Harvey Animal Hospital

18479 Mack
Detroit, MI 48236



Compassionate Veterinary Care Starts with Making the Animal Feel Comfortable

 -- 12/29/2016

When searching for a veterinarian in St. Clair Shores, Michigan it's important to find one that provides compassionate care to animals. While most vet practices are able to care for the needs of a sick pets effectively, not all offices are the same. Some focus on treating many patients throughout the day, while other veterinarians focus on making the animal feel comfortable by taking their time. Each type will treat the pet's medical condition, but a vet who maintains a calm, trusting environment for the pets treated is going to cause less emotional harm to any pet that comes in the door.

Making the Animal Feel Comfortable
Consider that a sick pet is put into a crate, dragged to the vet's office, and put on a table under harsh light. This isn't going to do much to make the animal feel very comfortable. While the pet owner can make the process easier by getting their pet used to the crate and car rides, the rest is up to the vet's office. The first step is to provide a room for the animal where they can come out of their crate without having to be pulled out. In the waiting room, it always helps to set up dividers so that animals don't have to see each other while waiting for an appointment. For nervous pets, a small, isolated waiting room can work wonders.

How the Animal Is Handled

Vet technicians are great at handling most pets, even those that are stressed and aggressive. The problem is, when a stressed-out pet is handled in such a manner that restricts their movement, this can have a lasting effect on their ability to trust other humans. It takes time to get a pet to calm down and trust the person who is trying to assess their medical needs. Rushing an exam usually leads to the need for the pet to be held tightly. In an emergency, this is often necessary, but a vet who takes the time to allow the pet to relax often provides more compassionate care. -- Harvey Animal Hospital

Finding the Right Vet for a Pet with Special Medical Needs

 -- 12/28/2016

All pets deserve quality medical care. When searching for vets near me in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, it's important to look at what the needs of the pet are. For some pets who are comfortable around other animals, a large vet office with an active waiting room will be fine. For other pets, especially those that are medically in need, a more compassionate approach may be necessary. Some vets focus on providing care to as many animals as possible throughout the day, while others focus on getting the pet to trust their actions as they provide treatment. When one has an animal with special medical concerns, it's often useful to find a quiet vet practice in the area.

Pets that Require a Gentle Touch
No vet's office should ever handle a pet roughly, but some offices are known to be more gentle than others. A busy practice is going to focus on getting the job done quickly, as there will often be other patients in the waiting room that need to be seen. Pets that require more gentle handling do better in offices that are focused on treating one patient at a time, and doesn't rush you out because of a waiting room full of other patients. In general, it is usually about the size of the practice and whether the office is also an emergency veterinarian provider. In an emergency pet hospital, it can be incredibly chaotic just because pets may be in crisis.

Choosing a Vet in Detroit, Michigan
There are numerous vets to choose from in the city of Detroit, Michigan. This means that it's possible to find an office that is both close to the home and offers the services one is seeking for their pet. In a busier practice, a pet may get less attention, and “conveyer belt” care.  In an office that allows pets to relax and get to know the environment first, you and your pet will feel comfortable and even build a bond with the veterinary staff. Overall, it is up to what the pet needs and what works best to get the animal compassionate treatment that doesn't traumatize the animal further.

-- Harvey Animal Hospital

Animal Lovers Can Find Compassionate Care in Grosse Pointe Finding a Grosse Pointe Veterinarian is the First Priority

 -- 12/16/2016

One of the first things responsible pet lovers do when adopting a new family cat, dog, hamster, bird, or exotic animal is to search for a nearby veterinarian. Whether they want to schedule a general check-up or an initial series of pet vaccinations in the Grosse Pointe area, Harvey Animal Hospital is the top choice! New pet caretakers will love the veterinary options available, knowing they have easy access to an animal hospital that is so close to home and features a skilled and caring team of fellow animal lovers.

What Can Devoted Animal Lovers Look for in a Local Veterinarian?

Finding the right veterinarian clinic usually involves a variety of factors for busy people with beloved pets. The following are a few things new pet owners might keep in mind when searching for the ideal veterinarian:

         -The Office Features Convenient Hours. Whether single, married or a large family, modern life is busy for everyone, so it is important to find a veterinarian office that offers plenty of reasonable hours from which to choose to fit their schedule. Pet lovers might look for a care facility that offers business hours Monday through Friday, along with some weekend hours. And that the trusted veterinarian facility has a referral program in place in case of emergencies after hours and holidays.

         -The Veterinary Staff Uses a Low Stress Approach to Care. These techniques will help make the visit less upsetting for the pet and in turn make the owner less stressed as well. A low stress handling approach can help the animal relax and may also make the pet enjoy the vet visit
         -The Animal Hospital Offers a Full Menu of up to date Services. The more preventive and acute care services that a busy animal lover can find at one animal hospital, the better for everyone, including the animal. A few key ways local veterinarians help their pets and their families include providing important vaccinations, giving regular health check-ups, answering questions and concerns, and implanting microchips to track and identify treasured pets in case they get lost.

