Like Family

Published: July, 2011
Contributing Writer For The Grand Traverse Insider

Choosing a veterinarian for your pet can be just as difficult as choosing a doctor for your child. Especially if you consider those four-legged friends to be more like family.

Enter Companion Animal Hospital of Traverse City, where they feel exactly the same way.

The hospital was founded by Dr. Marcia Izo in April 2002, and now has a staff veterinary student, technicians, assistants, receptionists and volunteers, as well as Dr. Jennifer Kavran and Terry Seymour, the practice manager and Izo’s husband.

The team works closely to provide full service veterinary care for a variety of pets, specializing in dogs, cats, rabbits and what Dr. Izo calls “pocket pets” – guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, rats, mice, hedgehogs and gerbils.

When the practice opened in 2002, Izo had no idea that it would grow to be the success it is now.

“I wanted to open a hospital where animals come first,” she said. “We treat animals like family.”

Izo herself even conceptualized the building, which sits on Chartwell Drive off Hammond Road between Three and Four Mile Roads. The layout was designed with her dreams in mind.

The lobby has separate entry and exit points to help avoid the stress and confusion of multiple animals in one setting, she said, and the whole building is open and inviting to all.

“Animals are often afraid when they come to the vet, and here we try to make them as comfortable as possible. Many of our patients really enjoy coming to the hospital!”

There is a separate “cat room,” complete with kennels, wooly blankets, soft lighting, relaxing music and a rocking chair for comforting animals after a difficult procedure or when waking up from surgery. The hospital has a myriad of monitors, X-ray machines (including a dental X-ray) and other devices to help ensure the safety of your pets with state-of-the-art technology all to treat any problem that might arise.

“We promote preventive medicine,” said manager Terry Seymour. “If we find problems early it can help animals to live longer, happier lives and our pets are living longer lives now than ever before.”

The hospital offers a full range of services, from standard wellness care and dentistry to soft tissue surgery, dermatology, internal medicine, oncology, on-site chemotherapy, micro-chipping and emergency services.

Izo even offers treatment to the “pocket pets” that many do not consider – spaying and neutering, just to name a couple. “It’s amazing the kinds of things you can do with small pets.”

The hospital also keeps “house pets” of its own – a rat named Kyle, a guinea pig named Opie Taylor and a mouse named Stewart.

What’s more, the friendly “family” environment that the clinic promotes also helps to alleviate the fears and concerns of pet owners as well. “We recognize the stressful nature of veterinary visits on humans as well. That’s one reason we have an Open Door Policy”, said Seymour. “We wanted to build a place where people could come and see their pets anytime they wanted, especially in serious situations” he said. “A well-informed client is our best friend. They make better decisions for their pets. We spend a great deal of time educating our clients and answering their questions.”

The staff also gives tours of the hospital for prospective clients and members of the public to see the hospital treatment facilities, examination rooms and the like.

The hospital is open long hours to accommodate working clients: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. (for early drop off appointments) until 5:30 p.m. and until 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays for evening appointments. The office is also open on Saturdays.

With an original take on veterinary medicine, it’s not surprising that the business has grown by leaps and bounds in the last nine years. In addition to the hospital’s many patients, Dr. Izo has seen the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department dogs for many years. Seymour’s words about treating the service animals reflect the nature of the hospital as a whole: “It’s an honor and a privilege to take care of them. They are incredible animals with wonderful and talented owners/handlers that perform a great service.”

Izo is a 1979 graduate of the Michigan State University college of Veterinary Medicine and has been serving the Traverse City region since 1982. For more details visit or call the office at 231-935-1511 or 800-319-8030.

What our Clients are Saying

Since Dr. Lynch's return to practice, my Senior dog's problem of many years has improved tremendously with VOM, Acupuncture/Acupressure and Chinese herbs. Dr. Lynch's ability to assess the symptoms and zero in on an effective treatment was remarkable. I am thrilled to have these alternative veterinary services available in Traverse City.

~ Cindy H.

I would highly recommend Dr. Lynch for treatment. The acupuncture treatments that he has done for my cat, Maxx, have done a world of good. It has made a huge difference and the effects from the treatments have been immediate for Maxx. It is so nice to have this treatment option available.

~ Lori F.

I love everyone at Companion Animal Hospital!!!! Best place to take your pets, hands down! Miss seeing you all...I could have never asked for a better group of people to help with my babies

~ Emily H.

We have been taking our two cats and one dog to Dr. Izo for many years. She is an excellent, caring and down to earth person, who is a remarkable at what she does and the care she provides. The entire staff at CAHTC is great to deal with and they truly have your pet's best interest at heart.

~ Mark H.

Thanks to the entire staff of Companion Animal Hospital for tirelessly working with me to assist my dog with her fear of nail cutting! She is now able to have this procedure without any fears or resistance! Additionally the wellness care and the sincere interest in her from the staff is so nice. Always pleasant and professional the Doctors and staff are above average. I recommend this Animal Hospital to all my friends and co-workers and many now use them with the same satisfaction.

~ Denise B.

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