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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.

State-of-the-art pet care you can trust in Elk Rapids

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 30. March 2016 02:13

Dr. Eric Peck and the staff at Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital have been providing a full range of veterinary services for families in Elk Rapids and surrounding communities for many years now. 

A graduate of Michigan State University, Dr. Peck has been practicing locally for more than 20 years and has owned Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital since it opened in 2009.  His philosophy of personalized care has been augmented by a drive to stay abreast of advancements in veterinary medicine throughout his career.  

For proof, look no further than Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital being the first veterinary facility in the region to introduce MLS Laser Therapy.  This state-of-the-art treatment is highly effective in treating arthritis pain, tendonitis, joint pain, back pain, sinusitis and for more rapid healing of wounds and in post operative situations. 

“Laser Therapy increases circulation to joints and affected tissues which lessens inflammation and pain.  Because we use a Class IV laser, the photon energy is able to penetrate down to deeper tissues, providing even greater relief for pets,” says Dr. Peck. 

“In addition to dramatic results after just a couple of sessions, using Laser Therapy is non-invasive and does not require a pet to be sedated.  And, the average treatment takes no more than 12 minutes, at absolutely no risk to our patients,” he added. 

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.

A wellness program is an important part of your dog’s overall health

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 23. March 2016 02:07

Dogs are faithful, beautiful and loving pets that are an integral part of millions of families throughout the country.   Many families regard them as another child, taking them on vacations, outings and even including them in things like Christmas cards.  Needless to say, owning a dog brings many added benefits to home life. 

But like any other member of the family, dogs do get sick, they need routine and preventative health care and look to you to provide it for them. 

“Just like going to the doctor for an annual physical or a dentist for a teeth cleaning every six months, it’s important to also bring your dog in for wellness exams on a regular basis,” says Dr. Eric Peck, owner and hospital director of Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital, a dog and pet clinic that serves Traverse City and nearby communities. 

Wellness care allows a vet to detect a health issue with your dog early on, making it easier to treat and giving your dog the best chance for recovery while also saving you money.  The old adage of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure definitely applies here. 

Wellness care can also include making sure your dog is up to date with important vaccinations for rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvo, bordetella and others.   Heartworm prevention, deworming and even nail clipping are also important parts of a preventative program for your dog that will keep them happy, healthy and important parts of your family for many 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.

Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is Traverse City’s premier avian veterinary service

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 16. March 2016 01:56

North Michigan Veterinary Hospital can treat all kinds of animals and exotics, in Traverse City and in nearby communities, this fully equipped regional facility has earned a reputation as the premier facility for treating avian pets of all shapes and sizes.  Dr. Peck and his staff have more than 20 years of experience in treating birds and are frequently sought out for:

  • General wellness, diet and avian housing issues
  • Annual check-ups, including baseline testing, to develop a health history that can be used to treat possible future illnesses and diseases
  • Routine beak, wing and nail trims
  • Physical exams that will include looking for abnormalities in feathers, skin, beak, eyes, ears, nose and throat
  • Infectious disease screening
  • Cytology procedures including taking cultures of the cloaca, crop or choana
  • Radiograph (x-rays) to assess the internal condition of your bird
  • Minor surgical procedures 

“Owning a bird as a pet is not the same as owning a cat or a dog.  Their anatomy and physiology is very different from other animals, and caring for any member of the avian family requires specialized knowledge above and beyond what a regular veterinarian knows,” according to Dr. Peck. 

Located in Williamsburg and providing comprehensive 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.

How to Find a Veterinary Clinic in Traverse City That You and Your Pet Can Trust

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 8. March 2014 15:55

When it comes to caring for your pet, finding a veterinary clinic in Traverse City that you can trust before you urgently need one is an important step every pet owner should take.  The last thing you want to deal with in an emergency is a veterinarian that doesn’t have the qualifications or the expertise that your pet deserves.  That’s why it’s so helpful to find a clinic that is prepared to care for your pet and that you can trust the same provider to provide quality care in an emergency. 

