Regular Check-Ups are Key to a Healthy

and Happy Cat

Right Meow!
Now is the PURRR-fect time to bring your cat in for a routine visit. There are many reasons why you should make sure to get your kitty in for their annual exam to them feline fine!

Cats age rapidly!
In the first year of life they age the equivalent of 15 human years! So, when they are 2 years old they are the equivalent of a 24 year old human. You gotta be kitten me! Each year after that is equivalent to 4 humans years! WOW! Thats a lot of aging in a short time fram! Now think... by the time you are 24 years old how many times have you seen a docotor? A lot can happen with your kitty in a short 4 year "cat year".

The master of disguise!
Survival of the fittest is how cats survive in the wild. So it is a natural behavior for a cat to hide any sign of pain or illness. This makes them excellent at hiding all hints towards a developing health issue. Subtle changes in a cat's behavior or daily routine may be your only sign at home that something may be wrong.

Fat Cat!
Over 50% of cats are overweight or obese. It only takes a few extra pounds on our furry friends to wreak havoc on their bodies. Some chances for certain illnesses increase by being overweight, such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. Veterinarians can help with tips and tricks on how to get your kitty to a healthy weight and keep them there.

Let there be life!
Preventive care is always better than reactive care. Because cats are so good at hiding problems, waiting until you notice a problem can make the illness much worse for your kitty. Regular physical exams and wellness blood work can help our doctors pick up on early signs of disease and allow them to inform you of subtle signs to watch for or treatment options to help keep them healthy.

More and more teeth!
Kittens have 26 teeth and when they become adults they have 30 teeth. Dental disease is the most prevalent disease in cats 3 years of age and older. Preventative dental care may help push off any need for dental cleaning procedures when started young. Bad breath may be the only sign of dental disease you see in your cat. Most of the time, their eating habits may not change at all.
 information gathered from: American Association of Feline Practioners

Laurel Hill Blog

Posted by lhvs on September 5, 2013

Lumps and Bumps on your pets

Posted by lhvs on June 2, 2016

Sebaceous Cyst
Wart & Skin Tag
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Transitional Cell Carcinoma
Mast Cell Tumor 
Mammary Carcinoma
Basal Cell Tumor

Photos top to bottom from:,,,,,,,,,,

Lumps & Bumps on Your Pets

Dogs and cats can develop lumps and bumps on their skin. Skin lumps are a common condition veterinarians are faced with. Sounds simple, but determining what they are can be tricky. If you find a lump on your pet, it is important to contact your veterinarian.

The lipoma (fatty tumor) is one of the most commonly encountered lump.

  • Fat deposits under the skin
  • Soft, round, non-painful masses
  • Occasionally found between muscles
  • Generally benign (not cancerous)
  • They tend to stay in one place
  • Don’t tend to invade other surrounding tissues
  • Some may cause discomfort depending on location
  • Most do not have to be removed
  • Removal is only necessary if the lipoma is interfering with the dog’s mobility, is growing rapidly, or is cosmetically bothersome

A sebaceous cyst is a blocked oil gland that looks like a pimple. When it bursts, a white, pasty material comes out. They are basically large pimples!

  • Common benign surface tumors
  • Terriers, Schnauzers, Poodles, and spaniels are most often affected
  • Begin when something blocks a pore on skin and results in a “clogged” oil gland
  • Dome-shaped swelling
  • Become infected and may need to be drained
  • Some burst on their own leaving a white, brown, or cottage cheese like discharge
  • Antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or other medications may be recommended


Because of their appearance histiocytomas are often called “button tumors”.

  • Benign
  • Rapidly growing tumors
  • Usually found in dogs 1 to 3 years old
  • More common in short haired dogs
  • Dome-shaped, raised, hairless surface growths that are not painful
  • Most of these tumors disappear within 1 to 2 months
  • Any that persist should be examined further by your veterinarian


Warts and skin tags are pesky yet painless bumps that can develop on various parts of your pet’s body.

  • Benign tumors on the surface of the skin
  • Mostly seen on older dogs
  • Can be more of a problem on dogs that get groomed (clippers may cut the wart and cause bleeding)


Squamous cell carcinomas can develop on the skin and inside the mouth.

  • Tumors that affect the tonsils or tongue are difficult to remove and can grow quite large
  • Oral squamous cell carcinomas are very aggressive (less than 10% of dogs with tumors in these locations survive to 1 year after diagnosis)

Lymphoma is among the most common type of tumor seen in dogs.

