1300 W. Conway Rd. Harbor Springs, MI 49740  231-347-2396

ltbhs facebook  ltbhs twitter  ltbhs instagram

donate to ltbhs

Recent blog posts

JazzieFullbodyWednesday, October 11 is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, which originated as a way to prevent and reduce obesity-related health issues in pets. Obesity not only makes a huge impact on an animal’s health, but also on their general well-being, as it makes it difficult to run, play and breathe properly. It’s never easy to turn down a food request from our furry friend, but it’s necessary in order to make sure they stay healthy and happy. Make sure to abide by these tips to keep your best friend at their ideal weight:

It may be difficult for you to visually determine if your pet is obese, so make sure they receive a yearly wellness exam with your veterinarian. Here, they will be weighed and your vet can tell you what the ideal weight is for your pet. Your veterinarian will also determine if there are any underlying health obesity-related health issues.

Weigh your pet at home. It may be difficult, and your home scale might not be quite as accurate as the one at the doctor’s office, but it will give you a general idea of what your pet weighs and a way to keep track if that number starts to creep up.

Be aware of what your pet is eating. Is your pet eating a healthy, appropriate-sized portion of food each day, or is your pup all too eager to oblige when your toddler is feeding them crackers during snack time? It’s important to be aware of what your pet is consuming and to keep this amount in check.

-Feed them high-quality food. It may go without saying, but not all pet foods are created equal. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on what food would be suit your pet’s lifestyle and activity level.

Take a hike….with your pet! Taking your pet on walks obviously works better for dogs than cats, but it’s important for both cats and dogs to receive daily exercise. A laser pointer or fun toy for your cat can work wonders in regard to getting them moving. A game of fetch in the backyard or a swim at the lake are good ways to burn a few calories with your canine companion.

Finally, if in doubt about your pet’s weight, make an appointment with your veterinarian to have them evaluated. To make an appointment with Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic, please call 231-622-6363.

blk lab hurricane harvey pups smallAs the rain fell and the storm waters rose, so did the concerns about the safety of Houston’s residents during Hurricane Harvey. It was quickly determined that the situation in southern Texas was far more dire than anyone had predicted and people scrambled to evacuate to safer ground. Unfortunately, not all of the area’s furry friends were so lucky. In the midst of the evacuation, many pets were left behind and separated from their families.

Thankfully, there were a lot of individuals on the ground helping make sure these sweet babies were rescued and brought to safety. Once these animals were placed in local shelters, great efforts were made to reunite them with their families, however, many were never claimed. This is where Little Traverse Bay Humane Society (and countless amazing rescue groups across the country!) came in.

Last week, we opened our doors to 19 dogs and puppies affected by Hurricane Harvey. They are pets that were rescued directly from the floodwaters in addition to those who were pulled from already-overcrowded shelters to make room for incoming displaced animals.

Included in this transport were a litter of black lab puppies left in a backyard after their family evacuated without them. These poor babies waited as the waters around them rose, hoping for a hero to save them. They were eventually rescued from their flooded backyard, but sadly, help arrived too late for four of the nine puppies. Thankfully, however, rescue crews jumped into action to care for the remaining five. When they were stable and it was apparent that no one was going to claim them, arrangements were made for them to make the long trip to northern Michigan.

These puppies are just five of the 19 that have now been given a new start and hope for a brighter future. There’s Jack, an adorable Golden Retriever/Husky mix who can’t stop playing and jumping for joy as he races around outside in his new surroundings. Then there’s Maggie Sue, a loving, humble hound mix whose sweet, sad eyes tell a tale of their own. They, along with all of the other Hurricane Harvey affected animals, will find amazing, forever homes very soon.deter with pups caption

What’s fantastic is that the Bissell Pet Foundation has generously agreed to sponsor all adoption fees for Hurricane Harvey-affected animals through September 30! We are so grateful that each and every one of these special pets will find new homes, but we are also so grateful to the Bissell Pet Foundation for their support of these animals and our organization as a whole.

Our Hurricane Harvey affected animals are still being evaluated by our veterinarians, but some are already available for adoption and all will be ready by the end of the week. If you are interested in adopting one of these amazing dogs, continue to check our website at www.ltbhs.com to keep updated on available animals or stop by for a visit!

Everyone at LTBHS is so proud to be part of the solution in helping these displaced animals. This is an incredible example of the power in partnerships between rescue groups and coming together to truly save lives.

catcatcatOctober is all about our feline friends at Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic! On Tuesday, October 17, LTBVC will host Fix Your Feline, which allows owners to have their cat spayed or neutered and vaccinated for rabies, for only $30 (a $120 value!). Pet owners can also have their pet vaccinated for FRVCP, microchipped and treated for fleas/worms for an additional $30 during the event.

