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The Raw Truth, Part 2: The Risky Business of Raw Diets

Advocates of raw diets argue that raw diets are better for cats and dogs, but the purported benefits of raw diets are either not supported by research or are not due to the diet being raw per se (see "Raw Mince MeatThe Raw Truth, Part 1", located under Westgate Pet Clinic's "our veterinarian's page" under Dr. Karlin).


Since there are no demonstrated benefits and there are risks associated with feeding raw diets, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) have both issued statements against feeding raw diets to cats and dogs. The main objections to feeding raw diets relate to concerns about bacterial contamination and concerns that raw diets may not be complete and balanced.

New Canine Influenza Vaccine available for "Midwest Strain" of flu

In the spring of 2015, the Midwest had a scare with a “Dog flu” outbreak in Chicago.  The Chicago outbreak affected several hundred dogs and led to a small number of fatVirusalities.


To make matters worse, it was determined that the outbreak was caused by a strain of canine influenza not previously seen in the United States.  This new strain, H3N2, was thought to have originated in Asia.


For the past decade, the only known canine influenza virus type was strain H3N8.  This strain of influenza has been traveling around the United States and causing outbreaks of infection for many years. 


The new H3N2 strain of influenza did make its way to Minnesota and confirmed cases were found in dogs residing in Detroit Lakes and St. Paul.  


Up until recently, the only canine influenza vaccine that was available was for the H3N8 strain.  Westgate Pet Clinic was previously recommending vaccinating dogs for H3N8, with the hopes that it would provide some protection against the H3N2 strain.


Westgate Pet Clinic now has the H3N2 strain of influenza vaccine available.  This vaccine needs to be boostered 3 weeks after the initial vaccine, and then yearly after that.


What do our clients say?

  • Dr Perry Takes extra time to make sure my pet is comfortable, answers all of my questions, and works with me to find the best solutions for us. He also genuinely cares about my pet's well being. My dog gets better health care than I do :( (10/2016)

  • We have been coming to Westgate for almost 40 years. We always feel that our pets are getting the best care and everyone always calls back and answers all of our questions. Only wish we didn't have to visit so often lately. (11/2016)

  • My cat Maggie was a day patient for nearly a week when she was recovering from pancreatitis. I really appreciated that the techs noticed she was anxious and made her a little cardboard box fort to hide in. And they snuggled her every day. Thank you! (12/2016)

  • I started going to Westgate when I lived a block away and still go there even though we've moved away. They have always shown so much care for our beasties, from the hissing and spitting "turns feral at the vet" cat to our scarediest scaredy cat. (1/2017)

  • Courteous and professional staff. When I had to have my beloved kitty put down, everyone was amazingly compassionate and kind. They did everything imaginable to make an awful experience bearable.(2/2017)

  • There is no better care in the Twin Cities. Westgate has the nicest people and the best doctors. At 12 and 13, my dogs are still living happy and wonderful lives. Westgate offers great services like acupuncture as well. (3/2017)

  • Westgate's staff & Dr Hageman are consistently FABULOUS. I am ever grateful they are in my life & my pets' lives. Dr Hageman is truly a sleuth when it comes to identifying & fixing problems & is the finest cat whisperer this side of the Mississippi! (3/2017)

  • We LOVE Dr. Melvin and Westgate! We are with our 2nd dog with Dr. Melin and can't say enough about his professionalism and knowledge. He's very thorough and always makes us feel at ease about our concerns. Thanks Dr. Melin!!!! (04/2017)

  • Doctor Hageman was exceptional with our pet. She is incredibly kind and shows such tender care with the pets she treats. It is almost as though she has a sixth sense with animals. Our cat was much calmer with her than she is with other vets. (5/2017)

  • We've been bringing Oscar to Westgate for over a decade and all the amazing doctors have been so caring and compassionate. We count on them to keep him in good health, especially now that he's a senior gentleman! Hurray for Westgate!! (5/2017)
  • The staff is always friendly and helpful. They remember my pets! Also, Dr. Perry is gentle with my animals and is extremely knowledgeable. We wouldn't go anywhere else! (6/2017)

  • Totally professional yet very friendly and loving to my dog...doctor is especially nice to Remy and seems to genuinely like him and takes time with him...feel valued and also trust that Remy is getting very good vet care. (6/2017)

  • Always have had a good experience at Westgate. Been taking my dogs there since I moved into the neighborhood back in 1991. (7/2017)

  • Dr. Perry is exceptional in his thoroughness, including a follow-up call I received this morning from one of the Clinic staff. I continue to recommend this Clinic to everyone I can! (7/2017)