  • Represents 20% of all canine cancers
  • Dogs are 2 – 5 times more likely to get lymphoma than humans
  • Golden Retrievers are more likely effected
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes


Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common tumor of the lower urinary system (bladder and urethra) in the dog.

  • Locally invasive and likely to metastasize to another area
  • Bloody urine can be seen with tumors of the bladder
  • Straining or urethral obstruction can be seen with tumors below the bladder


Most mast cell tumors are found on the skin and may be detected by a sudden swelling or growth.

  • Fairly simple to diagnose with a needle aspirate
  • Boxers and Bulldogs are more frequently diagnosed


Osteosarcoma is the most common type of primary bone tumor in the dog.

  • Frequently affects the long bones (But can be found in any bone)
  • Associated with the giant breeds
  • 7 – 10 year old dogs
  • Very aggressive and rapidly growing tumor


Mammary Carcinoma - Tumors of the mammary glands are the most common tumor seen in unspayed female dogs.

  • Most commonly found in unspayed cats and dogs
  • 40 – 50% of these tumors are malignant (they have spread to other locations—most often the lungs or lymph nodes)
  • Open wounds or ulcerations on the mammary mass can be seen
  • Treatment may include surgical removal of the entire mammary chain and mass
  • Prevent by spaying your pets!


Basal cell tumor is the one of the most common skin cancers in animals.

  • Hairless, raised mass in the skin that may be located on the neck, head, and/or shoulders
  • Older dogs, especially poodles and cocker spaniels
  • Can be benign or malignant
  • Growth away from the original site is rare
  • Less than 10% of these tumors are malignant
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Pet's and Hunting Season Safety

Posted by lhvs on November 25, 2015

Hunting season can be a dangerous time for pets. Here are some safety tips to keep your beloved pets safe from hunting dangers:

  1. DO NOT LET YOUR DOGS OFF LEASH!  Keeping your pet on a leash is the best protection for them. If gets fired near you, a leash will keep your dog  from running off in fear.
  2. WEAR BRIGHT COLORS!  "Hunter orange" is the best color of choice. Vests for your dog can be purchased at any pet or hunting supply store. If your dog refuses to wear a vest, a brightly colored bandana tied around your dogs neck can be used as an alternative. This makes it easier for hunters to see you in the woods or fields.
  3. IF YOU SEE A HUNTER, GET THEIR ATTENTION!  Getting a hunters attention is the best way to make sure that they see you and your pet. Trying to sneak around to not ruin their hunt is putting you and your pet in danger. Once you wave, yell a few short loud words and get their attention, simply return the way you came.
  4. PLAN YOUR OUTING WITH YOUR PETS!  The best time to walk your pets during hunting season is mid-day. Avoid walking at dawn and dusk. Also, if the woods are your favorite plave to walk, go to a park where hunting is not permitted.
  5. KNOW YOUR LOCAL HUNTING SEASONS!  Having a knowledge of the hunting seasons will better prepare you for when hunters are in the woods.
Here is a checklist to follow when you are going to take your pet out for a walk during hunting season:
  • Keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • Have your pets microchipped.
  • Keep your veterinarians phone number in your phone in case of an emergency.
  • Apply a bell to your pet's collar so they are heard by hunters and can be more easily tracked.
  • Carry a small first aid kit with you. Here are a few things you can include: latex gloves, bandage material, neosporin, sterile eye flush, a small pair of scissors, flashlight, etc.

Visit for more information of pets and hunting season safety


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Safe Travels

Posted by lhvs on July 8, 2015

Photos from top to bottom: www.,,,,



Planning on taking a trip, a drive to town, or a visit to the vet’s office – four legged friends included?

Before you hit the road here are some travel tips for you and your pet passengers:

Buckle up! While in the car, dogs and cats should ride in a crate or carrier. This helps protect the driver from distractions and helps to keep your pet safe during sudden stops and turns, or in the event of an accident. Dogs should travel in a crate that is anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seatbelts are suitable for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction, but they haven't been consistently proven to protect dogs during an accident. 

Most cats don’t enjoy traveling in cars, so for their safety as well as yours, keep them in a carrier that is fastened with the seatbelt so that they don't bounce around and injure themselves.

Leave the front for humans! Keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If an airbag deployed while your pet was in the passenger seat (even in a crate), it may injure them.


NEVER leave a pet unattended inside the car, even for a short amount of time. Temperatures can rise or drop to dangerous levels in a locked car in a matter of minutes.

