Lucerne Veterinary Hospital Blog

A Relaxed Cat is a Happy Cat! Reducing Your Cat’s Stress for Vet Visits


Cats are excellent predators, but they are also prey for many species in nature, so they tend to hide signs of illness until they are no longer able to. This means you may not be able to tell when your cat is becoming unhealthy, and is why a yearly exam (or twice-yearly, for older cats) is so important to his or her well-being. In addition, regular vaccines and dewormings are important for cats, who may be exposed to infectious diseases and parasites, some of which can be transmitted to humans.

Vet Visits

We all know it can be stressful to get a cat to the veterinarian’s office — SO stressful in fact that we (consciously or subconsciously) avoid doing it. We’re here to tell you we understand, and want to work with you to help make annual exams much easier on both of you. Continue reading for tips on how to decrease the stress associated with a vet visit for both you and your cat.


Dental disease- More than just bad breath

dental dog

By three years of age, most dogs and cats have already started to show signs of an insidious disease, which left untreated, causes infection and pain, as well as cellular changes in organs throughout the body. This very common illness is known as periodontal disease. Not only is dental disease painful, but it can also have systemic consequences. Studies have shown that periodontal disease can adversely affect the heart, kidneys, and lungs.

By maintaining good oral hygiene at home and ensuring that your pet undergoes professional dental care as recommended by your veterinarian, you can help prevent dental disease in your pet.


The Art of the Physical

physical exam

And how a yearly half-hour appointment can save your pet’s life

You’ve been swamped with work, bills are piling up, and your children’s afterschool commitments have you exhausted by the end of the day. With numerous obligations consuming your time and finances, you may be tempted to skip your pet’s yearly trip to the veterinarian’s office. After all, Tigger’s always been a healthy cat, and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with Buddy. Aside from the protection offered by annual vaccines, however, the regular physical examination is one of the most important ways to keep your pet healthy.

Our pets can’t always tell us if something ails them. Many animals, especially cats, have evolved stoicism as a protective mechanism to hide weakness from predators, and so they may not show signs of illness until it is too late. Regular physical examinations are important for detecting subtle signs of disease. By completing a thorough exam, your veterinarian can identify and address painful or potentially life-threatening conditions early on.


posted in:  Preventative Care

Fight the Flea – How to Treat and Prevent Flea Infestations in Your Home

16 week old Golden Retriever puppy scratching fleas with leg in motion on a white background "Missy"

Equipped with mouthparts enabling them to ingest up to 15 times their own weight in blood, and able to jump 200 times their body length, those tiny brown insects you see scurrying about in the fur of your dogs and cats have long been a scourge of humans and domestic animals, with one species having caused the death of over 200 million people during the 14th century bubonic plague pandemic.

Fleas can carry diseases and bring about a great deal of misery for you and your pets. Fortunately, they don’t have to be a nuisance in your household. There are safe and easy measures that you can take to treat and prevent flea infestations in your home.  Continue…

The Trouble with Ticks

Ticks in the woods

You are lying on the couch with your dog, relaxing after a long hike, when you notice him scratching furiously at his hindend. You part the fur in time to see a tiny brown insect dart across the surface of the skin. As you continue to run your hands through his fur, you feel a small lump that has seemingly appeared overnight. A closer look confirms your suspicions- a plump tick is firmly attached, contentedly feeding on your dog’s blood.

Especially as the frost of winter subsides, close encounters with fleas and ticks are becoming more and more of a common occurrence. Aside from being a nuisance, ticks carry very real risks of disease and death from the microbes they harbor. Fortunately, there are products that you can use to help keep fleas and ticks out of your home.


Heartworm: A Growing Concern in Maine

Heartworm Spring

As the weather warms and the landscape becomes green, we are drawn to the outdoors, our four-legged companions eagerly in tow. As our dogs bound through the newly defrosted woods however, they become susceptible to the perils of the microscopic. Potentially fatal diseases lurk within the mosquitoes and ticks seeking to harvest your pet’s blood.

With the spring finally upon us, it is important to review the ways in which we can safely and effectively protect our pets against heartworm disease, tick-borne disease, and flea infestation. It is critical to note that although biting arthropods are more prevalent in the warmer months, these disease organisms remain a threat year-round. In this first part of our series, we will discuss heartworm disease.


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