Minnesota Valley Veterinary Services is a full service animal clinic. We are here for your pet as they grow for wellness and preventative healthcare, as well as when medical conditions arise throughout their life.
Below are detailed descriptions of the service areas we offer. Scroll through to learn more about our capabilities and as always, call us if you have any questions.
Dental disease, also called periodontal disease, is one of the highest killers of our pets. When periodontal disease is not addressed, the bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream. This leads to bacteria moving throughout the body and most commonly causing disease or failure in the heart, liver, and kidneys.
When you pet has a dental cleaning with us, they will have a full physical exam in the morning, and then be placed under full gas anesthesia. This allows us to get the most extensive exam, perform radiographs (x-rays), and offers protection of their airway. They will be monitored constantly while one of our veterinary technicians takes radiographs. Each surface of each tooth will then then scaled, polished, and probed to clean and check for any potential problems.
We pride ourselves on having digital dental radiographs, which is the highest standard of care today. Radiographs allow us to “see” beneath the gumline, where the majority of the problems and pain lie! If we see a problem on our exam or x-rays, we will notify you and may need to schedule a second procedure. This is for the safety of your pet, so they can be under anesthesia for less time at one sitting, and it allows us more planning of the surgery or care needed.
Why do we use general anesthesia?
Simply put, because it is the best and the safest. Anesthesia free dentistry is not a good or safe option for a few reasons. The first is that we cannot tell our pets when to open wider, so cleaning the very back molars and inside surfaces of the teeth would be impossible. It also doesn’t allow us to clean under the gum-line, which is where bacteria often lie and create a source of infection and gingivitis. The third reason is it can be dangerous if the animal moves unexpectedly. Finally, a lot of dental problems can be missed when you only can take a quick look. Fractured roots below the gum-line, abscesses at the root base, and more require a thorough exam and especially radiographs to be able to diagnose. By missing these problems, your pet would have to deal with pain much longer than necessary. For these reasons, we consider “anesthesia free dentistry” to be just a cosmetic procedure and not a real treatment for dental disease.
Itchy dogs and cats are one of the most common reasons owners bring their pets to the vet. We understand itching is not only irritating for them, it's very frustrating for you as the owner! The most common causes of itching are fleas and allergies. Allergies can result from food, the environment (hay fever, dander, molds etc.) and from surfaces or fabrics. Our primary goal when working up dermatology cases is to make your pet comfortable. This is achieved primarily through different diagnostic tests to understand the cause of the itching so we know how to stop it. We utilize a multimodal approach to treat your pet including topical therapy like shampoos, supplements such as fish oils, and new advancements in pharmaceuticals. These drugs target the messenger molecules that cause itching, making them safer than previous drugs such as steroids.
From heart disease, endocrine disease and gastrointestinal disease to ophthalmology, our doctors are well equipped to diagnose and treat your pet’s health issues. We commonly use different diagnostic modalities including specialized blood tests, calibrated instruments, skin or mass biopsies, and diagnostic imaging to fully understand your pet’s illness.
We have a fully functional lab to help diagnose ailments right away, leading to faster treatment and a quicker return to normal for your pet. We have the capability to run routine blood work, perform ear cytologies, fecal float examinations, cytologies of skin masses (FNA), and analysis of the urine sediment. There are also many other laboratory tests we can send off to a reference lab to help diagnose a specific condition. These typically take 1-3 days to get results back, and can sometimes be more cost effective.
We have a variety of commonly used prescriptions kept on hand so your pet can have the medications they need right when they need it. We also work with different compounding companies to acquire products that are less common and more convenient dosing. For example, some pills can be made into gels that are applied to the skin for easier administration, or into “tiny tabs” so they are smaller in size. If there is a prescription product your animal needs that we currently do not carry, we can write a prescription for you to fill at a local pharmacy. If you’d prefer to fill a prescription that we do carry at an online pharmacy instead of with us, we a have a once a year $15 prescription transfer fee to offset the time of transferring the prescription paperwork.
