Dedicated. Friendly. Reliable. Caring.
Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital cares for both sick and well pets, including dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and small mammals. Our services include wellness exams and vaccines, diagnosis and treatment of sick pets, and dental and surgical procedures.
Your puppy will have a physical exam before their vaccinations are administered. Since puppies receive a series of vaccinations, they will have several physical exams during the first few months of their lives. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about your new growing puppy- we can help with behavioral and training problems, too. As your puppy grows into an adult, annual wellness exams are important to help us identify age-related diseases early.
We will work with you to find the best vaccination program for your pet based on their lifestyle, age, medical history, and risk of disease exposure. Please let us know if your puppy will be attending obedience classes, going to a groomer, camping with you, traveling with you, or playing at dog parks. We adopt our vaccination guidelines based on the current American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for core and non-core vaccines.
Spaying and Neutering:
Your pet can be spayed or neutered as early as 6 months of age, but studies have shown health benefits on waiting until closer to 1 year of age for large breed dogs. The veterinarian will discuss the best option for surgery during your puppy exams. Surgery patients need to be current on their annual exam, their vaccinations, and testing for parasites. All pets will also have lab work done prior to anesthesia. Laser technology is used for your puppy’s spay or neuter- this greatly reduces risk of infection, improves recovery time, and decreases postoperative pain.
It’s recommended to meal feed and measure out each meal so you know exactly how much your pet is eating. This will help keep your pet at an optimum weight, as well as aid in housetraining.
For puppies under four months of age, we recommend you feed three meals per day. Puppies older than four months feed at least two meals per day.
For toy breed or very small puppies, meal feed 4 times daily until 6 months of age.
Start a home dental program early. Not only will teeth-brushing give you time to bond with and train your puppy, it is also an important part of home health care and a very cost-effective way to prevent certain diseases later in your pet’s life.
Use toothpaste formulated for pets and a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brush your pet’s teeth every day. There are many other products available- such as chews, dental diets, water additive, sealants or rinses- that can be added to your brushing routine to help prevent periodontal disease. Ask one of our staff for information on these products.
Wellness Plan Available:
Proactive preventative care will not only improve the quality of your pet’s life but also will add years to it. We are offering an opportunity to spread the cost of your pet’s preventative care conveniently over 12 months. Click on this Puppy Wellness Plan link for more details.
Your kitten will have a physical exam before their vaccinations are administered. Since kittens receive a series of vaccinations, they will have several physical exams during the first few months of their lives. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about your new pet- we can help with behavioral questions, too. As your kitten grows into an adult, annual wellness exams are important to help us identify age-related diseases early.
We will work with you to find the best vaccination program for your pet based on their lifestyle, age, medical history, and risk of disease exposure. Please let us know if your kitten will be living with other cats or going outdoors. We adopt our vaccination guidelines based on the current American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP)for core and non-core vaccines.
Spaying and Neutering:
Your kitten can be spayed or neutered at 6 months of age. Surgery patients need to be current on their annual exam, their vaccinations, and testing for parasites. All pets will also have lab work done prior to anesthesia. Also ask about microchipping your kitten at this time, especially if they will be going outside.
It’s recommended to meal feed and measure out each meal so you know exactly how much your pet is eating. This will help keep your kitten at an optimum weight while they are growing into adults, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Start a home dental program early. Teeth-brushing is an important part of home health care and a very cost-effective way to prevent certain diseases later in your cat’s life.
Use toothpaste formulated for pets and a soft-bristled toothbrush or gauze wrapped around your finger, and brush your pet’s teeth every day. There are many other products available- such as chews, dental diets, water additive, sealants or rinses- that can be added to your brushing routine to help prevent periodontal disease. Ask one of our staff for information on these products.
Never give your cat medication for pain relief without consulting a veterinarian first. Many human medications are toxic to animals.
Crate Training Kittens:
Keep in mind kittens and cats rarely need to go places, but when they do, placing them in a crate is a foreign and scary thing. It is important to give them good experiences with a travel crate. After bringing your new pet home, open up the carrier, place treats or catnip inside for your pet to discover when exploring. Continue to keep the carrier in an accessible location so the pet can play inside. Occasionally offer a special meal inside the carrier for the pet to continue to experience something good. Randomly, close the door and carry the pet around the house then allow the pet to leave on his or her own time. Try to schedule short car trips with the pet without actually going to the vet. The time invested in a young pet will help for years to come.
Litter box Recommendations:
Not using the litter box is a common complaint by some feline owners. If just starting out with your first kitten or if you have had cats for a while, here are a few guidelines to help prevent elimination problems from developing.
- Have one litter box per cat in the house plus one extra.
- Multiple litter boxes should not all be located in the same place. If more than one level in the home, have boxes on each level.
- Be careful not to place boxes near noisy appliances that may scare the pet while using it.
- Try covered and uncovered boxes. Some cats like privacy.
- Litter should be as close to sand as possible (the natural choice for most cats). Many clumping litters are very similar.
- Non-deodorant litters are best since some cats are bothered by the deodorant smell.
- Cleanliness is very important to most cats. Scoop out the box daily and completely wash the box weekly with a mild soap and water. *Strong cleaners can deter cats from using the box as well.
