We understand the unique role of animals within your family and are dedicated to becoming a partner in your pet’s health care.
Through periodic check-ups and regular preventive care, we can help your pet avoid serious health problems. We offer a wide range of veterinary services to help your companions live their longest, healthiest life. We are proud to maintain the highest standards of care and offer cutting-edge treatments. We look forward to being your partner in providing exceptional care for your pets.
The safest available anesthetics are used to provide an extra margin of security, especially for our older or high-risk patients. During all anesthetic procedures, our patients receive IV catheters, fluid support, and continual vital sign assessment.
Research has shown that a “multimodal approach” to anesthesia provides safety and optimal care. “Multimodal” simply means multiple modes, multiple methods or use of multiple drugs at lower doses (for increased safety) to provide pain management, sedation (reduced anxiety) and predictable anesthetic depth.
The specific drugs selected to provide anesthesia are not the same for each patient. A physical examination, blood screening, the pet’s medical history, and the intended procedure are considered together in selecting the anesthesia drugs.
Premedications allow for sedation (reduce apprehension) and pain prevention.
During the procedure, regional anesthesia or nerve blocks help dramatically with pain management and in the reduction of anesthesia gasses required to keep the pet anesthetized (sleeping). This “multimodal approach” greatly improves safety by using lower drug dosages.
After anesthesia, the pet is monitored very carefully and pets go home with medications for continued pain relief.
Comprehensive Dental Evaluation and Treatment at Hampstead Animal Hospital includes:
Pain Management: Every patient receives pain medication prior to their dental procedure. Patients requiring oral surgery receive additional pain medication, including local anesthesia to numb the surgical site. This allows us to keep the level of general anesthesia very low and provides excellent post-operative pain control.
Complete Oral Examination: Each tooth is carefully examined by your veterinarian, who also performs a full examination of the oral cavity. The photos below reveal diseased teeth identified during examination.
Dental Radiographs: Just like in people, dental radiographs are an essential component of dental evaluation. Every patient will receive full mouth digital radiographs. Most periodontal disease is hidden below the gum-line and radiographs allow visualization of problems that would otherwise go undetected. The examples below reveal dental disease found when radiographs were taken.
Dental Scaling and Polishing: We use specialized ultrasonic scalers that safely and gently remove calculus (tartar) and plaque from the tooth surface and below the gum line. All tooth surfaces are then polished to create a smooth enamel surface, delaying the reattachment of plaque.
Oravet Barrier Treatment: The application of Oravet to tooth surfaces helps reduce plaque and tartar (calculus) formation on your pet’s teeth between dental cleanings. It does this by creating an invisible barrier that helps prevent bacteria from attaching. Oravet home care kits are available and recommended for use, in addition to daily tooth brushing.
Extractions: Excessively diseased teeth with periodontal disease, endodontic disease, fractured teeth, tooth resorption, or other problems may need to be surgically extracted. If your pet has extractions performed they will be sent home with special dietary instructions and potentially other medications. All patients having extractions done will go home with pain medication.
During dental procedures, many safety precautions are taken. All patients receive intravenous catheters and fluid therapy. This allows immediate access for the administration of pain medication, anesthetics, and rarely emergency medication. Fluid therapy helps to maintain tissue perfusion, blood pressure and prevents dehydration.
Pre-anesthetic Blood work: Healthy-looking pets may be hiding symptoms of a significant medical problem. Bloodwork performed prior to your pet’s dental procedure allows identification of a major organ or metabolic abnormality that could be affecting your pet. The anesthetic procedure may then be altered to ensure safety.
Anesthesia and Monitoring: Anesthesia is required for a safe, effective and comfortable dental cleaning and is tailored to each individual patient based on age, breed, weight, and medical history. During anesthesia, a veterinary nurse and veterinarian will closely monitor numerous vital signs including heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, carbon dioxide level, percent of oxygenation of the blood, respiratory rate and body temperature to make sure everything is going smoothly. We use state-of-the-art monitors and direct hands-on evaluations to monitor your pet throughout the dental procedure.
Home Care: In order to prevent progressive disease, all patients are encouraged to start a home prevention program, such as tooth brushing, Oravet plaque inhibitor, dental diet, and/or other oral care products. Patients that require oral surgery will be given pain medication, special diet instructions, and possibly antibiotics to go home. We will schedule a courtesy follow-up visit in 1-2 weeks after the procedure to ensure proper healing.
Ultrasound is the use of sound waves to generate images of internal body structures. At Hampstead Animal Hospital we offer ultrasound exams as a non-invasive method of diagnosing many conditions. Your veterinarian may have requested an ultrasound exam of your pet for one of the following reasons:
- Abnormal bloodwork
- Vomiting or diarrhea that has lasted for a long time
- Weight loss with no change in eating habits
- Chronic infections
- Change in urinary habits
- Baseline ultrasound for future examination (geriatric patients)
- Cancer staging
- Fluid in chest or abdomen
- To conduct biopsy procedures on internal organs
What information will an ultrasound give you?
Ultrasound is a great diagnostic tool because it allows us to examine internal organs for location, size, shape, texture and blood supply in a non-invasive way. Unfortunately, ultrasound does not always give us a clear picture of how well the specific organ is working, this may be determined by other tests such as bloodwork or additional imaging.
What is going to happen to my pet during an ultrasound exam?
At Hampstead Animal Hospital we care about your pet as much as you do and want the ultrasound exam to be a positive experience! Your pet may need to have areas of fur clipped and potentially have mild sedation to allow the veterinarian to conduct the best possible assessment.
Will the doctor discuss the results with me?
After the exam, your veterinarian will discuss your pet’s ultrasound with you and make recommendations for follow-up care. If your pet had sedation or additional tests you will be given any special instructions at this time.
