Phone: 218-863-8387

Address:

35 1st Avenue NW

Pelican Rapids, MN

56572

Hours (by appointment only):

Mon-Fri: 8 A.M. To 5 P.M.

Saturday: 9 A.M. To 1 P.M.

Open limited Saturdays during winter months

Sun: Closed

Preventive Care Helps Your Senior Pet Age Well

9/7/2017
You may have heard that one year in a dog or cat’s life is equivalent to seven years for a human. That isn’t quite accurate. According to the American Veterinary Association, the aging formula for companion animals goes more like this:
  • Fifteen human years by the end of the first year
  • An additional nine human years for the second year
  • An additional five human years for each year thereafter
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Kids Headed Back to School? Watch Your Pet for Signs of Separation Anxiety

8/1/2017
It’s August, and that means millions of kids go back to school either this month or by early September. After a long summer together that was probably more unstructured than the school year, both your kids and pets might not be ready for the change. While your children can express their anxious feelings, your pets can’t do the same. Don’t feel surprised if your dog or cat expresses longing for his young friends in a variety of ways. The most common signs of separation anxiety include:
  • Destructive chewing
  • Howling by dogs and loud vocalizations for cats
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pacing
  • Soiling in the house
  • Trying to escape the yard to run after your children
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July is Preventive Care Exam Awareness Month

7/3/2017
If you only visit Weckwerth Animal Hospital when your pet is injured or sick, you’re missing the opportunity to get a complete picture of her health. The preventive care exam allows Dr. Henkes or Dr. Weckwerth to detect potential health issues and begin monitoring or treating them right away.  By committing to preventive care, you could extend it by months or years. It’s well worth the investment when you consider how much love and joy your pet brings into your life.
 
Our Recommended Schedule for Preventive Care Exams
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Preventing and Treating Hot Spots on Your Dog or Cat

6/2/2017
Acute moist dermatitis, more commonly known as hot spots, occurs due to a bacterial infection on your pet’s skin. Your dog or cat will naturally bite, chew, lick or scratch his skin in response to an irritant. Unfortunately for your pet, this tends to increase rather than decrease his discomfort. Anal gland disease, allergies to fleas or food ingredients, mange, tick bites, and inadequate grooming are the primary causes of hot spots in companion animals. 
 
Hot, humid weather can cause excess skin moisture that in turn causes hot spots to develop. It’s especially important to check your pet’s skin for evidence of hot spots now that the weather is consistently warm.
 
How to Recognize Hot Spots
If your dog or cat has developed hot spots, she will exhibit at least a few of these symptoms
  • Lesion that appears red or raised
  • Unexplained swelling
  • Constant licking or chewing a certain spot of her skin
  • A red or brown color around the hot spot
  • Unpleasant smell coming from the affected area
  • Pus and oozing
  • Displaying obvious signs of discomfort or pain
Preventing and Treating Hot Spots
Keeping your pet’s skin healthy is the easiest way to prevent him from developing hot spots. We recommend using year-round flea and tick protection in addition to grooming his coat regularly. Matted fur traps moisture and can attract fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Occasionally, a pet may have a behavioral issue that causes the biting, scratching, and licking that leads to hot spots. If that’s the case with your pet, speak to Dr. Henkes or Dr. Weckwerth to help determine what could be causing the unwanted behavior. They are happy to recommend a specific product to prevent parasites as well.

Treatment at Weckwerth Animal Hospital typically consists of cutting the fur around the hot spot and cleaning it with a mild anesthetic. A prescription for cortisone cream to control itching may be appropriate as well. We encourage you to contact us right away if your pet displays any of the potential signs of hot spots described above. Our telephone number is 218-863-8387.
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Safety Tips for a Fun Summer with Your Pet

5/1/2017
Your pet is part of the family and you naturally care about her safety. You also want to include her in family activities whenever possible over the carefree days of summer. By keeping the following safety tips in mind, your entire family can have a summer to remember.
 
Swimming Doesn’t Come Naturally to All Dogs
Dog owners can become too relaxed keeping an eye on their dog near water because they assume all dogs possess an innate ability to swim. This simply isn’t true, particularly for dog breeds with small hindquarters and large chests. When bringing your dog to a pool or beach this summer, make sure you’re in the water with him and remain no more than an arm’s length away. If you decide to go boating with your dog, he should have a life jacket just like everyone else in the boat.
 
