We offer a variety of services, to keep your pet well, and to care for him/her during times of illness. With each of these services, we provide you with the education you need to make an informed decision, and to keep your pet at the highest level of wellness possible.
Routine physical exams are performed to ensure the health of your pet. Lifetime care is available from puppy or kitten to the senior years. Wellness care is recommended based on the Life Stage of your pet.
Vaccinations are necessary for the health of your pet. A Rabies vaccine is required for all dogs and cats in the state of Maryland. Based on the physical examination, the doctor will make recommendations that are specifically tailored for your pet.
Our doctors are well versed in the complicated travel protocols needed to go to rabies free areas outside of the continental United States, such as Great Britain and Hawaii.
We offer the Home Again microchip as a permanent way to identify pets.
We recommend annual testing, and the use of Heartgard for year-round protection against heartworm disease as well as several other intestinal parasites for all dogs.
Routine and extensive tests are sent to outside facilities that specialize in animal laboratory work.
Our x-ray machine can detect abnormalities of the musculoskeletal and other major organ systems.
Our doctors are experienced in performing many surgical procedures that your pet may need.
Spay & Neuter
West Frederick Veterinary Hospital is pleased to announce our new low-cost spay and neuter program. Our philosophy is that all pets should enjoy the proven medical and behavioral benefits of being spayed or neutered. Also, that we should work together as veterinary professionals and responsible pet owners to minimize unwanted pregnancies.
To ensure that all dogs and cats realize these benefits, we have introduced a discounted price for spay and neuter surgeries while preserving the high quality of care that our hospital provides. Therefore, each spay and neuter patient will have pre-operative blood testing, an IV catheter with IV fluid administration during surgery (excepting cat neuters) to minimize anesthetic risk, and intra-operative and post-operative pain medication. For patients new to West Frederick Veterinary Hospital, a pre-surgical examination and proof of current rabies and distemper vaccination is required. Heartworm testing or verified use of a monthly heartworm preventive is required for dogs over six months of age.
With the institution of our low-cost spay and neuter program, we look to serve the needs of our community as we remain focused on practicing quality medicine and patient care. Please call our office to discuss our program and to receive a cost estimate for your pet’s spay or neuter surgery.
Regular professional cleaning is important to maintaining your pet’s teeth, in addition to regular dental care at home. Dental radiographs can provide additional information about the health of teeth, including the need for extraction.
Our Class IV Therapeutic Laser reduces pain, reduces inflammation, and speeds healing. It can be used for a large variety of treatments.
West Frederick Veterinary Hospital is excited to offer our clients Companion Laser Therapy. Laser therapy provides a non-invasive, pain-free, surgery-free, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of conditions and can be performed in conjunction with existing treatment protocols. Relief and/or improvement is often noticed within hours depending on the condition and your pet’s response. Whether your pet is rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, your companion can benefit from this innovative approach to treating pain.
Applications for laser therapy include:
Treatment of arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or hip dysplasia
General pain management (sprains, strains, and stiffness)
Post-surgery pain (spays, neuters, declaws, and other surgeries)
Fractures and wounds (bites, abrasions, and lesions)
How does it work?
Laser therapy stimulates the body to heal from within. Non-thermal photons of light are administered to the body for about 3 to 8 minutes and absorbed by the injured cells. The cells are then stimulated and respond with a higher rate of metabolism. This results in relief from pain, increased circulation, reduced inflammation, and an acceleration of the healing process.
What can my pet expect during a laser therapy treatment session?
Simply put, it provides relief. As the laser is administered, your pet will relax and enjoy the treatment. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experiences will dissipate.
Occasionally, angry cats will start to purr and canine companions will actually fall asleep during their therapy session. Frequently, after therapy, we hear: “He’s acting like a puppy again” or “She can actually jump onto the chair again.” Pain relief is provided in just a few minutes of therapy and that alone improves the quality of life for your companion.
What are the signs that my pet can benefit from Companion Laser Therapy?
Many of our laser therapy patients are older animals with musculoskeletal ailments. Some signs that your senior companion is experiencing pain or discomfort are:
Abnormal sitting or lying posture
Circling multiple times before lying down
Whining, groaning or other vocalizations
Limping, unable to get up or lie down
Difficulty getting into car or down stairs
Lack of grooming
Won’t wag tail
Licking or biting area
Lack of appetite
Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment or obtain additional information.
Chronic Pain Questionnaires
We will periodically request that you complete a Chronic Pain Questionnaire prior to your laser therapy appointment as a tool in assessing the progress of your pet. You may print out the questionnaire to complete at home, or we will provide one for you at our office. You can excpect to complete the questionnaire prior to your pet’s first and fifth laser treatments and then as needed for ongoing assessment.
This painless procedure uses sound waves to examine specific internal organs. Pregnancy exams are also available.
At times, we may need to refer your pet to a specialist for care. In that case, our doctors have excellent working relationships with many other veterinary specialists, and will communicate with them, and vice versa, to provide continuity of care.
Did you know that Dr. Hanh is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist? Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years to treat all kinds of medical problems. The basis for acupuncture is that energy (Qi) flows along pathways called meridians throughout the body. At certain points the meridians can be accessed up near the skin surface. Traditional Chinese Medicine is developed on the premise that in order for the person or animal to be experiencing pain/swelling/inflammation or other malfunction, there must be a blockage of the energy flow. Inserting extremely thin needles at specific points along the meridians is believed to re-balance the energy flow. From a conventional medicine stand point, some effects of acupuncture are measureable. The body’s own pain-killing endorphins are released and levels of inflammation-causing prostaglandins are decreased. Other beneficial effects are observed but cannot yet be explained scientifically.
