608-834-8118    |    1512 N. Bristol St. Sun Prairie, WI 53590    |    Mon - Fri 8 AM - 6 PM; Sat 8 AM - 12 PM

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Online Scheduling is here!

We have introduced online access to your pet’s information, as well as the ability to edit your contact information, schedule appointments, and request refills for chronic medications through our pet portal.  For convenience, there are several new icons on the website pages that allow you to access the pet portal directly.  Additional information is available at the Pet Portal / Online Scheduling page on our website, which is available here.

By |April 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Tips for choosing your next dog

If you are planning to get a dog, there are a number of things you should consider to maximize the enjoyment of pet ownership.

Breed

One of the most important things to consider is what type of dog to get.  With the wide variety of breeds available, there is typically a breed that is well suited to your home; conversely, there are a number of breeds that may not suit your home and lifestyle well.

Remember all of the family members that will be living with this dog.  Additionally, keep in mind the other people that will interact with your dog and how you want that interaction to develop.  If there is a large number of young children that will be around your dog, finding a breed that is calm and not easily agitated will be a good choice.  The size of the dog also very important and must be considered.  If your dog will be kept at family member’s homes while you vacation, be certain that they are able to take care of the dog you get, otherwise the dog will need to travel with you or will need to be kenneled at a commercial kenneling facility.

Age

Considering the age of a dog is another important factor to consider as well.  Acquiring a puppy allows to you have a lot of control over the training from the beginning.  Training a puppy from a young age can be challenging, though, and requires a significant time investment.  Getting an adult dog allows you to skip house training and basic training (like sit, come, and stay), though if that training was not completed already you may need to do this anyway.

Gender

While many people have a preference regarding getting a male or a female dog, there typically is no significant difference between the two as long as there is proper training and temperament for your home.

Taking the time to consider these factors is very important to maximize the enjoyment you get from your newest family member.

By |March 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Pet Health Insurance – cover your assets!

When discussing health insurance for my client’s dogs and cats, I typically have two questions for them:

  1. Do you have health insurance for your pet?
  2. Why not?

Both questions are usually valid because current estimates are that less than 5% of all dogs and cats in the United States have health insurance.

Pet health insurance is a growing industry.  20 years ago there were only a small number of companies that offered pet health insurance, and this led to incomplete coverage and premiums that did not add up financially for many families.  Currently there are now over 10 reputable companies offering health insurance for pets, and the number of pets insured has risen significantly.  This increase has led to refining of the industry, increased competition, better coverage, and lower premiums.

This does not mean that getting insurance for your pet health is a simple decision.  Pet insurance is structured more like car insurance, where you can pick the level of coverage and a deductible (up front out-pf-pocket) costs you want, and the monthly premium is then figured out from that.

There are policies that cover almost all of your pet’s care, including emergency care, routine care, surgeries, and medications.  These policies are quite simple, but can be costly.  Adding up a year’s of premiums can result in a substantially higher amount then you would pay for out of pocket routine care.  Many of our clients benefit from a policy that covers for significant accidents and illnesses, but leaves the routine care for you to pay for.  While this leads to no savings on routine care, it can be a lifesaver in the case of an accident or illness.

Take for example a simple athletic injury, the torn anterior cruciate ligament in the hind leg (or torn ACL).  This is the most frequently diagnosed orthopedic injury in the dog based on statistics, with millions of dogs affected each year.  A high quality ACL repair can cost from $2500 – $3000 out of pocket; with insurance, a family can see 70 – 80% of that covered.  To have a $3000 surgery turn into less than $1000 is significant; while hundreds of dollars is not small, it is a lot better then thousands.

I strongly recommend that pet owners gather as much information on pet health insurance as possible and research the market for coverage and cost that is appropriate for them.  Pet health insurance has dramatically enhanced the care that many pet owners can deliver to their pets, and even saved many lives because of it.

By |October 17th, 2016|News|

Canine Flu reported in Dane County again

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture released information in early December indicating that there have been new cases of the canine influenza virus identified in Dane county in the recent weeks.  Based on what we know about this disease from the outbreak in Chicago during the spring, we are concerned about the threat posed to our canine family members in our area.

It is important to note that while there are new cases reported in Dane county, there has been no indication that the number of cases is growing.  This is significant because the Canine Influenza virus is highly transmissible; a lack of additional new cases appears to show that monitoring and quarantine efforts have been successful in holding back the spread to far.  Because this disease is spread by contact with other dogs, we expect that the number of cases will rise as we get to warmer weather and there are more group outdoor activities for our dogs to participate in.

The new cases reported this month are caused by the H3N2 strain of the Canine Influenza virus, which is different from the H3N8 strain that is more routinely seen in North America.  This is the same strain that caused the outbreak in the Chicago area.  This strain can cause dogs to be more ill than the more common one, with patients typically feeling poorly for 14 days, sometimes even 21 or more.  Clinical signs typically include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge (runny nose), lethargic behavior, and decreased appetite.

