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

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Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic

Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic

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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.