         -The Veterinary Team Puts the Pet and Family's Needs First. The most compassionate veterinarian teams understand what pets mean to families and work hard to put their needs first. These professionals not only do so for the pet but for the entire family that loves that pet. Families and their pets will find the kind of care and flexibility they need at our local Grosse Pointe animal hospital
-- Harvey Animal Hospital

Importance of Pet Preventative Care

 -- 12/15/2016

Taking care of a pet’s health is part of a pet owner’s responsibility. By taking preventative health care measures, pet owners can often avoid serious problems with their pet’s health. Routine pet checkups are important to keeping a pet healthy and happy. Here are but a few of the many benefits pet owners can gain through preventative pet health care.

Regular Monitoring of a Pet’s Health

Pet owners who take their pets for regular checkups make it easier for vets to monitor their animal’s health. Vets can provide pet owners with valuable counsel on their pet’s diet, exercise, grooming and overall care to enhance their health and well-being over the years.

Early Detection of Disease

Regular pet checkups will enable a veterinarian to detect early warning signs of any health problems with a pet such as a serious condition or disease.  During routine exams, vets usually do a full physical exam and check a pet’s eyes, ears, mouth and skin which indicate the animal’s current state of health. Vets can also run routine tests on a pet to detect problems with the liver, heart, kidneys, and other vital organs. These tests can also screen for diseases such as diabetes and other abnormalities, that are not obvious from a physical exam.

Early detection of serious illnesses and diseases could save a pet’s life. By catching the disease in its early stages, a vet may be able to help a pet get better faster to prevent pain and suffering. The longer pets go without proper healthcare, the greater the risk of the disease spreading and causing serious harm. Pet owners also run the risk of having to pay for more expensive treatment for serious diseases if they wait too long.


Preventative pet care includes having a pet vaccinated against rabies, distemper and other diseases when needed. Regular vaccinations will enhance an animal’s immune system to preserve its health over the long run. Vaccinations will also protect a pet from catching an infectious disease. People who travel often with their pet will want to ensure they are well protected during their travels.

Just as people need regular doctor visits to promote good health and well-being, pets also benefit from regular visits to the vet to keep them looking and feeling their best. Working with a good pet clinic in St. Clair Shores will enable pet owners to provide their pet with the quality medical care they need to stay in optimum health.  A healthy pet is a happy pet that will provide pet owners with years of love and companionship. -- Harvey Animal Hospital

3 Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Pet

 -- 12/13/2016

Pets provide companionship and love to people of all ages. At the same time, they’re a responsibility to care for. Pet owners are responsible to provide for the health and welfare of their pets. This involves dedicating time, money and effort to ensure pets have all their needs. Before deciding to get a pet, people should ask themselves the following questions.

Why Have a Pet?
People want pets for different reasons. Those who are lonely often want a pet to fill a void for friendship and companionship. Others may decide to get a pet, such as a dog, for protection and security. People who are considering getting a pet should keep in mind that animals have feelings and require commitment from their owners to meet their needs. Before becoming a pet owner, people should make sure the pet they choose can fit into their lifestyle.
Despite being lots of fun, baby animals such as kittens and puppies need extra TLC and training. Busy people may not be able to provide the attention a young pet may need. Older animals are more likely to adjust to being alone at home while pet owners work or their kids go to school. Pets should complement a person’s way of life to make it easier for both pet and owner to adjust to each other.

Who will Care for the Pet?
In a family home, pets are usually cared for by the entire family. Pet owners have a responsibility to feed, groom, exercise and play with their companion daily. By having a regular veterinarian in St. Clair Shores, pet owners can ensure their pet gets routine checkups to stay healthy and happy. In addition to routine exams, pets may require vaccinations, tests for heart, liver or blood problems, in-depth grooming or dental care. Vets encourage pet owners to take advantage of preventative health care to keep their pet in good health.

