New Canine Respiratory Disease

Certain areas in Montana are experiencing an outbreak of severe respiratory disease.   The State Veterinarian has received reports from Bozeman, Livingston, Billings, Butte, Roundup and Redlodge so far.  Signs are similar to a severe case of “kennel cough”, but this is not the “kennel cough” dogs have been vaccinated for.  Canine influenza is suggested but further testing is in progress.

We have a vaccine for influenza (H3N2) if you would like your dog vaccinated for it.  It requires a series of two injections three weeks apart and the dog must be at least 8 weeks of age.  Limiting your dog’s exposure to other dogs or public water bowls,  etc is recommended at this time.

“Doctor, when do we know it’s time?”

This is a question we are confronted with concerning our clients pets all of the time.  Two of the best websites that we have recently come across that may be of help are: Click on Services tab; then select Quality of Life Care of Life Scale

The other website is  Click on Quality of Life Tab


sidebar-slideshow-35Winter and the holiday season has arrived.  Enjoy the days in between the cold fronts rolling in.  Here we go for another 4 to 5 months.  Outdoor  activities  become more difficult, especially with ice and extremely low temperatures.  Try to increase indoor activities, stimulation and decrease calories unless your cat or dog is involved in a lot of outdoor time.  Enrich the indoor environment with human play interactions.  Cats enjoy predator/prey toys on a wand such as a feather,  laser pointers, small mice toys or balls they can play with or carry around.  Dogs enjoy balls, squeaker toys,  tug of war toys and toys hidden in treats (just be careful of the number of treats!).  Rotate toys by putting some away for awhile, then bringing them out again.

Make sure the older dogs and smaller dogs go out to urinate, even if it is really cold, to decrease the risk of bladder infections.  Indoor/outdoor cats may use the litter box more, thus more cleaning.  Make sure it is in a private, safe, convenient area with little interruption to avoid house soiling problems from developing.

Many times the things that you have attributed to old age in your cat or dog are problems that you can do something about.  Sometimes it can be totally treated, other times the progression of a problem can be slowed down.  So watch for things like increased urination,  excessive water intake, weight loss, decreased appetite, coughing or breathing problems and growths that have recently appeared on your pet.  If your cat or dog is getting up there in age, an examination and basic blood work is fairly reasonable and an excellent place to start.  These basic tests can provide a lot of information about the health of your four-legged family member.  Every year there are new options for treating  medical issues than existed before.

For many of us, winter is a slower pace and this can be a great time to have that dental or growth removal appointment scheduled on your four legged friend  that you have been putting off.


Sharing Animal Care for Over 30 Years


For over 30 years, our motto of “Sharing the Care” reflects our sincere belief that you are very important to the input, care and recovery regarding any health problems that may arise with your pet. We also believe it takes a partnership with you to provide life long preventative care to keep your family member happy and healthy. This “partner” approach helps makes the best vet care in Billings.

Animal Check Ups And Vaccinations

billings animal vaccinations

Your pet needs regular animal check ups to maintain a good healthy life. For optimal health, pets need regular vaccinations against common ills, such as rabies, distemper, feline leukemia,  feline upper respiratory viruses,  canine hepatitis, parvo and canine influenza virus.

How often your dog or cat needs to be immunized depends on their age, lifestyle, health, and risks, so if it’s been a while, talk to us about the vaccinations that make sense for your pet.

Pet Dental: Check Ups and Cleaning


Pet Dental? Just like you, your pet can suffer from gum disease, tooth loss, and tooth pain. And just like you, regular brushing and oral cleanings help keep your pet’s teeth strong and healthy.

“Dental disease is one of the most common preventable illnesses in pets,” Ohio veterinarian Vanessa Douglas tells WebMD, “yet many people never even look in their pet’s mouths.”

It’s estimated 80% of dogs and 70% cats show signs of dental disease by age three, leading to abscesses, loose teeth, and chronic pain. In addition to regular dental cleanings by us, periodontal disease can be avoided by proper dental care by owners. Some pets may be more susceptible than others. Consult us at Grand Avenue Animal Hospital for a good source of information about brushing techniques, oral rinses, and dental treats.

Animal Exercise: Providing an Enriched Environment for your Pets

Health tips for dogs in Billings

Animal exercise is important (and good for you too)! An enriched environment is another key to the long-term health and welfare of your canine and feline friends. House pets need a fun and healthy environment and outdoor pets, such as larger dogs can benefit from longer walks and more dynamic terrain and activities.

Pets need mental stimulation, say the pros, which may mean daily walks for your pooch, and scratching posts, window perches, and toys for your cat. It means play time with you, which not only keeps your pet’s muscles toned and boredom at bay, it also strengthens your bond with your four-footed companions.

Animal ID Chip and Tags

Grand Ave Pet Hospital ID Chip

Your animal’s tag’s are a must. The use of an animal ID chip is even better. Lack of any ID tags or devices means as few as 14% of pets ever find their way home after getting lost. Regular tag IDs are a minimum for local cases and fortunately, microchipping allows for the pet to have a far greater chance of making it back to its owner no matter how far away it is when found.

About the size of a rice grain, a microchip is inserted under the skin in less than a second. It needs no battery and can be scanned by a vet or an animal control officer quickly.

Be sure to register the chip ID with the chip’s maker. A current registration is the vital last step in making certain your pet can always find his way home.

Dog and Cat Vaccinations

Pet Vaccinations in Billings Montana

For optimal health, pets need regular  vaccinations against common ills, such as rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, feline upper respiratory viruses,  canine hepatitis, parvo and canine influenza virus.

How often your dog or cat needs to be immunized depends on their age, lifestyle, health, and risks. Talk to us about the vaccinations that make sense for your pet.

Your Complete Pet Care for the Billings Montana Region with a Comprehensive Medicine and Surgery Center

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