In this edition you will find:

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Cold Weather

Stem Cell Q&A

Food Pantry Donations


February is National Pet Dental Health Month.

Can you imagine what your mouth would feel like if you had not brushed your teeth or been to the dentist in 5 years? I don't even want to think about it. Yet many dogs and cats live with such conditions, some for much longer than 5 years.

As veterinarians, we see oral disease daily. The key is prevention and treatment to maintain oral health and comfort. Much of the disease is located below the gum line where it cannot be seen except with X-rays. Most dogs and cats do not stop eating or playing. However, we commonly hear that a pet's behavior changes dramatically after a Dental ATP (Assess, Treat, Prevent) procedure.

We are very excited to put our new digital dental X-ray machine to use identifying and treating disease that would have not been otherwise seen.

In honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, during February, we will be offering a 10% discount on all dental services and products. Appointments are limited so schedule your pet's Dental ATP soon.


Cold Weather Safety

As I write this newsletter, temperatures are well below zero and schools have been closed across Minnesota and throughout the area due to dangerously cold conditions. Remember that your pets (and large animals) need protection from these extreme conditions as much as you, even if they have a heavy fur coat.

At a minimum, animals need continual access to liquid water, plenty of food and some form of shelter. Frozen water is not an adequate water source and takes a tremendous number of calories to bring up to body temperature. An animal may use up to twice as many calories in a day just to maintain a normal body temperature. Therefore, you may need to feed more to a strictly outdoor animal.

Finally, a good source of shelter is required. If you cannot bring the animal into the house, an enclosure that protects him/her from the wind must be provided. This enclosure should be small enough that the animal can warm it somewhat with its own body heat. The enclosure must have a form of clean, dry insulating bedding that does not just get pulled out by the animal. For example, a dog house should be slightly longer than the dog and only slightly taller than the dog. Blankets do not work well in dog houses. Clean straw is great for bedding, it is a wonderful insulator and can be easily changed if soiled. Also, dog or cat can burrow into the straw and stay quite warm.

Just remember that if it is too cold for you to be outside, it is too cold for your animal to be outside without some basic protection. Even though this “Arctic Vortex” is expected to be short lived, winter is just beginning and more cold weather is very likely.


What is the process of stem cell therapy?

There are 4 parts to the process of stem cell therapy. Harvesting, Processing, Administering, Therapeutic effects.

Day 1: Harvesting stem cells occurs during a surgical procedure. Surgery to collect about 20 grams of fat from the subcutaneous tissues just behind the scapula is performed. This location generally has adequate fat stores even in slender animals. It is not a high motion area so healing complications are expected to be low. Once the fat is collected and packaged in a special shipping container, it is shipped overnight to the VetStem Laboratory.

Day 2: While at the lab the tissues are processed, the stem cells are isolated and concentrated into an injectable form. The finished product is then shipped overnight back to the clinic for injection. The stem cells that are not needed for treatment are cryogenically stored for potential use at a later date.

Day 3: The stem cells are received at the clinic. The patient is again anesthetized for injection of the stem cells into the affected joints or tissues.

Day 4+: During the next weeks to months (to years) the stem cells undergo replication and differentiation into tissues in the joints or other injured tissues. The cells also turn into pharmaceutical factories producing chemicals that decrease pain and inflammation, and aid in healing. About 80% of owners see effects by 90 days post injection. 


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Your generosity has provided 1344 lbs of food and other items and $189 for the Roberts/Hammond Food Pantry in 2013!

This does not even include the pet food donated.

Let's keep it up. Just bring in a minimum of about a $10 donation for the food pantry and we will provide a routine pedicure for your dog or cat for free.