Health Maintenance Services

While regular preventive care is the foundation of your pet's good health, Dr. Johnson and medical team at North Shore Veterinary Clinic are also highly skilled and experienced providers of a full range of healthcare services, including allergy and dermatology treatment, glaucoma testing, nutrition counseling and prescription diets, behavior counseling and more.

Our personalized approach to high-quality pet care based on your pet's lifestyle and needs and your expectations means a long, happy life for your pet and peace of mind for you.

Internal Medicine

Despite even the best preventive care, your pet may become sick. Should that happen, there is no better veterinarian in the Chicago area to care for him or her than Dr. Johnson. Board-certified in internal medicine as well as canine and feline medicine, Dr. Johnson has advanced training and unsurpassed knowledge in these areas. As such, 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.

Dermatology and Allergies in PetsDr. Johnson, supported by our skilled medical team and advanced diagnostic technology, has expertise in many areas of internal medicine, including endocrinology, infectious disease, kidney failure, liver failure, gastroenterology, cardiology, ophthalmology, pulmonary disease, geriatric disease and neurology.

Allergies and Skin Problems in Dogs and Cats

Allergies and skin problems are common in dogs and cats of all breeds and backgrounds, typically due to fleas, but can also be the result of food or an inhaled irritant like dust or pollen. The most common symptom associated with allergies is localized or generalized itching of the skin. Other symptoms include:

  • 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
  • Head shaking

Dr. Johnson has extensive experience diagnosing and treating skin conditions and allergies. As a board-certified practitioner in canine and feline medicine, he also offers expertise in allergy serum testing.

If your pet exhibits any of the symptoms listed, please make an appointment at our animal clinic. If left untreated, allergic reactions and skin conditions can become serious medical concerns.


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 Animal GlaucomaSymptoms of glaucoma to look for include:

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

Dr. Johnson can test for glaucoma if there are any indications of this disease.

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.

Treating Your Pet's Cancer

At North Shore Veterinary Clinic, the standard treatment for almost all pet cancers is surgical removal of the mass. Surgery is also the best treatment for both accessible benign cancers and the majority of malignant cancers that have not yet spread. Your pet's recovery from most surgery is rapid and post-surgical pain can be controlled using appropriate medications.

Should it be in the best interest of your pet following surgery, we can also refer you to a veterinary oncologist.

Before making the decision on the appropriate course of action for your pet, please discuss all the relevant factors with Dr. Johnson so you can make an informed choice. Our understanding of cancer is increasing all the time, leading to better treatment approaches, optimal quality of life and improved outcomes.

Your Pet's Nutrition

Proper nutrition and a balanced diet, along with fresh, clean water, are essential ingredients for your pet's overall good health. As your pet's caregiver, nutrition is the most significant health variable that you control. Making the best nutritional choices for your dog or cat not only affects general health, but will improve the quality and length of your pet's life.

So what should you feed your pet? Most people ponder this question at least once, if only for a moment, when selecting a pet food from the store. After all, anyone who has seen the pet food aisle or been in a pet store understands how many dietary options exist. We can answer nutritional questions about healthy pets over the phone. If your pet has health issues, we may need to conduct a physical exam or perform testing to determine the best diet.

We can also provide you with important information on proper serving size, nutrient needs, and feeding strategies for your pet and help you navigate pet food claims so you can make the most informed choices.

Nutrition for PetsPrescription Diets

Some pets have serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions that benefit from feeding a special prescription diet.

Prescription diets benefit medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, cardiac and renal disease and food allergies to name a few. Nutrition can also address common concerns such as weight gain, tartar accumulation, hairball problems and stool with bad odor. We can also modify your pet's diet for the short term to alleviate symptoms of diarrhea or loose stools, vomiting, lethargy or other acute problems.

For your convenience, North Shore Veterinary Clinic carries prescription diets from Hill's, Iams, Purina and Royal Canin and are happy to recommend one that will best meet your pet's needs. We can also special order any requested pet food.

Weight Management

Obesity is a major health concern for people and pets. By helping you keep your pet's weight under control, we can prevent other health issues from "weighing in."

Why Does My Pet's Weight Matter?

Overweight pets, just like people, have higher risk for many types of medical disorders. Their excess weight may contribute directly to a health problem or simply exacerbate an existing one. These health issues include:

  • Heart disease and other cardiac problems
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease and related disorders
  • Joint stress and mobility disorders

In addition, weight problems may be a symptom of a medical condition, such as an under active thyroid gland.

Is My Pet Overweight?

Just as with people, the fact that your pet weighs a certain number of pounds does not mean that he is overweight or underweight. Instead, consider his overall size. (Is he simply just a big dog? We have seen 60lb Labradors that were overweight and 105lb Labradors that were not.) It is not always easy to determine your pet's weight condition, but Dr. Johnson can help.

Remember, too, that your pet's weight is relative. Consider a 30lb Scottish Terrier that should weigh 25lb. That extra five pounds may not sound like much, but it is equivalent to a 150lb person weighing 180lb – an extra 30lb!

Benefits of a Leaner Pet

Just as with people, keeping your dog or cat lean has numerous benefits, including:

  • Greatly reduced risk of medical issues including heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes
  • More energy and more activity
  • Less stress on joints thereby decreasing pain and discomfort for senior and arthritic pets
  • Longer life-span
  • Save money on veterinary care needed to address weight-related issues

Weight Management in PetsHow Can My Veterinarian Help?

During your pet's wellness examination, Dr. Johnson will perform a body assessment and discuss your pet's weight and diet with you. If your pet needs to gain or lose weight, we can help there, as well. After all, making your pet as healthy as possible is why we're here.

If there is a medical problem, we will address that first. For example, if your dog has an underactive thyroid gland, we can administer medication to correct the problem and explain what hypothyroidism is and how it affects your dog.

If there isn't a medical problem, we can make recommendations for proper amounts of food to feed your pet and for exercise and treats. To best help us help you, please make a note of the pet food you use and measure how much you give to your pet. We will also ask about treats and your pet's activity level. (Be honest with us, we do NOT judge!)

We welcome and encourage you to visit us and conduct routine weigh-ins at no charge so we may monitor your pet's progress and suggest possible changes in feeding schedules and lifestyle if needed.

Behavior Counseling

Even with the right training and lots of attention and love, your dog or cat can develop bad habits or unwanted behaviors. Please don't make the mistake of believing you and your family must live with these problems or worse, consider giving up your pet.

Dr. Johnson offers behavior counseling for many of your pet's problems including inappropriate urination or defecation, urine marking, aggression, separation anxiety, destructiveness, thunderstorm anxiety and other phobias, and cognitive dysfunction.

Our assessment begins with your pet's clinical history and a thorough medical examination. Before beginning behavior therapy, any medical problems that have been diagnosed will be treated.

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