Pet Wellness:Home Care
Make your pet's well-being a priority. See your veterinarian regularly and follow these tips to keep your pet happy and healthy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Wellness:Care for All Ages
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pet Wellness:More Resources & Links
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
- The American Ferret Association (AFA): Find information about ferrets and ferret care including show listings and ferret-related events at this website.
- American Kennel Club
- Cat Fanciers’ Association
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
- The Humane Society of the United States: The Humane Society's website has a tremendous amount of information about pets, wildlife, research animals, and more. There are entertaining and educational videos, articles, and tips. You can also donate to the Society through their website.
- North Shore Animal League America
- 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
- Avian Winter Weather Tips
- An Introduction to Rabbit Care
- Recommended Procedures for Puppies and Dogs
- Recommended Vaccines for Kittens and Cats
- Recommended Procedures for Kittens and Cats
Pet Safety & Poison Control
- ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: The ASPCA has a 24-hour emergency hotline for any animal poison-related emergencies.
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 — Chief of Staff
Dr. 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, DVM, CVA
Dr. 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, DVM
Dr. 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.
Laura Pereira, DVM
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.
Cat Boarding Is Now Available
Cat Boarding is now up and running at Littleton Animal Hospital! Located in a sunny, private area of our newly-expanded hospital, the facility offers elevated resting areas, private litter box areas, and daily playtime with members of our staff.
The new exam room is also complete! Check out photos below.
We're Expanding Our Facility & Adding Cat Boarding!
Littleton Animal Hospital is growing! Please pardon our dust while construction takes place.
Features of this exciting expansion project will include:
- An additional 2,000 square feet of space
- Cat boarding condos (NEW SERVICE!)
- A new exam room
- Larger, revamped retail area
Our cat boarding facility will be located in our bright, new, sunny space, away from the hustle of daily appointments. The cat condos have elevated resting areas, private litter box areas, and can accommodate multiple cats if you have siblings that want to vacation together.
We are excited to enhance our facility, and the experience for our clients and patients. We plan to start taking reservations for cat boarding beginning April 1, 2016. Check back here for updates!
New Veterinary Laser & Blood Lead Testing Equipment
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 Update
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.
Littleton Animal Hospital's Dedicated Team
Jude Lathrop — Hospital Manager
Jude, our Hospital Manager, joined Littleton Animal Hospital in 1998 as a receptionist. She shares her home with 14 cats, all strays. Jude has attended continuing education conferences in Atlantic City, Washington, and Las Vegas in order to complete the requirements for designation as a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.
Her free time is spent with her granddaughter Cara, who will tell anyone Grammie has too many cats!
Heidi Huckestein, CVT — Head Veterinary Technician
Heidi joined our staff in 1997 and uses her many years of experience to help our patients and their owners. She became a state certified veterinary technician in 2000. Heidi is the head veterinary technician at Littleton Animal Hospital and has many varied responsibilities, assuring that each patient receives the best quality care and monitoring. At the hospital, she is a strong advocate of training and behavior, especially for dogs.
Heidi has two dogs of her own. She is also an avid gardener and plants our beautiful flower boxes each spring and maintains our infamous banana tree.
Tracy Marshall — Veterinary Technician
Tracy 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.
Barbara Luce — Veterinary Technician
Barb, who has a long career as a veterinary technician, joined the Littleton Animal Hospital team in 2009. She is an experienced breeder of Labrador Retrievers and has lots of advice for new dog owners.
In her free time, Barb visits local nursing homes with her therapy dogs and takes them to regular obedience classes. She also competes her dogs in shows for titles in obedience, rally and the breed ring. Barb loves working with avian and exotic patients and has adopted a few birds and rabbits into her family. She also owns cats and goats!
Jillian Beaton — Veterinary Technician Assistant
Jillian is the "sunshine" of our hospital. She always has a smile on her face when she is working the reception desk. Jillian has two cats and is currently studying to be a veterinary assistant. We are proud of her above average grades throughout her course study. She has also attended CE classes in nutrition and front desk operations.
An avid Boston Bruins fan, Jillian enjoys nature walks and relaxing in her favorite secret spots in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Shinrin-yoku!
Carol Bryant — Client Care Specialist
Carol has been at the front desk since 1993. Her most memorable patients were two lion cubs who came in for exams. Carol has an Australian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix dog and two cats. Her interests include NASCAR, kayaking, cooking and hiking. Carol is our most adventurous employee — doing zip lines in Costa Rica and a ride-along at New Hampshire International Speedway.