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Yearly lab tests are safe and non-invasive ways to diagnose and prevent sickness or injuries in pets that a physical exam cannot detect.

     
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Blood Screening

A blood screening checks for anemia, parasites, infections, organ function and sugar levels. It is important to get a blood test annually for your pet, to help your veterinarian establish a benchmark for normal values and easily see any changes that may point to problems.

Urinalysis

This test has the ability to screen for diabetes, urinary tract infections, bladder/kidney stones, as well as dehydration and early kidney disease.

Intestinal Parasite Check

Using a stool sample, your veterinarian can check to see if your pet has parasites. Many parasites can be passed on to humans, so it is important to complete this screening annually, especially if your pet has any symptoms including upset stomach, loss of appetite and weight loss.

 
     
 
 
     
 

Routine testing can add years to your pet's life. Your veterinarian will recommend lab tests appropriate for your pet based on age and lifestyle.

 
     
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Canine Tests

Your veterinarian may check for the presence of heartworms in your dog, as well as the three common tick-borne diseases – Lyme, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia Canis.
 
     
 
 
     
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Feline Tests

A combination test checks for heartworm, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). FeLV and FIV are serious diseases that weaken the immune system, making cats susceptible to a variety of infections and other diseases. FeLV is spread through casual contact, and FIV is transmitted primarily through bite wounds. They can also be transferred to cats by their mothers. Any new pets, or sick/stray cats entering a household, should be tested.

Blood Pressure Testing

Senior cats are routinely tested for high blood pressure. It may occur as a secondary disease to another illness and is commonly seen in older cats. But it can affect a cat at any age and cause damage to the eyes, heart, brain and kidneys. A new heart murmur or alterations in your cat's eyes during a routine exam may prompt your veterinarian to take a blood pressure reading.

 
     

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Prevention is the best approach in protecting your pet against deadly heartworms, intestinal parasites, and flea and tick infestations. Your veterinarian will help you find the product that is right for your pet based on his or her needs.

     
 

EXTERNAL PARASITES
are assessed visually by your veterinarian.

 
     
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Fleas

Fleas thrive when the weather is warm and humid. All cats and dogs are susceptible to flea infestations. Beyond the skin irritation and discomfort, flea infestations can also cause deadly infections, flea-allergy dermatitis (OUCH!) and the transmission of tapeworm parasites if ingested.

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Ticks

Ticks can spread serious infectious diseases such as Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis to pets and people. Pet owners should inspect their pets regularly for ticks, large and small, especially after being outside in a wooded or grassy area.

 
     
 
     
 

INTERNAL PARASITES
are assessed by blood tests and fecal exams.

 
     
 
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Intestinal Parasites

Roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm, Coccidia, Giardia and Cryptosporidium are all common in cats and dogs. Many of these parasites can be transmitted to you and your family if your pet becomes infected.

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Heartworm

Mosquitoes can spread heartworm, a harmful disease that affects both dogs and cats. As its name implies, heartworm lives in the blood of a pet's heart and blood vessels. We recommend annual screenings for both dogs and cats, even if they are already on heartworm preventatives.

 
     
     
     
 

Life is better for your pet and family without parasites.
Let us help you choose your flea, tick, heartworm and
intestinal parasite preventatives today!

 
     


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Just like humans, an animal's diet directly affects its overall health and well-being. Allowing a pet to overeat, or to consume the wrong foods, may lead to a wide variety of ailments including obesity, diabetes and arthritis.

Did You Know?

Over 50% of dogs and cats in the United States are obese or overweight.

Proper Nutrition

Although we think of our pets as family members, they shouldn’t be allowed to eat like us. Maintaining a proper diet will help keep your pet at a healthy weight. Be sure not to overfeed, and that you are providing a diet tailored to your pet's breed, age, weight and medical history.

Common Foods To Avoid

Think twice about feeding your pet table scraps. Common foods such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic could be dangerous to an animal. Some non-food items like lily plants and antifreeze are also toxic to pets. Check with your veterinarian if your pet has ingested anything questionable.
Pet Nutrition

 

Growth Diet

Growing puppies and kittens need more nutrient-dense food than adults. Ask your veterinarian which food is right for this stage of life. Cats switch to an adult diet right after being spayed or neutered, no matter what the age, to decrease the likelihood of obesity and related conditions.