With our wide array of imaging modalities, we can get the most comprehensive internal look at our patients. This allows us to better determine what is going on and how we can treat any disease or abnormality found. Our imaging modalities include digital dental radiographs, radiographs with both CR digital processing and traditional film, and portable ultrasound for reproductive work and focused abdominal scans. For some cases, when advanced imaging such as echocardiography, CT or MRI are indicated, we will refer you to one of our local specialty centers.
We offer a wide variety of both orthopedic, soft tissue, and elective surgeries in our surgery suite. Our clinic is well equipped with two gas anesthesia machines and monitoring equipment. This is so we can keep a close eye on your pet’s vital parameters, such as heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, carbon dioxide output, and ECG during surgery. The following are just a sample of some of the routine surgeries we offer:
- Sterilization: also called spaying and neutering, this procedure removes the reproductive organs in an animal and prevents a wide variety of both medical and behavioral problems.
- Declawing: this is the surgical amputation of the third phalanx of each toe (10 total) performed in cats. We only declaw the front paws, and your cat must be spayed or neutered prior to, or done at the same time, as this procedure. All cats undergoing declaw must also be indoor only cats for the rest of their lives.
- Soft tissue surgeries include mass removals, both from the skin and internally from the abdomen, surgeries to remove foreign objects from the stomach, intestines, or bladder, excision of the spleen, and more.
- Our orthopedic surgeries include fracture repair with intramedullary pins, femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) for arthritis, cruciate repair using the lateral fabella suture technique, and amputation if necessary.
If your pet is in need of a surgery we do not routinely do, we may refer you to a surgeon at a specialty center so that your pet can have the best expertise possible. We commonly recommend Blue Pearl in Eden Prairie and the University of Minnesota. See our helpful resources page for contact information for both referral hospitals.
Wellness and Preventative Care
Yearly physical exams are very important for our adult pets, as they age much faster than humans. Annual exams help to monitor for dental disease, weight gain or loss, heart murmurs, systemic diseases and much more. If we identify any abnormality we can treat your pet that much earlier, leading to faster care and a longer, more comfortable life for them. Puppies and kittens require more frequent exams, every 3-4 weeks, until about 16-20 weeks of age.
It is also critical that your pet receive their vaccinations on a regular schedule to keep them protected from deadly diseases. Vaccine schedules vary depending on your pet’s lifestyle and age, so it is best to speak with your veterinarian who can make the best individualized recommendation. It is important to note that the rabies vaccination is required by law for all animals. Puppies and kittens require vaccines every 3-4 weeks starting around 7-8 weeks until 16-20 weeks old. This schedule is designed to protect them while their mother’s antibodies they received through her milk are waning and their own immune system is starting to build antibodies.
Parasites are unfortunately very common in our environment and require treatment in order to keep our pets feeling their best. Internal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms and whipworms, are found in the soil, transmitted from dog to dog through feces, and most commonly passed through the mother’s placenta to her offspring. Roundworms are especially dangerous because they can be transmitted to humans, causing blindness. Your pet may not show any signs or you may see diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss or bloody stool. Fecal tests can be done yearly to check for parasite eggs. Fortunately, prevention is simple and can be discussed with your veterinarian. Another internal parasite is heartworm, which is transmitted through mosquito bites. Once inside your pet, the larvae migrate until they reach the heart, where they mature and reproduce. Heartworms can be fatal so it is best to keep your pet on preventative products all year round, and test them yearly to ensure product efficacy or if they have missed any doses.
External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, transmit many diseases to our pets, some of which can spread to humans. These parasites become active above 32 degrees and are incredibly hardy. Fleas cause itching, anemia (blood loss), and can transmit diseases like tapeworms, cat scratch fever, and plague. Ticks will transmit diseases when they bite and take a blood meal. Most common in our area is Lyme disease. We recommend giving your pet preventative products every month to prevent flea and tick infestations.