Tricounty News

Informational meeting on Parkinson’s disease Aug. 19

Do you know any persons with Parkinson’s disease? Swallowing is not easy for persons with Parkinson’s. The St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Support Group meeting features a doctor as a guest speaker who is especially knowledgeable about Parkinson’s issues. He will discuss why swallowing is difficult and will explain ways to make swallowing easier.

Everyone is welcome at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, to the Great River Regional Library located at
1300 W. St. Germain (near Lake George) in St. Cloud. Contact person is Georgia at (320) 968-4606.

Heavy rains lead to more mosquitoes this summer

Mosquitoes are especially abundant this summer because of heavy rainfall and increased moisture in the environment.

University of Minnesota Extension entomologist Jeff Hahn explains mosquito larvae live in small pools of water. Increases in rainfall lead to more mosquito breeding grounds. Although rain cannot be controlled, there are many steps Minnesotans can take to combat mosquitoes.


Veterans rendezvous planned

Central Minnesota veterans and their families are invited to Rendezvous for an afternoon of music, fun, and connection to fellow veterans and the St. Cloud VA and its programs, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Circle Parking Lot on the campus of the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.

“In naming this event, we chose Rendezvous for some of the symbolism it conveys, but the number one thing we want to provide is an opportunity for veterans to connect with each other in a relaxing, fun and welcoming environment,” said Brett Jagodzinski, a VA employee organizing the event.

“During the fur trade era of the early nineteenth century, the ‘Rendezvous’ was an annual gathering where trappers traded their fur pelts for goods and supplies, and engaged in fellowship and camaraderie after a long, often lonely year spent trapping in the mountains,” explained Jagodzinski. “In the military, a rendezvous point is often a prearranged meeting place where troops know they can meet up with one another if they get separated during battle. This event sort of blends both of those ideas together.”

Planned activities include live music concerts, food, and family games, Jagodzinski said. A variety of Veteran-focused VA information booths will also be available during the event.

“The musical performers will be high quality, national touring shows,” Jagodzinski said.  Performers will be announced on the St. Cloud VA’s Facebook page at

The event is open to all residential Veterans, to Veterans throughout Central Minnesota, and their immediate families.

Financial and volunteer support is being provided by the Clearwater Legion Riders, Minnesota Patriot Guard, Clearwater American Legion, Weber’s Deck, and White Oak Realty.

Summer heat can be deadly to pets (2)

As the dangerous heat returns and the hot days of summer come upon us, doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners recommend taking certain precautions to ensure your pet doesn’t suffer from any heat-related injuries. 

“It’s less than a week into summer and we’ve already seen multiple cases of heatstroke at several of our locations,” said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl. “It’s very important for people to remember that their pets are sensitive to the heat.”

BluePearl doctors recommend for pets to be kept in an air conditioned environment during the heat of the day and to limit strenuous activities such as running and playing. 

“Focus on outdoor activities either early in the morning or late in the day,” Shaw said. 

If your pet does become overheated, spray the animal down with room temperature or cool water, but never ice water. Ice cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and heat can’t escape the body, which makes heat exhaustion symptoms worse.

Don’t give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to pets. Dogs cool off by panting and they do not sweat like people. Supplements like sports drinks can actually harm animals and make pets sick.

Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are all signs of heat related distress. If your pet is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take the animal to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately. 

Pet owners should also remember to make sure their pets have access to plenty of water at all times. Also, never leave your pet locked in a vehicle with the windows closed.

“Ultimately, any time you feel your pet may be in need of medical assistance, please don’t hesitate to get them to your veterinarian as soon as possible,” said Shaw. “Time is often the difference between life and death.”

Leave the fireworks to the experts, MMA advises

This Fourth of July do yourself and your family a favor, stay safe and leave the fireworks to the experts, advises the Minnesota Medical Association.

“Statistics show, year after year, that they are just so dangerous,” said MMA President Dan Maddox, M.D. “Too many young people suffer eye and hand injuries from fireworks each summer. We feel the best way to celebrate Independence Day is to leave the fireworks to professionals.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on average 200 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Fourth of July. The most common injuries are to hands and fingers. The CPSC reports that fireworks were involved in an estimated 9,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2011.

There was an estimated 8,600 fireworks-related injuries during 2010.

“The MMA would prefer that fireworks not even be available, but as long as they are around we encourage everyone to use extreme caution with them,” Maddox said.

About the Minnesota Medical Association

The Minnesota Medical Association is a non-profit professional association representing physicians, residents and medical students. With more than 10,000 members, the MMA is dedicated to being the indispensable and unified voice of physicians for advancing the practice of medicine, the profession and patient health. Find the MMA online at