Who Will Pay for Pet Expenses?
Like children, pets cost money for their care. Consumers should factor pet needs and cost to include regular vet visits into their budget before taking on the responsibility of a companion. In addition to food and vet costs, pets may need toys, a bed to sleep in, a crate for traveling, grooming products, flea and heartworm preventatives, vaccinations, vitamins and pet medicine when they’re sick in the course of their care. The love and companionship pets provide more than counter for these costs. -- Harvey Animal Hospital

Important Facts About Feline Leukemia

 -- 12/12/2016

Feline leukemia can be extremely destructive to a pet’s health.  Understanding this disorder and the steps necessary to prevent it can save a cat’s life.
Feline Leukemia Overview
The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that produces an enzyme that allows it to insert a copy of its genetic makeup into any infected cells in a cat.
FeLV infections hinder the effectiveness of a pet’s immune system and cause a number of cancers.  Feline leukemia causes the majority of household cat deaths. 
Among U.S. cats, between 2 and 3 percent have feline leukemia infections.  With those who are very young, sick, or at risk for other medical reasons, the incidence rises to 13 percent.  Kittens are the most susceptible.
Cats develop feline leukemia by catching it from another cat.  Transmission occurs through grooming, biting, sharing dishes or litter boxes, or just being in close contact.  When one cat in a multi-cat household tests positive for FeLV, all the others require testing.
Common symptoms include:
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Anemia
  • Continuing weight loss
  • Lingering diarrhea
  • One or more abscesses
  • Ear and skin infections
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Nose, eye, and mouth inflammations
  • Unsteady gait
  • Presence of lymphoma or fibrosarcoma
Treatment and Prevention
FeLV cats require constant veterinary management of their symptoms.  More than half of those whose blood persistently reveals the presence of leukemia pass away due to related disorders within two or three years after they become infected.
Veterinary care at an animal clinic serving St. Clair Shores pets includes periodic testing and follow-up visits for cats with feline leukemia.  Veterinarians advise owners to keep any pets known to carry FeLV indoors.
A veterinarian can recommend appropriate nutrition for an FeLV cat and will be on the lookout for secondary infections linked to bacteria, parasites, or other viruses.  Most FeLV cats take medication to treat their symptoms and receive annual vaccinations to protect them from intestinal and respiratory viruses.  Ongoing dental care is also important to prevent infections.
When they suffer severe symptoms, some FeLV cats require hospitalization until they stabilize.  Sometimes emergency blood transfusions are necessary.
Veterinarians often recommend a commercial FeLV vaccine for a new pet.  Before administering it, they test to determine that the cat is not already infected.  However, the only way to completely protect a cat from contracting feline leukemia is to prevent any contact with an infected animal.
-- Harvey Animal Hospital

Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease

 -- 12/11/2016

Those searching for "vets near me in Grosse Pointe" may find listings of vets who provide testing if they found a tick on their pet. The owner may be frantically searching for a vet, in fear of their pet having Lyme disease. It's only a wive's tale that Lyme disease can't travel to pets, so owners need to recognize the symptoms and act quickly.

What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease originates from a bacterium known as a spirochete, which comes from the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. It's transferred to a canine via a tick bite, usually from a deer tick. But Scientists are discovering other types of ticks transmit Lyme disease as well.

How to Detect it in Animals
Unlike humans who may develop the "bull's-eye rash," the animal won't develop any kind of skin reaction from Lyme disease. Because of this, Lyme disease tends to go undetected in pets. In many cases, the pet doesn't develop symptoms for awhile, which delays the diagnosis and treatment processes. In most cases, the doctor tests for other conditions before considering the possibility of Lyme disease. It's not uncommon for the condition to go undetected for a year or longer. By that time, several areas of the body are affected.
The first sign of Lyme disease in animals is localized pain due to the disease affecting the joints. The pet may experience difficulty walking and appear like he is "walking on eggshells." Limping is common and the pet may also stop eating and have a risen temperature. Sometimes, the symptoms will begin and stop. Without treatment, the symptoms will eventually return.

How Does the Vet Diagnose It?
It's not really possible for a vet to make the diagnosis without testing, even if the doctor suspects Lyme disease. The vet will order one of two different tests: an antibody test or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. An antibody test detects the presence of antibodies from the organism, rather than the actual bacteria in the blood. The antibody test isn't always accurate since the pet will show negative for the presence of antibodies if they haven't formed yet. Sometimes, there just aren't enough antibodies to stimulate a positive reaction, oftentimes in a pet with a weakened immune system.
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is the other type and is more accurate. It's a DNA test that's more sensitive than an antibody test. Not every pet has the bacteria in his blood, so a false negative may occur from a blood test. Vets can also test fluid from a joint to detect Lymes Disease.
If you spot a tick on your pet or if you pet isn't acting himself, call your veterinarian right away. The sooner a disease is diagnosed the sooner treatment can begin. If you live in an area where there are many ticks or if you plan on traveling with your pet to an area with ticks ask your vet about the Lyme's Disease vaccine. -- Harvey Animal Hospital

Choosing a Vet After a Move

 -- 12/10/2016

When a person moves, they have usually put a lot of thought and planning into the move, and have a certain understanding why the move was necessary. Still, the moving process remains stressful, even with this understanding. The pets that go along for the ride don't have that luxury. Many get upset when the owners rearrange the furniture, let alone move to a new home. Another one of the major stressors pets will ultimately need  to face after a move is going to a new vet. In order to find a vet in your new community, it is likely that their owners will start by searching "vets near me Detroit," “vet near me in Grosse Pointe” or something along these lines. Moving is a busy time, and it may be tempting just to blindly pick whatever shows up at the top of the search results, however it is better for pets if their owners take the time to dig a little deeper.