If you notice your cat starting to have accidents outside the litter box then consult with us at the hospital right away. There may be medical issues causing it. If the pet has not been using the litter box for years, consider a behavior consult with us.
Wellness Plan Available:
Proactive preventative care will not only improve the quality of your pet’s life but also will add years to it. We are offering an opportunity to spread the cost of your pet’s preventative care conveniently over 12 months. Click on this Kitten Wellness Plan link for more details.
Bringing your pet in for an annual diagnostic and wellness checkup can help reassure you that your dog or cat is healthy or help us detect hidden diseases or conditions early. Early detection can improve the prognosis of many diseases, keep medical costs down, and help your pet live longer. Many dogs and cats are good at hiding signs that something is wrong, so subtle changes in their health or behavior might be easy to overlook. And, depending on the disease, some pets don’t show any symptoms.
Dogs and cats age far quicker than humans, so it is even more crucial for our companion animals to receive regular exams. In addition, the risks of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormone disorders, and kidney and liver problems all increase with age.
During your pet’s wellness exam, we will perform a physical assessment, checking your dog or cat from nose to tail. We will also make sure your pet receives appropriate vaccinations and preventives. We will perform a diagnostic workup, which may include blood, fecal, and urine tests to check for parasites and underlying diseases. We may also recommend that your pet receive dental care. When your pet is nearing his or her senior years, we will recommend a baseline exam and diagnostic workup so we’ll know what’s normal for your pet. This will enable us to keep track of any changes.
Because you spend the most time with your pet, you are your pet’s expert, as well as his or her greatest advocate. Please let us know if you’ve noticed any physical or behavioral changes in your pet, as well as any other concerns you might have.
Wellness Plans Available:
Proactive preventative care will not only improve the quality of your pet’s life but also will add years to it. We are offering an opportunity to spread the cost of your pet’s preventative care conveniently over 12 months. Click on either the Adult Canine Wellness Plans or Adult Feline Wellness Plans link for more details.
Like people, pets are living longer…….and that is GRRRRREAT news!!
We all value the affection we share with our pets. Nothing helps that friendship last longer than working with your veterinary team to maintain your pet’s health and quality of life. As your pet ages, changes occur in their physical condition which warrant extra care in addition to their annual physical examination. That’s why we want to develop a complete health maintenance program to provide optimal care for your older pet.
Do I need to change my pet’s food?
Older pets are apt to gain weight as the body’s metabolism and the pet’s activity level slow down; therefore, food consumption must be balanced with the activity level of your pet
Most premium brands of pet food have life stage formulas. For your senior dog or cat it is a good idea to use a senior formula. These senior diets are formulated with the health needs of an older pet in mind. In addition to feeding a good diet it is always best to measure out each meal (using a measuring cup) and meal feed. This will help maintain your pet’s ideal weight and body condition.
How often should I exercise my pet?
Regular exercise is important to maintain bone strength, muscle tone and stamina. Taking daily walks and playing with your pet are excellent methods of promoting physical activity as well as enjoying their companionship.
However, if your pet has difficulty rising or walking, degenerative joint disease or arthritis may be the problem. Arthritis is a common aliment, especially in older dogs and cats, often impairing the ability to stand or walk. There are products available such as Rimadyl®, Deramaxx® , Dasuquin®, Meloxicam, and Tramadol that can aid in the pain and discomfort associated with such aliments. Bringing your pet swimming may be an option available for you, and this exercise has less impact on the joints.
Should I groom my pet more often?
Weekly grooming is an ideal time to notice the general condition of the skin and especially the eyes, ears, mouth, paws, anus and genitalia. Because your pet is getting older, it is important to know that skin problems may occur more often since the skin may be thinner, less elastic and does not repair itself as quickly. If it seems that your pet is losing more hair, it may be due to disease or because hair follicles are not as active as in the younger years.
Tumors in and under the skin become more likely as your pet gets older. If you notice any abnormal odors, discharges, swellings, or lumps during the grooming, give us a call to schedule an examination.
What other changes might I expect in my pet?
As your pet ages a number of degenerative changes may occur that affect your pet’s behavior. Hearing and vision may appear to decrease. This decrease may be due to specific diseases involving the eyes or may be related to various behavioral changes. You might interpret this as simple aging, but it actually might be due to a treatable geriatric disease, such as cognitive dysfunction. Some typical signs include; confusion, disorientation, decreased activity, changes in sleep/wake cycle, loss of housetraining, or signs which suggest a decrease in your dog’s interest in or ability to interact with its environment or with you.
You should also be aware of any unusual changes in activity level and attitude, appetite, water intake, urination, bowel movements, or body weight. These and other signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, or sneezing should be promptly reported to us.
Even if your pet seems perfectly healthy, regular wellness examinations are important to manage many of the changes associated with aging. We recommend your pet have a through physical examination with blood work every 6 months. Remember, 6 months in your senior or geriatric pet is as long as 5 years for people.
Diagnosing & Treating Disease Early
Pet ownership carries with it the responsibility of being proactive in providing healthcare for your “furry family member”. Being able to diagnose and treat diseases in their early stage, when the success rate is much higher, is our goal.