  • We have been coming to Westgate with our dogs since about 1991 and have always had great experiences. Injuries/ illnesses/ infections/ surgeries: very pleased with everything and our dogs have never minded coming in! (7/2017)

  • We have been coming to WPC since Bowie was a puppy; he is now 12yrs old! You all have been a part of our family since before puppy "school"; we are so very thankful to have you close-by as we love our Bowie through his "puppy of a certain age" years. (7/2017)

  • I walked into Westgate Pet Clinic more than 25 years ago, because of their reputation and a very sick dog who needed great care... Dr. Porter was amazing, and my continued relationship speaks volumes regarding the great care my pups recieve today! (7/2017)

  • From the receptionists to the technicians to the vets, they are the BEST. Been going there for 18 years. Wouldn't take my pet anywhere else. (9/2017)

  • Westgate Pet Clinic has given excellent service to our kitties for many, many years. We wouldn't think of going to any other vet services. The doctors are great especially Dr. Karlin and Dr. Perry. The technicians are professional and welcoming. (9/2017)

  • My long term commitment (26 years?) to Westgate as our Veterinary Clinic speaks to the high regard I have for the care my pets and myself receive from all employees. I have always been pleased with the services we have received. Thank you! (9/2017)

  • Staff is always professional and friendly. Dr. Mirodone not only is a great veterinary physician, she really takes the time to understand what is going on with your pet and tries to find the very best solution. (9/2017)

  • Professional, kind, knowledgeable, patient, willing to answer any questions.(10/2017)

  • All of the staff are wonderful! (10/2017)

  • We have had nothing but great experiences at your clinic! Dr. Karlin is compassionate and makes our dogs' trips to the vet as comfortable for them as possible. (10/2017)

  • The vets and techs at Westgate take the time to explain what is going on and to provide options when they are available. I like the large waiting area too so my dog, who is shy, can have some safe space. (10/2017)

  • We absolutely LOVE Westgate! Our primary vet, Dr Hershey, truly cares about our dogs and our family. MANY thanks to everyone in your office, Dr Melin, Dr Aliano, Dr Perry, each and every vet tech. Kind, compassionate lovely people! (11/201717)

  • The doctors, and people at the desk are great... Friendly, helpful, and so patient with me....reassuring me I’m not bothering them (when I’m giving them SO much information, or trying to decide if I should bring her in and I ask so many questions) 😻 (11/2017)

  • From easy check-ups to major health crises, Westgate has been with us and our dog through the thick and thin. They strike the perfect balance of professionalism and expertise with empathy for pets and their owners. We know we're in good hands with WG. (12/2017)

  • Because Westgate is awesome and all of the doctors listen to my concerns and treat my dogs like my children. (12/2017)

  • You have cared for my dogs for many years and have always given us up-to-date treatment plans and options. I feel like you are partners with me in the long-term health of my dogs. (12/2017)


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Tips to keep your pet safe during the holidays

Looking for some advice and tips on how to keep your pets safe during the holidays? Read below to learn more.

Christmas Trees – Make sure you securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip over and injure your pet. This can also prevent the tree water from spilling and your pet drinking the water. The water can end up making your pet sick. It could contain fertilizers, or even bacteria that can give you pet diarrhea.

Mistletoe and Holly- Holly when eaten by your pet can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Me can Mistletoe can also cause gastrointestinal upset and even cardiovascular problems. It is best to opt for artificial plants made from silk or plastic. If you must have the real thing, make sure you keep them out of the reach of your pets.

Tinsel – Kittens and Cats love playing with sparkley tinsel. But playing with tinsel can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, vomiting, dehydration, and even surgery.

Christmas Lights and Candles – Unattended lights can burn pets. It is best to keep a watchful eye if you have lights lit in your home. Candles are something that should also be watched carefully. Pets can accidently knock them over causing a fire.

Wires – With all the wires that are put up during the holidays they can provide a new thing for pets to be curious about. In their investigating they could easily bite or chew threw the wires causing them to get shocked or even killed. Wires can also cause less severe injuries like wounds in their mouth or paws.

Holiday foods and Candy – The holiday usually bring with it a large amount of candy and food . Pets should never eat any human candy or sweets. The sweetener xylitol can be lethal to pets. Make sure those end tables with bowls of candy are out of the reach of your pets.

Alcohol – If your holiday plans include adult beverages, make sure to place any unattended drinks out of reach of your pets. Pets can die from drinking alcohol.

These are just a few tips to help keep your pets safe during the holidays. This should help make sure both you and your pet have an enjoyable and stress free holiday.

If you have any questions about the do’s and don’ts for your pet during the holidays, please contact us and we would be glad to help.

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.


Contact Us

Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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