All Posts By

sauk prairie small animal hospital

Can My Cat Get COVID-19?

By Cats, Pet Care During Covid-19No Comments

In response to some recent news reports that cats (and tigers and ferrets) have been shown to be positive for COVID, and there are some very early, small experimental studies that confirm this.  However, Dr. Abby Clepper wants to reassure our clients, “the only way a house pet could become infected is by the owner spreading it to the pet. If you are sick, isolate yourself from your pet”.
“If you need to bring your pet in for a visit, our entire staff is using gloves and masks as we interact with your pet to protect your pet, you and ourselves from fomite spread. If someone in your household is sick, and your pet has an emergency, please advise us of this so that we can take even more precautions when seeing your pet.”

Unsure if your pet needs an exam for any symptoms you’re seeing?  Call us OR use our “Pet Health Checker” resource on our website:

Excerpt from a DVM 360 article by veterinarian, Dr. Jenifer Chatfield:
“The only thing we have seen have been sporadic cases of pets with positive test
results, but most of them have had no clinical signs,” she says. “If you are COVID-19
positive you could potentially infect your dog or cat, but we have zero evidence at this
point that your pet can transmit the disease to you. So, there is no reason to give up
your pet.”
For pet owners who are worried about this evolving situation, Dr. Chatfield advises
following the recommended precautions until more is known about this virus. For pet
owners who test positive for COVID-19:
● Restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19,
just as you would with other people.
● When possible, have someone else take care of feeding and otherwise caring for
your pet.
● If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet yourself, wear a cloth
facemask; don’t share food, kiss or hug them; and wash your hands before and
after any contact with them.
Pet owners who are not ill with COVID-19 can interact with their pets as normal and
should continue to practice good hygiene before and after those interactions:
● Wash hands before and after interacting with your pet, including when handling
food, supplies, and waste.
● Ensure your pet is kept clean.
● Regularly wash your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys.

Social Distancing Doctors

“What we know about COVID-19 transmission right now is that most of it is happening
human to human,” Dr. Chatfield says. “Fomites could play a role because we now know
that the virus can survive for limited times in the environment.” – Jenifer Chatfield, DVM, DACZM, ACVPM, staff veterinarian at 4J Conservation Center in Dade City, Florida, and a regional commander for the National Disaster Medicine System Team

Please call us if you have questions or concerns about your pet.  SPSAH is staying strong and will remain open for business to help get you and your pets through this health crisis. 

-The Doctors and Staff of Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital

5 Tips to Groom Your Pet During COVID

By Cats, Dogs, Pet Grooming, Pet ShampooNo Comments

Christine & Rusty

Now that spring is here, many of your “Fur Babies” are due for their spring grooming.  With the risk of COVID-19 keeping everyone Safer at Home, it will be a small wait to get them in to see me.  I’ve prepared these tips that may help.

Recommended grooming tools

Use our curbside assistance to pick up some of these recommended grooming tools!

To help keep your pet looking nice and to avoid mats, brushing their coat out and finishing up with a metal comb works well.  You can then bathe your pet and follow up with a brush and comb out after drying.  (Don’t forget our curbside assistance for all your shampoo, conditioner and brush needs!)

However, if your pet already has mats, this may not be possible as excessive brushing can create brush burn.  In these situations, it’s best not to bathe your pet as the mats will tighten as they dry and can actually start pulling at your pet’s skin.

Please DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CUT MATS OUT!  You could accidentally lacerate your pet, which would require an emergency visit to the vet.  (We have seen several such cases already since the stay at home order, and it’s painful.)

Once your pet is brushed out and mat-free, Christine recommends one of these to bathe your pet. The Blueberry Bliss is her favorite, but all they smell FANTASTIC!

Burrs are everywhere in the spring, and they can easily tangle up in your pet’s coat.  One easy way to get cockleburrs out is to crush the main structure of the burr with a household pliers.  Once the main structure is broken, you can easily brush them out with a slicker brush. 

Tiny seed burrs can be removed with a fine-tooth or flea comb, it’s time-consuming, but works!

