Jaffrey-Rindge Veterinary Hospital offers a wide range of veterinary services for our patients. Just a few of our wellness and preventive care services are listed below. For more information on these or other services, please call 603-532-7114.
One of the most common but also frequently overlooked health problems for companion animals is dental disease. By age 3, most pets have some degree of periodontal disease. This occurs as a result of bacterial infection along the gum line, due to the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance containing millions of bacteria that forms along the tooth surface and gum line. Without frequent removal, plaque eventually hardens into tartar. Left untreated, this leads to gradual destruction of the gum tissue and supportive structures around the teeth, which can result in tooth loss. Not only is periodontal disease harmful and painful because it results in loss of teeth, but it can also cause damage to important vital organs such as the:
When it comes to dental disease, most pet owners don’t realize the extent of the problem until it is quite advanced; hence the importance of yearly to twice yearly physical examinations including a thorough oral health care assessment. In the early stages of dental disease, your veterinarian can recommend home dental health care measures such as tooth brushing, dental treats and rinses, and dental diets. When professional dental care is needed for your pet, general anesthesia is necessary. Your veterinarian will discuss the procedures involved in a COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) plan with you when dental care is needed. Most often, this will involve a day at the veterinary hospital to plan and perform the procedures, which may include doing:
- Pre-Operative Lab Work
- IV Catheterization
- General Anesthesia
- Dental X-Rays
- Teeth Cleaning and Polishing
- Dental Charting
- Extractions when indicated
Upon discharge, the veterinary team will review any instructions pertaining to post-dental medications, special feeding instructions, and when to resume home dental care. Your pet will thank you for remembering to take care of his or her mouth, and live a longer and happier life as a result.
In emergency, seconds count. When you arrive with your pet on emergency or urgent care basis, our highly trained staff will perform an immediate triage assessment to assess the stability of your pet and need for emergency medical intervention. In life-threatening situations, you may be asked for consent to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
The first component of basic triage is assessing your pet’s level of consciousness, airway/breathing (labored breathing or choking, lack of oxygen), circulatory status (pale gums or weak pulses, racing heart), and pain score. Patients needing urgent medical attention, upon consent will be moved to our treatment area for immediate doctor assessment and commencement of emergency care.
Placing an IV catheter and administering IV fluids, giving oxygen supplementation, and pain relief medications may be elements of the initial stabilization of your pet. As your pet is stabilized, your veterinarian will review a diagnostic plan which may include imaging (radiographs, ultrasound) and laboratory evaluation (blood and/or urine tests) to ascertain the severity of the situation and tailor treatment for your pet.
At times, your pet may need advanced care at a referral or specialty center. When this is the case, our staff will discuss options for transfer and referral. Your primary veterinarian will stay abreast of your pet’s status at the emergency facility.
When your pet becomes suddenly ill or in event of an emergency, timely diagnostic test results are extremely important to help your veterinarian determine the best treatment plan. We have state-of-the-art in-hospital laboratory equipment capable of yielding lab results within minutes. Laboratory testing for your sick pet may include:
- Blood Pressure
- Canine 4DX Test – Heartworm, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia
- CBC – Complete Blood Count. Evaluates red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
- Dermatophyte Culture – Helps to diagnose ringworm
- ECG – Electrocardiogram. Evaluates the rate and rhythm of the heart
- Electrolytes – Sodium, potassium and chloride
- Fecal Parasite Examination – Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms and Coccidia are the most common
- Feline Triple Test – Feline Leukemia, FIV, and Heartworm
- Fluorescein Stain – Checks for corneal ulcers
- General Profile – Measures blood sugar, kidney values, liver enzymes, cholesterol, and more
- Giardia Antigen Test – An intestinal parasite
- Otic Cytology – Determines the category of an ear infection
- Schirmer Tear Test – Checks for KCS or “dry eye”
- Skin Scrapes and Cytology – Helps to evaluate skin lesions
- Thyroid – Total T4 level
- Tonometry – Checks the pressure of the eye; such as for glaucoma
- Urinalysis – Determines the concentrating ability of the kidneys and checks for blood, protein and sugar in the urine
Our veterinary team will help explain which tests are most important for your pet. It is very important to us to include you in the decision-making process for your pet, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question if you need clarification.
