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Valentine's Day tips for safe and happy celebrations with pets


Happy Valentines Day!

As we noted in our last blog, holidays can pose many hazards for our pets. Valentine's Day is no exception. Here are a few Valentine's Day hazards to avoid:…ations-with-pets

Have a healthy and happy holiday season – avoid these pet holiday hazards!

The holidays should be full of good cheer, not stressful visits to the vet.  Don’t let a pet emergency ruin your holiday season.  Click this link, or on our blog icon, to read a list of holiday pet hazards to avoid this holiday season:

Holiday pet hazards

Are grain-free pet diets dangerous? 

Are grain-free pet diets dangerous? 

The FDA reports a possible link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs.


There are a lot of buzz words when it comes to pet foods.  But what does it all mean?  There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what to feed our pets.  Unfortunately, we are discovering that there may be some dangerous consequences (read more here):

Right pawed or left pawed? Which is your pet’s preference?

Is your cat or dog left-handed or right-handed? What can that tell you about his/her behavior and health?

Our handedness is a part of our identity.  For those of you lefties who make up approximately 10% of the population, your handedness can be a point of pride and a source of frustration, having to live in a world designed for right-handed people.  It is suggested that your handedness may even be linked to certain personality traits.  But have you ever thought about whether your furry friends might have a paw preference? (…-pets-preference)

Fireworks and Thunderstorm fears or anxiety

Get ready...firework and thunderstorm season is upon us! For many pet owners, this can be a trying time. The loud booms of fireworks and thunder leave many pets distraught. So what's a pet owner to do?

Read our Blog:  How do I know if my pet has storm or firework anxiety?

Why do dogs eat grass? 

Grass certainly doesn't seem like a delicacy.  In fact, it tastes downright terrible. (Who hasn't tried grass sometime when they were a kid?).  So why do dogs tear into it with such passion?  Not much is known about why dogs eat grass, but studies indicate that it is a common and normal behavior of most domestic dogs.

It is estimated that 79% of dogs engage in plant eating behaviors (read more)

Heartworm Awareness

April is the official Heartworm Awareness Month, but whenever the temperature is above freezing it is Heartworm Awareness Month.

At long last the winter chill is starting to abate! But with the coming of warmer weather, comes greater concern for transmission of heartworm disease to our pets.

Although heartworm disease is a concern year round, (read more)

Contest extension - Dental Health Photo Contest

We had some technical difficulties with our email, so we have extended our contest through the end of March.

We apologize to those who sent us pictures that did not arrive as expected.  So please - keep sending in your pictures (our email is or come by the office and we'll take your pet's picture in our dental health kissing booth! 

We've updated our orginal post with the revised dates:

We're holding a "Kissing Booth Dental Health" pictures contest - please join in on the fun! And, possibly win $100 toward your pet's next dental cleaning at Carlson Animal Hospital.

To celebrate Pet Dental Health Month 2018, we are having a photo contest! Participants “best kiss” or “smile” photos will be featured on our Facebook page or be displayed in our lobby. Voting will take place on Facebook (likes/loves) and in the lobby of Carlson Animal Hospital through the end of March.

Our goal is to raise awareness for the importance of oral health and of course have fun photographing our furry friends.

Participants are invited to stop in our office to receive a toothbrush or sample toothpaste, and a Valentine bandanna while supplies last. Five Carlson Animal Hospital clients, and their pet, will win $100 off their next dental cleaning (within one year of entry). Non-participants and participants are encouraged to vote via Facebook or in the lobby for their favorite smile or kiss.

Additional details:

When is the contest?:
• Photos will be accepted from February 1st -28th.
• Voting will continue until March 31st. (We extended the contest due to technical issues with our email.)
• Winners will be announced online and in our office between March 31st and April 6th.

How will winners be chosen?:
1 via Facebook, 1 from in-office entries, and 3 selected randomly from all entries.

How to Enter our Pet Photo Contest for February - March 2018?:

Entering via our Facebook page:
1.) Email your photo to with the subject line “Pet Photo Contest.”
2.) Your email must include your full name (as listed in our files) and your pet's name.
3) We will post them on our Facebook page.


