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Traverse City Veterinary Hospital is the premier Veterinary hospital in Traverse City, Michigan. Visit www.Traverseanimalhospital.com for superior pet and veterinary service

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Doggie dental care involves more than just brushing your pet’s teeth


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 27. April 2016 02:21

Just like a pet owner brushes their teeth every day, it’s important to provide good dental care to your pet on a daily basis.  But good canine dental hygiene extends far beyond a good daily scrub. 

Oral disease is the number one health problem in pets and can lead to a variety of health related issues.  Dogs rarely get cavities, but dental diseases, such as periodontal and gum diseases can have a profound impact on your pet’s well being. 

When bacteria and food particles build up along a pet’s gumline, they form plaque.  If plaque is not removed, minerals in a dog’s saliva combine with the plaque to form tartar.  Tartar can form in as little as a week, and when it does, a dog’s gums can become irritated and inflamed, leading to gingivitis.  If your dog has “bad breath” there’s a good chance they have tartar, which must be removed with a special tool before the teeth can be polished. 

“When tartar builds up under the gums, it separates the gums from the teeth and forms pockets, causing permanent damage to a dog’s teeth,” according to Traverse City veterinarian Dr. Eric Peck.  “The resulting periodontal disease can cause loose teeth, infections and bone loss.  And when the infection is bad enough, it can enter a dog’s bloodstream and cause damage to a dog’s heart, liver and kidneys.” 

Preventing these types of problems in your dog means following a relatively simple course of action.  Dogs should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis at home (daily if possible) and undergo a routine examination to look for signs of dental disease.  This should be supplemented by regular oral exams and cleanings by your vet.  Teeth cleanings are done under general anesthesia, but are extremely thorough and can prevent costly and painful dental issues for your pet for years to come. 

Located in Williamsburg and providing pet chemotherapy services to Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Acme, Kalkaska and nearby communities, Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is a fully equipped regional facility serving the routine and emergency needs of pet owners since 2009.

The causes of knee injuries in pets


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 20. April 2016 02:19

Just like great athletes or weekend warriors, dogs can and do get injured on a regular basis.  And much like their human counterparts, one of the parts of the body most susceptible to injury is the knee. 

“A dog’s knee is also known as a stifle, and there are two common types of injuries to the stifle that may require surgery,” says Traverse City veterinarian Dr. Eric Peck. “We see dogs with dislocated kneecaps and torn or stretched cruciate ligaments on a regular basis.” 

In dogs, the stifle is the joint that connects the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone.  The ligaments connecting this joint are very strong and because they are attached in a crisscross fashion, provide a wide range of motion and stability for your pet.  

“Dogs can suffer torn cruciate ligaments primarily in two ways.  Athletic dogs really test their boundaries by over-exerting themselves which can lead to injury, but other dogs can sustain ligament damage if they are overweight, neutered and middle-aged,” added Dr. Peck. 

Depending on the severity of the injury, sometimes a dog can be fitted with a leg brace, placed on strict rest and given anti-inflammatory medicines to heal the stifle.  However, and especially in larger breeds, knee surgery is the best option to help your pet make a full recovery.   

Just as with humans, each case is different and relying on your vet’s best judgment is always the best way to approach finding the best way to heal knee issues in your pet. 

Located in Williamsburg and providing pet chemotherapy services to Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Acme, Kalkaska and nearby communities, Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is a fully equipped regional facility serving the routine and emergency needs of pet owners since 2009.

What are the best and most effective pet allergy treatments?


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 13. April 2016 02:17

While there is no absolute cure for pets with allergies, there are still many effective steps you can take as a pet owner to lessen the impacts that allergies can have on your dog or cat: 

Avoid allergens.  Reducing dogs’ and cats’ exposure to mites, pollens and mold can be a simple but effective way to bring relief to your animal.  If your animal stays indoors most of the time, then you can vacuum more frequently using a HEPA filtered vacuum, keep windows closed and run air filters on a regular basis.  Avoid using perfumes or laundry detergents with scented elements and whenever possible, keep your pet on hard floors instead of carpeting. 

Use Yucca and Fatty Acids.  Yucca is a natural anti-inflammatory that can resolve symptoms without the side effects that steroids might produce.  Concentrated liquid forms are available to add to your pet’s diet, or that can be applied directly to their skin.  Fatty acids decrease the possibility of your pet’s immune system over-reacting.  Although it may take several weeks for the fatty acids to build into your pet’s cells, the impact may be significant over the long term. 

Use medicated shampoos and conditioners.  Shampoos that contain oatmeal, pramoxine and Omega-6 fatty acids can stop itching and alleviate allergic symptoms.  Some dogs and cats also react well to using antihistamines, but this is not always the case. 

Steroids and Immune Modulators.  Oral steroids prescribed by a veterinarian are initially highly effective and can suppress allergy symptoms but lose effectiveness the more often they are used.  Topical steroids used on skin and in eyes are also available.  Immune modulators stop histamines from being released into a pet’s system and work more often than not to relieve allergy symptoms.  

Consult with your veterinarian.  Allergy relief is an ongoing issue and your best course of action at some point is to consult with a trained professional to help your pet get the best possible treatment over the long term. 

Located in Williamsburg and providing effective pet allergy services to Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Acme, Kalkaska and nearby communities, Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is a fully equipped regional facility serving the routine and emergency needs of pet owners since 2009.

What to expect when your dog needs surgery


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 6. April 2016 02:16

As your dog advances through life, there’s a very good chance that he/she will require some kind of a surgical procedure.  Surgeries involving dogs are quite common and are generally classified as either soft tissue surgeries or orthopedic surgeries. 

Soft tissue surgeries can include the removal of tumors or skin lesions, cardiovascular surgeries, or surgeries on organs such as the stomach, intestines, colon, liver or gall bladder among others. 

Orthopedic surgeries involve bone and muscle repair and focus on repairing fractures, ligament and tendon injuries, or dealing with degenerative diseases such has hip dysplasia or leg abnormalities. 

“The most common surgical procedure is spaying or neutering your dog.  Doing so improves the overall health of your pet and minimizes behavior problems which is the primary reason many dog owners take their pets to shelters,” according to Dr. Eric Peck, who serves pets and their owners in Elk Rapids and surrounding communities. 

Sex drives in dogs are strong and by neutering your dog at an early age, you will remove much of the aggressive behavior that is associated with the dog’s desire to reproduce. 

Overall, pet surgeries are very safe and follow much of the same protocols as human surgeries.  Your vet will conduct a complete examination and do blood work prior to surgery to determine if any pre-existing conditions are present.  On the day of, your vet will use the same anesthesia agents used in human surgeries in a sterile environment with continual monitoring throughout the procedure.  Post-operative care will include closely regulated pain medications and follow-up visits until your dog is fully recovered. 

Located in Williamsburg and providing canine surgical services to Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Acme, Kalkaska and nearby communities, Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is a fully equipped regional facility serving the routine and emergency needs of pet owners since 2009.

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