Parasite Control During the Summer
Internal and external parasites can be a problem all year long, but they’re especially prevalent in the summer. Fleas can survive long periods without a living host and may burrow in your carpet or furniture until one becomes available. Be sure to vacuum your carpet regularly, wash your pet’s bedding in hot water, and give your pet frequent baths during the summer to minimize fleas.
 
Ticks are more than just a nuisance because they can transmit serious or deadly diseases. Since they’re attracted to warm areas on your pet’s body such as the skin folds, they can be difficult to see. Be sure to check your pet’s body from head to tail every night, whether she goes outside or not. Ticks can easily get into the house through another pet or on someone’s clothing.
 
Internal worms such as heartworm, roundworm, and hookworm can cause serious illness or death in severe cases. Vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, breathing difficulty, and general lethargy are just some of the indications that your pet could have an intestinal worm.
 
Dr. Henkes or Dr. Weckwerth would be happy to recommend a product based on your pet’s lifestyle factors.
 
Gardening and Lawn Care
If possible, keep your pet indoors when you’re mowing the grass, applying chemicals, or working in the garden. Chocolate mulch is popular among gardeners, but can be toxic to pets if ingested. Insecticides, snail bait, and slug bait are among the top 10 accidental poisonings for domestic pets. If you set rodent traps outdoors, make sure your pet can’t get at them. Some of these chemicals can cause seizures, tremors, and death. You may want to consider an organic alternative for your lawn and garden products.
 
No People Food at Picnics
There’s no shortage of opportunity to cook outside in the summer. Your dog or cat would like nothing better than to find scraps of meat on the ground or even grab whatever is cooking on the grill. Food meant for people can be toxic and a choking hazard while your pet could burn himself on a hot grill. Having a pet underfoot is probably not a good idea at these events. If your pet is present, make sure that all guests know he is not to receive any scraps.
 
In the event of an emergency this summer, please contact our clinic at 218-868-8387. After hours, please call Red River Animal Emergency Clinic at 701-478-9299.
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April is Heartworm Awareness Month

4/4/2017

Dogs and cats get heartworm disease when an infected mosquito bites them. The heartworm then gets inside of their body and can reproduce, which only worsens your pet’s symptoms. The illness is much more prevalent in dogs, but cat owners also need to know about the symptoms so they can prevent and treat it if necessary. Puppies can start on preventive heartworm medication at eight weeks old without any type of testing. At six months of age, a puppy needs to test negative for heartworm infection before a veterinarian can prescribe preventive medication.

Heartworm testing in dogs requires only a simple blood test. Testing is a bit more complicated in cats and requires several blood tests before a veterinarian can make a diagnosis. This testing is typically done at the request of the cat owner when he or she suspects the animal may have contracted heartworm disease.
 
Previously, it was common practice for pet owners to give preventive heartworm medication from early spring to the first frost of winter. However, the American Heartworm Society now recommends keeping up with treatment all year long. This has the added benefit of killing other parasites that may be inside of the animal.

Signs of Heartworm Infection
Cats and dogs show signs of heartworm infection differently. Because of a cat's smaller body size, it's more likely for heartworm to affect their lungs and make it difficult to breathe. In dogs, heartworms live in the ventricles of the heart and the heart itself. The following are common symptoms of heartworm disease, although some pets show no symptoms at all:

• Lethargy
• Coughing
• Vomiting
• Weight loss
• Fatigue unrelated to exertion
• Loss of appetite

Treatment can be long and painful for an animal infected with heartworm. Fortunately, heartworm disease is almost 100 percent preventable with the proper medication. We encourage you to speak to Dr. Henkes or Dr. Weckwerth at Weckworth Animal Hospital for specific recommendations. He takes your pet’s species, age, weight, lifestyle, and several other factors into consideration before recommending one product over another.
 
Order Heartworm Medication Online
With a MyVetStore Online account, clients of Weckwerth Animal Hospital can order their pet's heartworm prevention medication quickly and easily. We offer numerous dosing options and strengths for both dogs and cats. You can even have a single dose sent to your home monthly with the Easy Dose It! Program. When you’re proactive about heartworm control, it’s not something you have to think about often. 
 