Visiting Without a Pet
One of the things not every pet owner considers is making a visit to the vet just to check out the facility before bringing their pet for a check up. Pets pick up on their owner's anxiety, and just knowing things like how get to the new vet, or the layout of the hospital can make humans feel more comfortable, which translates onto the pet.
A visit without the pet also gives pet owners an opportunity to ask questions that are relative to their pet's condition without the distraction of trying to control their pet at the same time. It is a  good idea to make a list of any questions about any potential health concerns, and mention them at the visit, even if they seem minor, because this can bring a better understanding of the issue.

Experience With Various Types of Pets
There are many veterinary practices that a person might find when they search "vets near me Detroit" that serve cats and dogs almost exclusively. While cats and dogs make wonderful pets, many people own "exotic" pets, such as birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and reptiles, who also need to be properly cared for. Pet owners who have these pets, with or without a cat or dog, should inquire about a vets familiarity with these animals as well.

Easing the Stress
No matter how much a pet owner prepares, going to a new vet for the first time may still be stressful for the pet. Owners can help their pets feel more comfortable by getting comfortable themselves. Taking your pet in just to meet the Doctors and staff can really help your pet feel more comfortable too. By bringing your pet in for attention and treats and really help a pet get familiar with the people and environment and even be eager to go to the vet as its associated with positive things. That way, when they need to come in for health concerns or procedures your pet will associate the visit with the kisses and cookies it received last time and won't be so stressed. Also, choosing a vet that prides itself on it's ability to manage stress in pets can prove to be a big advantage that pets will truly appreciate. -- Harvey Animal Hospital

Some Thoughts to Chew On -- Don't Let Your Pets Gnaw on These Items

 -- 12/09/2016

Some dogs, especially puppies like to chew on things, such as sticks and rawhide. But pet owners should be cautious about what they allow their pets to gnaw on. Even some items marketed specifically for dogs to chew on can be dangerous to its health. That is why it's important for a pet owner to keep the following away from their furry best friends.

Any canine owner who has taken a stroll down the pet section of the supermarket has probably seen bags of rawhide for sale and assumed that they must be safe to give to their dogs. But most experts caution that these treats can be downright dangerous for your pet for several reasons. One, rawhide, especially imported chews, often contain harmful chemicals. Rawhide chews can also pose a choking hazard. And if a dog has a tendency to swallow large pieces of rawhide, they could end up blocking its digestive system, which could require in abdominal surgery.

It's not uncommon for dogs to chew up sticks that they find while out and about, but splinters could, unfortunately, lodge in the canine's mouth, which could result in an infection. And if the dog gnaws and swallows a lot of wood, it could also end up causing a blockage in its intestinal tract.

Medicine Containers
Because small plastic pill containers filled with medication or asthma inhalers could be mistaken for chew toys by dogs, it is important to keep them out of a pet's reach. Asthma inhalers can be especially dangerous to a dog. If a canine should accidentally puncture the inhaler while chewing on the plastic casing, they could inhale a potentially lethal dose of the asthma medication. If so, the pet owner will need to take the pet to their veterinarian immediately for treatment. Whether your in St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Detroit, or the surrounding areas Harvey Animal Hospital is always there to help.

In the old days, pet owners wouldn't think twice about slipping a dog a steak bone, but these and other cooked bones can be dangerous to a dog's health. Steak and chicken bones for example can splinter and lodge in a dog's windpipe or could poke holes in your canine's stomach or intestines, which could result in peritonitis.
So what can responsible pet owners do for a pet that loves to chew? Fortunately, manufacturers have come up with a number of safe chew-able options for dogs. And if a pet owner isn't sure which treats are safe, they should consult with their veterinarian before purchasing new chew toys. -- Harvey Animal Hospital

Types of Vaccinations to Keep Your Pet Healthy in Grosse Pointe

 -- 12/08/2016

When a person brings a new dog or cat into the family, there is often times more worry about buying the right pet food and taking them to the groomers then taking them to the Vet. Ensuring that the pet lives a long and healthy life is a top priority for new pet owners, and vet visits are vital to their health. Vaccinations play a huge role in keeping your pet healthy and safe from disease. Whether your in Detroit, Grosse Pointe, or St Clair Shores, Harvey Animal Hospital can provide preventative care including vaccinations to your pet in all stages of life.
These pet vaccinations have several different types of advantages. In addition to helping the immune system fight against the risk of common diseases, it also helps prevent the spread of communicable illnesses that can be given to other pets and even humans.

