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Tick Prevention

Without question, the tick-related diseases (Lyme, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia) are the most prevalent infectious diseases of dogs in our area.  Over 30% of dogs we test have tested positive for at least one of these diseases! 

The best protection against tick-transmitted disease is a tick preventive.  There are many products on the market, all of varying efficacy and safety.  We spend a great deal of time researching products, so that we can provide the best recommendations for safe and effective tick prevention for your pet. 

Over the past few years, an entire new class of tick preventives has been developed.  These new products are ORAL products that can be given once every month (Simparica) or every 12 weeks (Bravecto).  We also still have a topical “spot-on” product (Parastar) that can be applied monthly and a collar (Scalibor) that lasts for six months.

However, regardless of which product you choose, it is only helpful if you are using it when the ticks are out.  Ticks only require temperatures to be above freezing to be active.  Just this year, we had temperatures over 40 in January, February and March.  Therefore, it is now the recommendation of NSVH to strongly consider the use of YEAR-ROUND tick prevention for your pets.  With the unpredictable weather it doesn’t make sense to stop preventing ticks during the winter when ticks may actually be active during many of those months. 

Be sure to start tick prevention ASAP to help prevent these potentially deadly tick-borne diseases in your pets!

Feline Preventive Care

Whereas a large percentage of canine pets visit a veterinarian at least once a year only a small percentage of feline pets get to the vet on an annual basis.  One of the reasons may be that most cats are indoor cats and have less exposure to disease and accidents.  While this is true it is still very important to have your feline companions examined on an annual basis.

Feline exams help to ensure the health and longevity of your pet.  A good exam should include the following:

  1. Status of vaccinations.  Indoor cats should still be vaccinated for rabies and distemper even if they never get outside.
  2. Dental health.  Most cats at some point in their lives will need a dentistry to clean the teeth and extract any teeth that have cavities which cause pain.  If you see your cat only chewing on one side of its mouth or has gone off dry food altogether there is a good chance there are painful teeth that need to be addressed.
  3. Nutrition and activity.  How and what is your cat eating?  Is the water consumption normal?  Is your cat overweight?  Is your cat active?  If not why?  Suggestions can be made for a nutritionally balanced diet.  In the case of inactivity an orthopedic exam can rule out any arthritis which can lessen the amount of activity in your cat.
  4. Eyes and ears.  The veterinarian will check for any ear debris or polyps.  Eye exams insure the health of the cornea, lens and retina.
  5. Coat and skin.  Changes in the hair coat, loss of hair, lumps or pigment changes can be investigated.
  6. Breathing.  Listening to the lungs helps to catch any respiratory infections or heart issues.
  7. Behavior.  Has your cat been using the litterbox normally?  Any changes in demeanor or activity?  Depending on the issue tests can be run to see if infections or metabolic changes are contributing to the behavior.
  8. Blood tests.  These are especially important for older cats and should be done on an annual basis in order to catch any metabolic changes early.

Catching issues early is important to the life and emotional wellness of your cat.  As cats age changes can occur with weight, activity, organ function and behavior.  Having annual exams and blood tests help to keep a log of how your cat is doing from year to year.  The incorporation of special diets and/or medications can help to lengthen the life of a cat with kidney issues, hyperthyroidism or diabetes.  A longer life mean extra snuggles and moments with your special friend which may be just enough to justify yearly check-ups.

Until next time enjoy the fall season!


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(218) 525-1937

Fax: (218) 525-2311

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North Shore Veterinary Hospital
6001 E. Superior St.
Duluth, MN 55804

Clinic Hours

  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday:
  • Sunday:
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – Noon
  • Closed
Our Hospital
North Shore Veterinary Hospital has been an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association since 1979.
At-Home Care
North Shore Veterinary Hospital strives to provide care in a manner that is most beneficial to pets and their owners. In many cases, this means providing services in the comfort of your home rather than at our hospital.