On Saturday, October 28, LTBVC will host a Feline Wellness Day, which will include a brief exam, rabies vaccination, FRVCP vaccination, microchip and flea/worm treatment. This package is available for only $35 (a $160 value!).

Both of these clinics offer important, preventative ways to keep your favorite feline friend happy and healthy. Spaying or neutering is incredibly important for many reasons. First and foremost, it can help them lead a longer, healthier life. Altering your animal can increase their lifespan—in cats, this can be as much as 3-5 years! This is because spayed/neutered animals have a very minimal, to no risk of developing diseases such as prostate, ovarian and testicular cancers, among others. Sterilizing your pet will also probably improve their behavior and reduce the likelihood of spraying and aggression. It will decrease your pet’s desire to roam, as well, which keeps them safe in two ways: one, they will be less likely to be hit by a car and injured/killed and two, they won’t become injured due to a fight with another animal. It also helps control the pet overpopulation, reducing the number of unwanted litters in shelters.

Making sure your pet is vaccinated against rabies and FRVCP is an incredibly important way to keep them healthy, too. Rabies is a highly contagious disease spread through the saliva of infected animals and affects the central nervous system. Common carriers include raccoons, skunks and bats, though it can be present in any mammal. Once symptoms of the disease appear, it is almost always fatal. Thankfully, it can be easily prevented with a rabies vaccine. FRVCP is a vaccine that protects your cat against three potentially deadly airborne viruses and is an easy way to keep them healthy.

To sign up for the Fix Your Feline spay/neuter clinic, call 231-347-2396 and to sign up for the Feline Wellness Day, call 231-622-6363.

AmSeptember is Happy, Healthy Cat Month which focuses on ensuring that your feline friend has everything they need for their general well-being. Check out the following tips to keep your cat as happy and healthy as possible!

-It’s very important that cats have access to clean, fresh water. Be sure to change their water on a daily basis to prevent bacteria from accumulating in the bowl (and your cat may be more likely to actually drink from it!). Elderly and nursing cats typically require more water than other cats and are more prone to dehydration, so be sure to look signs such as sunken eyes, lethargy and panting. Some cats appreciate running water, so consider purchasing a bowl where water is continually running.

-Make sure you have enough litter boxes to go around. The rule of thumb is one litter box per cat, plus one. So if you have two cats, you should have three boxes. Be sure to put the boxes somewhere where your kitty is comfortable going, as well, so they will actually use the box.

-Speaking of litter boxes…cats will sometimes go to the bathroom outside their box. This may not be a behavioral issue, but may be the result of a urinary tract infection or other illness. It’s important to have your cat tested for such by your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues.

-Don’t be a litterbug-spay or neuter your cat. This should go without being said, but spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most beneficial things you can do for them. It not only helps prevent unwanted litters from ending up in shelters, but provides many health benefits for your pet, such as reducing the likelihood of certain cancers. Little Traverse Bay Humane Society provides a Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program that allows pet owners to have their cat sterilized at a low rate.

-Keep their teeth healthy. Cats, like humans, get tartar build-up on their teeth which can lead to decay and gum disease. Most owners find it challenging to brush their cat’s teeth, so it’s a good idea to schedule a dental exam and cleaning with your veterinarian. Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic offers dental exams and cleanings to felines.

-One of the best ways to keep your cat healthy is to keep them up to date on their vaccines and a yearly exam. At Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic, we highly recommend cats receive vaccinations for rabies, distemper and feline leukemia, but after a chat with your vet, you can best determine which vaccines are right for your pet.

Make an appointment to keep your feline friend happy and happy this September by calling 231-622-6363.

Darby 082317Allergies are a problem for many people every autumn, but what about pets? Surprisingly, they can be a real issue for our furry friends, too. When you think allergies, most people assume they come on in the springtime and are gone by summer. Whenever the seasons change, however, is when allergies are most prevalent.

For pets, this can mean a number of things. Unlike people, allergies don’t typically manifest in the form of runny eyes and sneezing. Typically, pet allergies come in the form of uncomfortable itching, which causes animals to excessively lick or scratch at their skin. This can result in secondary infections, which can be painful and cause larger skin issues. Itchy ears from allergens can cause ear infections, which can become a real problem if not properly treated.

The good news is that there are many solutions to bothersome seasonal allergies! The first thing to do if you believe your pet might have allergies is to make an appointment with your veterinarian to figure out if this is the real issue. If it’s determined that allergies are the problem, then your veterinarian can decide on the best route to manage the condition. Some pets may respond well to anti-itch shampoos and antihistamines, but others might require occasional steroids to treat them.

