Surgery Safety

We receive many questions about the cost of spaying or neutering a pet. Families deciding where to go for these surgeries have a lot of information to process! Every owner worries for their pet’s safety but also has to manage costs.

It’s important to us at Lake Orion Veterinary Hospital that your pet gets the best care possible—even if it’s not at our hospital. Remember that veterinarians are trained surgical professionals whether they work at a low-cost clinic or a specialty practice. The variance in cost is due to facilities, materials, medications, and support staff.

Ask these questions when weighing cost and value:

  1. Does the cost quoted include pre-anesthetic bloodwork? One way to lower costs is to forego these tests. Ask what the clinic recommends. Bloodwork can identify organ abnormalities that make anesthesia unsafe. If your pet is older than six years, we recommend this precaution.
  2. What level of monitoring will the clinic offer while your pet is anesthetized? During surgery at Lake Orion Veterinary Hospital, a technician watches your pet’s heart rate, heart rhythm, oxygen level, blood pressure, and body temperature. Clinics are not required to watch these systems, and many omit blood pressure, temperature, or all monitoring.
  3. Where do pets recover? Is the recovery ward heated? Will they be alone when they wake? Will staff comfort them as they recover or leave them alone with other animals?
  4. Does the clinic have time and resources to offer aftercare, or will you need to visit your regular veterinarian? Will the doctor give a recheck appointment? Will they remove stitches or staples at this appointment? Will you be charged for it?
  5. Will the doctor administer pain medications? Will medications be given for home care? Is this cost included in the quoted price? Surgery can cause painful bruising in addition to pain from the incision. Make sure your pet will be comfortable.
  6. Does the clinic use an IV catheter and fluid therapy? This service is time-consuming but important. First, it stabilizes your pet’s blood pressure during anesthesia. Second, it allows doctors to give medications that will start to work fast. Surgery is risky, but IV catheters reduce risk and make the event easier for your pet.
  7. How many surgeries does the clinic do daily? Since we only perform one or two procedures per day, your pet has our undivided attention during surgery and recovery. If a clinic performs more procedures, they might have less time to spend with each patient.

The most important sign of a safe surgical environment is organization. Look for a hospital where the staff is ready to talk about the procedure and discuss their cost-saving measures with honesty and integrity!

Heat Injuries

Ah, summer. Popsicles, day trips, and… devastating news stories about heat stroke in pets. Even dogs with thin coats are at risk for heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke and death. But what is heat stroke, and what can you do to prevent it?


Heat stroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature gets too high (above 105.8℉) and the brain sustains damage. It’s called “heat stroke” because the nervous system is one of the first systems to show signs of damage. High temperatures can damage many other organ systems in addition. Heat exhaustion happens before heat stroke and is less serious. Heat exhaustion rarely causes organ damage, but can be uncomfortable and cause dehydration.


Preventing heat stroke is easy. If you are attentive to your pet, they will likely never suffer from heat exhaustion. Pay attention to how your pet is feeling. Is their skin hot? Are they panting and drooling? If so, offer a cool drink of water often and use damp towels to cool their skin. Limit water intake. Dogs drinking ice-cold water may drink too much and cause gastric dilatation-volvulus (known as GDV or bloat).

Heat injuries happen when we are comfortable and don’t notice our dog’s distress. This can happen when we are walking on pavement (because we wear shoes, but dogs could burn their pads), when we are sweating (dog’s can’t regulate their body temperature by sweating) or when we are exerting less effort during playtime (biking while your dog is running, throwing a ball, etc.). Be alert during these “mismatch” situations and watch your dog closely for signs they are too hot.

Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day. If you enjoy exercise with your dog, aim for a morning or evening workout. A run or hike between 10 AM and 2 PM is dangerous if there is little shade on your route.

Absolutely never leave your pet in a hot car. Open windows won’t cool the car much, and create a security hazard.

Offer shade and plenty of water when pets go outdoors. If your dog spends time in a fenced yard or on a lead, make sure they can access cool grass and shade no matter where the sun is.

Pay extra attention to flat-faced breeds like pugs and French bulldogs. Their respiratory system might not work to cool them off when they get hot.


If you see these signs of heat exhaustion, administer first aid and take your pet to a veterinarian right away:

  • Laziness or collapse
  • Dizzy or disoriented behavior
  • Hot skin or cold, clammy skin
  • Panting and drooling
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

First Aid

At the first signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, begin first aid:

  • Move to a cool location
  • Use cool (not ice-cold) water on the skin
  • Use a fan to help airflow
  • Take the pet to a veterinarian if you see signs of heat stroke, even if the signs stop. Permanent damage could have occurred, even if symptoms go away.

