Farewell to Sara

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the departure of our long time manager, Sara Sedgwick. She was a phenomenal leader, manager and friend of our staff and our clients. She led by example and her compassion for animals and people set the benchmark for us all. This clinic could never have been such a high quality, caring clinic without her guidance. Though we will miss her greatly, we will continue to strive to uphold the standards she set for us and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

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Welcome our new veterinarian Dr Brittany Bisinotto!

We are so excited to announce a new addition to our team of amazing veterinarians!!

We would like to introduce you to Dr Brittany Bisinotto! She will be moving here from Florida to join us.

She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She moved to Gainesville, Florida where she completed a master’s degree in Animal Science. She had been working as a veterinary technician and found her love of veterinary medicine. Dr Bisinotto attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2014. She has been practicing at Palm City Animal Medical Center in Palm City, Florida since graduation. Her staff there told us how much they will miss her, but their loss is our gain.

She will be moving here with her cat and 2 dogs and joining her husband of 1 month who is a veterinarian at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Her areas of interest are internal medicine, soft tissue surgery and ultrasound.

Her personal interests include taking her dogs to the park, playing volleyball, photography and watching college football.

She will provide amazing care to her patients and bring her energy and warmth to our practice.

We look forward to all of you meeting her and introducing her to a Minnesota winter!!!!

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Final Week of Pet Dental Month

Periodontal treatment

Professional periodontal treatment is important to the health and well-being of dogs and cats. Poor oral health may directly affect an animal’s overall health. Recent studies have shown there is an association with advanced periodontal disease and heart disease further validating the importance of periodontal health. Other studies have shown similar implications for the relationship of periodontal disease to heart, liver and kidney disease in the dog.

The goal of periodontal treatment is not only eliminating the causes of periodontal disease but to stop the progression of disease. Recognition of dental and oral disease, careful treatment planning, appropriate treatment modalities, and a quality dental hygiene program to prevent or at the very least, decrease the progression of periodontal disease are all important in the overall health of dogs and cats.

Professional Periodontal Cleaning is not an elective procedure!! It is the responsibility of the veterinarian and the entire hospital team to recognize the importance of dental and oral disease, to educate the client appropriately, to develop a treatment plan for each patient, and to offer all available dental services available to treat the pet and promote a complete oral health care plan.
Professional Periodontal Cleaning must be done under general anesthesia with preoperative blood work, an intravenous catheter, fluid therapy and sound anesthetic monitoring. Due to the aresoloation of bacteria during the periodontal cleaning, each team member performing the periodontal cleaning should wear protective eye wear, surgical masks and gloves. With the dog or cat under general anesthesia it will be easier to identify dental disease and abnormalities that otherwise would not be found while the patient is awake or only sedated. Dental radiographs need to be taken (only under general anesthesia) to identify disease such as bone loss that would not be discovered clinically. With those hospitals that have dental radiology capability, full mouth dental radiographs should be taken for all first time dental cleaning patients not only as a base line, but to identify any disease under the gum line that would otherwise go undetected.

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February is Pet Dental Month. Part 2

Periodontal disease


Periodontal disease is the loss of the periodontal attachment apparatus (periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, cementum and gingiva). Since 75-85% of these structures are identified below the soft tissues of the oral cavity (e.g. gingiva, alveolar mucosa, and palatal mucosa), a thorough clinical subgingival evaluation and intraoral radiographs are required to assess, diagnose and treat periodontal disease.


Periodontal disease may be potentiated by, but not limited to, malocclusions, crowding and rotation of teeth, systemic disease, nutritional status, individual patient susceptibility, genetics, trauma, and increased tooth to jaw size ratios.


The clinical signs of periodontal disease are often hidden and insidious. Halitosis, gingivitis, supragingival plaque and calculus, reluctance to chew, head shyness, pawing at the mouth, dropping food, sneezing, nasal discharge, are clinical signs. Unfortunately, many of those clinical signs require astute client observation and/or careful questioning from the clinician. Most commonly, there may be no obvious clinical signs to the owner and untrained veterinarian.


Stages of periodontal disease:


Stage 1 – Marginal gingivitis with no attachment loss. Minimal plaque and calculus


Stage 2 – Moderate gingivitis, bleeding upon probing. More plaque and calculus     accumulation is present, especially in the gingival sulcus. Dental radiographs may show signs of up to 25% attachment loss and some horizontal bone loss may be evident.


Stage 3 – Moderate periodontal disease. Periodontal pockets may be present and dental radiographs may show signs of attachment loss between 25% and 50%. Teeth may become mobile. Vertical bone loss and infra-bony pockets may be present.


Stage 4 – Severe periodontal disease. Periodontal pockets greater than 9 mm. Attachment loss is greater than 50%. Significant infrabony pockets with very mobile teeth associated with severe halitosis and generalized stomatitis.

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February is Pet Dental Month

Preventive Dental care

Preventive care and client education is an important step to introducing, implementing and improving overall dental and oral medical quality in your practices. Understanding the veterinary team’s (DVMs, veterinary technicians and assistants, receptionists, managers) role in preventing periodontal disease before pathology develops through the three keys to preventive dental care are critical steps to embrace. Suggestions for partnering with your clients to actively involve them in their pet’s oral home care, understanding client perceptions, providing confident and personalized recommendations, working as a team to change and improve the hospital culture will be addressed.

