiquitous, even in our backyards and parks, almost all dogs are at risk of being exposed. We strongly recommend vaccinating dogs for leptospirosis. If you have questions about this disease or vaccination, please ask your veterinarian for more information!
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, or RHDV, is a highly contagious, extremely severe viral disease of rabbits. It began spreading amongst domestic and wild rabbit populations in the southwestern US in 2020 and has been gradually moving north. Last week, a case of RHDV was confirmed in western South Dakota. Officials believe this is an isolated incident due to spread via humans, and do not believe the virus is actively spreading within South Dakota. Regardless, rabbit owners should be cautious about allowing their rabbits to be outdoors. Owners should also be very careful after visiting states in which RHDV is present, as you can bring the virus home to your rabbit on your clothing or shoes. While there is a vaccine available for this disease, it has not yet been approved for use in Minnesota. We will monitor this situation closely and provide updates as new information becomes available.
Welcome Dr. Vici Ribeiro!
Dr. Vici is a 2002 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She will be joining us this summer to provide temporary coverage. Her favorite part of being a veterinarian is teaching clients about the physiology and anatomy of their pets, prevention and treatment of dental disease and obesity, and guiding them through difficult decisions about their beloved pets. She has been a relief veterinarian for over 12 years, which means that she provides her professional services to clinics when the staff doctors are gone on vacation or are on leave. Dr. Vici considers it an incredible privilege, as well as a learning opportunity, to be invited to fill in for the regular staff. Her time outside of work is spent with Gertie, a rambunctious 7-year old Pit Bull Terrier, and Lenny, the most-naughty-of-all, a 6-year old domestic shorthair cat. She loves to garden, tending her new pollinator habitat as well as many specimen plants and trees.
Please help us give Dr. Vici a warm St. Francis welcome this summer!
St. Francis will be closed for the following dates this summer:
- May 29th through the 31st (Memorial Day weekend)
- July 3rd
- September 4th through the 6th (Labor Day weekend)
These breaks give our team some much-needed time to rest, spend time with family, and enjoy our beautiful Minnesota summer weather. Thank you for your understanding!