Finding a veterinary clinic in your area can be as simple as asking your friends and family for referrals, searching online and looking at review sites like Yelp for a different point of view.  All of these are great ways to get a good idea of how a particular clinic operates and what their specialties are.  Once you’ve found a few that you’d like to check out, consider dropping by without your pet and asking for a tour of their facilities.  This can really help to give you a good idea about how the clinic treats it’s patients and you can ask any questions you may have before making an appointment.

If your pet has any special health needs, be sure to find a vet clinic that can provide the proper treatments, including those that are performed for arthritis, hip problems and other more specialized vet services.  It’s also a good idea to find a vet clinic that offers emergency care, as you never know when you’ll need it for your pet.

Once you’ve found a clinic that you’d like to try, schedule a routine exam for your pet and see how the experience goes.  A good vet will listen to your questions and concerns and will show genuine care and compassion for your pet’s health needs.  If you ever feel uncomfortable with something that a vet recommends or by the way they are treating your animal – move on to someone else!  That’s the best way to ensure that your pet gets the healthcare that they deserve. 

When to Call an Emergency Veterinarian in Kalkaska

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 1. March 2014 15:53

As a pet owner, you always want to do what’s best for your pet, but sometimes it’s tough to know what they need in terms of medical care.  Pet owners often think they should call an emergency veterinarian in Kalkaska for help, but they hold off because they aren’t sure or because they don’t think they’ll be able to afford it.  There are some signs to look for in your pets that should never be ignored, however, as they are clear indications that your pet needs some serious medical attention.  If you are someone who has always wondered when it’s time to call the vet, then read on for some helpful advice.

There are definitely times when you know you need emergency vet care, such as when your pet has suffered from a serious injury that has resulted in broken bones, bleeding wounds or other obvious problems.  But what about all of those other times when you are unsure?  One of the rules to remember about pet care is that your pet isn’t all that different from the other members of your household.  Serious issues like extended periods of diarrhea, vomiting or vomiting that includes blood can lead to dehydration and other big health problems.

Other not so obvious signs such as a pet that has suddenly become overly withdrawn, or one that is acting strangely by walking into walls and falling over without warning are also indications that your pet may need immediate medical care.  If you are unsure of whether or not your animal needs emergency medical attention for their symptoms, contact a local emergency vet hospital for help.  You may think that the symptoms aren’t that serious or that you may be overreacting, but it’s important to remember that it never hurts to ask!  In many cases, it may be nothing, but it’s always a good idea to let a professional asses your pet’s symptoms if you suspect a problem.  Keep this in mind when it comes to your pet’s health, as your actions and quick thinking could be what saves your pet. 

Veterinarian Tips for Effective Flea & Tick Removal in Traverse City

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 22. February 2014 15:51

Fleas and ticks can cause big headaches for pet owners and can result in serious health problems in your pet as well if they aren’t treated the right way.  While the key to keeping pesky critters away from your pet is to discourage them from attaching through the use of special sprays, flea collars and flea medications, sometimes pet owners find themselves with a  full-blown problem on their hands.  That’s when it’s time to get serious about effective flea and tick removal in the home.

Once you’ve treated your pet for a flea and tick removal in Traverse City either by using topical spray and shampoos, or by treating with oral medications, then it’s time to clean up your home.  Many homeowners find out too late that they have to clean up their home in addition to cleaning their pet in order to completely get rid of a pest problem.  Fleas and other bugs love to live in your carpets, draperies, bedding and other surfaces and they will multiply incredibly fast if you aren’t careful.  That’s why you need to act fast to kill off any remaining bugs and to make sure that any adult fleas and other pests that are still there and their eggs are completely killed off. 

To get rid of fleas and ticks in the home, vacuum everything that you can as thoroughly as possible.  This includes places where bugs and their eggs like to live, including underneath the edge of your couch, below draperies and anywhere that your pet spends most of it’s time.  A decent vacuum can often get most of the eggs and fleas that live in your home, so make sure that you are vacuuming regularly, as it can actually help prevent problems down the road.

Insect foggers can also be a great way to rid your home of fleas and ticks, and should only be used once you’ve removed all of your bedding and other items for washing.  When choosing from the different foggers, sprays and other pest control items that are out there, make sure that you aren’t using them around your pets or around kids, as they can be harmful when inhaled.  If you have a serious problem, you may want to consider hiring a professional exterminator to get the job done safely for you.

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