Clients play a key role in insuring the success and oral health of their pet. Proper education of the client regarding the need for home care and teaching the client to brush and to start an effective home care routine is important. This begins at an early age when pets are puppies and kittens. The hospital staff needs to spend enough time with the clients, explaining the causes of periodontal disease, so they will understand why it is important to continue home dental care and to recognize when problems are present so that proper intervention can occur.

During the pet’s first visit, and then during subsequent visits when the puppy or kitten receives vaccinations, the mouth needs to be examined. Signs of malocclusions, retained deciduous teeth, developmental problems such as cleft palate, trauma or fractured teeth should be identified. Discuss with clients when and which deciduous teeth fall out and inform them that the best way to begin preventive dental care is to start brushing the teeth when the pet is young, so he/she will get accustom to brushing.

Tooth brushing is the most effective means to prevent plaque and subsequent calculus build up because it is the mechanical action of the brushing that is effective in reducing plaque accumulation. Pet dental products such as toothpastes, toothbrushes, finger pads, finger brushes and dental wipes are available and should be used. Human dental care products should not be used. Dental diets, exercise toys, rawhide strips, dental treats, and many other dental toys can help reduce and eliminate the buildup of plaque and calculus. Family and pet compliance will determine the best dental home care required for each pet. Cow hooves, bones, hard plastic toys such as Nylabones can fracture teeth and should be avoided.

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PHPH now part of Best Friends Group!

As of the first of this year, our practice was sold to Best Friends Group. We think we have found a good partner for the future. The Best Friends Group is a family owned business and we think they offer the best opportunities for maintaining and growing the culture we have now and for the future.

I am not retiring! I plan on working for at least another couple years to help fulfill the vision the leaders of this group have. I want to be sure that when I leave, I have left the clinic, my staff and clients in the best position I can.

Our clients will see little change. Our name will remain Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital. All our personnel remain in place and no salaries were cut. They have told us we are a successful practice and to just keep doing what we are doing. Clients will see new options for wellness plans for their pets. Best Friends Group also has a national reputation for their Pet Care Centers. They have the personnel and resources to help our boarding kennel be all it can be.

I believe this company is different from the other corporations. They are not all over the country. They focus on specific metro areas they like. Best Friends Group chose our clinic to be their first acquisition in the Twin Cities for a reason: they value what we have here. They hope to buy a number of good clinics here that will share resources and support one another.

We are truly excited about the vision this company has. As corporate ownership of veterinary clinics seems the future of veterinary medicine, we hope that together with Best Friends Group we can help shape what corporate veterinary ownership should look like for staff and clients.

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Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital ringing the bell!

Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital will be ringing the bells this Thursday from 5 to 7pm at the Cabelas in Rogers. Stop by and say hi. If you can’t make it and want to make a donation we have a kettle on the counter in the reception area. Any donations are appreciated.


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Got Shoes? Then Help Pet Haven!

Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital is partnering with Pet Haven of Minnesota to collect new or gently used shoes. As detailed below the shoes will be sent to developing countries and Pet Haven will recieve $10 for each bag of shoes. Along with the below drop off locations Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital will take donated shoes on Wednesday November 4 and Thursday November 5th between Noon and 2pm. Help us make this a successful campaign!


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A New Doctor for PHPH

We are very excited about a new addition to our team! A week from today, Dr Jennifer Mulcahy will start working at our hospital. She will be replacing Dr Robyn Corcoran who has moved on to work for the USDA. Dr. Mulcahy graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. She began her veterinary career at a small animal practice near Atlanta, GA. She has been certified in veterinary acupuncture since 2009. More recently, she has been working for a large humane society near Detroit, Michigan. Her veterinary interests include complementary therapies, nutrition, and pain management.

Dr. Mulcahy recently moved back to Minnesota with her husband Mark, daughter Teagan, and son Calum. Their yellow lab Raine and cat Harry complete their family. In her free time she enjoys being with her family, reading, and crafts.

We are lucky to have found such a talented addition to our staff and look forward to introducing her to our clients and their pets.

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Dr. Corcoran Leaving Plymouth Heights

Robyn Corcoran will be leaving PHPH in early September. We appreciate all the fine work she has done here and will miss her greatly. We asked her to share some farewell thoughts with our clients:

“It was pretty difficult figuring out how to begin this, because it’s not easy to say goodbye to a place that has become like a second home and family. On September 12, with much sadness, I will be ending my time at Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital after four of the best years of my career. I’ve been offered a job opportunity with the USDA which will allow me to work from home and be more present for my son, who will be starting his own adventure this year at a new school. As hard as it was to think about leaving a practice which has remained the definition of a dream job for my entire time here, it was harder to turn down the opportunity to be there for my son as he faces the new challenges of middle school. I’ll be leaving behind not only an outstanding group of individuals I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work alongside of, but several years’ worth of wonderful relationships with so many pets and their special families. It’s been an honor to have been entrusted with their care and of all the things about clinical practice that I’m going to miss, it’s those relationships which will be missed the most.

It’s been a wonderful ride, thanks in large part to all of you. You will be missed.

Take care!

Dr. Robyn Corcoran

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