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Dog Tooth Extraction-Pulling Teeth in Traverse City


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 8. February 2017 12:51

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from painful dental problems that need to be taken care of by professionals. While it can be painful for both the furry friend and their compassionate owner, it’s important to take the necessary steps to solve these problems, and sometimes that means removing teeth.

Doggy dental work can be fairly simple when handled by a trained veterinarian. It surprises many pet owners to find out just how common dog tooth extraction is, and that it’s performed at most veterinarian clinics and hospitals in Traverse City. Some common complications that can lead to tooth extraction include:


-Tooth or gum disease

-Jaw and tooth fractures

-Dental Abscess, caused by an infection

-Baby teeth crowding permanent teeth

The extraction process can be done both surgically and non-surgically, but a surgical procedure is usually considered the safest means for extracting problem teeth. When extracting a tooth, it’s important to remove the entire tooth, down to the root. To do that, the gum is pulled back, and dental tools are used to gently tear the periodontal ligament which attaches the root to the tooth socket. Once the tooth is out, the socket is examined to make sure no debris was left behind that could cause infection. Closing the extraction site usually involves stitches to prevent prolonged bleeding.

After a tooth is extracted, your poor pup will likely be sore and could have facial swelling or some bleeding. Pet owners should examine the area to make sure that everything is healing properly. Fortunately, most dogs are able to resume eating shortly after the procedure, but it’s recommended you give your dog soft foods, so they won’t have to do too much chewing!

Of course, the best way to prevent a tooth extraction is to practice good dental care with your dog, but if you do find your pup is suffering from mouth pain, it’s best to see a professional. If you live in the Traverse City, Elk Rapids, or Kalkaska areas and need a dog tooth extraction, please consider the Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital.

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Dog Clinics vs. Vet Clinics in Traverse City


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 1. February 2017 12:01

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably taken your four-legged friend to a veterinarian clinic before for a check-up or for medical treatment. Veterinarian clinics are filled with trained professionals who care for all sorts of pets and animals, but there are a few clinics that specialize in treating only dogs.

A dog clinic is similar to any other veterinarian clinic. Dog clinics offer services like wellness exams, vaccinations, dentistry, dermatology, and pain management. The difference is all these services are just for dogs. Many dog clinics also offer more in-depth services for your pup, like microchipping, behavior training, and grooming. Vets who work at dog clinics may have more extensive training or experience when it comes to treating medical issues or problems commonly found in dogs like worms, kennel cough, and fleas.

Some dog clinics provide dog-only amenities for your pup. Many clinics have doggy treats readily available, a play room for your pet, and even shops that carry toys and other items for your dog. Some clinics provide boarding services for your dog, so they can stay there for an extending period of time.

While some dog owners feel more at home at a “dog only” clinic, it’s important to know that it’s not your only option when it comes to top-notch care for your pup. At the Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital, we treat all sorts of animals from the Traverse City area and are certainly as knowledgeable and ready to care for your dog as any dog clinic. We see many kinds of dogs from Traverse City, Elk Rapids, and Kalkaska. Whether you need a simple check-up, dental work, or emergency treatment for your dog, we are the perfect place to treat your pooch.

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Common side effects when your pet undergoes chemotherapy


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 1. June 2016 02:31

Much like humans, when a pet undergoes chemotherapy, side effects will generally be an uncomfortable part of the treatment regimen. 

If your pet is treated for cancer using chemotherapy, here are some of the common side effects you can expect: 

Diarrhea.  To combat the effects of diarrhea, give your pet foods that are easy to digest, such as hamburger, boiled chicken, or white rice.  For dogs, a small dose of Pepto-Bismol may ease symptoms.  Offer it to them at one tablespoon per 15 pounds of body weight every eight hours.  As your pet begins to stabilize, you can try reintroducing a normal diet in small quantities.  If diarrhea continues for more than 48 hours, contact your vet to seek treatment. 

Dehydration.  Dehydration may occur due to diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive urination following a chemo treatment.  The test here is to make sure your animal’s gums are moist and the animal’s skin is soft and supple.  

Vomiting.  Offer small amounts of water 12 hours after persistent vomiting stops.  If your pet keeps the water down, gradually reintroduce small quantities of bland foods and over the course of the next three days, reintroduce the animal’s normal diet.  Contact your vet if the vomiting is severe or is accompanied by a fever of 103 degrees or more for 24 hours or longer. 

Low white blood cell count.  A lower than normal white blood cell count is normal following chemotherapy.  By itself, this is not a problem, but if the count drops too low, the animal won’t be able to fight infections, which may occur up to 21 days after a chemo treatment.  Symptoms to watch for include a poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and fever. 

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.

Early detection is one of the best defenses for treating cancer in dogs


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 25. May 2016 02:29

Dogs are susceptible to many kinds of cancer, especially as they grow older.  In fact, cancer accounts for almost half the deaths in pets over 10 years old.  Just like in humans, the root causes of cancer are unknown in dogs.  Ensuring prevention against cancer is impossible, and that means early detection is the best defense in treating cancers that take many forms in dogs.  

According to Traverse City veterinarian Dr. Eric Peck, catching cancer early in dogs and combining that with aggressive treatments like these give your pet the best possible outcome of surviving for many years to come. 

Among the most common cancers are: 

Abdominal tumors.  These are common, but hard to diagnose.  They are usually first discovered by a dog who loses a significant amount of weight or shows signs of an enlarged abdomen. 