Don’t forget that fleas, ticks, and mosquitos are out in full force!  Monthly preventives are available here during regular business hours. 

Or visit our online pharmacy –

Unless something changes, the grooming department will reopen on Monday, April 27th.  Call us at 643-2451, to reserve your spot, we’re filling up quickly!

I look forward to seeing you and your furry loved ones once this health crisis is over and life gets back to normal! 

Your Groomer,

Christine (Cat)

Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital & Shamrock Pet Resort

Let’s Have a Potty Party!

By Dogs, Puppy Potty Training, Puppy Training, Tips to Potty Train your DogNo Comments


Potty Training can be hard!

When first looking for a puppy you probably heard people say that having a puppy is a lot of work!

My husband and I were looking for a puppy for quite some time before we found Tucker, but we just never pulled the trigger for some reason.  The first night we brought Tucker home, I figured out what that reason was for me…potty training!

That first night I swear Tucker urinated on every inch of our carpet in the dining and living rooms. Now, this could have been a mix of multiple things like marking his territory in his new home or nerves/stress, but the fact that he came with no potty-training experience didn’t help his case.

If you don’t have this scenario, you are very lucky! But if you do, please read on for good tips and tricks that worked for Tucker and me.

Housetraining can be relatively easy, but you do need to be able to pay attention to detail, be consistent, and be patient. I will warn you, that depending on the breed housetraining can take months.
But don’t worry, it will get better I can promise you that! There was a time I never thought Tucker would be potty trained, but we finally got him on the right track!

Tuesday's With TuckerThe most important things that will help you achieve proper housetraining are:

1. Your pup should be under constant supervision while inside.

2. Pay attention when you are outside with your puppy and use positive reinforcement when he/she urinates or defecates.

3. Keep your pup crated while you are away.

4. Try to keep your pup on a schedule.


It is important to always have an eye on your puppy while he/she is running around in your house. This allows you to quickly put on a leash or scoop ‘em up if he/she begins to urinate or defecate in the house, or hopefully, if you catch them showing the subtle signs (sniffing, wandering, squatting, etc). If your
puppy does start to urinate, startle him/her with a loud sound to hopefully stop the action so you have
time to quickly take him/her outside to finish. I found that quick loud claps worked well for Tucker instead of shouting.

What should you do if you find an accident, but didn’t see your pup do it?

My parents told me, and maybe other people have heard this too, that you were supposed to rub your puppy’s nose in
it.  Please don’t do this, don’t yell at him/her, or punish your pup in anyway. It won’t help.

It is possible you noticed this accident long after it happened, and your pup won’t realize you are yelling at them for that mistake instead of for something he/she just did. The best thing to do is just put them away (crate or
puppy-proofed room) and clean it up, even possibly take him outside.

Let’s Have a Potty Party!

When you are outside with your puppy, take them to a designated area that you will be going to most frequently. The hope is that the more you go there to allow the puppy to eliminate, the more likely he/she will know what to do once they reach this spot. As soon as your puppy is done, immediately praise him/her and give a very tasty treat!

We like to say…have a potty party!

Eventually, if your pup is anything like Tucker, as soon as he/she is done eliminating, they will come straight to you for a treat!

Another helpful tip with housetraining is crating your dog.

In a future post, we can talk specifically about crate training. Crating works great because puppies do not want to eliminate where they sleep or eat, so they are less likely to eliminate in their crate. Usually, when a puppy is in their crate it is because the owner is gone for a few hours or they are sleeping, which means they have to learn to hold their bladder for that period of time. Once the puppy learns how to hold their bladder in the crate, they are more
likely to hold their bladder outside of the crate. Crate training was imperative for Tucker’s potty training!
Because I took him to work with me, he had to stay in the kennel for most of the day as he was too
young for daycare. I noted that every few weeks Tucker could go longer and longer without needing
potty breaks both in and out of the crate.