Types of Pet Vaccines

Pet vaccines are placed into two categories: core vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. Core vaccinations are vital for the pet to lessen the risk of exposure to deadly disease. These shots also can lower the severity of the illness if the pet contracts a specific sickness. Non-core vaccinations will be given based on the pet's exposure risk in contracting certain illnesses and the pet's lifestyle.
Dogs living in the Detroit, Grosse Pointe and St. Clair Shores area will normally receive their first set vaccinations when they are six to eight weeks old. Puppies will need a series of shots to build their immune system until they are a certain age. Then they will typically receive boosters every year to every three years. Types of vaccinations a dog may receive:
  • rabies
  • canine parvovirus
  • canine hepatitis
  • distemper
  • Leptospira bacteria
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
Cats living in the Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and St Clair Shores area will begin receiving pet vaccinations from the age of six to eight weeks old and will also receive a series of shots as well to properly build their imune system. Then they will receive boosters annually each year after or every three years depending on the vaccine. The types of vaccinations that are available to cats include:
  • rabies
  • feline distemper
  • rhinotracheitis
  • feline calicivirus
  • feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • feline leukemia virus
  • Bordetella
The Doctors at Harvey Animal Hospital will discuss with you which vaccines your dog or cat needs. If your pet stays in the Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and St Clair Shores area, there may be vaccines that your pet will not need, but if your pet travels there may be vaccines that your pet will need in addition to their Core Vaccines.

Updated Pet Vaccination Records

It is always important to keep thorough vaccine records on your pet. Vaccine records are needed in order for a pet to get groomed, go to daycare, dog parks, or even a boarding facility. You never know when an emergency will occurs and you need to board your pet while you go out of town or in the unfortunate circumstance that you need to rehome your pet. These records will allow the new pet owner to maintain the vaccination and booster schedule so their pet can remain healthy. It also prevents the pet from getting shots that they may have already received. Many pet owners are also relieved to have such detailed records when their pet becomes lost or injured. Their veterinarian will have the complete medical record they need to provide the right treatment to get the pet back onto the path to wellness. -- Harvey Animal Hospital

Inappropriate Elimination Part II

 -- 12/02/2016

Toileting problems in cats

In the last post we talked about determining whether inappropriate urination was due to medical problems.  If those have been ruled out and we are dealing with a toileting problem then we can treat it in a very specific ways.
We need to make sure that the litterbox is in an accessible location.  We should avoid noisy appliances, rooms that are a dead end and other pets.  Putting a litterbox right next to a furnace, water heater or washer or dryer could scare the cat when it turns on and the cat won’t want to go into the box again.
Litterboxes should be in different locations in the household especially in multicat households.  If all the litterboxes are in one place it is kind of like a public restroom.  Is it the same going to a public restroom with 3 stalls verses having 3 separate bathrooms in a house?   Sometimes dominant cats will block access to resources  for other cats, so making sure that the litterbox is in an area that the dominate cat doesn't frequent.  Think about it for a second, If on your way to the bathroom you had to meet someone you didn’t get along with would you go very often or would you avoid going to that location and pick somewhere else.  Making sure that there is a litterbox on each floor of the house, especially for older cats that are having a hard time using the stairs can help.  
Litterboxes should be large enough for the cat to turn around, scratch and dig, and posture appropriately.  Sometimes using a plastic storage container rather than something that is made as a litterbox will be necessary to get a box big enough.
 Image result for Pictures of appropriate litter boxes 
Obviously too small for this cat

Making sure the litterbox is cleaned frequently.  Most of the time this means scooping on a daily basis, changing litter on a weekly basis and cleaning the box on a monthly basis.  Would you want to go to your bathroom if you didn’t flush the toilet every time you went to the bathroom?
Sometimes we need to do a trial to see what the cat’s litterbox/litter preference is.  Some cats prefer a clumping litter to clay litter.  Some cats have preferences for depth of litter, height of the sides of the box, size of the box and whether the box is covered or not.  Making sure that we don’t have a box that is too tall for a kitten or older, arthritic cat to get into is important as well.  
Occasionally if there has been a long standing problem or a severe problem getting a different kind of litterbox will help, since there is no adverse association with the new box.

Marking Behavior
Image result for marking behavior in cats
Treatment for marking is significantly different than for toileting problems.  Sometimes we are dealing with both issues so may have to combine treatments to be effective.  
Drugs can be used to help with this but it can take several weeks to see any affect.  
Environmental enrichment is an important part of treatment.  Adding additional food and water dishes and resting locations as well as litterboxes can help significantly.  Playing and interacting with your cat on a daily basis can help too.  
Feliway diffusers are always helpful and if you have multiple cats in your house there is a new product just for you.  Feliway Multicat diffusers.
Image result for marking behavior in cats
If they are not already spayed or neutered getting this done can help significantly in their urge to mark.  
Sometimes the problem is actually something outside of the home. Cats can react to things outside such as stray cats, so blocking access to them seeing those things can help.  If outdoor cats are causing problems using motion activated sprinklers to keep them out of your yard can help.  Not leaving food outside for outdoor cats can stop them from coming around.  If the problem is between 2 cats in your house separation can help and then a gradual introduction if they are doing better.  
Behavior modification/training depending on your specific situation can help significantly.  