We have found that most clients ask for acupuncture to help treat their pet’s problems when conventional medicine has failed to help, when undesirable side effects are caused by the prescribed medication, or because the owner prefers a non-drug therapy when possible. The usual course of treatment begins with a 45 minute appointment that consists of an initial consultation examination followed by the first acupuncture treatment. After that, treatments are done twice a week for two weeks (if schedules permit), or at least once a week for four weeks, then every two weeks or whatever time span the treatments are lasting (3, 4, 8 months, etc.). A chronic problem, like old dog arthritis usually requires chronic treatment. It is difficult to predict which pets will respond terrifically; which less so. You will see how much it is helping by three to six treatments. The treatments are very well tolerated by dogs and some cats.
There are no negative side effects other than convenience and cost. We prefer that you think of acupuncture as a complementary treatment, not necessarily an “alternative” one. It can be one more tool in our arsenal of therapeutics.
Dr. Hanh is happy to discuss if your pet may benefit from acupuncture treatments.
We have prescription diets available from Hill’s, Purina and Royal Canin. We also carry flea and tick products, and dental care products. If we do not routinely carry a prescription diet in our display area, we will happily special order it for you.
We stock a variety of veterinary drugs, and are also able to obtain hard to find drugs from a local compounding company.
We will care for an emergency with your pet during the hours we are open. If there is an emergency after normal business hours, please phone our office; the message on our answering machine will provide you with the number of a local emergency service.
Cat Declawing Position Statement
In accordance with the current AAHA position on declawing cats, the doctors at West Frederick Veterinary Hospital agree that declawing should be considered only as a last resort for cats that would not be kept in the household or be euthanized otherwise. We would be happy to discuss methods to help provide attractive and appropriate scratching sites to help our cat patients exercise their natural instinctive behavior rather than use their owner’s furniture. For suggestions, please see the AAHA website for their ideas.
Although we feel the least painful time to declaw is when the cat is very small (as early as 12 weeks), that does not give us enough time to attempt training the kitty to use appropriate scratching posts. Declawing of an old or overweight cat is associated with a much longer recovery period and more difficulty with controlling pain. Therefore, we rarely declaw these patients unless medically necessary. A declawed cat should never be allowed outside since a major defense method has been eliminated.
The declawing procedure involves amputation of the last portion of each toe of the front feet. It can be a painful procedure. For this reason, we use a combination of pain control methods and keep the patient in the hospital overnight. This is to ensure limited walking, more effective pain medication administration and to allow us to keep the feet bandaged overnight.
Any of our doctors will be happy to spend time discussing the declaw procedure if you are considering it for your cat. We are here to help you implement possible training methods that hopefully will make both you and your kitty happy without resorting to surgery.
Senior Pet Care Q & A
What makes my pet a 'Senior'?
This depends on the age, species, and breed of your pet. In general, smaller breed dogs tend to live longer than larger breeds. We typically consider most pets to be seniors at age 8, although for smaller breed dogs this may be a bit young, and for larger breed dogs the senior years may start a year or two earlier. Cats are generally considered senior at 8-10 years old.
Why is a yearly Senior Exam important?
As our pets age they are more prone to chronic diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid abnormalities, and osteoarthritis. When diagnosed early many of these chronic conditions can be managed effectively for years. The American Animal Hospital Association, of which West Frederick Veterinary Hospital is a proudly accredited member, recommends examinations every six months for senior pets.
What is involved in a Senior Wellness visit?
As always, we will perform a thorough physical exam. In addition, we will review the medical history form that you will have filled out ahead of time, and address any questions you have regarding your pet. We also recommend laboratory testing in conjunction with the senior wellness visit. This may vary from a limited biochemical profile to an extensive panel including blood cell counts, urinalysis, and thyroid levels. In addition, as always, we recommend yearly fecal analysis and heartworm testing. The heartworm test also screens for Lyme disease, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia, three common tick-borne diseases in our area.
My veterinarian recommended a dental for my Senior Pet. Is anesthesia safe in older animals?
Age is not a contraindication for anesthesia. While there is always the potential for risks associated with anesthesia, in general we see very few anesthetic complications, even in our older patients. Although risks cannot be eliminated entirely, we screen each patient thoroughly prior to anesthesia with a full physical exam, pre-operative bloodwork, and additional tests as indicated based on exam and bloodwork findings (i.e. radiographs, ultrasound, EKG). We will discuss any concerns with you prior to your pet’s procedure.
What are some of the common problems seen in senior patients?
Dental disease is the most common disease seen in dogs and cats, followed by obesity. In addition, kidney disease and osteoarthritis are quite common. In cats, an overactive thyroid gland, or hyperthyroidism, is relatively common. We also see ocular changes as pets age — some of these are normal aging-related changes, while others may be indicative of a more serious problem. Unfortunately, cancer is also diagnosed relatively commonly in older pets; this can be in the form of skin tumors, abdominal or intestinal masses or other systemic types of cancers. Of course, any of the things that can affect younger dogs and cats can also affect the senior patients, so nothing can be ruled out just because of age!
Age Analogy Chart
The true way to calculate a dog’s age depends on the size of the dog and its approximate weight. Smaller and medium sized dogs live longer than large sized dogs.
● Green = Senior ● Tan = Geriatric
How Old Is My Dog in Human Years?
Pet’s Size (in pounds)
Based on a chart developed by Fred L. Metzger, DVM
Dipl. ABVP; State College, PA
Schedule an Appointment
Please contact us today for an appointment to care for your pet’s health and wellness