At the Belle Plaine Animal Hospital, we believe in the special relationship between pets and their people and the incredible power of healing that this relationship creates. For us, veterinary care isn't just about fixing sick animals—it's about fostering a healing system between people, pets, and their caregivers. We consider our cats and dogs (and rats, birds, guinea pigs, and hamsters) to be members of the family—which is why we strive to be both passionate and compassionate in the work that we do.
We pride ourselves on the integrated nature of our veterinary practice. We believe that the best care results from using multiple modalities of treatment. This means combining Dr. Ricci's 25 years of experience in traditional Western medicine – including preventative care, behavior work, diagnostics and surgery—with holistic practices like herbal medicine, essential oils, energy therapy (including reiki and healing touch) and body work which includes acupressure, massage, and other modalities. Chiropractic and acupuncture work is supplied by Dr Stacy Seymour. We are one of the few holistic alternatives to traditional veterinary medicine in the Hopkins area.
We love to learn and grow, which is why continuing education is a constant process for both Dr. Ricci and the staff. We hold frequent in-house seminars for our staff and attend yearly conferences in order to remain on the cutting edge of science and technology while continuing to expand into new realms of holistic care and energy medicine.
Holistic medicine is Dr. Ricci's particular area of expertise, one that she has enjoyed exploring for the past several years. Holistic healing—which includes healing touch, reiki, myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, acupressure and acupuncture— is particularly useful when paired with traditional medicine because it provides a natural way of healing that minimizes the need for prescription drugs. The use of essential oils, healing herbs and other natural therapies have in some instances reduced or eliminated the need for antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Healing Touch techniques are used after surgery and other procedures to help clear the anesthesia from the animal's systems and to run healing energy to the affected areas of the animal's body.
Because our pets age so much faster than we do, preventative care is one of the best ways you can help your pet live a long and healthy life. Since pets can't vocalize how they are feeling, illness or disease may be present before you are aware of symptoms. The benefit of early detection allows time for steps to be taken to manage or correct a problem before irreversible damage occurs. This is why we offer thorough yearly exams, which includes vaccination for distemper, rabies, lyme disease, leptospirosis and feline leukemia, tutorials on tooth-brushing, ear-cleaning and nail-trimming as well as a nutrition consultation to craft a healthy diet for your pet. Our staff includes an experienced groomer that is on-site every Tuesday.
We live in a fast-paced, pressure-driven society and our pets feel the effects of that in their lives as much as we do in ours. Dr. Ricci provides behavioral consultation for pets that are acting out at home with behaviors like biting, scratching, spraying, growling or barking, inappropriately urinating or defecating (i.e. not using the litter box), or exhibiting symptoms of anxiety, separation anxiety, and aggression. In a behavioral consultation, Dr. Ricci evaluates the situation to see if there is a medical problem at the root of the behavior and offers techniques and methods you can use to better communicate with your pet. In-home behavior modification techniques are referred to Julie O'Connell, a certified dog trainer.
Because animals can't verbally explain to us what's wrong with them, careful diagnostics are essential for understanding how your pet is feeling and why. What does it mean when a dog or cat is vomiting, having diarrhea, limping, growing lumps or tumors, itching her skin, or showing signs of hyper and hypo thyroid, allergies, a sore back, heart problems or ear infections? We run thorough and comprehensive diagnostics to pinpoint exactly what's wrong your pet so the treatment we provide can be as effective and fruitful as possible. Blood chemistry tests like the 4DX test—for heartworm, lyme disease, and anaplasmosis—as well as x-ray technology help us make our diagnoses as accurate as possible.
Dr. Ricci has been doing small animal surgery for 25 years and enjoys keeping up with developments in modern surgical techniques. The Belle Plaine Animal Hospital now offers laser surgery. This new technology seals nerve endings as it moves through tissue, causing pets less pain and bleeding. Laser surgery yields a lower risk of postoperative infection and a faster rate of recovery. Our most common surgery procedures include spay and neuter, declaw, lump or tumor removal, ACL surgery, TPLO, fracture repair, and soft tissue surgery. A board certified traveling surgeon is present on-site to perform orthopedic surgery when the need arises. We also offer tooth extraction and dental surgery as well as routine teeth cleaning and dental work.
Click here to request an appointment or call (952) 873-8387. We are located at 304 South Ash Street, Belle Plaine, MN 56011. Our Hospital is a short 40 mile drive from Hopkins.
Our appointment hours are Monday 8-5, Tuesday 10-7, Wednesday 2-5, Thursday 1-7, Friday 2-5, and Saturday 8:30-noon. Our routine surgery mornings are Wednesday and Friday. We are sensitive to the demands of your busy life and understand that you may not always be able to leave your work to visit the veterinarian with your pet. You may drop off your pet for examinations if your pet is ill or even for routine yearly care; the doctor will examine your pet and then telephone you to discuss the recommended therapy.