Our pets experience pain for the same reasons as people. They may have a decrease appetite or lower activity level. They may seem depressed or less eager to interact with people or other pets. They may also become irritable or anxious. The pain could be from a short term cause such as an acute injury or surgery. The pain could also be due to a chronic disease or cancer. There are many options available to help manage pain in our pets.
Preventive veterinary care is the cornerstone of keeping your pet their healthiest no matter what stage of life they’re in. Since pets age more quickly than people do, it is critical to have regular physical examinations done to assess your pet’s health. During routine preventive exams, your veterinarian will assess:
- Overall Body Condition
- Heart and Lungs
- Abdominal Organs
- Musculoskeletal System
- Neurologic System
- Urogenital System
- Lymph Nodes
When health problems are identified, a medical plan will be outlined to evaluate the problems in depth. If your pet appears to be healthy enough for routine preventive care, your veterinarian will discuss which immunizations are advised, as well as parasite prevention including heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, etc.). Annual age-appropriate lab tests, testing for heartworm and/or tick-borne diseases, and fecal tests for parasites may also be recommended for your pet. Finally, your pet’s nutrition, diet, and exercise routines can be assessed and optimized to help your pet be in best physical condition for their lifestyle and age. Remember, keeping up with preventive care for your pet is the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy for life.
Kitten & Puppy Care
Getting your new puppy or kitten off to a healthy start sets the stage for their lives as healthy adults. Regular physical examinations, core and elective vaccinations, fecal testing for parasites, and deworming are all important elements of ensuring good health for your puppy or kitten. Our knowledgeable staff can help your family learn about potty training your pup, performing nail trims on your puppy or kitten, dietary recommendations, and potential health hazards for your new pet.
Spaying and neutering are additional topics to consider; the appropriate age for the timing of sterilization surgery may vary upon the species and breed of your pet. You may also want to consider Pet Health Insurance – a great way to get your new little family member off to a good start. Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider whether your new puppy or kitten may need preventives such as monthly heartworm prevention, and flea/tick preventives. We realize that adding a new family pet can come with lots of questions… but don’t forget, we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call.
We love Senior Pets! Senior pets have special needs, and benefit from more regular veterinary visits compared to their younger counterparts. Age-associated conditions include:
- Dental Disease
- Heart Disease
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Endocrine Disorders
These conditions will start to become more prevalent as your pet gets older. For this reason, we recommend twice-yearly veterinary visits for pets over 7 years of age. Your aging pet may be showing early signs of osteoarthritis such as stiffness after rest or play, difficulty going up or down stairs and reduced activity. Early intervention with joint supplements and prescription arthritis medications when indicated, along with modified nutrition and exercise plans, can greatly improve your pet’s comfort and mobility. Likewise, performing annual screening lab work on your older pet can help identify early stages of medical problems that might go unrecognized, and progress significantly without treatment.
Some pets experience age-related behavioral changes that can be a sign of cognitive dysfunction, which is similar in some ways to dementia. Your veterinarian can recommend diet modification and supplements to help improve your older pet’s mental sharpness. Getting older doesn’t have to be fraught with troubles for your pet… see your vet regularly to help keep your senior pet healthy and comfortable.
Radiographs, also commonly referred to as X-rays, are a valuable diagnostic tool for a variety of conditions. It is a non-invasive method to help visualize internal structures. Bones may be evaluated for fractures, arthritis, and tumors. If your pet is breathing abnormal or coughing, they help us evaluate the lungs and heart. Radiographs of the abdomen help to detect bladder and kidney stones, certain foreign bodies, masses, and the size of the liver, spleen, or other organs.
Jaffrey-Rindge Veterinary Hospital upgraded to a state-of-the-art digital system with a Gadox detection plate. This allows for more efficient radiographs. We also have the ability to share the information with specialists by C/D or e-mail.