During the outbreak in Chicago there was no vaccine available for the new strain.  Since that time, there is a vaccine that has been developed and licensed.  The new vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical testing.  Currently, the Sun Prairie Pet Clinic considers both the H3N8 and H3N2 Canine Influenza vaccines important for dogs that frequent dog parks, attend day care or group training classes, or are involved in activities that could bring them in proximity to a large number of other dogs (competitions, shows, etc.).  A good ‘rule of thumb’ is that if you feel that your dog benefits from a Bordetella (“Kennel Cough”) vaccine, then you should consider having your dog vaccinated for H3N8 and H3N2 Influenza.

If you have any questions regarding the Canine Influenza virus, or if you feel that your dog is showing clinical signs of canine influenza, please call the Sun Prairie Pet Clinic at 608-834-8118.

By |December 28th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Sun Prairie Pet Clinic named “Best Veterinarian in Sun Prairie for 2015”

BestofSPLogo[1]The Sun Prairie Star newspaper has run their annual “Best of Sun Prairie” contest, and the Sun Prairie Pet Clinic has taken top honors for 2015!  I am excited and honored that our clinic has been chosen for this award.  The care that we bring to every one of our patients is a result of dedication and hard work from every member of our staff.  I would like to thank the staff for their tremendous effort on behalf of all our patients.

The entire staff would like to thank our clients, who are responsible for this award and our ongoing success.  We recognize the trust that our clients place in us as we care for their canine and feline family members, and appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate what our tailored approach to veterinary care can do for them.

By |September 1st, 2015|News|

NEW DEVELOPMENT in canine influenza outbreak

There is new information regarding the canine influenza (CI) outbreak in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest, and it is not encouraging. Information released today indicates that Cornell University, working in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin, have found that the causative agent is not the H3N8 strain as previously thought; rather, the virus responsible for this outbreak is the H3N2 strain. The Sun Prairie Pet Clinic does not know the specific strain of the virus found in the Dane County case. The H3N2 virus has been identified previously in Asia, but never before in North America.

The H3N2 strain has been in wide distribution in Asia (southern China and South Korea) since it was found in 2006. This virus causes a similar respiratory disease in dogs as the H3N8 version, though many clinicians feel that the symptoms are more severe with the Asia strain. The overall mortality rate is similar at about 5%. Humans are not susceptible to this virus, but it has been shown to infect and cause respiratory disease in cats. There is no vaccine available for the H3N2 strain of the canine influenza virus.

With this new information, several new questions arise. How is this virus transmitted? How can I protect my dog? Is there a vaccine available? We know the answer to some, but not all, of these questions.

As with the H3N8 strain, the best way to slow the spread of this disease is avoidance of areas where dogs congregate, good hygiene, and good sanitation. This strain transmits in the same manner as H3N8, with dog-to-dog contact the primary route. The virus remains viable (alive) on solid surfaces for 48 hours and clothing for 24 hours. The virus is killed with a wide variety of disinfectants, and routine hand washing with soap and water is effective in removing the virus from hands.

The canine influenza vaccine currently available provides good protection from the H3N8 strain of canine influenza. Protection from the H3N2 strain has not been tested and cannot be assumed. Cross-protection may by present; it simply has not been tested to date.

After taking all these factors into consideration, the Sun Prairie Pet Clinic recommends that dog owners continue to take the same precautions previously put forward – avoid areas where dos congregate if possible, avoid kenneling dogs if possible, and monitor the number of cases locally to judge risk of these activities.

The currently available vaccine is safe and effective at preventing disease from H3N8 Canine Influenza virus but has not been tested against the H3N2 strain. It is possible that the current vaccine can provide some benefit to dogs against H3N2. Because this vaccine is safe, effective against a serious canine respiratory disease, cost effective, and might help with the Asia strain of canine influenza, continued use of this vaccine is advocated.

As more information is made available, we will update this site.

Click here for the updated information from Cornell University

By |April 13th, 2015|Canine Influenza, News|

Protect Your Dog from Dog Flu (Canine Influenza)

As we are preparing for more cases of Dog Flu (Canine Influenza) in the Sun Prairie, Madison and Dane County area, here are some tips on how to protect your dog.

Tips to Protect Your Dog

If you are interested in vaccinating your dog for canine influenza, the Sun Prairie Pet Clinic has the vaccine in stock.

By |April 9th, 2015|Canine Influenza, News|

Canine Influenza Outbreak Update

Canine Influenza Outbreak Update
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Canine Influenza outbreak continues to grow in size. This morning we became aware that PetSmart is temporarily closing three of its PetsHotel pet boarding facilities in the Chicago area and encouraging pet owners to use other facilities. The shut down is designed to slow the outbreak of Canine Influenza and give the boarding facility an opportunity to disinfect the premises. The Chicago Park District has posted signs to dog-friendly areas that pets and pet owners enter at their own risk. While there have been 5 reported deaths attributable to the outbreak, the overall mortality rate continues to be low (less than 5% of all cases).

Click below for local Chicago links related to this outbreak:

http://abc7chicago.com/pets/dog-flu-linked-to-5-pet-deaths-in-cook-county/634521/

http://www.chicagonow.com/steve-dales-pet-world/2015/04/barren-chicago-dog-parks-for-now-due-to-dog-flu/

By |April 8th, 2015|Canine Influenza, News|