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It's Flea and Tick Season

3/23/2017
After a long winter, it’s finally time for spring in Minnesota. While most people gladly welcome the warmer weather, pet parents need to increase their flea and tick prevention efforts. These parasites become much more prevalent as the temperature rises. It’s also important to recognize the symptoms of flea and tick infestation so you can promptly treat it.

Fleas 101
Fleas are wingless insects with a lifespan ranging from 14 days to one year. Although tiny in size and not always visible to the human eyes, fleas can jump as high as two feet. They can’t survive and reproduce without a living host. The following symptoms are common indications of fleas or ticks in dogs and cats:
  • Droppings that resemble grains of sand or tiny white eggs on the fur
  • Excessive biting, licking, or scratching
  • Fur loss
  • Gums appear pale
  • Tapeworm
  • Scabs and hot spots
  • Allergies
Besides attaching to your pet’s fur, fleas can enter your home on the clothes, shoes, or body of people. Once inside, they seek bedding, carpet, and furniture because these places are warm enough to allow them to burrow. After successfully finding an animal host, fleas continually reproduce throughout their short lifespan. These parasites can consume up to 15 times their weight in blood, which puts your pet at risk for anemia. Some dogs and cats also develop dermatitis due to an allergy to flea saliva.
 
What You Need to Know About Ticks
You’re most likely to spot these blood-sucking parasites on your pet’s head, neck, ears, and feet. Ticks live in tall brush and grass, making it easy to jump onto your pet’s body. Unfortunately, indoors pets aren’t immune from ticks since they can get into the house from another pet or a person.
 
Dogs and cats typically don’t show obvious signs of a tick bite. To make matters worse, you often can’t see them until they have become engorged with your pet’s blood. In the meantime, they can transmit diseases such as tick paralysis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If your pet goes outside, we recommend running your hands the entire length of his body every night. Be sure to check the underside for ticks as well.
 
Preventing Fleas and Ticks
You can reduce the flea and tick population in your yard by mowing the lawn frequently and picking up rake clippings and other yard waste. Using a flea comb and doing a tick check daily is the best way to ensure that these parasites don’t have a chance to do serious damage. We also recommend washing your pet’s bedding and toys in hot water weekly.
 
Dr. Henkes or Dr. Weckwerth are happy to recommend the most effective flea and tick prevention products based on your pet’s species and lifestyle. Keep in mind that we also offer a range of flea and tick products in our online store. 
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It's National Pet Dental Health Month

2/1/2017

The American Veterinary Medical Association declared February as National Pet Dental Health Month several years ago to underscore the importance of oral healthcare. Did you know that up to 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop periodontal disease by the time they are three years old? This is alarming because untreated periodontal disease can cause infection by spreading to other areas of the body. It can also cause your pet to lose teeth, making it more difficult for him to chew food and get the nutrition he needs to remain healthy.

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Commit to a Year of Wellness with Your Pet

1/23/2017

Now that the calendar has flipped to 2017, we at Weckwerth Animal Hospital encourage you to commit to your pet’s wellness this year. Like many pet owners, you might assume your pet is fine if you don’t see any signs of illness. However, true animal wellness is more than the absence of pain or disease. To ensure your pet’s health, happiness, and longevity, commit to the following: 

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GIVE YOUR PET A SAFE GIFT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

11/24/2016

Your pet is a part of your family and you naturally want to include her in the holiday festivities, including giving her a new toy as a gift. At Weckwerth Animal Hospital, we urge you to consider the following factors when choosing a present for your pet:

• Your pet’s size is a big consideration when it comes to giving him chewable toys. A small rubber ball may be fine for a poodle, but a large breed dog might choke on it. 
• Stiches, plastic eyes, ribbons, and ties attached to toys can quickly become a choking hazard if your dog or cat is able to get the item loose. Be sure to remove these items before giving your pet the toy to ensure her safety. 

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Knowing the Signs of Pet Cancer Could Save a Life

11/1/2016

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats, particularly when the animal is over age 10. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 50 percent of senior dogs and 33 percent of senior cats die of some type of cancer. No matter what the age of the pet, a cancer diagnosis often comes as a complete shock to his owner. That is because dogs and cats are good at hiding their symptoms and don't have the ability to verbalize that something is wrong. 

As a concerned pet owner, it's up to you to know the signs of cancer so you can seek immediate treatment if your pet displays any of them. While having some of these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean your pet has a tumor, it's always best to have them checked out at Weckworth Animal Hospital.

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