Adult Diet

Selecting an adult dog or cat food that will keep your pet healthy and energetic starts with knowing your pet's lifestyle. Does your dog weigh just the right amount and go for long walks daily? Or is it a lap dog that loves nothing more than to snooze the day away? Talk to your veterinarian about these issues to help guide you in choosing the best food for your pet.

Senior Diet

Your senior dog or cat may need fewer calories, less fat, and more fiber as he or she ages. Many older pets can continue eating the food they always have – just a little less to compensate for not being as active. Check with your veterinarian which food and amount is best for your pet.

   
     
 

Every pet ages differently. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best diet for your pet's needs.

 
     


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Spaying or neutering can protect your pet from serious health and behavioral problems later in life. It also helps control the stray animal population.

Spaying or Neutering Reduces the Risk of...

Uterine Disease

Known as a pyometra, this is a potentially life-threatening condition which can be very expensive to treat. It is 100% preventable if your pet is spayed.

Mammary Tumors (Breast Cancer)

Over one-half of all mammary tumors are malignant and can spread to other areas of the body. Early spaying, prior to your pet beginning its heat cycles, significantly reduces the incidence of tumor formation.

Testicular Cancer

This cancer, as well as prostatitis (an infection causing malignant or benign swelling of the prostate), can be greatly reduced with early neutering.

 

Behavioral Problems

Unwanted behaviors such as dominance aggression, marking territory and wandering can be avoided with spaying or neutering.

Overpopulation

There are more puppies and kittens in shelters than there are people willing to provide them with love and care. Sadly, many are euthanized. Spaying or neutering can help reduce the number of animals in need of homes.Cat and Dog graphic

   
     
 

Spayed and neutered pets live healthier and longer lives! Consider the benefits to your pet and the community, and ask us when is the best time to spay or neuter your pet.

 
     


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Make your pet's well-being a priority. See your veterinarian regularly and follow these tips to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Nutrition

Your veterinarian will give you a recommendation for a high quality and nutritious diet for your pet, and advise you on how much and how often to feed him or her. Diets may vary by species, breed and age.

Identification

Microchipping is a safe and permanent identification option to ensure your pet's return should he or she get lost. Ask us about the process and get your pet protected.

Safety

Always keep your dog on a leash in public, and your cat indoors to protect them from common hazards such as cars and other animals.

Grooming

Frequent brushing keeps your pet's coat clean and reduces the occurrence of shedding, matting and hairballs. Depending on the breed, your pet may also need professional groomings.

Dental and Oral Health

Brush your pet's teeth regularly and check with your veterinarian about professional cleanings as well as dental treats and products available to help prevent bad breath, gingivitis, periodontitis and underlying disease. Although your pet's teeth may look healthy, significant disease could be hidden below the gum line.

 

Exercise

Be sure to spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with your cat to keep him or her active and at a healthy weight. All dogs need routine exercise to stay fit, but the requirements vary by breed and age. Ask us what's best for your dog. Doggy daycares and boarding facilities are other ways to help to burn off some energy and socialize your pets.

Training

Enroll your dog in training classes to improve his or her behavior with pets and people. Cats need minimal training. Be sure to provide them with a litter box beginning at four weeks of age.

Environmental Enrichment

Entertain your pet's natural instincts by using toys that encourage them to jump and run. Cats especially need to fulfill their instinct to hunt – provide interactive toys that mimic prey like a laser pointer or feathers on a wand. You can also hide treats in your pet's toys or around the house to decrease boredom while you're away.Pet Care at Home

     
 

Be Your Pet's Guardian Angel

Call us if your pet experiences vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, lethargy, trouble breathing, excessive drinking or urinating, wheezing or coughing, pale gums, discharge from nose, swollen eye or discharge, limping, and/or difficulty passing urine or stool as these may be signs of illness.