The following are some early signs of disease.
- Sustained, significant increase in water consumption
- Sustained, significant increase in urination
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Significant decrease in appetite or failure to eat for more than 48 hours
- Significant increase in appetite
- Diarrhea that lasts over 3 days
- Repeated vomiting
- Difficulty in passing stool or urine
- Lameness that lasts more than 5 days, or lameness in more than one leg
- Noticeable decrease in vision, especially if sudden in onset or pupils that do not constrict in bright light.
- Masses, ulcerations (open sores) or multiple scabs on the skin that persist more than 1 week
- Foul mouth odor or drooling that lasts over 2 days
- Increased size of abdomen
- Decrease activity or increased amount of time spent sleeping
- Hair loss, especially if accompanied by scratching or if in specific areas (as opposed to generalized).
- Rapid or heavy breathing at rest
- Inability to chew or eat dry food
Some of these changes are minor and may not seem significant; however, they might indicate an underlying medical condition and if caught early, could be treated more successfully.
Pain – Recognizing the signs
What is pain?
Pain is an unpleasant sensation occurring with varying degrees of severity as a consequence of injury, disease, or emotional distress.
What kinds of pain are there?
Acute and Chronic are the two types of pain. Acute is a sudden pain resulting from injury, surgery, or infection. It is usually temporary and goes away when the condition that caused it is treated. Chronic is a long lasting pain and usually slow to develop. A common cause is arthritis, but cancer or bone disease may cause it as well. Some animals gradually learn to tolerate chronic pain and live with it. This makes it harder to detect.
When we learn to observe our pets for a change from normal behavior, we may begin to recognize pain. Listed below are some changes that might be noticed and resulting from pain:
- Limp or change in gait
- Licking, rubbing, or scratching an area
- Reluctance to move; or moves with apprehension or stiffness
- Inability to rest or sleep normally (restless-always adjusting)
- Worried or anxious expression
- Sitting in a hunched position
- Won’t lift head, or looks up only with the eyes
- Won’t wag tail, or holds tail at a lower position
- Slight changes in breathing rate (panting when not warm)
Some pets never show signs of pain, but they still feel it. Cats may even purr and dogs wag their tails.
Pain plays a clear biological role in an animal’s survival. It signals impending or actual tissue damage and may prevent injury. It also plays a protective role after injury, such as preventing movement that may cause further trauma. But unlike humans, animals are programmed to hide pain because of their survival instincts and their desire to please their human owners.
Please help your pet by reading early signs for pain and call us!
Accommodations we can make for pet’s that face physical challenges:
- Keep food dishes at a comfortable height – raised dishes
- Have litter boxes on multiple floors for cats with difficulties going up/down stairs
- Put non-slip rugs down on slippery floors
- Use ramps to help pets on stairs or into vehicles
- Place baby gates to close off rooms or stairs that risk the pet injury
- For a large dog, use a sling to help pet rise or walk
- Wrap hot water bottles and place in pet’s bed to warm them- replace as needed as they cool. Leaving cool water in the bottles may cool your pet instead.
- Groom pet regularly- keep nails short and hair on feet and between toes trimmed
- If outdoors, keep pet in sight at all times, danger from the environment or other animals could be everywhere
- Keep collars off pets when confined in a small kennel- they are likely to get snagged and can choke the pet
- Make sure to keep the pet moving, exercise is still important (use it or lose it!)
Safety Precautions everyone should know:
Never give cats Tylenol® (Acetaminophen), Advil®(Ibuprofen), or Aleve®(Naprosyn)
Never give dogs Advil®(Ibuprofen) or Aleve®(Naprosyn)
Wellness Plans Available:
Proactive preventative care will not only improve the quality of your pet’s life but also will add years to it. We are offering an opportunity to spread the cost of your pet’s preventative care conveniently over 12 months. Click on this Senior Canine Wellness Plans or Senior Feline Wellness Plans link for more details.
Parasite Prevention & Control
Parasite Prevention and Control
Intestinal Parasites: A part of wellness care is getting and keeping our pets free from any intestinal parasites. Puppies and kittens are the most susceptible, but any dog or cat can become infected. The most common intestinal parasites are hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. There are single-cell organisms such as coccidia and Giardia that are common among pets too. Be aware that people can contract intestinal parasites from pets and contaminated environments. We recommend preventative deworming of puppies and kittens and then continuing with monthly prevention throughout the lifetime of every pet. Running a yearly fecal test for parasites on each pet helps assure us no infection has developed.
Heartworm Infection: A known risk in all 50 states to both dogs and cats is the deadly heartworm disease. The state bird, the mosquito, transmits infected larva that can develop into adult worms that migrate to the heart and lungs of our pets. Infection can be prevented by using monthly medication year-round. Annual testing of all dogs is recommended to assure that the pet remains negative.
External Parasites: Using quality products to prevent external parasites helps to maintain a healthy status for our pets. Minnesota and the surrounding states have high population of a variety of ticks. Both ticks and fleas are common vectors for spreading infection and disease. You should use a monthly flea/tick preventative from early spring until late fall.
