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Palliative care focuses on a pet's comfort and quality of life

Palliate (verb): to relieve or lessen without curing.Old dog free
For many of us, pets are family, and dealing with a beloved animal's illness or declining health is very difficult. Although it can be an emotional topic to discuss, providing palliative care is an essential part of veterinary medicine. Palliative care is comfort care for pets with conditions that cannot be cured. Pets with serious health conditions, such as cancer, as well as otherwise healthy pets with age-related changes, such as arthritis, can benefit from palliative care.
The cornerstones of palliative care for pets include pain management, nutritional support and optimizing home space to increase comfort. Specific medications and care depend on the pet's and owner's needs. The goal is to provide compassionate, non-invasive, practical help that can significantly improve quality of life, and sometimes extend a pet's life. As the end of a pet's life nears, palliative care may also include hospice care.
Being able to provide this kind of help to pets and their people is deeply meaningful and important to us. Let us know if we can help.


The Raw Truth, Part 1: The Truth Behind Purported Benefits of Raw Diets

sliced-porkWith the interest in whole and natural foods for people, there has been an increase in popularity of raw diets for pets.*  Advocates of raw diets argue that raw diets are better for cats and dogs.  Reviewing these arguments shows they are based on three basic tenets:  1) cats and dogs are carnivores and evolved eating raw meats so should be fed a raw diet, 2) cooking foods alters their nutrients, making them less available, and destroys important enzymes used in digestion, 3) raw diets are beneficial for pets’ coats, immune function, allergies, and teeth. 

What is the truth about raw diets?

Higher than normal alkaline phosphatase levels in dogs—What to make of it?

My veterinarian just told me that my dog’s alkaline phosphatase levels are high.  What is alkaline phosphatase?
Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme that is found in your dog’s bloodstream.  We  commonly refer to this enzyme as ALP or ALK PHOS.  There are three versions of the  enzyme: 1) Bone‐ALP, 2) Liver‐ALP, and 3) Corticosteroid induced‐ALP. 


How common is high ALP?lab sample
A high ALP value is a very common lab finding.  39% of all dogs have a high ALP and  51% of dogs over 8 years have a high ALP.  Because there are so many causes of a  high ALP, many of which are benign (harmless) processes, determining the cause of  an individual patient’s high ALP can be a diagnostic dilemma!

Feline Leukemia

Feline leukemia is a virus of cats.  The virus is a retrovirus which can integrate into the DNA of the cat’s cells.  There is no cure for this disease.Yellow cat- free


The virus is spread from cat to cat by: 1) saliva coming into contact with the mouth, eyes, and nose, 2) infected blood, 3) from mother to kittens while pregnant or nursing.  Cats that go outside and are exposed to the bites of stray cats are at risk.  The virus is fragile and does not live in the environment. It can only be spread by direct contact with bodily fluids.  Only about 1-2 % of the cat population is infected.

What are we vaccinating for again?

This is a very common question that pet owners have when we rattle off the vaccines that your cat or dog needs.  Vaccines are an important part of your pet's preventative health care.   Understanding what we are vaccinating for and why will help you make the best decisions for your pet's care. 


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Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats

Rabies:  Rabies is a virus that is transmitted by saliva, generally a bite.  All cats and dogs should be vaccinated for rabies. Bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Minnesota.  Since bats can come into the house, even indoor only cats can get exposed to the virus. More...

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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