Homeward Bound: Preparing Your Pet for Surgery

When it comes to animal surgery in Chanhassen, pet owners know they can come to Excelsior Animal Hospital for reliable, trusted and friendly services. In the event your pet requires surgery, whether it be for spaying or neutering, laser surgery, dental, or a more serious type of animal surgery, there are a few things you can do to prepare. We want to take the time to discuss some information that pet owners should keep in mind before and after their pet goes into surgery.

animal surgery

Calm Your Own Nerves

When you’re worried, sometimes your pet can pick up on that. Help control your emotions and remain as calm as possible when you arrive. Understanding what you need to do before and after your animal’s surgery can help drastically. We will provide you with written instructions for your own pet’s unique surgery, of course. But, there are a few things you can familiarize yourself with prior to any animal surgery.
And, the day of surgery, be sure to bring your pet in on time. When you bring her in, be calm and confident when leaving your pet in the veterinarian’s care; when your pet sees you acting calm, they feel calmer themselves.

Food & Water Restrictions

For everything except emergency animal surgery without forewarning, there will likely be some recommended food restrictions for your pet. For many dogs, food needs to be cut off the night before. Restricting food is important for animal surgery, as anesthetics can sometimes cause vomiting. Having the stomach empty of any food can minimize these risks. But, if by accident, your pet ingests something the morning of surgery, call your veterinarian. An elective procedure such as a spay, neuter or dental surgery can be rescheduled.
Water also needs to be restricted for the same reasons as food. The only difference is some pets, like dogs, can usually have water until early in the morning of the surgery. Your veterinarian will let you know when the water should be cut off.


If your pet is taking any medications including flea, tick or heartworm preventatives, your vet may recommend waiting a couple days until after the surgery to give it to them. Or, depending on the medication, you may be able to keep giving it to them as usual. We will speak with you ahead of time and let you know what to do.
And, after you go home with your pet, it is important you understand any medications they are taking home with them. We will provide you with thorough instructions. But, if you think you may have trouble giving your pet medications, ask for some added instructions or tips.

animal surgery

Back Home

Make sure you read your vet’s instructions thoroughly and they will let you know when to reintroduce water and food as well as how to protect the incision. And remember, many anesthetics allow pets to recover quickly, but some can pets can still seem wobbly or groggy when they get home. Protect him from himself, though, and don’t allow him to run, jump, climb or otherwise put himself in a position where he can fall or damage his incision. Also remember to protect children and other animals as your pet may be a little confused from the anesthetics and the events of the day.

If you would like more information about animal surgery in Chanhassen, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Don’t Neglect Your Pet’s Teeth

February marks National Pet Dental Health Month, so this is the perfect time to remind you about the importance of dental care for your pets. We often neglect our pet’s teeth; however, maintaining those pearly whites is an important aspect of pet care. As specialists in animal dentistry near Shorewood, we want to share some important tips with all pet owners concerning dental care.

Annual Check Up

Your pet’s teeth should be checked by a qualified veterinarian at least once a year. We have the proper tools and experience needed to thoroughly clean the teeth and check for any signs of problems. Most dental disease occurs below the gumline where it is not seen. Therefore, an exam by a veterinarian is necessary to find any problems.

Animal Dentistry Shorewood

Signs of Dental Problems

There are some signs you can look for in your pet that may indicate a dental check up should be scheduled soon. If you notice any of these in your pet, give us a call to schedule an appointment.

  • Bad breath

  • Broken or loose teeth

  • Discolored teeth or teeth covered in tartar

  • Reduced appetite/refusal to eat

  • Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping of food

  • Bleeding or swelling in or around the pet’s mouth

Pet Dental Issues

Animals have different problems with their teeth than humans. Cavities and tooth decay are rare in pets. The most common dental problem seen in pets is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a term used to describe inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth. Accumulation of tartar on the teeth contributes to gum recession around the base of the tooth, which leads to infection. If gone unnoticed and untreated, the disease can lead to loss of teeth and more serious health issues that affect more than the pet’s mouth.