The hospital also has digital dental radiology. Dental radiographs are excellent for evaluating the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. It may also be used for the nose of smaller patients and even feet and legs of pediatrics, ferrets, rats, and other small pets.
At some point in your pet’s life, they may need a surgical procedure. Whether your pet is having an elective surgery such as spay or neuter, or an emergency surgery for intestinal obstruction, you can rest assured that our staff will provide the very best care possible for your pet.
Our facility offers the following surgical services for companion animals:
- Routine spay and neuter
- Tumor removal
- Abdominal and soft tissue procedures
- Orthopedic surgery
- Endoscopy and biopsies
- Laparoscopic surgery
In the best interests of our pet, we require a physical examination appointment with one of our doctors prior to scheduling procedures. Before the procedure is scheduled, our staff will explain the process including:
- Any pre-surgical testing that is recommended – baseline laboratory testing is beneficial so that there are no surprises on surgery day. Knowing that your pet has normal blood test results can help prevent anesthetic complications or surgical complications such as excessive bleeding, which can occur when patients have low platelet counts or abnormal clotting. When there is liver or kidney disease, this may affect the choices of anesthetic drugs recommended by your veterinarian, to prevent anesthetic complications and promote a smooth anesthetic recovery.
- Food and water intake restrictions prior to surgery – a period of fasting may be necessary prior to your pet’s procedure. Our staff will let you know what is advised.
- What procedures are to be done on the day of surgery – from initial intake to sedation and general anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, the procedure and recovery, the staff will walk you through what will happen with your pet once you leave the hospital.
- Discharge and aftercare for your pet – some patients may be able to go home the same day as their procedure, whereas others may need an overnight stay or referral to a 24-hour care facility. The veterinary team will advise you as to what is best for your pet, and also discuss aftercare for your companion and any rechecks needed.
Allergies are a common problem with a variety of signs and causes. Your pet may itch, lick, or chew. They may even have chronic skin and ear infections. They may be allergic to pollens, fleas, foods, or other causes. Depending on the causes, the signs may be seasonal or all year round.
There are many options to help control allergies. These may include nutritional, topical, and systemic treatments. An examination and diagnostic tests may help define the allergens and predisposing or secondary conditions. Please feel free to call our office with any questions or to schedule a consult.
Signs that your pet may have arthritis include a decrease in their activity level, a change in their gait, and limping. These may be worse after exercise, cold weather, or when first getting up after lying down. Cats may have difficulty in grooming and jumping onto furniture. Increase irritability may also indicate that they are uncomfortable.
A comprehensive physical examination is the first step in diagnosing and treating arthritis. Radiographs and screening for tick-borne disease are additional diagnostic steps. Monitoring liver and kidney values may be necessary with some chronic medications.
There are many options available to help slow the progression of arthritis and minimize their discomfort.
When your pet is sick or injured, they can’t tell us what’s wrong. A thorough physical exam and history (symptoms you’ve noted at home) are the first important step. If the diagnosis is not immediately evident upon initial assessment, your veterinarian will recommend specific diagnostic tests. These may include:
- Laboratory testing for baseline blood counts and organ function tests, or infectious disease. Blood and/or urine samples may be collected from your pet, for point-of-care testing, or reference lab tests. Point-of-care tests are those tests that are done on-site in our hospital so as to be able to determine results and make treatment recommendations in the most timely fashion possible. In other cases, lab samples may need to be sent off to off-site laboratories (reference laboratories) – when the test cannot be performed with in-hospital lab equipment, or when the test results are not needed urgently.
- Imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound, which allows diagnosis of conditions of the heart and lungs, gastrointestinal obstruction, tumors of the internal organs or bones, fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity, urinary stones or gallstones, reproductive diseases, and bone/joint disorders. For most patients, gentle restraint can be used for these procedures, however, in some cases, sedation may be necessary.
- Microscopy is quite useful in the evaluation of lab samples such as ear swabs, skin impressions and scrapes, and needle biopsies of tumors. These tests are helpful in diagnosis of dermatologic and otic (ear) conditions.