It can be tricky to find out the exactly reason your cat is going outside of their box. But together we can figure out the cause and decide on the appropriate course of action. The key is to be patient! This is a very frustrating situation ,but with a little time and patience we can resolve the problem and your feline friend will be good as new!

Of course if you need any help with determining the cause of your cats problem I am only a phone call away!

-- Harvey Animal Hospital

Inappropriate Elimination Part I

 -- 12/01/2016

Inappropriate urination is one of the most common things we see cats for at our practice.  It can be a challenge to figure out exactly why any particular cat is not using the litterbox the way we want them too.

Initially we need to make sure there aren’t any medical issues happening that would make the urination a symptom of that problem rather than the primary problem.  Medical issues that could cause inappropriate urination are:

·         Diabetes

·         Kidney failure

·         Hyperthyroidism

·         Urinary tract infection

·         Arthritis

·         Constipation

·         Lower urinary tract disease

·         Bladder stones

·         Pain

If a cat has any of these problems and has a hard time getting into the litterbox or has experienced pain while in the litterbox, if we treat it then they are more likely to start using it again.  In order to evaluate for these problems blood work, urinalysis, stool sample analysis for intestinal parasites and x-rays and sometimes ultrasound need to be done.  In research that has been done 55% of cats that aren’t using the litterbox have an underlying medical problem.  1

Once we rule out medical issues we need to determine whether we are dealing with a marking issue or toileting issue as they are treated in very different ways.  Occasionally we will see a combination of problems where it is toileting and a medical issue or toileting and marking in the same cat. 

Toileting is normal elimination that happens in a location that is unacceptable.  Some cats do this because they have a preference for a certain substrate (carpeting, plastic, etc.).  Sometimes it is an aversion because they don’t like something about the litterbox (not cleaned enough, litter preferences, box size or style).

Marking is a normal behavior but in general it is unacceptable to most owners.  It is a form of communication between cats saying “I am here”, and “This is my territory”.  It usually involves urine on vertical surfaces.  If you see your cat back up to the wall, raise its tail and shake the tail and urine is deposited on the wall this is marking.  Urine that splashes onto the wall is not.

Once we determine whether it is a toileting problem or a marking problem there are different treatments for each. 

 Bamberger M, Houpt KA. Signalment factors, comorbidity, and trends in behavior diagnoses in cats: 736 cases (1991-2001). Javma-Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2006;229:1602-1606.
-- Harvey Animal Hospital

Fear Free Vet Visits

 -- 11/30/2016

Going to the Vet can be very scary for your pet, especially if they are not handled properly. As a Veterinarian I love my patients, and I would never want them to be afraid or stressed when coming to the clinic. I want them to not only to feel comfortable when coming in for their check ups but I want them to be HAPPY to see me! This is why, I and my clinic pride ourselves in practicing "low stress handling" or "Fear Free"veterinary visits.  We do this for lots of reasons, but the most important is for the comfort and safety of everyone involved. I would like you to imagine what your pet is thinking when they are brought in for a visit.


Imagine someone you trust getting out one of your favorite things (the leash) and then putting you into a big metal box (the car).  Sometimes this ends up bringing you to good things (dog park) but every once in awhile you end up going somewhere where bad things happen (the vet). If you go to the vet, there are weird smells, sounds you don't understand.  They start poking and prodding you and making you hold still.  You are panting and pacing and not sure what you should do.  And worst of all, this person that you trust lets this happen and acts like everything is normal and you should just accept it. They try to reassure you but it still hurts and you're not sure what to expect the next time you get in that metal box.


You are sitting there minding your own business, enjoying your morning nap.  Your trusted owner picks you up and stuffs you into this little box (the carrier).  They take you outside where you are never allowed to go on your own and put the little box into a bigger box (the car).   It feels like you are moving but you can't really see what is going on.  You cry and cry, trying to get someone to get you out of this box and back where it is safe.  No one responds.  Finally the big box stops and you are taken into a building that has weird smells and sounds.  You still are not sure what is going on but at least you have stopped moving now.  You hear people talking and then the little box you are in is picked up and you are dumped out onto a cold table.  You freeze in fear just hoping this will end soon.  People start touching you, looking into your ears and opening your mouth and you have no idea why.  Then they hold you down and start poking you with needles.   Finally they let you go and all you want to do is get back home and hide. 

