Advances in the veterinary medical field have given us more tools to help our fluffy family members live longer, healthier lives.


Most diseases that one thinks of are considered Chronic Diseases. Medical conditions that cannot be cured, require multiple treatments, and involve long-term management are generally referred to as Chronic Diseases. The most common Chronic Diseases in pets include:

  • Arthritis and other orthopedic conditions

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

  • Hepatitis and other liver diseases

  • Skin allergies (atopy)

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Cushing’s and Addison’s Disease

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Hyperthyroidism (cats) and hypothyroidism (dogs)

Having a positive relationship with your veterinarian goes a long way in optimizing your pet's care with a chronic disease. These conditions come with frequent trips for blood work or other testing, physical exams, and weight checks. Management of these diseases may include diet changes, various medications, additional supplements, or other medical treatments. Open and honest conversation between yourself and your veterinarian about expectations for management of disease, changes in symptoms during treatment, and your pet's quality of life should occur throughout the process starting at the time of diagnosis. Pets can live longer, comfortable lives with the right care for their condition.


According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental (or periodontal) disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Proper dental care can increase the lifespan of your dog or cat.

Signs of oral and dental diseases in dogs and cats:

  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight

  • Bad breath

  • Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar

  • Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area

  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth.

  • Bleeding from the mouth

  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight

Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and possibly expensive oral surgery.

Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body. Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. If these problems aren’t caught and treated quickly enough, they can result in premature death. A physical exam combined with appropriate lab work can determine if infection in the mouth has spread.

Fortunately, we can also help show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and recommend foods and treats that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup. Home dental care can help your pet live a long and happy life!


Laser therapy is a painless procedure using infrared laser light to promote healing and reduce pain. Laser therapy is not new. It has been used in Europe by physical therapists, nurses and doctors since the 1970’s. The FDA approved use of laser therapy in 2002. At Seminole Trail Animal Hospital, we use a Class IV, cold-laser called K-Laser.

Laser therapy works by interacting with tissues at the cellular level causing increased metabolic activity within the cell and improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. The production of cellular energy is increased and leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. An optimal healing environment is created reducing inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.

In more than 30 years of laser therapy utilization, very few side effects have been reported. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment. There is little or no sensation during treatment. The patient may feel mild, soothing warmth, or tingling. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.

The typical treatment time is 3 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated. Sudden injuries or acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain. More chronic problems respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week, tapering to once every week or two as improvement is seen. The number of treatments needed depends. For some acute conditions 1-2 treatments may be sufficient. Those of a more chronic nature may require 5 to 8 (or more) treatments. Some conditions may require ongoing periodic care to control pain. This procedure does not require your pet to be under anesthesia.

Your pet may feel improvement in their condition (usually pain reduction) after the first treatment. Sometimes they will not feel improvement for a number of treatments. This does not mean that nothing is happening. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3 or 4 sessions.


Our doctors would be happy to answer your questions and let you know if this therapy is right for your pet.