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

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