Can you see why this could create problems with getting your pet to go into the carrier, or a car or to not like going to the vet? We can't control the whole process. It's still sometimes difficult to get cats to like their carrier and some dogs still have problems with car rides (if this is your pet let us know we have some ideas that might help). Once you get to the clinic though, we can do our best to make the visit as enjoyable as possible.

Using lots of treats can help. If your pet has a sensitive stomach or is on a special diet please let us know. We do have treats we can use for them too.  You can bring special treats from home as an option as well. If your pet has been scared when they came in previously we might ask you to skip breakfast and bring it with you. A hungry dog is more likely to take a treat from us than one who just ate breakfast.

You might not realize some of the things we are doing, but something as simple as not making eye contact or turning sideways to your dog as we are greeting them can make them much more comfortable approaching us. With cats we try to take as much of a hands off approach as possible. When you get here we try to get you into an exam room right away. No sense in having a dog try to investigate what is in the carrier and really upset them. If we don't have a room available immediately, we might suggest putting them somewhere where it is a little quieter until we can get you into an exam room.  We put a towel with Feliway (a calming feline pheromone) over them to try to calm them even more. The towel blocks some of the sights and sounds and Feliway has a calming effect on most cats.
Once you are in an exam room it's best to open the door to the carrier and let your cat decide whether they want to come out to investigate or not. If they don't that's OK. They feel safe where they are. We will get them out when we have to. We try to have everything ready and do things as efficiently as possible. We usually try to take the carrier apart and leave the cat in it if they don't want to come out.  The less we move them the happier they are.  Sometimes the only thing we need them out of the carrier for is to get a weight so we might do that last.

All animals appreciate when we respect their space and handle them in a comforting manner.  Some pets are more anxious than others and for some it may be better to bring them back on a different day for the care they need and try some medication to ease their anxiety.  If you feel your pet has been very anxious here in the past and want to try medication please let us know.  We want to make things as easy on you and your pet as possible, and make it a safe experience for everyone involved.

Veterinary visit are vital to your pets health and well-being. Our pets don't understand what we are doing is only trying to help them. We wish we could explain to them that poke they felt wasn't us trying to be mean, it was us giving them a life saving vaccine that will protect them again deadly viruses. But with a calm gentle FEAR FREE approach we can ease some of that stress. We take the extra time and go the extra mile to make your pet feel safe, comfortable and happy!

For more information on our Fear Free Vet Visit and Low-Stress Handling you can visit our website at http://harveyanimalhospital.com/lowstress.pml -- Harvey Animal Hospital

The Most Common Types of Cancer in Cats

 -- 11/29/2016

The Most Common Types of Cancer in Cats

Many cat owners are surprised that felines and humans sometimes suffer from the same types of cancer.  What often astounds them is learning that one out of every five cats will develop a malignant condition.  Understanding the most common types of cat cancer and their signs helps prepare owners who visit an animal clinic in St. Clair Shores to decide on the best treatment options for their pets.

Most Common Feline Malignancies

Three kinds of cancer in cats are the most common:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma:  Cats are most likely to develop it on areas of the skin that remain exposed, such as the eyelids, nose, and ears.  Cats that are white and that reside in areas with a lot of sun face elevated risk.  Overall, the prognosis for this type of cancer is poor.  However, when it is related to sun exposure and treated at an early state, the results tend to be good.  While the most frequently used treatment is surgery, scientists are looking at new ways to treat cats with this condition to improve their quality of life.

  • Fibrosarcoma:  This type of aggressive malignancy forms in a cat’s fibrous connective tissues.  Veterinarians treat this type of malignancy with surgery, often combined with chemotherapy or radiation.

  • Lymphoma:  Lymphocytes are blood cells that fight infections.  Lymphoma results when these cells reproduce in an uncontrolled manner.  Tumors most often develop in a cat’s intestinal tract, lymph nodes, nasal cavity, liver, or kidneys.  The prognosis for a cat with lymphoma is linked to where it occurs and certain other factors.  However, as many as 75 percent of cats treated with chemotherapy experience remission.

Cat Cancer Symptoms

Even a few decades ago, cancer in a cat was invariably a terminal condition.  Even today, it is difficult to prevent it because experts are unaware of exact causes.  Survival is typically linked to spotting the signs of a malignancy and getting early treatment.

The most common signs of cat malignancies include:

  • Any sore that won’t heal
  • Alterations in urinary or bowel habits
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Significant weight loss
  • Reduced appetite
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Objectionable odor
  • Trouble eating or swallowing
  • Bleeding or other discharge of unknown origin
  • Swelling of lymph nodes
  • Prolonged lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty passing urine or stool
  • An enlarging mass or lump

animal clinic st clair shores

-- Harvey Animal Hospital

The Importance of Weight Management for Pets

 -- 11/28/2016

The Importance of Weight Management for Pets

Pets have a healthy body mass index, just like humans do. Although a person may feel like he or she is not spoiling his or her pet by giving them all types of human food or overfeeding them their own food, it's not always healthy for them. In fact, sometimes it causes a great deal of health problems for the pet.