Regular Dental Care

Preventing tartar buildup with regular cleaning and examinations is the best way to prevent periodontal disease and other dental issues from affecting your pets. Brushing your pet’s teeth a few times a week is the most effective thing you can do. Most dogs will accept brushing. Cats are definitely more resistant, but with patience and training they can learn to accept it. We can show you the best way to brush your pet’s teeth as well as cover the types of products to use for your pet’s dental wellness. Don’t neglect the annual checkup so we can do a deeper cleaning and check for early signs of any problems.

For more information on animal dentistry in Shorewood and the surrounding areas, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

A Pet Hospital You Can Trust

You want to choose the right pet hospital for your beloved pets. At Excelsior Animal Hospital, we understand this and treat all of our patients with care and compassion. Knowing that your beloved pet is in great care, even for a routine check-up, offers you peace of mind.

Minnetonka Pet Hosptial

As a pet hospital near Minnetonka, we assist the animals within your family, and therefore you, always going the extra mile to ensure that all animals that walk through our doors receive the best veterinary care possible. And, if you are near Minnetonka, do not hesitate to schedule your pets’ upcoming vaccinations and check-ups with us!

Services Rendered
Our pet hospital provides the services your pet needs and then some. Does that brand new puppy of yours require shots and/or a spay or neuter? Maybe you are in need of annual wellness care. We conduct standard and laser surgery as well as provide dentistry services. An in-house laboratory, pharmacy and digital radiology system help to round out our services.

In addition to the services mentioned above, we offer cooperative emergency services, should something unforeseen happen to your beloved pet. All of this adds up to reliable and trustworthy veterinary care for your pets.

Scheduling Appointments
If you would like to schedule an appointment at our pet hospital, simply give us a call. We will get you and your pet in as soon as we have an opening that works for you. If you will be bringing your pet to us for the first time, you can print out the required New Client Forms and have them ready for your initial visit.

Don’t trust your pet’s health to just anyone; be sure you find a pet hospital you can trust! If you would like to learn more about our pet hospital serving Minnetonka and the surrounding areas, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106 or you can Contact Us.

Pill That Pet With Tips From a Veterinarian

If your pet is ill near Excelsior Minnesota, the diagnosis may come with a medication to administer to your pet, usually in the form of a pill. Some pets willingly take medications. Others present a series of challenges that have you dreading the act long before you even begin. Veterinarians are no strangers to medicating pets. If you are looking for a veterinarian In Chanhassen or nearby locales, call us today! The doctors at Excelsior Animal Hospital would like to share the following tips for giving pills to your pet.

Do not be intimidated. Most pet owners do not know how to properly pill their cat or dog. A little finesse and technique can help you outwit your pet. Knowing your pet and their behavior will help to achieve maximum medicating efficiency. Is your pet relaxed and laid back or will you have a struggle on your hands?

  • Food: Perhaps your pet is a food lover? The old standby – the tried and true method – involves placing medication in your pet’s food dish. This method gives mixed results. A pet’s sense of smell tends to far exceed that of their owner, so they may avoid the medication by eating around it. This technique may work for your pet for a while, but you will likely have to eventually try new methods. Making the medication a part of the meal by placing it inside of a meatball or pill pocket, for example, may work better than placing it on top of their food in the dish. Offer two to three meatballs by hand without medication in them. Follow the plain meatballs with a pill loaded meatball.
  • Direct pilling: If you are fortunate enough to have a laid back pet, it may be helpful to learn the pill administration technique utilized by your veterinarian. To pill most pets, gently grab the top portion of your pet’s mouth with your weaker hand. Tilt the mouth and nose towards the ceiling. Use the pointer finger of your dominant hand to pry open the mouth by applying gentle pressure downward on the bottom jaw. Quickly plop the pill on the back of the tongue and gently press down, which will initiate the swallow reflex. Swiftly close the mouth, rubbing the throat until the medication is swallowed. This is a technique that may only work on the most agreeable pets. Watch for claws – you can wrap the body and legs in a towel or blanket to avoid being scratched.

