Meet Lucy the Hedgehog!


Lucy is a 7 month old Hedgehog who came to us in need of a nail trim.  Lucy was a little shy about letting us take a good look at her, (especially her little toes), due to the natural way that Hedgehogs curl up into a ball when they are threatened or scared.  We decided that using a safe gas anesthetic would be less stressful for her and safer for us to be able to handle her.  To our surprise, Lucy was not very shy about getting into our “exotic animal jar”, that we use to gas them down in.  She climbed right in!  We were able to successfully trim her nails and examine her and she did a great job!  Thank you to her owner Sarah for letting me be a part of her visit today, as this was my first experience as a tech handling a Hedgehog!  It was very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing Lucy come in for her future visits!

Certificate of Appreciation from PEHS


Earlier this week Countryside Animal Hospital was presented with a certificate of appreciation and letter from their executive director thanking us for our participation in the PEHS spay and neuter program!  Prairies Edge Humane Society is one of the numerous rescue groups we work with in the area. We all like to do our part to control the animal population so there are not so many homeless pets; especially over these cold winter months.  Take care to spay and neuter your pet before they are old enough to reproduce!

Y/D Diet for Hyperthyroidism in Cats

For all of us with a geriatric cat at home, there is a new way to treat one of the most common geriatric diseases of cats, hyperthyroidism. It’s the new Y/D diet from Science diet. Hyperthyroidism is caused when the thyroid gland starts to produce excess amounts of thyroid hormone. In cats, this causes severe weight loss, heart murmurs, hypertension, stroke and eventually death. For years our most common treatment involves giving the cat a pill twice a day. This can be problematic for many reasons, the most significant is no one wants to pill their cat twice a day. The Y/D diet helps to treat hyperthyroidism by limiting the amount of iodine in the food. Iodine is the essential element the thyroid gland needs to produce excessive amounts of hormone, so restricting the amount of iodine essentially decreases production  of thyroid hormone and alleviates symptoms. At this time we are beginning to use y/d as part of our treatment protocol and are hopeful that it will either decrease the amount of medication needed or possibly eliminate medication in some lucky patients. To discuss if this is an option for your cat, please contact Countryside Animal Hospital to schedule a visit with your veterinarian.

Thank God for the Alma Mater!

As many of you know Signe and I are proud graduates of the University of MInnesota college of Veterinary Medicine. We still go up there for classes and we follow their veterinary research projects. But the most important relationship we have with them is for their medical support.
Just recently I had an emergency case you may have seen in the Northfield News on the weekend that was in need of an oxygen cage because of smoke inhalation and exhaustion. The U of M was ready for the pet when it arrived and was placed in an intensive care unit for constant monitoring. I could go on and on about all the great medical, surgical and diagnostic tools they have up there, but I’ll just get too excited about it so, just take comfort in knowing, when needed, we have friends in high places.

Answers from Annie: children begging parents for a new puppy


I’m a frisky 10 month old Labrador Retriever named Annie. I live in scenic Northfield. I’ve noticed that this town is filled with bicycles, stained glass, the smell of muffins, and dogs. I’ve decided to be the voice of these dogs for their owners. Every month I will bark out a problem and attempt to give you insight to solve them.

This time of year I hear children begging their parents for a new puppy. I even hear them promising to feed, walk, and play with the pup. It seems like the parents are put in the “dog house” trying to make this important decision. Should they say “yes” or “wait?”

Caring for dogs develops responsibility and self-esteem in their young owners. If you are looking for the magical age to purchase a pup, forget it. The actual skills necessary to care for pets, though, depend more on a child’s ability to take responsibility and exercise self-control than on an age group.

While walking down the side walk I heard 2 people talking about the added expense of purchasing a pup. I reminded them not to forget the added responsibilities involved as well. Were they willing to care for the dog when their children grew up or headed to college or careers?

I suggest including the children in all discussions on caring for your dog. Often, kids can offer great suggestions and be part of the solution when it comes to any behavior problems in your dog.

Because some of my best friends at Doggy Daycare are rescue dogs, I’d suggest checking them out if searching for a dog. These “slightly used” dogs are looking for warm and friendly homes.

One last thing. I suggest you secure the services of a dependable veterinarian like Dr. Rich Lorang or Dr. Signe Wass. Neither one of them has cold hands, and really seem to like taking care of animals.

Your pal, Annie

Why Puppy Class?

The best time to teach your puppy is in the first 6 months of its life as a puppy’s brain is perfectly developed to learn. Many perspective dog owners cringe at the thought of a barking pup chewing everything in sight while soiling inside the house. Many of these unwanted issues can be prevented by early training. As many people know, a dog is a pack animal. They love to hang with a group and in this group much learning can be done. Well you have the power to control this group. Join a puppy class. Your puppy NEEDS socialization almost much as his first vaccinations. In fact, dogs can get in more trouble mentally and physically by NOT being socialized. Countryside Animal Hospital & Kennels are now offering puppy classes. Call Michael at the Kennel (507)-645-5051 for more information.

Rabid Cat in Olmsted County

Yikes! There has been a positive rabies case diagnosed in a young cat in Olmsted County. This cat was an outdoor kitty that was bitten by a skunk. Unfortunately the kitty bit many people before it was diagnosed so all those folks need to be vaccinated.  The whole sad situation is a potent reminder to keep all our pets up to date on their rabies vaccine!! It’s an inexpensive insurance policy to say the least….. For information on rabies in animals and to view a map of positive cases in Minnesota visit the Board of Animal Health’s website.