Contact Us:Appointment Request
Annual veterinary care is crucial to keeping your pet happy and healthy. Click the icons below to learn more about what your veterinarian can do for your pet.
Exams check overall health and detect problems before they become severe or costly.
Vaccines protect against common and fatal diseases based on your pet's age and lifestyle.
|Nutrition ensures your pet gets the balanced diet it needs and maintains a healthy weight.||Spaying and neutering protects pets from serious health and behavioral problems.|
Care Guides for Pet Owners
Your pet's health also depends on you. Click on the icons below to learn more about what pet owners can do at home to keep their pets living a long, healthy life.
Pet Wellness:Pet Exams
Bringing your pets to the veterinarian for a physical exam every year is the smartest and easiest way to keep them healthy. Exams allow your veterinarian to detect any problems before they become severe or costly.
Your Veterinarian Will Check...
- muscular and skeletal health by feeling for healthy muscle mass and joint pain.
- neurologic system – it could indicate birth defects in younger pets, and cognitive issues in older pets.
- appropriate weight and lifestyle for your pet's age.
- lymph nodes – swollen nodes can indicate a wound, virus, infection or some other illness.
- vital signs (temperature, pulse and respiration) – an abnormal reading could indicate illness.
- skin and coat condition for growths, infection wounds and overall skin health.
Bring Your Pet to the Veterinarian Every Year for a Clean Bill of Health and Peace of MindYour pet can't tell us what's wrong. But routine physical exams can help your veterinarian detect any problems or diseases you might not have otherwise picked up on, including heart murmurs, tumors, enlarged organs, cataracts, ear infections, ear mites, dental and gum disease, skin issues and allergies.
Vaccines protect against common diseases that your pets may become exposed to.
Did You Know?
Vaccines have about a 95% success rate for preventing infections and fatal diseases.
Pet Wellness:Dental & Oral Care
Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets. Without proper preventive or home care, plaque and tartar can build up, which may cause oral infections, bad breath, infected gum tissues (gingivitis) or even bone loss (periodontitis).
Did You Know?
It's not normal for your pet to have bad breath – it can be a sign of serious dental or gum issues.
Sixty percent of dental disease is hidden below the gum line, and can only be found with x-rays. Brush your pet's teeth regularly and check with your veterinarian about screenings, cleanings and products available to help keep those pearly whites clean.
Pet Wellness:Lab Tests
Yearly lab tests are safe and non-invasive ways to diagnose and prevent sickness or injuries in pets that a physical exam cannot detect.
Pet Wellness:Parasite Prevention
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pet Wellness:Spaying & Neutering
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...
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.
This cancer, as well as prostatitis (an infection causing malignant or benign swelling of the prostate), can be greatly reduced with early neutering.
Unwanted behaviors such as dominance aggression, marking territory and wandering can be avoided with spaying or neutering.
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.
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 Breed Associations
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
- The Humane Society of the United States
- North Shore Animal League America
Pet Care Resources
- TickEncounter — Learn how to protect yourself and your pets from ticks.
Pet Grief Support
Mary L. Ware, DVM — Chief of Staff
Dr. Ware, our Chief of Staff, is a Massachusetts native who grew up in Sherborn and currently lives in Cataumet. She joined Barnstable Animal Hospital in November 2015 and we are thrilled to have her on our team! Dr. Ware attended the American College of Switzerland and the Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine. Previously, she practiced veterinary medicine in California at Bay Area Veterinary Specialists in Oakland and Banfield Pet Hospital in Yorba Linda. Her special interest is in veterinary dentistry.
Outside of work, Dr. Ware enjoys sailing, refinishing furniture, and playing cards. She has two rescue dogs, Lollie and Poppet, and two rescue cats, Gossamer and Neo.
Elisabeth McCartney, DVM
Dr. Elisabeth McCartney grew up in Rockland and currently resides in Forestdale, Massachusetts. She received an undergraduate degree from Moravian College and earned a DVM degree from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the Barnstable Animal Hospital team, Dr. McCartney practiced at North Country Animal Hospital in Caribou, Maine. Her special interests include geriatric medicine, developing the human-animal bond, and pet wellness.
In her spare time, Dr. McCartney enjoys spending time with her family, crocheting, hiking, and snowshoeing. She also shares her home with a geriatric, coconut retriever from St. Kitts and two nervous, rescue cats.
Dr. McCartney is excited to join Barnstable Animal Hospital, explore Cape Cod, and her new home!
Welcome to Our Newest Team Member
Meet Dr. Elisabeth McCartney!
We are excited to announce the newest addition to our Veterinarian team at Barnstable Animal Hospital - Dr. McCartney. Originally from Rockland, she currently resides in Forestdale, MA. Dr. McCartney earned a DVM degree from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and enjoys geriatric medicine, developing the human-animal bond, and pet wellness as her areas of special interest. Read Dr. Elisabeth McCartney's full bio here.
Be sure to say hi to her next time you stop in!