If you are still having difficulty pilling your pet, the veterinarians at Excelsior Animal Hospital will gladly take the time to walk you through proper technique to establish a system that works for you. If you would like more information on a veterinarian serving Chanhassen and local towns, or to schedule an appointment, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106.

August is Pet Vaccination Month!

The month of August—all month long—is Pet Vaccination Month across the country. If you are seeking a veterinarian who can keep your animals current with their pet vaccinations near Excelsior, look no further than Excelsior Animal Hospital. We would like to take the time to share with you the benefits of keeping your pets up-to-date on their shots.

We make efforts to show our love to our pets daily, letting them know that they are cared for. We walk our pets, feed them, guaranteeing that they have the nutrients and exercise required to allow a long and healthy life. Our pets need the same deal of medical love as do our human family members. To keep your pets moving into the future, give them the medical attention they require, protecting them from infection and disease with vaccinations for their lifestyle.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has named August as Immunization Month in the hopes of it serving as a yearly reminder to all pet owners that their animals need to get and stay up-to-date with vaccinations to keep them generally healthy and free of disease. Lacking proper vaccinations, your pet can easily acquire airborne pathogens as well as acquiring them from other animals, per the American Humane Association.

Pet vaccinations are categorized in two ways—core and noncore pet vaccines. Core pet vaccines refer to those that are recommended for all pets. Your noncore vaccines are accessory shots that provide additional measures for animals who spend a significant amount of time outdoors or for those who are groomed or boarded from time-to-time.

As a caring pet owner, you must be vigilant in maintaining a clear and concise schedule of vaccinations for your pet, much like you would for a child. Core vaccines for the canine community include Rabies and the Distemper Combo. Lyme, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella are also popular for dogs.

If you would like more information on pet vaccinations in Excelsior or neighboring areas, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Add More Know Where With a Pet Microchip

Keeping track of the exact whereabouts of your pet, should it go temporarily missing, is of the utmost importance. Recent developments in technology have made it possible that should your dog or cat bolt from your property, they can be tracked and found. Sadly, even to this very day, not all house pets have had pet microchips installed/inserted. Should your Tonka Bay animal need a pet microchip, look no further than Excelsior Animal Hospital.

Many questions exist for owners on just what the process involves and what the benefits actually are of pet microchips. We will help clear up some of these mysteries and provide some easy steps to follow with regard to the pet microchip.


  • It may just be that your dog or cat or lizard already has a pet microchip. The answers to this question can be provided to a veterinary office or local animal shelter. Most of these entities carry a universal scanner that would be capable of reading all pet microchip types.


  • Should your pet be found to have a chip implanted, have the vet or shelter provide you with the number. A trip to www.org. This will then lead you to the company that sold the pet microchip. You will then have the opportunity to register the chip at www.found.org.

Pet Microchip—

  • If a chip cannot be pinpointed via scan, simply have a pet microchip implanted via your veterinarian. Keep all paperwork associated with the chipping, keep it amongst your records.


  • Once pet microchip is implanted, register the number for free at www.found.org. You will be using the microchip to register pertinent information on your pet such as your contact information, which will be contained within the overall pet microchip database. Should your pet meander off of your family’s path, the animal can be taken to a vet or shelter (by whomever should encounter the animal) and ultimately traced back to you.

Updating Information—

  • As you move to different locations (out of your home, get a new phone number, etc.) be sure to make return trips to continuously update your pet’s information.


  • The pet microchip should be looked upon as a back-up to standard pet identification, such as tags. The collar is the first place anyone finding a wayward cat or dog would look. The identification tags should be constantly kept up to date with your most current information.


If you would like more information on a pet microchip in Tonka Bay or the surrounding area, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

What You Should Know about Animal Dentistry

animal dentistry wayzata excelsior animal hospitalOne of the most important components of comprehensive pet care is proper dental care. Your pet’s mouth is important to his health and well-being. Our animal hospital offers animal dentistry near Wayzata, so we thought we would take the time to address some common veterinary dental problems and how they’re usually resolved.

