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Do natural and herbal always mean safe for our pets?

As the use of supplements and alternative therapies continues to rise for our pet population, it's important to consider the safety of our furry family members. While the terms "natural" and "herbal" have a reassuring sound, they are not indicators of either quality or safety in a product or service. Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently requested public comment on the use of the term "natural," it is not currently regulated on pet food or supplement labels -- There is no official definition and there are no requirements for making this claim. In fact, there are supplements and therapies that can actually be harmful to pets. herb
Here are just a few examples of natural and/or herbal therapies that can be dangerous for pets:
  • Tea Tree Oil - Application of concentrated tea tree oil to the skin or oral exposure is considered moderately to severely toxic and may be life-threatening to pets. Symptoms include vomiting, weakness, incoordination, seizures, liver toxicity and coma in cats and dogs. Even lower concentrations can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. 
  • Garlic and Onion - Ingestion of these foods from the Allium family by dogs or cats can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, collapse and anemia, as well as possible increased bleeding tendencies at surgery.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) - Found in many supplements, ALA can cause hypoglycemia, seizures and liver toxicity in pets at higher doses.
  • Aloe - When ingested, aloe in its various forms can result in vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and rarely tremors.
  • Ephedra / Ma Huang - Found in some weight loss products and herbal decongestants, this stimulant can cause hyperactivity, racing heart rate, fever, tremors, seizures and death from cardiovascular collapse.
  • White Willow Bark - Typically used for its possible anti-inflammatory effects, this herb contains salicylates which are particularly toxic to cats. It can also have dangerous interactions with anti-inflammatory medications and heart medications that are prescribed to pets.  
  • Pennyroyal Oil - While considered a pest / flea repellant, this oil is extremely toxic to pets if ingested and can cause vomiting, difficulty breathing, liver toxicity and death.
  • Marijuana and Cannabinoids - Ingestion of any formulation and/or inhalation of smoke from marijuana may result in hypothermia, incoordination, seizures, coma and even death. Safe dosing of marijuana and its various formulations has not been determined for cats and dogs.

Best Veterinarian in Edina 2018!

 

Congratulations to Westgate Pet Clinic for winning "Best Veterinarian in Edina" for 2018!  A special thank-you to all of our dedicated clients that voted for us.  Words cannot express how much we value and appreciate you and your "furry children".  Also, thank you to Edina Magazine for including us in their 2018 "Best Of" issue.   

Best of Edina 2018

September: The Labrador Retriever

lab freeHistory of the Breed
 
The Labrador's lineage goes back to 16th century Newfoundland.  This dog was the fisherman's working dog, helping to carry ropes to boats and retrievinng fishing nets in the water.  The labrador's predessor, the St. John's water dog, had tuxedo markings of a white chest, feet, chin and muzzle.  This trait will occasionally be expressed in our modern day labradors as a white spot on the chest (known as a medallion), or stray white hairs on the feet or muzzle. 
 
Valued for it's loyal and brave personality, the labrador retriever is the quinesential dog.  Friends with everyone, the labrador makes a great family dog.  Labradors love being outdoors and need plenty of exercise.  They are excellent at the job they were bred to do, which is retrieving.  If your family is not one of hunters, then labradors would love to retrieve sticks and balls to fullfill that natural instinct. 
 
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Preventative Care Recommendations
 

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-1121
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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