Senior Pet Care
While wellness care is important throughout your pet’s lifetime, it is especially important during their senior years. We recommend senior pets be examined on a bi-annual basis, or more often depending on your pet’s specific medical needs. A physical examination and blood work can often catch chronic medical issues at the early stages. Sometimes a diagnosis can be made even prior to the development of any symptoms, and thereby allow for intervention and possibly the ability to slow the progression of certain medical conditions. Your veterinarian will discuss recommendations for laboratory testing as well as any breed-specific screening that may benefit your pet.
What is Veterinary Endoscopy?
Veterinary endoscopy is a minimally invasive technique for performing examinations or procedures through natural openings in the body. Using cameras attached to a small flexible or rigid tube, an endoscopy allows our veterinarians to see within organs such as the stomach, esophagus, intestine, airway, and ear canal. Directly viewing the interior of an organ is often very helpful in determining the cause of a problem and establishing a diagnosis.
The endoscope can also be used to take biopsy samples or perform minimally invasive surgery. This has the advantage of being less traumatic (than standard surgery) to the patient and allows for a faster recovery.
What are the benefits?
By performing procedures endoscopically our veterinarians offer their patients less pain, minimal recovery time and fewer complications. Due to the nature of endoscopy procedures, the amount and duration of anesthesia are much less than would be needed for a standard surgical procedure. Overall, endoscopy is a less painful and traumatic alternative for both patient and owner.
What is video otoscopy?
Video otoscopy is a form of endoscopy used to evaluate the ear canal. The video otoscope is a special endoscope designed for use in the ear canal. It has high-quality optics and an operating channel for surgical instruments and flushing solutions, allowing for superior diagnostic and treatment capabilities on stubborn ear problems.
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons dogs and cats come to us for veterinary care. While most mild ear infections can be treated successfully without anesthesia, there are situations where a more serious infection cannot be adequately diagnosed or treated until a deep ear cleaning and video otoscopic procedure are performed.
Evaluation of the ear canal using a video otoscope will often reveal problems such as middle ear infection, ruptured eardrum, polyp, or tumor that are very difficult to diagnose without the superior imaging and magnification this equipment provides.
Vaccinations and Wellness Exams
At Hampstead Animal Hospital we strongly recommend keeping your pet up to date on vaccinations and annual wellness exams. Regular wellness exams allow your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s general health and become aware of any health problems before they become serious illnesses. Every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to five to seven human years, so it is important that your pet receives a wellness exam at least every year, and more often when he or she enters their senior years. Many aspects of your pet’s health can change in a short amount of time, so make sure your pet does not miss even one exam!
There are many available vaccines and not all pets should be vaccinated with all of them. Your veterinarian will consider your pet’s risk of exposure based on many factors such as your geographic location, travel plans, and contact with other animals. The frequency of vaccinations is also based on individual factors. Your veterinarian will tailor a vaccination program that is best for your pet.
Kittens and puppies require a series of vaccinations (similar to children) due to their developing immune system. An incomplete series of vaccinations may lead to inadequate protection so it is critical to complete the entire regimen.
In many communities, including Rockingham County, rabies vaccination is required by law for all cats and dogs over the age of 4 months. Rabies is a serious, often fatal, disease that can spread from infected animals to people. Vaccinating your pets against rabies also helps to protect your family and may save your pet’s life if they bite someone—unvaccinated animals may have to be euthanized to test for rabies if they bite someone.
In summary, vaccinations are part of a total wellness plan for your pet and your veterinarian will determine the best schedule based on your pet’s risk and lifestyle.
A surgical laser that generates an intense beam of coherent light able to cut, seal or vaporize tissue is used when necessary. Lasers are an important veterinary tool for both pain management and surgery. By using lasers instead of metal cutting devices during surgery, we’re able to provide the following benefits:
- Less Bleeding
- Less Pain
- Reduce Risk of Infection
- Faster Recovery
We use cutting edge digital equipment to provide the highest quality of radiographs to aid in diagnoses. Radiographs taken at our hospital are reviewed by board-certified radiologists in order to maintain the highest level of accuracy in their interpretation. Our digital radiology capabilities also allow us to easily share images with specialists or other veterinarians should this be needed.
Microchipping is when a tiny implant is placed under the skin of your pet, usually between their shoulder blades. Microchipping offers reassurance that, if lost, your pet can be identified and reunited with you. Each microchip has an identification number on it, which can be read by a scanner. A veterinarian’s office, animal control officer, or animal shelter can scan the chip to find out the microchip number and be able to reunite you with your pet. We recommend microchipping because the chance of being reunited with a lost pet greatly increases if they’re microchipped.
In-house laboratory facilities provide immediate results for serum chemistry, hematology, serology, urinalysis and parasite testing to guide our veterinarians in providing the best possible care for your pet. Commercial veterinary laboratories are also utilized for specialized diagnostics and consultations.
A vast inventory of pharmaceuticals, vitamins, shampoos, flea and tick control products, and heartworm preventatives are available as well as a full line of prescription diets.
Dietary Counseling: Guidance regarding your pet’s nutritional needs for each life stage, including dietary requirements for growth, weight maintenance and performance.
Behavioral Counseling: Advice regarding the correction of such problems as excessive barking, chewing, spraying, scratching, digging, house soiling and aggression.
Diet Home Delivery
Ordering your pet’s food is easier than ever with Purina® Pro Plan® Vet Direct! Have it shipped to your home for free and enjoy special savings. It’s easy to sign up, just visit ProPlanVetDirect.com and enter our clinic ID PI1A2 or click on the link above. If you have any questions about receiving deliveries of your pet’s Purina diet at home, call us today!