Losing teeth

While it’s normal for young pets to lose baby teeth, if your adult pet loses a tooth, you should give us a call so we can check their mouth. An adult dog or cat that loses a tooth could have had trauma to the face, or they might have advanced periodontal disease. If tooth loss is detected, give us a call so we can scheule an appointment to have a comprehensive oral exam.

Swollen or red gums

This is one of the most commonly diagnosed problems in your pet’s mouth. Swollen and bleeding gums are often a result of periodontal disease. Over time, plaque can build up teeth and gums and turn into a substance called tartar. Bacteria will then travel into the gum tissue and lead to something called gingivitis. If left unchecked, it will turn into periodontal disease and eventually lead to tooth loss. You can help prevent this by regularly brushing your dog’s teeth and getting his or her teeth examined on a regular basis by your family veterinarian.


Sometimes, even just the act of chewing on a toy can cause a cracked or broken tooth. Pets often may not show outward signs of pain or discomfort or experience difficulty eating until dental disease is quite advanced. That’s why it’s so vital that you keep an eye on your pet’s mouth and schedule regular dental exams. Keep an eye on what your dog chews on, and don’t allow chewing on rocks or anything hard. Bring your dog or cat to us for a professional veterinary exam if you spot a cracked or broken tooth, even if he or she is not showing any signs of pain or discomfort.

Tooth root abscess

Tooth roots are under the gumline and may be infected or abscessed without outward signs. You should try to look in your dog’s mouth to see if you can detect any swelling or other signs of an infection. Your veterinarian can perform dental X-rays under general anesthesia to check for an abscess, and your pet may need to have the infected tooth surgically extracted. Your veterinarian can provide anesthesia, antibiotics and pain medication as needed for such an important dental procedure.

For more information on animal dentistry near Wayzata, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Important Information about Heartworms

heartworm and flea prevention shorewood excelsior animal hospitalWhen it comes to heartworm and flea prevention, Shorewood pet owners know they can come to our animal hospital for help. We want to take the time to discuss some information that all pet owners should know, specifically about what heartworms are, the signs your pet has them and what you can do to prevent them.

What are Heartworms?

Heartworms are worms that grow to be about a foot long, and they can live in a pet’s heart, lungs and blood vessels. While we usually treat dogs and cats with this problem, heartworms can also live in many other animals, like ferrets, foxes and wolves, just to name a few. If heartworms are left untreated, they will continue to breed within the infected animal and cause serious health issues and, eventually, death.

Mosquitoes are often the culprit when it comes to transmitting heartworms. The mosquitoes will bite an infected animal. Within the animal’s blood are the baby heartworms. The mosquitoes will then bite other animals and transmit these worms into the other animal’s bloodstream.

What are Some Signs that My Pet is Infected?

If your pet displays any of these symptoms, you need to bring him or her to our veterinary hospital as soon as possible. Thankfully, there are many different ways we can help with heartworm and flea prevention, so you might not ever have to worry that your pet has this issue.

During the early stages of infection, your dog might not show any symptoms. But as the heartworms mature and spread, you might notice a persistent cough, a reluctance to exercise, fatigue, a decrease in appetite and weight loss. If the heartworm problem is really bad, your dog will have pale gums, trouble breathing and/or bloody or dark-colored urine.

For cats, they will experience some of the same symptoms: coughing, vomiting, weight loss and a lack of appetite. However, some cats will not exhibit any symptoms until it’s too late.

What Can I Do to Prevent Heartworms?

Like we mentioned before, there are methods of heartworm and flea prevention available today that do not require frequent trips to the vet or even a lot of money. Your dog should be tested for them on a yearly basis and your cat should also be tested for them regularly as well. There are monthly pills that you can give your dog to help with prevention too.

