Paw Prints

Question: Simon, my 3-year-old cat, keeps coming back with ticks on him when he goes outside. Can cats get Lyme disease?

Answer: I’m not surprised! We are seeing a large increase in tick populations in our area due to the warm winters we have been having. I recommend that all my outdoor feline patients use flea/tick protection. Lucky for kitties, they do not exhibit any signs of Lyme disease! Unlucky for us, they can be the transporters that bring the awful ticks into our home and put us (and our dogs) at risk for infection. 

Lyme disease is a serious illness that we very frequently hospitalize dogs for. Stay safe! There are many great tick preventatives that come in various formulations like collars and topical solutions. Just make sure the ones you apply are safe for your cat! Remember, even though Simon cannot get Lyme disease, he can bring the ticks into your home and risk you or your dog getting infected. 

Question: My 6-month old Pomeranian, Chewy, has extra teeth! He will be neutered soon, should I have the vet remove them too? 

Answer: Chewy’s deciduous teeth (baby teeth) should all fall out by six or seven months of age and should be replaced with his adult teeth. 

Sometimes the baby teeth become retained and cause problems for the adult tooth. If the deciduous teeth remain, the adult teeth can grow in at different angles causing misalignment with the jaw. The baby teeth can also lead to periodontal disease, which is an infection of the tooth. This can happen when food gets stuck between the teeth that are overcrowded. 

If Chewy will be visiting the vet for an anesthetic procedure, those teeth can be removed at the same time to help prevent any complications in the future! 

Please send your questions to Dr. Marina Shepelev at

Dr. Marina Shepelev is an associate veterinarian practicing medicine at Owego Veterinary Hospital. She welcomes weekly questions concerning your furry friends. 

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