What a Vet Will Do

A veterinarian in St. Clair Shores may recommend an owner place a pet on a special diet if the pet gains a considerable amount of weight over a short period of time or has become overweight. The doctor may even prescribe a special variety of food to help the owner manage the pet's weight.

Why Pet Weight Management is Important

Pets may suffer from similar complications as a result of having too much body fat. For instance, the pet may become diabetic as a result of the weight and may require medications. When a pet has diabetes, it is hard on his or her small bodily organs such as the heart and kidneys, causing even more health problems for the cat or dog.

Excess weight is hard on a pet's heart. The average life expectancy of pet dogs ranges between 10 to 15 years. A pet with a heart problem has less of a life expectancy, which means the owner has less time with his or her pet. Just like with humans, being overweight has the potential to cause hypertension.

Some animals naturally have joint issues more so than other breeds. For instance, larger dogs like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds are already more prone to osteoarthritis. The excess puts even more stress on the joints, making it more difficult for animals who already have a joint problem. Moreover, dogs who are overweight are more likely to develop arthritis.

Cancer is common in certain breeds of animals. Animals who are overweight are more prone to certain types of cancer.  The extra weight can cause health issues, it also has the potential to decrease the pet's quality of life.

veterinarian st clair shores
-- Harvey Animal Hospital

Boarding Kennels and Pet Vaccinations

 -- 11/27/2016

Boarding Kennels and Pet Vaccinations

Dog guardians who choose to board their beloved canines at boarding kennels are sometimes surprised that the state mandated rabies and DHLPP vaccines (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus) are not sufficient for some facilities. Many require dogs not only be up to date on these vaccines but also have been vaccinated against Bordetella within the year as well.


While most people are familiar with the term kennel cough, they are not familiar with the Bordetella Bronshiseptica bacterium that spreads it. While cats, rabbits, and in rare instances, humans can also be infected by Bordetella, it is most known for causing canine infectious tracheobronchitis, the above-mentioned kennel cough which spreads like wildfire through certain dog populations. Characterized by a hacking cough and a runny nose, its effects on healthy dogs are actually superficial, but in puppies or those with underlying health issues or compromised immune systems, Bordetella can be fatal. This is also true for cats that contract the condition. Since it is so highly contagious, it is highly recommended that dogs, who will be boarded, frequent dog daycare facilities, doggy parks, or grooming facilities, receive Bordetella vaccinations every six to twelve months in addition to the regular schedule of pet vaccinations in Detroit.

pet vaccinations Detroit
-- Harvey Animal Hospital

When to Take a Pet to the Vet

 -- 11/26/2016

When to Take a Pet to the Vet

Whether you have a Fluffy, Fido or Tweets, they all can make excellent companions. No matter what kind of pet you have, they require a certain level of care. Unfortunately, this oftentimes means taking care of the pet when she is ill or injured. You obviously want to give your pet the best care, which a pet owner can find by searching “vets near me in Detroit." You must know when it's the appropriate time to take your pet to the vet.

1. The Pet is Losing a Lot of Blood 
If your pet is losing a large quantity of blood, it's important for you to contact the vet immediately. A significant amount of blood loss may lead to the pet requiring a blood transfusion or even worse losing his or her life. The first step to addressing a blood loss problem is to contact the vet and inquire what to do to lessen or stop the bleeding until you can get the pet emergency care.

2. The Pet is Dehydrated 
If a pet isn't drinking; it's oftentimes the sign of a serious problem. Not to mention, it doesn't take long for the pet to experience side effects related to dehydration. In more serious cases, the pets' kidneys may begin to shut down. If you aren’t careful, the kidney damage maybe starting before you are aware there's a problem.

3. The Pet Has a Significant Change in Temperature 
The only way you'll be able to actually tell the temperature of your pet is with a thermometer, and generally it's stuck in a place you probably don't want to put it. However, you can tell significant changes in temperature by touching or holding the pet. A temperature that is too high indicates the pet has a fever, just like a human can get. The increase in temperature may signify an infection or another serious issue is occurring in the pet. The best treatment is to take the pet to the vet for an examination.

4. Pet is Extremely Tired
It's normal for a pet to be tired at times as a result of heightened levels of activity; however, if the lethargy lasts for an extended period of time for no reason, it may indicate an infection or another health problem is occurring. Treatment is needed to correct the problem and stop the tiredness.

Vets near me Detroit
-- Harvey Animal Hospital