 
     


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Every animal is unique, and the start of each stage of life calls for different home and veterinary care. Check with your veterinarian to establish a proactive wellness plan to keep your pet happy and healthy throughout its life.

Annual Wellness

Puppies and kittens must receive a series of properly staged vaccines and physical exams. During these exams, your veterinarian may also recommend parasite preventatives or lab tests.

Adult pets will need to continue visiting the veterinarian annually for physical exams, recommended vaccines and routine testing.

Senior pets can develop similar problems seen in older people, including heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and arthritis. Your veterinarian may recommend biannual visits to ensure your pet's quality of life.

Spay/Neuter

Females spayed before their first heat cycle will be less likely to get uterine infections, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Males neutered at any age will be less likely to get prostate disease. Spaying or neutering also helps prevent behavioral problems like marking and escaping. Talk to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your pet.

Nutrition

Pets require different types of food to support each life stage. Growing puppies and kittens need more nutrient-dense food than adults while adult dogs and cats need food that will keep them healthy and energetic. Your senior dog or cat may need fewer calories, less fat, and more fiber as he or she ages. Talk to your veterinarian to determine what's appropriate for your pet.

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Exercise

Adult dogs should stay active with daily walks and one-on-one training. Keep your adult cats fit by using toys that encourage them to run and jump, and be sure to give them at least 15 minutes of playtime a day.

Weight management of your senior dog or cat is extremely important to ensure they are at an ideal body weight and able to move around comfortably.

Training

Behavioral issues are a major cause of pet abandonment. Begin training your puppy or kitten right away to prevent bad habits and establish good ones.

Start house training your puppy as soon as you get home. Keep your puppy supplied with plenty of chew toys so he or she gets used to gnawing on those and not your belongings.

All cats need a litter box, which should be in a quiet, accessible room. Place your kitten in the box after a meal or whenever it appears he or she needs to go. Be sure to scoop out solids daily and empty it out completely once a week. The number of boxes in your household should be the total of number of cats plus one.

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Animals age at a faster rate than humans do, and your pet's health needs will evolve over time. Use this chart to figure out your pet's age in human years, and check with your veterinarian to establish a wellness plan specific to your young, adult or senior pet.

Pet Ages & Stages Chart

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The veterinary resources featured on this page provide useful information to pet owners on a variety of topics related to veterinary medicine and pet health care.

Animal Associations & Organizations

Humane Societies

Pet Adoptions

  • House Rabbit Network (HRN): A local organization specializing in rabbit education and adoption in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut. Check out the many adorable bunnies waiting for a home!
  • House Rabbit Society: A great site for information on pet rabbit care and adoptions.
  • Petfinder: Search for animals that need homes across the country. From dogs and cats to gerbils and barnyard animals, you will find all types of adoptable animals here.

Pet Grief Support

Pet Health Articles

Pet Insurance

Pet Products

Pet Safety & Poison Control

Veterinary Education

Veterinary Diets & Nutrition

  • Harrison's Bird Foods: An excellent avian diet that we recommend and have available for purchase.
  • Herp Nutrition: This is the site of Susan Donoghue, a veterinarian and nutritionist with a special interest in reptile nutrition. Learn more about keeping box turtles, reptiles, and amphibians as pets, including what their special nutritional needs are as well as other pet care considerations.
  • Hill's Pet Nutrition
  • Oxbow Animal Health: This company manufactures wonderful diets and treats for small mammals. We have select diets available for purchase.
  • Royal Canin

rod-arad-dvm-with-tortoiseDr. Rod Arad ("Dr. Rod"), our Chief of Staff, joined our team in October 2013 with an enthusiastic interest in all aspects of canine, feline, avian, and exotic medicine. He interned at our sister hospital, the Animal House of Chicago, and practiced under Dr. Byron de la Navarre, an internationally respected reptile specialist. Dr. Rod is also a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV), Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV).

In his time at Littleton Animal Hospital, Dr. Rod has already developed many close relationships with both clients and patients, quickly becoming a requested veterinarian by those that receive his care. Outside of work, he likes to travel, hike and study martial arts. Dr. Rod lives with his three dogs, four cats and his wife Claudia.