Skin.  Skin lesions and tumors should be examined as early as possible to determine if they are malignant or benign. 

Breast.  Spaying a female dog before they turn one year old greatly reduces the chances of contracting breast cancer at a later date.  Surgery is often the prescribed treatment for treating breast cancers. 

Head and neck.  Growths in the mouth and nose are common and can often be accompanied by bleeding, swelling, difficulty eating or an odor. 

Dog cancer treatments will vary depending on the type of cancer involved and may include a combination of therapies.  Patients are often times referred to a board certified animal oncologist who may prescribe: 

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Cryosurgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hyperthermia
  • Immunotherapy  

Located in Williamsburg and providing dog cancer treatment 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.

Lymphoma in dogs requires immediate attention


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 18. May 2016 02:25

Lymphocyte cells are small white blood cells that play a key role in a dog’s ability to fight against germs and disease.  

Lymphoma is a cancer that originates in these cells and creates an unregulated growth that can affect the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and bone marrow.  It can also affect other areas of a dog’s body as well.  If left untreated, dogs can pass away in as little as two to four weeks. 

“Although there is no cure for dog lymphoma, many treatments can extend a dog’s quality and length of life,” according to Dr. Eric Peck, who has been practicing veterinary medicine in the greater Traverse City area for more than 20 years. 

Dogs with lymphoma can present many symptoms, because the disease is aggressive, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible when any of these occur: 

  • A rapid weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Conjunctivitis or eye infections
  • Enlarged lymph nodes under the jaw, chest armpits or groin
  • Increased water consumption and urination

Although all breeds are susceptible to lymphoma, it is especially prevalent in Golden Retrievers, St. Bernards, Basset Hounds, Scottish Terriers, Boxers and Bulldogs. 

The most effective treatment for dogs with lymphoma is chemotherapy.  These drugs, when combined with a steroid such as prednisone can extend a dog’s life for up to a year or more, depending on the type of lymphoma and how early the disease was diagnosed. 

Located in Williamsburg and serving 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.

Mast cell tumors are a little known but common form of cancer in dogs


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 11. May 2016 02:24

Despite the fact that you may not know much about mast cells or their function in a dog’s body, almost one in five dogs will develop mast cell tumors in their lifetime. 

Mast cells are blood cells that are involved in a dog’s body’s response to allergies.  The cells contain many chemicals, including histamine and heparin, which biologically modify immune reactions. 

When these cells become cancerous, they can form tumors in just about any part of your pet’s body, although they are most prevalent as skin tumors.  Mast cell tumors, also known as mastocytomas, are also commonly found in the liver, bone marrow, spleen and gastrointestinal tract.  And although any breed may develop mast cell tumors, studies have shown that Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Pugs tend to have a higher rate of incidence. 

According to Traverse City area veterinarian Dr. Eric Peck, there are many ways to treat mast cell tumors. “The course of treatment depends on several factors including where the tumors are located and what stage the tumors are at.  Tumors are staged, meaning they are graded, from Stage 0 up to Stage IV.  Once they are graded, we decide best how to treat them.” 

Most mast cell tumors are treated by being removed surgically.  This is effective for tumors up to Stage II and will provide a cure for your pet.  In cases where surgery is not an option, where lymph nodes are involved, or if tumors have not spread throughout the body, radiation is the preferred course of treatment.  Chemotherapy is reserved for the most aggressive forms of mastocytomas and is generally combined with surgery and radiation.  Unfortunately, mast cell tumors do not always respond to chemo drugs as well as with other kinds of cancers found in canines.  However, there are many variables that play into whether or not a dog will find relief and an extended life when treating mast cell tumors. 

Located in Williamsburg and providing veterinary 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.

A primer on osteosarcoma in dogs


by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 4. May 2016 02:22

Osteosarcoma is the most common form of bone cancer that occurs in dogs.  Although primarily associated with giant breeds, and occurring most commonly in dogs between 7 and 10 years old, osteosarcoma can strike any sized dog and at any time during their lives. 

Statistics show that giant breed dogs can be as much as 200 times higher at risk than small breed dogs.  Among this high risk group are breeds such as Scottish Deerhounds, Rottweilers, Great Pyrenees, Greyhounds and Great Danes. 

“A primary tumor that develops on a dog’s skeletal system is aggressive and metastasizes at a rapid rate, so it is not uncommon to find tumors have spread to other parts of a dog during an initial diagnosis,” says Traverse City veterinarian Dr. Eric Peck.  

Because the primary tumor is so aggressive, the standard protocol in treating osteosarcoma involves surgery to remove the primary tumor, combined with chemotherapy to kill the remaining cells at the site.  Chemotherapy is an essential component of treatment due to the fact that many dogs experience the microscopic spread of the cancer cells before treatment ever takes place.  Chemo has been shown to be very effective in stopping the spread when detection takes place early on. 

For dogs, where the tumor has spread and destroyed a significant amount of the bone, the dog’s limb may need to be amputated.    

Unfortunately, because of the overall nature of the disease, only about half of all dogs treated live beyond one year after being diagnosed.  That survival rate falls to about 30 percent after two years.  That’s why early detection and aggressive treatment are key to extending the life and the quality of life of your dog. 

Located in Williamsburg and treating cases of osteosarcoma for dog owners in 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.

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.

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