Traverse City Record-Eagle


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Woof & Meow Spoken Here

Top products to help pets have fun

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMWhile the U.S. economy remains sluggish, the pet economic sector, on the contrary, continues on an upward trend. It appears that when it comes to Fido, we’re not so inclined to cut corners. Pet product marketers are aggressively courting the consumer to buy their newest “can’t-live-without-pet-product.”

It’s important to know which products are beneficial and safe for your pet. To simplify the product clutter, we have prepared a sampling of new, innovative products — but this is ONLY a short list! More »

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New laser may beam away your pet’s pain

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMPet owners are passionate about finding ways to help relieve pain in their older, arthritic dogs or lessen the discomfort of a pet with cancer. Veterinarians are now using a high tech solution that just might surprise you.

Whether used to blow up the Death Star or vaporize Romulans, most people view lasers as something destructive. Even in surgery, lasers can be used like scalpels to remove unwanted tissue or seal blood vessels with their intense heat. So, it may come as a surprise to learn that lasers are now being used to help heal wounds or provide pain relief for arthritic pets. More »

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Itchy pets are miserable pets!

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMIt’s a common occurrence — pet owners expressing feelings of frustration, helplessness and even despair from a single symptom. Their pets itch and scratch, itch and scratch — and it is not a flea problem! Although this may not seem like a big deal, these owners suffer through sleepless nights as their pets scratch and chew and lick, all in an attempt to get some needed relief. If it’s not fleas, what can this common problem be? More »

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Your dog ate what?

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMMost pet owners aren’t too concerned when their pets gobble down some grass, try to eat a bone or even grab the wrapper from a candy bar. But, when their tastes turn to gravel and rocks or even plastic toys, you might have a serious problem! Why do our pets try to eat such weird stuff? More »

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Leptospirosis: Old disease, new problems

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMThe Centers for Disease Control removed Leptospirosis from the “reportable human diseases” list, but there is still significant concern over this zoonotic disease. Our pets are susceptible to Lepto as well, but many owners are afraid to vaccinate for the illness. What’s the real story and how can we keep our pets and families safe? More »

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Winter dangers for pets

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMWinter is here and we are thinking of family gatherings, holiday parties, snow and ice. Wintertime can be beautiful, festive and a great time for winter sports, but keeping our pets safe could involve a little homework and preparation. More »

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Forgotten felines

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMSneaking through back alleyways and abandoned lots, millions of feral and stray cats make their homes in our cities and rural areas.   Often fearful of people, these "wild" cats are blamed for everything from decimating bird populations to killing sea otters.   What's the truth behind these feral felines and why are some people so determined to save their lives? More »

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Snakes and lizards and hedgehogs… oh my!

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMMention the word “pet,” and most people will think of something warm, fuzzy, and cuddly. But, for 15 percent of households in North America, the words might be scaly, spiny, or even creepy. Welcome to the world of exotic pets!

For most of us, picking up food for our pet will entail a drive to the pet store or grocery store for a bag of dry kibble, or maybe even a can or two of something tasty as a treat. But for a growing number of pet owners, some of their pet food can be found right in their own back yard! More »

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Allergic pets and people

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMFrom springtime through late fall, many people are subject to seasonal allergies. But people are not the only ones suffering. For our dogs and cats, these same seasons can bring intense itching and discomfort. Yes, it seems our pets can get their own “hay fever.”

It’s a very frustrating and somewhat common situation. Pet owners by the millions flock to their veterinarians in the hope of relieving their pet’s itchiness. For many people, the constant chewing, licking, and scratching can test their love for their pets. More »

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The battle against heartworms is getting tougher

By Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVMEvery month, lots of dog owners, and a few cat owners, give their pets some form of heartworm prevention. But recent studies are showing increasing numbers of heartworm-positive pets across the country. Some people believe the worms now have the upper hand. Has our trusted protection failed us?

Dog owners, and a growing number of cat owners understand that once-a-month heartworm preventives keep their pets safe from a very serious cardiovascular parasitic disease. Despite consistent use of preventive medications, a significant number of dogs are testing positive for heartworms, especially in the mosquito heavy Southeastern U.S. Are we seeing the beginnings of a resistance movement? More »

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