The last important tip is to get your puppy on a schedule and to know important times to take them
outside. I recommend taking your puppy outside to eliminate after every meal, and even after every
large water consumption. This is because the consumption and digestive process stimulate urination
and defecation, and water moves through a puppy extremely fast. Other times that I recommend taking
your puppy out are when they just woke up from sleep or a nap, or after your pup gets distracted and
stops a long play session. Many times, your puppy won’t realize he/she has to go until it is too late
because they were too busy playing. Finally, I recommend letting your puppy out about every 30-60
minutes when they are very young until they are comfortable going longer. It’s better to take them out
too often and avoid mistakes inside and work towards extending the time between breaks. Puppies may not
develop full bladder control until they are 5 months of age, or possibly longer, depending on the breed
or previous training.

As I said before, stick with the training and the praising! I understand what you are going through and
know it can be frustrating, but I promise you if Tucker can become housetrained then your pup can too!

Dr. Megan & Tucker

Pet Tooth Brushing For Dummies

By Cats, Dental Surgery Pets, Dog Daycare, Dogs, Pet ToothpasteNo Comments

Smooching your pet this Valentine’s Day?

Tooth brushing can be the best investment you make in your pet’s overall health!   The decision to save or extract a tooth starts with you.  Did you know it can also add years to your pet’s life?

Don’t forget, February is National Dental Health Awareness Month!  We’re offering FREE dental exams, 10% off all Cleanings and Products and 30% off Full-Mouth Digital X-rays!

Just like us, pets should have their teeth brushed daily.  You may be thinking, “I can’t brush my dog or cat’s teeth!” 
We recommend starting right away, using an approved toothpaste or simply starting with something they love, like peanut butter or canned cheese, to get your puppy or kitten used to the feel of the toothbrush, then transition to toothpaste. Yes, we know it seems silly to brush baby teeth with something like this, but it’s only for a few days! 


Click this link to see how easy it is to brush your DOG’S TEETH:

Brushing your dog’s teeth

Click here to learn how to brush your CAT’S TEETH:

Brushing your cat’s teeth

Beginning an adult dog is similar, just treat the toothpaste like a treat, take it slowly.  The key is to make it fun, not work!  When your pet is comfortable brushing, spend the most time on the rear teeth, don’t worry so much about hard to reach inside, just the outside rear teeth.

Remember, human toothpaste is NOT safe for pets!

Unfortunately, some of you may already have or use items purchased from a pet store, and unknowingly chose something that is not recommended.  Reading labels on products can be confusing and misleading!  Labels that say “whitening! fresh! works great!” are a few of the misleading phrases used in place of “scientifically proven” or the “VOHC seal of approval”. The Veterinary Oral Health Council, developed in 1997, was established to set
testing protocols for different veterinary dental products.  Only products tested and approved receive the VOHC seal of approval.  We carry all VOHC recommended toothpastes and dental products.

Pet Toothpaste

Flavors include, Beef, Chicken, Seafood, Malt and our favorite, Vanilla Mint

Our most popular and fresh smelling is the Vanilla Mint, choosy pets love the beef, chicken or seafood flavors.  Stay tuned for the other options for at-home dental health care, including food, treats, and rinses.

For more information on their recommended products please check out their website at or ask a Doctor or Technician today!

Does your pet’s smile hurt?

By Cats, Dental Surgery Pets, Dogs, Pet ToothpasteNo Comments

Hi Everyone! 

Jessica Halbrucker, CVT

I’m Jessica Halbrucker, CVT and lover of pet dentistry!

Does your pet’s smile hurt?  Does their breath stink? If so, chances are your pet has some form of Periodontal Disease and we’re here to get to the bottom of it. 

Did you know that your dog has 42 teeth in their mouth or that your cat has 30?! 

Crazy right? Not many people realize this fun fact, because looking in your pet’s mouth may be a challenge. Periodontal disease is one of the top diseases affecting our pets today. It is also one of the most preventable. 

Have you ever noticed when you wake up in the morning that your teeth feel “fuzzy”? This same process affects your pet’s teeth. Biofilm (fuzz) can form within 6-8 hours after brushing and calculus (tartar that turns to plaque) can form in 12-18 hours. 

What is periodontal disease? Well, let’s break it down.  In the veterinary world, we refer to it as Perio.  It has 4 stages.

So what do these stages look like?