When it's 72°F outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116°F within an hour. On an 85°F day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach 102°F in just 10 minutes. If you're held up for 30 minutes, you may return to a car that's 120°Finside and a pet who is suffering irreversible organ damage or death.


A doctor's visit is imperative before any big trip. Make sure your pet is up-to-date with vaccinations, especially rabies, as they are legally required everywhere you go.

Pit stops- The AVMA advises pet owners to try to stop every 2 to 3 hours for your pet to use the bathroom and get some exercise.

Hydrate!- The ASPCA recommends keeping a gallon of cold water on hand to ensure your pet stays appropriately hydrated during the trip.







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Pretty Poisons

Posted by lhvs on June 15, 2015

Pretty Poisons

I don't know about you, but my dogs refuse to stay out of the flower beds, flower pots, and garden every year. I didn't know there are so many plants and things outside that could harm my pets. Several plants and flowers produce a variety of toxic substances that can cause reactions from simple nausea to tragic death. Some of the prettiest plants can cause so much harm if ingested, so my green thumb and I dug up a list of some of the list for you.

  1. Lilies
  2. Lily of the Valley
  3. Tulips
  4. Aloe Vera
  5. Daffodil bulbs
  6. Philodendrons
  7. Chrysanthemums
  8. Ferns
  9. Hydrangea
  10. Iris
  11. Hyacinths
  12. Morning Glory seeds and roots
  13. Azaleas
  14. Caladiums
  15. Elephant Ear
  16. Glacier and English Ivy
  17. Bird-of-Paradise
  18. Buttercup
  19. Delphinium
  20. Foxglove
  21. Holly Berries
  22. Mistletoe Berries
  23. Poinsettias
  24. Potato shoots and sprouts
  25. Rhododendrons
  26. Rhubarb leaves
  27. Autumn Crocus
  28. Apple seeds
  29. Peach Pits
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Why Does My Pet Scoot??

Posted by lhvs on May 18, 2015

Why Does My Pet Scoot??

Most of us have unfortunately experienced the shocking sight of a dog scooting his bottom across the ground. Many times the dog is then scolded for doing this. Perhaps because they just scooted across your freshly cleaned carpets, but have you every really wondered why they do this? Is there actually something wrong with my pet or are they just being silly. 

The mystery behind the infamous scoot ...Basically when a dog or cat is scooting it's bottom on the ground it means they have an itch or are trying to relieve a painful sensation. This pain usually comes from the anal glands, which are impossible for them to reach by any other means besides scooting themselves across the floor.

Where do dogs/cats scoot?

That's a funny question. You see, dogs and cats don't care where they scoot as long as they relieve themselves. They seem to scoot at all the wrong times, like when they are outside in the grass while you are having a conversation with your neighbor, or when you have guests over for a dinner party. They go ahead and drag their furry bottoms across the ground and aren't shy about it at all.

The 2 main reasons pets scoot:

1. Anal glandsAnal Glands or Anal Sacs: Anal sacs are located on each side of the rectum. Anal glands are normally emptied with regular bowel movements. If they do not empty on their own they may become impacted, infected, or even rupture. The sacs normally secrete a smelly thin oily substance. Despite what humans might feels about the matter, dogs communicate with their butts. This substance can be correlated with territorial marking or communication between other animals. The true purpose is not known for sure. Skunks have this type of gland that is used as a defense mechanism.

Some animals don't express their anal sacs on their own; this may be due to many factors such as obesity, illness, diet or breed. More dogs have anal gland issues than cats, particularly small breed dogs. When anal glands are not expressed they become extremely full and uncomfortable. The liquid becomes thick and harder to express so the pet may start scooting their bottom in response to the discomfort. Immediate veterinary care is recommended at this point. 

2. ParasitesParasites are another reason pets may scoot their bottoms. Tapeworms are the most common. One way animals become infected with tapeworms is by ingesting a flea carrying a tapeworm. Scooting can be a sign of tapeworms but a more obvious sign are small rice segments on your pet's back end. Tapeworms can be treated with an oral or injectable medication from your veterinarian.  

No Scoot™ Soft Chews for Dogs

(available at our clinic)

 Vet Classics No Scoot® Soft Chews help support healthy anal gland function by increasing your dog’s daily fiber intake. The fiber in our special proprietary blend of natural ingredients gently supports normal bowel function.

 • Helps support healthy anal sac and gland function by increasing your dog’s daily fiber intake

 • The fiber in our special proprietary blend of natural ingredients gently supports normal bowel function

 For use in dogs over 12 weeks of age.

Pictures from top to bottom:,,, www.reluctantcatowner,com,,

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