If you would like more information on heartworm and flea prevention in Shorewood or the surrounding areas, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Seven Reasons Animal Dentistry is Important

If you own a pet, then you want to do everything you can to ensure its health and well being. Did you know that caring for its teeth and oral health is one of the best things you can do to keep your pet healthy? We offer animal dentistry in Excelsior, and here are a few reasons you should call us to check on your dog or cat’s teeth and mouth.

  • Problems with your pet’s mouth or teeth can lead to problems with its heart and other organs. If you schedule regular appointments with our animal dentistry department, you could possibly prevent more painful and complex health issues for your dog or cat.
  • Your dog or cat is very good at hiding its pain. You might not know that it has a tooth ache or another problem until it is too late or far advanced.
  • Animal dentistry can help your pet avoid the sometimes painful process of losing teeth. Proper dental care can help keep this from happening. If we spot a tooth that needs to be removed, we can do it so your pet does not feel any pain.
  • animal dentistry excelsior animal hospital
  • Have you ever smelled your pet’s breath? Proper dental care can also help with bad breath and similar problems like problems with chewing.
  • Our animal dentistry service can professionally clean your pet’s teeth, and during that time we can take a look to see if there are any other problems that need to be addressed.
  • You should brush your pet’s teeth at least once a day. After all, you probably brush your teeth at least twice a day, so it stands to reason your pet’s should be brushed on a regular basis too.
  • Animal dentistry can also help protect against periodontal disease. This is the main cause of early tooth loss in dogs and cats, and it is a progressive disease. So if it’s left unchecked, it will just get worse. It is caused by a build-up of bacteria and food particles that get stuck in between the tooth and the gums. It will then begin to form plaque, which will then harden into tartar. That build-up will then drive the bacteria down into the gum line and can cause an infection.

Do you want more information about animal dentistry in Excelsior? Call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can Contact Us.

Chocolate Poisoning: Symptoms and What to Do

While chocolate is a tasty treat for human beings, it is the exact opposite for dogs and cats. Chocolate is toxic to our furry friends, and if ingested, it can cause a variety of health issues ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures, coma and death. As an animal hospital near Minnetonka, we have helped many pet owners like you when their pet has accidentally eaten chocolate. Here are some of the warning signs that your pet has ingested chocolate.

Why is Chocolate Toxic to Dogs and Cats?

Chocolate comes from the roasted seeds of the plant Theobroma cacao. The seeds contain caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic to animals like dogs and cats. While dogs tend to get into chocolate more often than cats (probably because dogs tend to be more curious about “people food”), chocolate toxicity can negatively affect both types of animals. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, call our animal hospital for an appointment as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can sometimes vary from animal to animal, but there are a few symptoms to keep an eye out for no matter what kind of pet you have:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Increase in body temperature and reflex responses
  • Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Overall weakness

These are only a few signs of chocolate poisoning. The amount and type of chocolate that your pet ingests also play a part in the severity of the poisoning and its symptoms. Baking chocolate has the highest concentrations of caffeine and theobromine. Milk chocolate has the lowest concentrations and semi-sweet chocolate falls somewhere in between. Not only is the chocolate itself a potential threat, but the foil and wrappers can cause problems as well, like intestinal blockage and discomfort.

What to Do if You Suspect Chocolate Poisoning

If you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested chocolate, or if they are already showing signs of chocolate toxicity, please call our animal hospital right away to get an appointment. If it is after hours, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 for assistance or take your pet to Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service in Eden Prairie at 952-942-8272.

If you bring your pet to us, we will do a thorough exam and we may run several other tests, including a urinalysis and a blood chemistry test. Activated charcoal may be administered to slow further chocolate absorption, and we may administer IV fluids as well to help flush the toxins out of your pet. Your pet will also be given fluids. You will also probably be advised to keep your pet on a bland diet for the next several days until any gastrointestinal upset has resolved.

Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep chocolate and all other toxic items out of reach and away from curious critters!

For more information on our animal hospital near Minnetonka, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106 or Contact Us.