Helping Pets Cope with Fireworks

Most American dogs are afraid of fireworks to some degree, and many are crippled by the stress. Each summer, Lake Orion Veterinary Hospital receives many requests for medications to ease patients’ anxiety. But are there drug-free options? Absolutely! We encourage you to explore these tips (that won’t compromise their liver or kidney health):

  1. Spend the evening with your dog. Usually, you are the most comforting thing on earth to them. If you want to watch fireworks, consider going out of town on a different day so you can be with your dog during the show near your house.
  1. Use Adaptil® collar or diffuser. This product uses canine pheromones to non-invasively calm you pet. You can purchase Adaptil in our hospital or through our online store.
  1. Turn on the TV or stereo. If your dog is used to listening to a television, a movie or show can help cover noise that otherwise might alarm them. If your dog likes music, play their favorite kind. Be careful, though: if they don’t usually hear these sounds, adding new noise could make them feel like their home is
  1. Provide a safe space. Make your pet’s normal resting area especially comfortable. They might like to snuggle with a shirt that smells like you or have a special treat! (Tip: freeze peanut butter inside a Kong® toy for a longer-lasting distraction.) This safe space will need a personal touch from the one who knows your pet the most—you!
  1. Keep the lights on according to your normal schedule. Turning off the lights to watch fireworks from a window draws attention to the abnormal event and can make dogs feel unsafe.
  1. Try a ThunderShirt™. While this will not be the perfect solution for every pet, it can make a big difference in your dog’s demeanor during stress.
  1. Use Composure™ chews. This supplement helps dogs naturally reduce their own stress, without causing drowsiness or a change in energy. We sell this product in our hospital, and on our online store.
  2. Don’t panic, get angry, or restrain your dog. It’s rarely a good idea to restrain your dog to prevent pacing. Pacing can be a healthy way to channel anxiety. If your dog is extremely anxious, loud, or even destructive, keep your cool. Remember, they have no way to know fireworks are a happy celebration. It’s important to project confidence and calm about the evening, even if we know our furry friends will be hard to handle.

As a general safety tip, make sure the information associated with your dog’s microchip is updated. If they panic and run away from you, microchips are the best way to make sure they find their way back. Check your pet’s ID tag as well. Is your phone number current and readable, or has it rubbed off? Replace it if you can’t read it easily.

What helps your pet endure fireworks? We would love to share your tips with others! Send us an email at

This year’s fireworks show in Lake Orion, Michigan, will be Saturday, July 1.

You’re going to like this!


LOVH is pleased to add home delivery to our many services.  You can now go on-line and order the products you need, and have them delivered at home. You can even have your pet’s prescriptions refilled! We’re thrilled about this, because so many people like the convenience of an on-line pharmacy, but finding one that is reputable is not easy! It’s really easy–if you are asking for a prescription refill, it has to be approved by Dr. M, for your pet’s safety. Imagine that! That’s just how we do it, if you walk through our door to have prescriptions filled! As soon as he approves it, it is sent right to you.

This is also a great option for some of the pet food products. It will also give you an expanded selection of nutritional products, treats, and flea and tick products that we don’t carry in our “brick & mortar” location, simply because we have limited space for inventory. (I can’t even believe I’m saying that, after our move….”limited space”….wow!)

As always, we strive to offer you all the service you need for your pets.  What services would you like to see added to this incredible line-up?

  • Preventative Medicine
    • Pre-pet counseling to help you choose the right pet for your family
    • Puppy & Kitten Wellness Packages
    • Senior Wellness Packages
    • Nutrition Counseling & Fitness Goals
  • Diagnostics
    • In house laboratory with the latest technology
    • Radiology
    • Ultrasound
  • Surgery
    • Advanced anesthetic techniques
    • Complete cardiac monitoring
  • Dental Services
    • Dental Cleaning
    • Extractions
    • Digital Dental Radiography
  • Palliative Care
  • Euthanasia, Cremation and Burial Services
  • House calls by appointment

LOVH to host Fall Pet Fair and Grand Open House

Have you heard? LOVH is hosting it’s first-ever Fall Pet Fair and Grand Open House! We wanted to have a day when we could open our doors and say “Thank you” to all the folks who have been our die-hard fans and tireless cheer-leaders over the years, and our little idea kept gathering steam, and now, here we are with a bigger than life pet fiesta!

We hope you can join us for special speakers and demonstrations, fun contests, tours of our new facility, a sneak peak into our future plans, and, of course, cider and donuts!

Special Speakers and Demonstrations:
10:40 How to Raise a Leader Dog, by Leader Dogs for the Blind
11:40 Falconry presentation, by Susan Ryan and Chris Martello
12:40 Agility dog, Nikki, and her handler, Michele Smith
1:40 Oakland County Sheriff’s Dept K-9 Units
2:40 Search & Rescue Dogs, by Tri-State K-9 Search & Rescue Memebers, Larry Barker and Debbie Mapes

An event like this is beyond our ability, and there isn’t any way we could have put this together without help from several local businesses.  We hope you will visit and tell them how much you appreciate their presence at the Fall Pet Fair!  These are business who have been wonderfully supportive:

Yates Cider Mill (Canterbury Village location)
Harvest Time
Starbucks of Lake Orion
Buffalo Wild Wings of Lake Orion
Metamora Canine Academy
Invisible Fence/Happy Tails
Lake Orion Pet Centre