Health Maintenance Services

pet health, ithaca

Internal Medicine

To best protect your pet's health and overall well-being, Veterinary Care of Ithaca offers a broad range of veterinary services. While our focus is on disease prevention and wellness care, you can also rely on our skilled and compassionate medical team when your pet is sick. To that end, an important part of our practice is the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of diseases that can affect your pet's internal organs and body systems.

Our experienced veterinarians, supported by Veterinary Care of Ithaca's advanced diagnostic technology, have expertise in diagnosing and treating complex internal medicinal complications such as kidney, heart, respiratory, immune-mediated and endocrine diseases.

pet allergies, ithaca

Allergies and Skin Problems in Dogs and Cats

Allergies are quite common in animals of all breeds and backgrounds and can also be the result of fleas, food or an environmental allergen like dust or pollen, or genetics. Most allergies appear after the pet is six months of age with the majority of affected dogs over age two. The most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized or generalized. Other symptoms include respiratory distress (coughing, sneezing, and wheezing) or digestive problems causing vomiting, flatulence, or diarrhea.

Flea allergy is the most common allergy in cats. A normal cat experiences only minor skin irritation at the site of the bite. The flea allergic cat, on the other hand, has a severe, itch-producing reaction when the flea's saliva is deposited in the skin. Just one bite causes such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to hair loss and open sores or scabs on the skin. The area most commonly involved is over the rump or base of the tail.

Ithaca Pet Allergy Symptoms

It is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These include:

  • Scratching, licking, chewing or biting the skin, feet and ears.
  • Red, raised, scaly areas on the skin
  • Bumps, crusts or pus filled vesicles on the skin
  • Increased skin pigmentation
  • Thickened skin
  • Loss of hair
  • Salivary staining (brown color)
  • Head shaking

If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, please make an appointment to have him or her seen by one of our veterinarians at Veterinary Care of Ithaca. We will evaluate your pet, determine the most effective method of treatment, and explain how you can prevent future problems. If left untreated, allergic reactions and skin conditions can become serious medical concerns.

Glaucoma Prevention

ithaca glaucoma prevention in pets

Glaucoma is a common condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye increases, resulting in damage to the optic nerve, followed by loss of vision and blindness. There are two types of glaucoma. Primary, or chronic, glaucoma is hereditary or develops as your pet ages. Secondary, or acute, glaucoma develops as the result of an injury or illness. Because secondary glaucoma can progress rapidly, it is considered an emergency situation.

Symptoms of glaucoma to look for include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • Pain
  • Cloudy-looking eye
  • Bulging eyeball

The experienced veterinarians at Veterinary Care of Ithaca recommend that your pet receive a routine glaucoma exam as part of his or her regular wellness care. The exam is not only an effective screening measure for chronic and acute glaucoma, it can also help set a baseline measurement of your pet's normal intraocular pressure (IOP). Establishing an IOP baseline is important because the normal measurement can vary between species, breeds, and even individual pets.

This is a noninvasive, simple procedure that should not cause your pet any pain or discomfort. We apply a mild anesthetic eye-drop to ensure your pet is comfortable during the exam.

Pet Nutritional Counseling

ithaca pet nutrition

Proper nutrition and a balanced diet, along with fresh, clean water, is an essential ingredient for your pet's overall good health. As your pet's caregiver, nutrition is the most significant health variable that you control.

Feeding your pet a high-quality food is one of the best ways you can contribute to his or her health and vitality. Although the differences between premium and budget varieties may not be apparent on their nutrition labels, they are in the quality of the ingredients. Both may contain the same amount of protein but be very different when it comes to digestibility and nutritional value. Making the best nutritional choices for your dog or cat not only effects general health, but will improve the quality and length of your pet's life.

To support your efforts, the doctors at Veterinary Care of Ithaca perform a thorough body condition evaluation during every physical examination, and give recommendations based on what we see. We can also provide you with important information on proper serving size, nutrient needs, and feeding strategies for your individual pet. We will also help you navigate pet food claims so you can make the most informed choices.

Prescription Diets

Some pets have serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions that benefit from a special diet. When that is the case, we may recommend feeding a special prescription diet. Making this change can have a significant positive impact on your pet's overall health and well-being.

Prescription diets benefit medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney disease, digestive problems, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes, and more. Veterinary Care of Ithaca offers a diverse inventory of prescription foods and high-quality nutritional products through our online pharmacy, as well as a selection of pill pockets and dental treats.

Reproductive Management Services

Dr. Sonya Lawlis offers the following reproductive management services for all breeds of dogs and cats.

Management of the breeding female:

  • Brucellosis testing
  • Progesterone testing
  • Timing for artificial insemination
  • Fresh or cooled shipped artificial insemination

Management of the pregnant female:

  • Pregnancy diagnosis
  • Puppy/kitten count
  • Fetal evaluation and monitoring
  • Management of high risk pregnancy
  • Timing for elective cesarian section

Management of the breeding male:

  • Brucellosis testing
  • Semen collection for artificial insemination
  • Cooled semen shipping