Regular wellness exams allow our staff to evaluate your pet’s general health and become aware of any health problems before they become serious illnesses. Since your dog or cat cannot vocalize feelings, you must rely on regular physical examinations by one of our veterinarians and your at-home observations to assess your pet’s health. Routine blood testing, urinalysis, and other tests are recommended for all pets in their senior years. It is important that your pet receives a wellness exam at least every year as many aspects of your pet’s health can change in a short amount of time.
Please contact us if you notice any signs of abnormality in your pet. It is better to be cautious than to wait.
Immediately contact our hospital or go to an emergency clinic if you observe any of the following signs:
Blue, white or very pale gums
Collapse or loss of consciousness
Dizziness, imbalance, or circling
Inability to walk
Extremely bloated abdomen
Signs of acute severe pain (such as crying out very loudly and excessively)
Body temperature over 104 or under 99 (normal is typically 100.5-102.5)
Contact our hospital if you notice any of the following signs lasting more than one to two days:
Excessive thirst (increased water intake)
Frequent and/or inappropriate urination
Excessive scratching or dull, dry, or flaky hair coat
Wheezing or frequent panting
Nasal discharge or congestion
Displays of mild to moderate pain (such as crying when a specific area is touched or action is taken)
ALLERGY AND ITCHY SKIN RELIEF
Allergy injections are especially effective against airborne pollens, dust and mold allergies. Allergic reactions can be reversed with antihistamines, and such treatments can often help in preventing allergy attacks and rash breakouts. Itchy skin caused by allergies is treated with fatty acid supplements. While these methods can be effective in the short term, the long term solution is to try to avoid the things that cause your pet’s allergies. Keep your pet away from foods that contain known allergy ingredients. Make sure to read the label on all food products you give your pet. Environmental factors such as pollen, dust and mold are harder to eliminate, but limiting known allergy triggers is the best way to prevent health problems.
Anesthesia is used for a wider range of circumstances in animals than in people, due to animals’ natural reluctance to cooperate with certain diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. Anesthesia is utilized for many surgical procedures that require the patient to be immobile, unaware, and without pain. In addition, certain diagnostic procedures require anesthesia, notably stomach or airway endoscopy, bone marrow sampling, and occasionally ultrasound. Aggressive animals may require anesthesia in order to be handled for a physical exam to be performed, or to obtain blood for testing.
BLOOD AND LAB SERVICES
Blood work is usually a combination of a complete blood count (CBC) and a blood chemistry analysis (CHEM) along with other needed diagnostics, such as thyroid testing. Pets should have wellness blood screening checked at every annual examination, since changes on blood work are often detectable before the pet shows symptoms of disease. This is especially important in senior pets. We recommend having a pre-surgical blood screening performed before any surgery, even in young animals, to check for underlying abnormalities that could complicate anesthesia. In addition, blood work allows our veterinarians to monitor organ function when a pet is on medication as well as the progression of a pet’s disease after diagnosis.
Maintaining your pet’s oral health is an important part of your pet’s veterinary and home care. We offer comprehensive dental check ups and cleanings to identify and correct problems as well as offer for sale a variety of products that will help you maintain your pet’s oral health at home.
It’s important that your pet’s ears remain clean and healthy. Ear mites are common parasites that are highly contagious among pets. Signs include excessive itching of the ears and debris that resembles coffee grounds. Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria, yeast or foreign debris caught in the ear canal. Treatment should be sought immediately as ear infections can cause considerable discomfort and may indicate allergies, hormonal abnormalities or hereditary disease. Blood blisters (hematoma) are the result of blood accumulation in the ear flap. They’re often caused by infection, ear mites, fleas or trapped debris that cause your pet to scratch their ears or shake their head excessively.
Health issues seem to come up faster and sometimes more seriously the older our pets become. Senior pets require specialized care and a broad, comprehensive watch. We have a specific program for our senior patients which consists of a complete physical examination and in-depth diagnostic tests. Taking this thorough approach to senior patients allows us to establish a good baseline and to catch potential problems early.