- Ocular conditions may warrant evaluation for tear production (Schirmer Tear Test), corneal injuries (fluorescein stain), or abnormal intra-ocular pressures (Tonometry).
Diagnostic testing is an important step in the development of a treatment plan for your pet, allowing your veterinarian to most effectively target the underlying problem(s) and assess the probability of successful treatment. Your veterinarian can explain the purpose of each diagnostic test for your pet, and help prioritize which tests may be most helpful in determining the cause of your pet’s illness.
It is extremely difficult to watch our beloved pet’s quality of life deteriorate. There may be options to improve their condition or ease their pain. However, a time comes when there are few options left to try. We understand the emotions as you determine how best to monitor your pet’s quality of life and to decide when it is the right time to let them go peacefully. It is our goal to help navigate these decisions with compassion and to respect your needs. Our final act of love to our pets is to take their pain and place it on us.
Airline travel with your pet usually requires a health certificate within 10 days of travel. The requirements may vary with the airline, therefore be aware of their requirements. A current rabies certificate is necessary to travel with your pet as well.
The requirements for international travel vary with each country. An international health certificate is usually required. Dr. Grier is a USDA accredited veterinarian. An international health certificate will also need to be endorsed by a federal veterinarian. Check the APHIS pet travel website for more information.
Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick in New England. Signs include a fever, lethargy, lameness, and arthritis. Signs may not appear until several months after the tick was attached. There is a Lyme vaccine for dogs which we strongly recommend.
Anaplasmosis is transmitted by the deer tick and co-infection with Lyme disease is common. Signs of Anaplasmosis include fever, lethargy, lameness and arthritis. Bleeding from a decrease number of platelets is another symptom.
Ehrlichia is transmitted by the brown dog tick in New England. Bleeding from low platelets and anemia may occur with infections. Fever, lethargy, lameness, arthritis, and swollen lymph nodes are other symptoms.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted by the American dog tick. Currently it is uncommon in New England, but experts believe this is changing. It is also a concern is you travel with your pets or adopt pets from other parts of the country.
Laboratory testing screens for tick-borne diseases, low platelets and anemia. All but Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are done in-house. We recommend a yearly screen which includes your dog’s heartworm test or if your pet has signs consistent with a tick-borne disease.
It is easy to be overwhelmed by the number of food choices for your pets. A proper diet for their life stage and medical issues is key to keeping your pet healthy. Diseases that were once difficult to treat may now be managed with prescription diets.
Obesity is a major problem in our pets. This leads to other diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. A property diet will help manage their weight. Special diets may also help allergic pets live more comfortably. We are happy to help you choose a proper diet to keep your pet healthy and active.
Providing proper medical care for rabbits and other small mammals requires specialized training and skills. We possess experience in the care and treatment of rabbits and other small mammals.
We will advise you on dietary, husbandry and medical needs for your furry friends.
We offer spaying and neutering for rabbits. These procedures may improve your pet’s temperament and prevent some serious health problems. Dental problems are common and malocclusion of the teeth may lead to difficulty eating.
Ingrown nails may cause serious infections which are prevented by frequent nail trims.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that creates a moving image by the use of sound waves. This allows for visualization of the organs in the body.
Abdominal ultrasound helps us to evaluate the internal structures of many organs. The liver, spleen, kidney, and bladder are common ones. The intestinal walls are also visible. An enlarged or inflamed pancreas may also be detected. Ultrasound may be used for pregnancy checks prior to radiographic detection.
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. The thickness of cardiac walls, valves of the heart and the heart’s contractility are observed. These are important to help assess heart murmurs and
heart disease in dogs and cats.
Jaffrey-Rindge Veterinary Hospital has an in-house ultrasound unit with probes for abdominal and cardiac evaluation. Your pet usually stays for the morning so we have adequate time for the procedure. Referrals to specialists in cardiology or internal medicine are also available and may be recommended for advance cases. Aspirates or biopsies are usually needed for a definite diagnosis.