Here are links for more information regarding parasite prevention and control:
A New and Affordable Way To Care For Your Pet!
We believe proactive preventative care will not only improve the quality of your pet’s life but also will add years to it. Our Wellness Plans provide disease prevention and early diagnosis. Each plan is unique and affordable and the cost of preventative care is conveniently spread over 12 months. The plans cover all exams throughout the year, core vaccinations, age appropriate screening lab testing and a year supply of heartworm and flea and tick prevention. The plans are NOT intended to treat unforeseen accidents, injury or illness, which would be covered as an out-of-pocket expense or through your pet health insurance plan. Your Wellness Plan is a special relationship between you and your veterinarian to help take the financial worry out of caring for your pet. Enroll today, and you’ll know that you’re helping your pet live a longer, healthier and happier life with an established pet health wellness program.
Click on the age appropriate link below for more details on each plan!
Ask a staff member for details on how you sign up! or click this link to pre-enroll today!
The internet is teeming with medical and behavioral advice for pets. If you are interested in learning more about your pet’s condition, the following links have been written by, or verified by, our veterinary staff.
Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining the health of your pet. Additionally, many health conditions can be managed or treated with specific diets.
Our pets eat healthier than we do! Every food sold with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) label has to meet minimum standards for nutritional value. This means that if your pet is being fed a commercial diet, he or she will be eating a well-balanced diet.
Here is some important information about pet foods:
1. One of the most important things to look at on a bag of pet food is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional adequacy statement. Nutritional adequacy is achieved through 1) feeding trials, or 2) formulation tests. An AAFCO statement through feeding trials is preferred over formulations.
2. It is best to feed pets with a food designed to match their life stage (maintenance for adult, or growth and reproduction for puppies and kittens). AAFCO requires that foods meet and disclose one of these two nutrient profiles. There is no AAFCO defined nutrient profile for senior/geriatric life stage and these products can vary widely.
3. It remains optional for pet food manufacturers to include calorie content on packaging. Without this information it is easy to risk over-feeding pets which can result in obesity and other health problems. Selecting a food from a company that chooses to report the calories is preferred as it is easier to select the appropriate feeding portions.
4. Many pet food rating systems and reviews are based on judgments about ingredients. Unless your pet has had a reaction to a particular ingredient or has known food allergies, the ingredient list is not very useful for deciding nutritional values and how the food will affect your pet’s health. Additionally, ingredients commonly labeled as food allergy culprits (such as corn and other grains) are in fact very nutritious and well-tolerated by most pets. Also, the major ingredients commonly used in pet foods, like beef or lamb meal, are fairly well regulated and defined by AAFCO. However, other ingredients such as fruits and vegetables have no AAFCO definition and therefore, “apples” may actually be apple seeds, stems or leaves that do not have nutritional value.
5. Labels such as “low fat”, weight control” or “less active” are not meaningful. The FDA places no limit on how much fat or calories a food with one of these labels can have. In the same vein, foods labeled “with” an ingredient only needs to have 3% of that ingredient, and the word “natural” has no meaning. Finally, there are currently no guidelines in place to define the term “organic” in pet food. More information on pet food labels can be found on the FDA’s website link.
6. At BPPH we carry a large selection of both over-the-counter and prescription diets. Here are links to the most common brand that we carry:
A word about Grain Free diets:
Grain free pet food became popular about 10 years ago, when there were massive recalls of commercial pet food due to tainted ingredients (including melamine, a plastic derivative added to some ingredients from China). Additionally, people started to limit gluten in their own diets and assumed that doing so would benefit their pets as well. Grain free food now consists of 44% of the pet food market.
However, do pets benefit from grain free food? According a Dr. Lisa Freeman, a veterinary nutritionist at Tufts University, there has been no research to demonstrate that grain free diets offer any health benefits over diets that contain grain. Additionally, grains are an important source of protein and other nutrients and have not been linked to any health problem except in the very rare situation when a pet has an allergy to a specific grain.
Grain allergies are, in fact, rare. The top ingredients that cause food allergies are dairy, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, soy, and wheat gluten. As you can see, most of the top allergens are animal proteins, and not grains such as corn, rice, or barley.
Until recently, it was thought that the only “harm” that comes from feeding a grain free food is to the pocketbook, as they tend to be more expensive. However, in 2018 a veterinary cardiology group in Washington DC notified the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they surveyed 150 dogs that they diagnosed with a specific heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, and they found that the vast majority were on a grain free food.
Nutritionists and cardiologist now suspect that legumes such as beans, soybeans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils, as well as potatoes and sweet potatoes can inhibit the absorption of taurine, an essential amino acid, from the diet. Low taurine levels have been known to cause dilated cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle and results in thin heart walls and weakened contractions of the heart. This results in heart failure and eventual death. Some, but not all, of the dogs who were on grain free diets had a complete reversal of the disease when they were placed on a commercial diet that contains grain.
The FDA released a list of the top brands that were implicated in the DCM/grain free link. The lists include Arcana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, Fromm, Blue Buffalo, Merrick, Nutro, and Rachael Ray.