Our in-house laboratory allows us to perform many types of testing that can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet. This enables us to get quick results on routine heartworm and intestinal parasite tests, as well as pre‐surgical blood work. Our in‐house lab allows our hospital to gather information necessary for quick diagnosis and treatment recommendations, reducing treatment cost and stress on your pet.
Our in-house pharmacy is an integral part of our practice. It provides our clients and their pets with the latest technology, convenience, and the right medications at a competitive price. Charlestown Veterinary Hospital keeps a well stocked in-house pharmacy to service the immediate needs of your pet and we offer an array of prescription foods. If you need a prescription refilled at any time, please call our office (617.625.0090) and we will have it ready for pick up within a short time.
It is well known that pain, both acute and chronic, can lead to not only suffering but a decreased quality of life for your pet. Here at Charlestown Veterinary Hospital, we aggressively address pain with pharmaceutical therapies and techniques in physical medicine. We use pain examination techniques to first localize and identify the patient’s pain. Once we know the location of the pain, we then use diagnostic tests to determine its cause. Generally the more established pain is, the more difficult it is to manage. This complexity often results in a failure to recognize and treat the cause of the pain, which produces a cycle of chronic pain, suffering and decreased quality of life.
Using advanced technology, radiographs are now recorded in digital format, rather than on film, allowing them to be transmitted to any computer in our hospital, as well as to radiologists at other locations within seconds. It is a much faster process, causing your pet much less stress. This technology also provides a dramatic increase in image quality, allowing for more accurate diagnoses.
SPAYS AND NEUTERS
Spaying or neutering your dog or cat is an important part of being a pet owner. By having the procedure done, you create a positive environment for your pet and the community by:
Reducing the risk of certain pet health problems, adding years to your pet’s life.
Having a more enjoyable pet – you’ll no longer have to deal with females in heat or overactive male suitors.
Putting to rest myths about pet sterilization – it doesn’t reduce the instinct or personality of animals, nor does it create overweight and lazy pets.
Helping to control the pet population by reducing the number of unwanted and stray animals.
EKG | BLOOD PRESSURE
At our facility we have the equipment and expertise to properly evaluate and monitor your pet’s heart. An EKG provides a more thorough analysis of murmurs and arrhythmias. This is helpful in specifying what type of murmur or arrhythmia is present and it will help us provide the best type of treatment for your pet.
Blood pressure is something that affects animals much like it does humans. High blood pressure in your pet can result in blindness, heart disease and kidney disease. By properly monitoring and diagnosing high blood pressure in your pet we can help them maintain the proper levels to live a healthy and long life.
SOFT TISSUE SURGERY
Abdominal and Thoracic surgery (including Cancer/Tumor Removal Surgeries)
Gastric Dilitation Volvulus (Bloat)
Canine/Feline Urologic Surgery
FLEA & TICK CONTROL
It’s nearly impossible to keep an eye on your pet 100% of the time especially if they love the outdoors. Fleas and ticks are small critters that can transfer diseases to your pets and cause them to be in discomfort. With our in-house pharmacy we can prescribe you the proper medication to prevent fleas and ticks from infesting your pet.
We provide vaccines at your pet’s annual appointment. The following vaccinations are available for your dog or cat:
NEW KITTEN & NEW PUPPY PACKAGES
Have a new pet? We’re here to help! To ensure your pet’s health we provide any necessary vaccinations, a fecal examination, de-worming medication, and parasite prevention medication. We also perform a physical exam checking on your pet’s overall health. This includes but is not limited to: eyes, ears, teeth, skin and fur, skeletal exam, abdomen, heart, lungs, nervous system, and lymph nodes.
Worms are a potentially deadly parasite that can be fatal if left untreated. The best way to prevent parasites is for your pet to have regular screenings and by adhering to any medications that are prescribed by our veterinarians.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Weight management is a simple way to help keep your pet healthy and it’s a great start to prevent future health problems that may arise due to weight. By understanding your pets lifestyle and any special dietary needs we can put together a weight management program specific to your pet. We offer a variety of specialty foods to help facilitate a healthy weight for your pet.
EMERGENCY & AFTER HOURS CARE
Angell Animal Medical Center
350 S. Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02130
Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center of New England
180 Bear Hill Road, Suite A.
Waltham, MA 02454
ASPCA Poison Control