Dental Grading Chart

Dental Grading Chart
Image Provided by Parkside Animal Hospital

Stage 1 starts with gingivitis or redness of the gums. This is the only stage that is reversible by daily brushing.

Stage 2 is where we start to see more inflammation in the gums with a small amount of bleeding. On x-ray, we can see the early stages of bone loss.

Stage 3 is more advanced inflammation and we begin to see a gingival recession or gum loss. This is when we can see parts of the root from bone loss. We can see extractions in this stage.

Stage 4 is the worst of the worst. In this stage we can see roots of the tooth; you may also have white or green discharge coming from the areas around the tooth. In this stage, we will be taking a few teeth out. 


If you’re unsure of your pet’s periodontal disease stage give us a call to schedule a complimentary dental exam!


Saturday, Jan 18th from 1-3pm.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth!

How can you prevent this from happening to your pet? Brushing is the gold standard for pets and people.  We understand that brushing your pet’s teeth can be a challenge.  Starting them off at a young age is the key.  We recommend teeth brushing at the first puppy or kitten appointment. Yes, they have baby teeth, and this is the best time to start.

Sometimes even with brushing their teeth every single morning (or at least trying to), we still recommend yearly professional dental cleanings. Why? With the cleanings, we are able to access each tooth, determine if there are any concerns and address them right away. We are also able to clean below the gum line where brushing is not as effective. During these cleanings we also take full mouth radiographs to check out the bone below the gum line there we can see if there is any bone loss, root concerns or even jaw fractures! We will talk about dental x-rays in our next blog! 


There are several approved pet toothpaste options as well as different toothbrush options.

Feline Dental Product

A great choice for cats, easy to use and tastes great!

Pet Toothpaste

Flavors include Beef, Chicken, Seafood, Malt and our favorite, Vanilla Mint

More information can be found on the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website:


Please ask me, Jessica, or another staff member for other suggestions.  We are happy to help!

Jessica Halbrucker, CVT
Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital


Stay tuned for my upcoming blogs on Digital Radiographs and Dental Home Care ideas!



You’re Invited to our DENTAL OPEN HOUSE! Jan 18th, 1-3pm

By Cats, Dental Surgery Pets, Dog Daycare, Dogs, Pet ToothpasteNo Comments

Open House - Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital

You’re invited to our Annual Dental Day! 

Saturday, January 18th, 2020  1-3pm. 

Bring your pet for a FREE dental exam, tour our Animal Hospital, speak with our Dental Surgery Team, learn all about your pet’s dental health AND enter to win a FREE DENTAL GIFT BASKET including FREE DENTAL X-RAYS on your pet’s next dental surgery! 

Call us for more details! 643-2451


Tuesday’s With Tucker – Shamrock Pet Resort Dog Daycare

By Dog Daycare, DogsNo Comments

Tuesday's With TuckerPuppies have a lot of energy, don’t they? Typically this blog will be focused on puppy topics, but this week’s post is relevant to all ages! We are talking about doggy daycare! While you are away at work, or even running errands, what is your dog doing at home? Do you need to have someone let your dog out in the middle of the day? These were definitely the questions I faced as soon as I adopted Tucker. I didn’t want Tucker to be in a crate all day, and he definitely wasn’t completely potty trained (a topic we will talk about another time). I don’t want this post to sound like I am only selling a product, but bringing Tucker to doggy daycare at the Shamrock Pet Resort has been a lifesaver for me some days.

As soon as Tucker turned 16 weeks old I immediately signed him up for daycare. My husband and I both work very long hours and Tucker gets a limited amount of playtime each night. We could tell after sleeping all day in a crate he would release his pent-up energy at night running around with “the zoomies”, making it difficult to calm down and get ready for bed when time, or even for us to do work around the house. On days he goes to daycare he wants to play a bit once we get home but then is ready to snuggle on the couch for the night. This way, getting exercise at daycare that is important for a puppy’s overall health, both physically and mentally, can also be of benefit to you! Even if daycare is not a part of your dog’s regular weekly schedule, I would recommend it on days you know that you’ll be busy with other commitments at night where you can’t give him/her full attention.