What can you do to minimize the risk of your dog developing DCM? The obvious answer is to avoid grain free diets, especially those containing legumes or potatoes. Additionally, it is generally best to feed well known larger brands of pet foods, as the smaller “boutique” brands often do not employ nutritionists and may not have controls in place to guarantee the quality of the ingredients. Finally, if you have questions about the best food for your pet, ask your veterinarian!
Jami Stromberg, DVM
For more information, check out
Periodontal means, “around the tooth” and this is the type of disease that is often found in cats and dogs due to a variety of factors including genetics and minimal to no home care of the teeth. Without regular brushing, bacteria build up on the teeth and plaque and tartar form over time. In response to this build-up, the body mounts an immune response under the gums and “around the tooth.” Depending on the pet’s immune system, the toxins released by inflammatory cells and substances can ultimately cause destruction of supporting tissues that help hold the teeth in place and can lead to infection, pain, loosening of teeth and ultimately loss of teeth.
Caring for My Pet’s Teeth at Home
In order to be effective, brushing teeth at home must be done at least several times a week. This timing has to do with how quickly bacteria adhere to the tooth surfaces and create a hardened surface, or tartar. Brushing must be done prior to this “hardening” of the film. Once tartar is formed, professional tooth cleaning under anesthesia is required to adequately remove plaque and tartar not only above the gumline but under the gumline where most disease is located. We recommend daily brushing, and yearly professional cleanings, in order to establish a consistent routine for you and your pet. Starting your pet as a kitten or puppy is ideal but even older pets can learn over time. Starting the routine slowly and building up, with using positive reinforcement and rewards can not only go a long way in improving your pet’s health, but also strengthen the bond you already have with your pet.
Here are some helpful links:
Caring For Your Pet’s Teeth In The Clinic
Questions to Ask and Comparison Checklist
Is blood work performed prior to an anesthetic oral exam and treatment?
Yes! Every pet is evaluated with blood work to ensure major organ systems (liver, kidneys, etc.) are able to metabolize anesthetic drugs and to minimize complications that can arise with certain diseases not detectable on physical exam.
What kind of pain management is used for my pet?
Pain medication is part of all pre-anesthetic drugs given in our clinic. Based on the degree of disease and surgery required, additional pain medication is administered systemically prior to the procedure, local “novocaine” like drugs are used to give added pain relief, and oral pain medication is sent home to ensure your pet’s comfort.
What kind of monitoring is used while my pet is under anesthesia?
The most important monitoring tool we have for your pet is a dedicated anesthetic team member who constantly evaluates your pet’s vital signs while under anesthesia. This person’s sole responsibility is monitoring anesthesia. In addition, monitoring equipment such as an EKG, pulse oximetry, blood pressure, an esophageal thermometer, and end-tidal CO2 measurements are utilized.
Are fluids given to my pet?
An intravenous (IV) catheter is placed in all dental patients and IV fluids are given to help maintain blood pressure which helps maintain proper function of the kidneys and other organs.
Are x-rays taken of my pet’s mouth?
Yes! X-rays are necessary to evaluate the majority of the tooth, the root, that is not visible on a regular exam. Because most disease occurs around the root, x-rays are vital to determining the health of each individual tooth and the mouth as a whole.
Are aftercare instructions provided?
Yes! Information about your pet’s procedure and what to expect afterwards is provided. It will include feeding and any medication instructions as well as numbers to call if you have any questions.
Is there a recheck exam at no charge?
Yes! A technician will evaluate your pet’s mouth, answer any questions you may have, and also discuss home dental care at length.
Behavior problems are the leading cause of pet dogs and cats being relinquished or euthanized.
Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital is providing preventative care through Puppy Parties, Puppy Socialization Classes, Pre-Purchase Pet Counseling, and Kitten Socializing.
Our hospital is also offering behavior consultations, which includes an evaluation for major and minor behavior issues.
Some Common Behavior Issues:
What to expect with a behavior consult:
1. First, call to schedule an appointment. Depending on the problem, an appointment will be scheduled with either a doctor or technician.
2. Fill out the online behavior questionnaire and either email, fax or drop it off prior to your appointment (preferably 1 week in advance if possible).
3. Review what to bring for a behavior consult on the website.
4. If a medical reason needs to be ruled out as the cause of the behavior, the pet will need to have a full physical and lab work.
5. After the evaluation of the pet, a plan will be put in place. A combination of behavior modification, environment enrichment, and medication will be worked together to create a positive outcome. Follow-up calls will be scheduled and possible progress exams.
6. Some difficult cases may be recommended for referral, and the evaluation notes and lab work will be faxed to the behavior specialist.
How to prepare for a behavior appointment:
Please fill out either the Canine Behavior Questionnaire or the Feline Behavior Questionnaire and either email, fax or drop it off prior to your appointment (preferably 1 week in advance if possible).
Please have your pet skip his or her morning meal so they arrive hungry. This will help us to interact with the pet using food treats during the appointment.