If you think your pet may suffer from seasonal allergies, make an appointment with Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic at 231-622-6363 to have them evaluated.

BaxWe recently observed National Check the Chip Day, which brings awareness to the importance of microchips. Microchipping is an effective way to ensure your pet’s safety and an owner’s own peace of mind. It is the best way to make sure animals get home safe if they are ever lost. Pets who are not microchipped often find themselves in shelters looking for a new home and the more unfortunate ones who end up in high-risk shelters are sometimes euthanized.

A microchip is an implant that is inserted under the skin that contains a unique identification number. This number is registered through the National Register Database which contains the dog’s information, as well as the owner’s. The implant is no larger than a grain of rice and is inserted under the skin in the back of the neck in a matter of minutes. The pet’s ID number can be retrieved with a scanner, which is typically found at vet clinics and animal shelters. Unlike pet tags or ID collars, microchips last the lifetime of the pet. Microchipping is a standard procedure at most shelters. All animals at LTBHS are microchipped before they are adopted.

Another important aspect of microchipping is making sure to update the chip information. Each time a pet owner moves or changes their phone number, the chip should be updated. External tags and collars are another smart thing to do for your pet. While these are not permanent, they are another helpful tool in making sure your animal returns home safely.

If your pet is not already microchipped, please call Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic at 231-622-6363 to schedule an appointment to have this important procedure done.

AddisonOlderNewIt’s not uncommon to find a lump or bump on your pet, but what exactly is it, you wonder? While it’s easy to fear the worst when you see on, these are not usually cause for concern.

But what ARE they? A lipoma is the most common type of lump that veterinarians see. This is a round, soft, non-painful mass under the skin that may look a little unappealing, but will not usually cause harm. Lipomas are typically benign, meaning that they do not spread to other places in the body and grow to a certain size and stay that way.

Occasionally, some lipomas are malignant and spread through an animal’s body. These can obviously pose a health threat and will likely need to be removed for your pet’s health. Since it’s so difficult to know if a lipoma is benign or malignant, it’s wise to have your pet seen by a veterinarian who may do a biopsy to determine the root cause.
Other issues that may cause lumps or bumps on your pet include sebaceous cysts that are essentially just clogged oil glands which will resolve on their own. Rarely, sebaceous glands develop into tumors called sebaceous adenomas, which do not pose any more threat once they are surgically removed.

If your pet has a strange lump or bump, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a veterinarian to ensure that there are no underlying issues. To make an appointment for your pet to be evaluated by Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic, call 231-622-6363.

edited 1While it goes without saying that outdoor kitties are often at risk for more health issues than their indoor counterparts, one easy way owners can keep them healthy is through routine testing and vaccination for FIV/FeLV.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a disease that weakens a cat’s immune system. FeLV stands for the feline leukemia virus, which also affects the immune system along with the bone marrow. Both are highly contagious diseases common in outdoor cats spread through infected saliva. Both diseases can be present in a cat’s system for many years without showing any signs of illness. Symptoms of the diseases are similar and can include fever, lethargy, repeated respiratory infections, dental issues and in some cases, chronic eye and skin conditions, in addition to diarrhea and weight loss.

Because there are so many varied symptoms associated with these diseases, it’s a good idea to have your cat tested if they become ill—especially if they are an outdoor cat (this increases their odds of contracting these diseases substantially). Tests can be run by your veterinarian to determine if FeLV or FIV are the cause of your cat’s illness. The good news is that there are also vaccinations to help protect cats against both FeLV and FIV and are available through your veterinarian. Call Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic at 231-622-6363 for additional information about FIV and FeLV and how you can protect your feline friend from these diseases.

smalliStock 539149925It’s summer, which means owners need to be vigilant about protecting their pets (and themselves!) against ticks. Unfortunately, 2017 has been an extremely huge year for these pesky critters, as their population is soaring, especially in Michigan. While it’s not known why their population is exploding across the state, it’s thought that ticks have continues to spread by birds transporting them further and further north.

Ticks are not so problematic themselves, as is the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that they carry. This bacteria can transfer to any animal or human that the tick bites, which can transmit Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be a serious and debilitating problem to both humans and animals if it is not caught early and treated.

It’s extremely important to protect your pet against Lyme disease and one way to do this is to get them on some sort of preventative medication which discourages ticks from making a meal of your furry friend. Make an appointment today at Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic to protect your pet against ticks and to keep them healthy.

Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic offers a number of preventative medications to protect your furry friend from ticks and other parasites.  To make an appointment, call 231-622-6363.