Entering at Carlson Animal Hospital ( in our lobby):
1.) Please bring a copy of your 4 x 6 photo into our office.
2.) We will label it for you and display it within 24 hours of entry

Can I catch a cold from my cat?

To make a long answer short: technically yes, but it is very rare.

If you and your cat have an upper respiratory infection (URI or in layman's terms "cold") around the same time, it is likely coincidental.  (read more)

Senior Pets – Part 3 of 3

In our three part series of posts on Senior and geriatric pets we focused on:

Part 1: Describing/defining a senior or geriatric pet

Part 2: Important Conditions and Focus Areas for an aging pet

In part 3 of our 3 part posts we will focus on Medical Management / Early Detection and Screening

Medical Management / Early Detection and Screening

   Although the list of medical conditions can be very long in our older pets, many of them can be managed successfully. (more)

Senior Pets – part 2 of 3

Aging is not a disease

In our first of three posts on Senior Pets, we reported the good news that our pets are living longer and healthier lives. We celebrated our privilege of participating in this change during the 37 years of our practice. We covered the definitions of aging and what this means for our pets.

In this post we address: Important Conditions and  Focus Areas (more)

Senior pets – Part 1 of 3

Senior/ Geriatric Pet Health

We are happy to report that our pets are living much longer healthier lives. We’ve been a part of the great changes in veterinary medicine for these 35+ years and continue to keep up with the pace of the advancements.

No matter the life stage – growth, adult, senior/geriatric – we work hard to help you make the best of each of your pet’s stages. (more)

Dr. Carlson attended the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum

Dr. Carlson attended the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum last month in National Harbor, Maryland 

Dr. Carlson looks forward to attending the ACVIM Forum every year to learn the latest, greatest and most current research and information in new therapies and treatments in small animal medicine. The top veterinary specialists in the world attend and present their newest research findings. He attends sessions presented by experts in veterinary cardiology, small animal medicine (including gastroenterology, endocrinology and nephrology), neurology, and oncology.

This year Dr. Carlson focused on endocrinology and gastroenterology. He learned about some important new advances in the management of Diabetes Mellitus and Cushing's disease. He also learned about some of the new exciting gastrointestinal discoveries that are changing our understanding of the importance of the GI system in overall health and wellbeing. As a result, new therapies are being developed that will improve the quality of life for our patients.

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections

Aachoooo!  Uh oh.

First a sneeze, then what next? A runny nose?  Watery eyes? A cough? To you, these are the signs of a cold . . . .(more)

Osteoarthritis in our dog and cat companions

Our canine and feline companions are living long active lives well into their geriatric years. Therefore assessing and treating osteoarthritis is an important part of geriatric pet care. Many pet owners (more)

Diabetes Mellitus In Cats and Dogs: A General Understanding

Early detection of diabetes mellitus

The increase in diabetes mellitus in cats and dogs mirrors the increase in people; it can be serious and is on the rise. Because of this, we recommend an annual physical examination to address any early warning signs. (more)

Feline Renal Disease

Over the years we have seen many changes in feline health, from advancements in medical knowledge and techniques to increasing longevity in our feline companions. At Carlson Animal Hospital . . . (more)

How frequently do indoor cats need a physical examination and vaccinations?

As veterinarians, we know a feline physical examination appointment may be a big event for you and your pet.  It frequently begins well before you step into the exam room.

There’s often a game of hide and seek more

Tick season is upon us and prevention is key to protecting our pets

Eek!  Ticks!  They are the stuff of nightmares.

With eight spindly legs, crunchy exoskeletons, blood sucking mouthparts and ninja-like stealth, ticks dredge up feelings read more

Heart murmurs in Cats

During an examination we sometimes detect a heart murmur in a cat, but this finding is not always cause for immediate concern. During an exam more

Sponsorship Campaign Against Blood Cancers - Light the Night with Dr Carlson and his family

New Dental Video Series - "Why do our pets need dental care?"

Video on the Impact of not doing dental cleanings

New video explaining what happens the day of your pet's dental procedure

Anesthesia - what happens prior to anesthesia?

How long is a dental procedure, and what happens in recovery?

Great first experience at Carlson Animal Hospital!

– Melissa Drysdale

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