Helpful items to bring with to the appointment:
- Favorite treats
- A favorite toy
- Any training tools that you currently use or have used
- Current medication or supplements
- Photos or video of problems occurring
- If bringing a cat, have a diagram of your house and label where the food/water dishes are as well as location of litter boxes
Tools and Products Available for Behavior Training:
Chose a product to be redirected to their website for more information
Gentle Leader® (head collar)
Busy Buddy® Toys for dogs and cats
Feliway® Feline Pheromone Diffuser or Spray
Adaptil® Canine Pheromone Collars, Diffusers and Spray
Chewing deterrent spray
Puppy Start Right book by Kenneth M Martin, DVM & Debbie Martin, RVT, VTS (Behavior), CPDT-KPA CTP link
Need Help Finding the Right Pet for You?
Other helpful links when choosing a new family member:
Puppy Parties are held monthly on the first Thursday of every month. This time is mainly for puppies from 8 to 18 weeks of age to socialize and play while the owners discuss how their puppy training is going with our experienced staff.
- All puppies must have their first set of Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvo vaccine on board and begun routine deworming.
- Puppies should only come if healthy – no vomiting or diarrhoea within the last week.
- It is recommended very young children not come to the party. Owners are not allowed to touch, speak, or look at puppies to encourage interaction between the dogs.
If you are a first-time kitten owner, or an experienced one, consider checking out our monthly Kitten Kindergarten class. It’s an opportunity for your kitten to experience a different environment, varied situations, and to socialize with other kittens or people. We have learned more recently that the socialization window is very short for cats. It’s also a place to discuss grooming, feeding, carriers and litterbox issues in addition to natural behaviors for our feline friends. Ask a staff member about the next class.
- All kittens must have their first set of feline rhinotracheitis/calici/panleukopenia vaccine on board, begun routine deworming and have been tested negative for FeLV/FIV viruses.
- Kittens should only come if healthy – no vomiting or diarrhoea within the last week, and no sneezing or runny eyes.
Training as a Life Long Commitment
After you set up a good foundation of training, it is never a bad idea to keep the bond between you and your pet strong with continued training. Here are some opportunities listed below:
Continued Training Links:
Anesthesia & Surgery
At BPPH we believe strongly in only the best anesthetic techniques. Every pet has pre-anesthetic blood work performed, an IV catheter placed, IV fluids administered during and following the procedure and multiple checks after the procedure has been completed.
The importance of pre-anesthetic blood work cannot be overstated. Anesthetic gas and medications are processed through the liver and kidneys, and it is essential to know these organs are functioning normally before going under anesthesia. If there are abnormalities different protocols will be used. IV catheters enable us to administer medications at quickly, which is less stressful for the pet and essential should complications arise. IV fluids help to maintain blood pressure and assure hydration.
While under anesthesia your pet is constantly monitored by a certified technician using the following equipment
- EKG – heart rate and rhythm
- Pulse oximetry – blood oxygen level
- Capnography – carbon dioxide levels in the lungs
- Blood pressure
- Body temperature
We are strong proponents of pain management. Before entering the operating room your pet will get a combination of pain medications to ensure they have taken full effect prior you pet waking up from anesthesia. With some procedures, local or regional anesthesia is also used to ensure a minimally painful recovery. Patients are also given additional medication later in the day if needed.
A CO2 laser is used for most cutting procedures. By using a laser in place of a scalpel blade, we can reduce bleeding, swelling and pain at the incision site. It also speeds up the recovery time.
Elective surgeries performed at BPPH
- Ovariohysterectomy – also known as a spay procedure. This is the removal of the entire uterus and both ovaries from the female.
- Neuter – removal of both testicles from the male dog.
Non-elective surgeries commonly performed at BPPH
- Lumpectomy – removal of masses or tumors from the body
- Cystotomy – removal of stones from the bladder
- Abdominal exploratory surgery – assess the organs in the abdominal cavity, and possibly obtain biopsy samples or remove foreign objects from the GI tract
- Pyometra surgery – an emergency spay, when a female pet’s uterus becomes infected and needs to be immediately removed.
- Orthopedic and specialty surgery – For these procedures we call in highly trained board certified surgical specialists. These surgeons have had additional schooling, training, and certifications to ensure only the best for your pet during these procedures.
Itty bitty paws, hand cuddles, and little wispy whiskers are all reasons why we love our little furry small mammal companions. Small mammals are a lot of fun. They are active, inquisitive, and energetic companions, but there is more to owning a small mammal than running on a wheel or in a ball. It is essential to ensure that your companion receives quality veterinary care throughout its life. Your small mammal is reliant on you for food, shelter, exercise/play, and loving attention. Regular wellness visits will ensure your companion is fit, has a healthy smile, and a good quality of life. At BPPH, we treat a variety of small mammals. Choose a link below for more information on specific pets.
If your pet needs advanced diagnostics and treatments, we can refer you to one of the many quality speciality centers in the twin cities.
Ultrasonography & Radiology
Peak Performance Animal Chiropractic
Dr. Mark LaVallie, a human chiropractor who is also licensed to provide chiropractic care in animals, is employed by BPPH and sees patients every other Wednesday morning.
We offer comprehensive testing, using both in-house and send-out commercial laboratories
The majority of the blood samples that we draw are sent to Antech Diagnostics https://www.antechdiagnostics.com/ for analysis. This is a leading veterinary diagnostic lab that employs the latest in technology and are staffed with board certified veterinary pathologists. We can be confident that the tests that we send out are accurate and at a competitive price.