Dog DaycareAnother benefit of daycare is that it provides a safe and fun socialization experience with other dogs, and even people! The apartment we live in has many dogs, and I could tell Tucker was afraid of some of them, especially ones that would surprise or bark at him. Daycare has provided Tucker with an experience to investigate and play with multiple different groups of dogs (medium, smaller, older, younger), and now he is not afraid to see, approach, or properly play with other dogs we come across! It is important to start socialization at a young age to prevent future behavioral problems towards animals and people, and can even help with separation anxiety. There are many more benefits to doggy daycare, but these are the ones that have meant the most to my family. I can tell Tucker is excited to see and play with his daycare friends, both two and four-legged, each day, as he runs down the hall to the resort!

Dog Daycare

We can help with puppy potty training!


How does doggie daycare work here at the Shamrock Pet Resort? Your dog has to be at least 16 weeks of age or older, be current on all age-appropriate vaccines, receive monthly preventatives, have proof of a negative fecal for intestinal parasites, and be in good health (ie. no vomiting, diarrhea, or other physical injuries). The same requirements apply to any other dog that your dog will interact with. Each new dog is assessed for proper behavior prior to introducing them to the playgroup. Our skilled staff members are trained to look for signs of aggression or insecurity, observe how they interact with different groups of dogs and test their basic obedience commands. This allows us to know that your dog and other’s dogs will be safe during the supervised play. Safety and fun are our two main goals of daycare! The resort has both an outdoor and indoor facility for the dogs to run around in all day, each with toys and playsets to enjoy!

For more information about prices and package deals (half or full-day), please visit our Daycare Page at

See you next week!

Dr. Megan
Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital



Tuesday’s With Tucker – Chew on this!

By DogsNo Comments

November, 2019


Dr. Megan Krapf

Dr. Megan with Tucker

Hello everyone, Dr. Megan here!

For today’s “Tuesday’s with Tucker” we will be talking a little bit about teething and appropriate toys.  Puppies begin teething and losing baby teeth around 4 months of age, and adult teeth emerge by around 6 months. Did you know that puppies have 28 deciduous (baby) teeth and 42 permanent (adult) teeth?  During this time, you may see your puppy chewing on just about anything, and possibly some unwanted items of yours!  If your puppy begins biting furniture or shoes the best solution is to redirect their attention to toys.  As a last resort, we suggest using bitter apple spray to discourage chewing on individual household items or spots.

Tucker Krapf

Appropriate toys for teething, and ones that I have found Tucker to especially love, are rubber Kong toys and rope toys (stop by anytime and we’ll be happy to help you pick out what will work for you!).  Just like humans, the teething process is painful so freezing soft rubber toys (especially with a little bit of peanut butter), or other toys meant for freezing, helps soothe and massage their gums as they are chewing.  Plush toys can still be used but your puppy may tear up the toys very quickly if they’re anything like Tucker, and can be a hazard.  

I recommend keeping a variety of toys ready that you can pull out one after another so that your pup can keep chewing after losing interest in a certain toy.  There are many toys out there that claim they are safe for teething, but take caution with some.  One rule I like to use is that if you can’t make an indent in the toy with your fingernail, then it is too hard for your pup!

Now, let’s talk about rawhides…they can be a good outlet for a nonstop chewer but can be dangerous depending on how your pup chews.  Rawhides can soften up quickly when they are chewing resulting in less likelihood of fractured teeth, but there is also a risk of ingestion since soft pieces can be torn off.  Hard chewers can also break off large pieces to ingest, even without softening them first. Therefore, with rawhides I recommend limiting the time allowed with them and having direct supervision over your puppy when he/she is chewing them.  There are plenty of rawhide alternatives available that are safe for accidental ingestion.  No matter what, it is always good to monitor your puppy while playing with any toy.

Our next topic will be Doggie Daycare

Please comment below or message us if you have any specific questions about teething or toy options! And as always, give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about your puppy’s teeth!  Learn more about us and request an appointment here:

Dr. Megan
Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital

Tucker and I are here to help!

Dr. Megan Krapf