Victoria Papscoe, DVMDr. Victoria Papscoe has been working at Littleton Animal Hospital since 2003. Like Dr. Kilgore, she also graduated from Tufts University and shares the passion for avian and exotic animal medicine. Dr. Papscoe completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) course and has finished the rigorous training to become certified in veterinary acupuncture. She is interested in other aspects of integrative veterinary medicine as well, such as nutrition, food therapy, herbs, and supplements.

Dr. Papscoe has a special interest in feline medicine and regularly volunteers providing veterinary care, spays and neuters, for feral cats. Her professional organizations include the AVMA, MVMA, AAV, American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA), IVAS and AEMV.

Currently she shares her home with four cats, a Quaker parrot, and a human partner named John. In her spare time, Dr. Papscoe enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and going to rock concerts.

Thea Doidge, DVMDr. Thea Doidge joined Littleton Animal Hospital in 2009. A graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, she completed an internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston prior to becoming part of our team. Dr. Doidge has an interest in small animal medicine and avian and exotic pet medicine. She also loves working with felines!

Her memberships include the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Outside of work, Dr. Doidge enjoys backpacking, hiking, and working in her garden.

Dr. Pereira grew up in Dover, NH and currently resides in Lancaster, MA. She received an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and earned her DVM degree from the University of Illinois. Her special interests include exotics, ophthalmology, and dentistry.

While in veterinary school, Dr. Pereira travelled to the Galapagos Islands and Belize. She enjoys hiking, photography, and horseback riding and shares her home with two dogs, Charlie and Lilly, and one cat, Brady.

Dr. Nicole Syngajewski grew up in Everett and currently resides in Billerica, MA. She received an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Massachusetts Boston and earned a DVM degree from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the Littleton Animal Hospital team, Dr. Syngajewski practiced at the VCA Whitman Animal Hospital. Her special interests include pain management, dermatology, dentistry, and exotics.

In her spare time, Dr. Syngajewski enjoys baking, playing video games, and open-water diving. She also shares her home with one cat named, Reese, a Kittitian mutt, aka "coconut retriever" named, Liamuiga, and one betta named, Nox.

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29 King Street
Littleton, MA 01460
P: (978) 486-3101
F: (978) 486-0987

guinea-pig-holidayPlanning on going away for the upcoming holidays? We believe both you and your pet should enjoy a relaxing vacation!

Littleton Animal Hospital offers boarding for cats, reptiles and exotic pets so that you can leave your pet in total comfort while you are away. Learn more about our pet boarding services, including amenities and requirements, here.

Call us today at (978) 486-3101 to book your pet's vacation. Quick - spots are filling fast!

Companion Cold Therapy Laser and Magellan LeadCare II Blood Lead Testing Equipment Advances Our Services

We are thrilled to share that Littleton Animal Hospital now has the Companion Cold Therapy Laser, which will allow us to perform advanced laser therapy treatments for our canine and feline patients. Our veterinary technicians are also taking continuing education courses leading to certification in laser therapy.

We are excited to offer this service, which is very beneficial for many inflammatory conditions. Laser therapy helps treat pets with chronic conditions, acute conditions, post-surgical pain and even weight loss. Learn about our laser therapy services for dogs and cats.

Lyme disease is highly prevalent in our area. It is caused by an organism called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread by the deer tick. We see many dogs with clinical signs of the disease and many more test positive for exposure to Lyme disease.

 

lead-ccs-jasmine-raymond-dog-Jasmine enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. She lived in Brazil for three years and is fluent in Portuguese. She is very passionate about veterinary care and for the past decade has been dedicated to working with animals. She loves her job! Jasmine currently resides in New Hampshire with her wife and three dogs, Peanut, Roxie, and Benjamin.

 

Veterinary Technician Tracy with CatTracy has been at Littleton Animal Hospital since 2002, starting as a receptionist. She transitioned to veterinary technician two years later. Mornings find Tracy working in surgery, and she is responsible for all hospital inventory.

At home, Tracy has two cats and a one-legged quaker parakeet. She attended North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) in Florida in January 2012 for continuing education in order to provide the best care for your pets.