Although sending samples out to a commercial laboratory is more cost-effective , sometimes we need results right away. We pride ourselves in our ability to utilize a variety of tools to diagnose disease. Our technical staff is trained to analyze fecal samples for parasites, urine samples to detect infection or crystals, and to perform complete blood counts to check for abnormalities in the red and white cells. We can also run biochemical analyses on serum using our in-house laboratory analyzer. These tests help us to make a diagnosis on a sick pet, often within 60 minutes of presentation.
Our pets can hurt! We can help.
BPPH is at the cutting edge of providing management of acute, chronic, and surgical pain. Our veterinarians and technicians have taken over 100 combined hours of pain management continuing education in the past 3 years alone. We employ a multimodal system of pain control, using medication that acts at the site of the pain (ie anti-inflammatories), drug that decrease pain perception in the brain (such as narcotics), and newer medications that increase dopamine levels and increase the animal’s general state of euphoria, or well-being.
Our surgical patients also receive several forms of pain medication in addition to sedation or anesthesia. We also use local or regional nerve blocks (such as epidurals) when indicated. Most of our surgical patients also receive therapeutic laser treatment after the procedure. Therapeutic laser is a safe and effective way to improve healing in acute and chronic (eg arthritis) pain, by providing an energy source to the damaged cells in region.
BPPH employs the services of Dr. Mark LaVallie, a human chiropractor who is also licensed to provide chiropractic care in animals. Check out his Facebook page at Peak Performance Animal Chiropractic. Dr. LaVallie sees patients at BPPH every other Wednesday morning.
A snapshot of your pet’s inside.
Not all problems can be diagnosed on physical exam alone. BPPH uses digital radiography to take x-ray images when necessary. These images are immediately uploaded for a board-certified radiologist to interpret. The veterinarians at BPPH can give a preliminary diagnosis immediately, and the final diagnosis is usually available within one business day. We are one of the few hospitals in the area that have all of our radiographs read by a specialist, and at no additional fee. This greatly improves accuracy of this test. An additional benefit of digital radiography (as opposed to traditional film) is that we can email or burn a cd of the images immediately to send to a specialist or give to the owner.
We also use digital radiography in all of our dental patients. Dental x-rays provide a huge benefit, as much of dental disease is below the gumline. Dental x-rays also allow us to plan extractions and ensure that all of the roots were removed. More information can be found on our dental link.
End of Life
End of Life – Is It Time?
If you are considering euthanasia – when is it the right time?
Quality of life is usually discussed, but what does that really mean?
Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help with understanding if your pet has a good quality of life or what level of suffering he or she may be experiencing.
- Is your pet able to climb stairs or hop in the car? Many older pets lose mobility over the years, but is your pet at a stage that they struggle to get to their feet or collapse when trying to lie down? Can your pet handle basic functions like squatting to urinate? Does your pet whimper or growl if you try to help move them?
- Is your pet able to eat or drink normally? Is your pet getting enough calories to maintain his or her weight? Do you think your pet is enjoying eating or do you have to coax every bite?
- Is your pet having difficulty breathing? Many medical conditions like cancer and heart disease can impact their ability to breath easily. Your pet may pant when it’s not hot or you’ll see a pumping movement near the pet’s flank which says they are working hard to breath.
- Does your pet recognize you? Some older pets have diminished mental capacity and seem to forget things like where a toy is. Occasionally pets get more confused and can become fearful of their surroundings. The confusion may come from partial vision and/or hearing loss.
- Is your pet in pain? Instinctively a pet will try to hide or mask any pain. This is a sign of weakness and would signal to predators their vulnerability. Watching for posture changes like a hunched back is one possible sign. Often painful animals are very restless and circle for longer periods trying to find a position to get comfortable. Pets hiding or seeking out unusual places to lie down like under a bed or inside a closet may indicate pain as well. If a pet hisses, snarls, or snaps when touched this could indicate pain.
- Is your pet happy? This is a very subjective thing. Does your pet seem interested when you come home or leave? Does your pet find any pleasure from his or her toys? Does your pet enjoy any activities that the pet use to? Is your pet interacting with other pets in the house? Most pets are easy to please so if you can’t raise a purr or a tail wag then you can be fairly certain your pet is not enjoying life.
- Could the care being given to your pet be causing more stress or harm then enhancing the quality of life? If your pet is ill, the natural response is to provide treatment to the best of your ability. That often includes tests, medications, and sometimes surgery. But drugs can have side effects, repeated visits to the hospital can create stress, and some involved treatments can take a toll on the pet and family alike.
- Can or should I make this decision to end my pet’s life? Often times when the thought of euthanizing a pet arises, some owners reflect on “letting nature take its course.” Before going down that path (or postponing action), owners should realize that they have already thwarted the course of nature. When providing food, shelter, protection from predators, and medical care over the years, they have stepped in where nature is concerned. In nature, when an animal becomes too ill to get food or protect itself, it will perish. Sometimes quickly, but it may be quite slow and painful. Letting nature take its course with a pet may be very drawn out and uncomfortable as well. Should our pet suffer longer because we don’t want to feel the hurt and pain of making a decision? Sometimes the most unselfish act of love is ending our pet’s suffering.
Making the choice to euthanize is always difficult. If you have more questions, our staff would like to help.
Hospice and Comfort Care Resources
Hospice care is a relatively new concept in the animal world. It is focused on giving pets a safe, caring, intimate and pain-free end-of-life experience in a familiar environment with family. In advanced stages of diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, or neurologic disorders, some treatments can cause pain or illness without the benefit of “curing” the disease. Sometimes, treatment is cost-prohibitive and cannot be pursued. Pet owners have the option of denying or stopping aggressive treatments and working on managing their pet’s quality of life over their quantity of life. Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital is able to discuss options for your pet and provide resources to help assist in providing dignity and comfort in his or her last days.
Here are some areas where we can help with alternative care:
- Acupuncture, Herbal Supplements and Food Therapy
- MNpets – Acupuncture Services – Dr. Alanna Monn, DVM
- Chiropractic Care
- Dr. Mark LaVallie, D.C., CVSMT – 651.332.1633
- Physical Therapy
- Twin Cities Animal Rehabilitation Clinic – 952.224.9354
- U of M Rehabilitation Services
- In-home Hospice Care
- Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice & In-Home Euthanasia – 612.314.3003
- Pain Management
- Massage Therapy
Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital offers euthanasia in a calm and peaceful setting for you to say goodbye to your loved one.
For in home euthanasia services are you may contact MN Pets (gentle end of life care at home) at 612.354.8500.
Offered through BPPH with Veterinary Hospitals Association™ (VHA)
Cremation Urns and Unique Keepsakes – Click on the link to browse our selection of cremation urns and unique keepsakes. Call us at 763.566.6000 to inquire on prices.
Pet Cremation Services of Minnesota – Ethical Individual Same Day Private Pet Cremation – another option for care of your pet’s remains. You contact them directly for their services.
Grief / Support Groups
Pet Loss Hotlines/Counseling
Grief Recovery Hotline – 800.445.4808
National 24-hour pet loss hotline – 877.474.3310
University of Minnesota Veterinary Social Services – 612.626.8387
Center for Grief, Loss and Transition – 651.641.0177
Grief Connections – 952.925.3533
Animal Humane Society – 763.522.4325
845 Meadow Lane, Golden Valley, MN 55422
This support group meets every Monday evening (except holidays) from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge.
Animal Emergency Clinic – 651.501.3766
1163 Helmo Avenue North, Oakdale, MN, 55128
This support group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Companion Animal Love, Loss, and Memories Group – 612.624.9372
University of Minnesota Veterinary Social Work Services
1365 Gortner Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
This support group meets on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings of every month, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., and is open to the public at no charge. All attendees must call in advance to be pre-screened and to reserve a seat.
There are options that can help you be prepared for the unexpected…
Family pets are a part of our lives.
They are our companions, guardians and best friends. But just like any loved one, they can fall into harm’s way or become seriously ill. Medical technology improves daily and now provides options for pets that were once reserved only for people. However, technology can be expensive; a veterinarian must not only cover the costly equipment, but also the expense of professional training and continuing education to keep staff up-to-date on the latest research and equipment available. There are options that can help you afford the very best wellness care for your pet, as well as be prepared for the unexpected emergency visit.
This veterinarian is the best pet hospital I have ever been to & I have been to at least a dozen in 3 different states. They treat you the way they would treat their own & have compassion for the owners when you lose a pet. They never suggest procedures that don't need to be done & will tell you whether it makes sense to do something or not.
The grooming at BP Pet Hospital is exceptional! I had a cocker spaniel that was extremely difficult to groom & had been banned from at least 8 groomers, however, this place was able to groom her and said she wasn't that bad. I would give 10 stars if I could.
The staff is incredibly friendly. They have options for Wellness Plans where you pay monthly to cover your pet's annual exams, vaccinations, and tests. Their groomer, Sabrina, does a wonderful job for a very reasonable price. They also offer boarding which is super convenient and gives a lot of peace of mind knowing that if something happens to our dogs while we are out of town, they have professional care on site.
I trust Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital 100%. My three kitties have all been treated here. The staff is super friendly, and they are reasonably priced. They do a great job caring for this crew, and we are very pleased to call BBPH our vet.
Dr. Stromberg was able to diagnose my pitbull of his skin condition that many other vets missed and help us stay on top of his ear infections and absolutely is amazing with him and our newest puppy, and was able to squeeze him in on extremely short notice for an issue he was having that couldn’t wait until tomorrow. Dr. Stromberg is the reason we keep coming back! She is extremely knowledgable, easy to talk to, and doesn’t judge the animal based on breed, which a lot of other vets we have been to in the past do. I would highly recommend going to her. Most of the other staff there are amazing as well. Very personable. Grateful we found her!
Heather Schoener, Local Guide
Thank you to the wonderful staff at the BPPH for helping me with my kitty. They made me feel good about the choice I made to put my cat down. They were super patient and let me take my time saying goodbye to my girl. They were very understanding of how I was feeling & how hard it was for me to do that. Thank you! I will be coming back when I choose to get another pet. 10/10