If your pet is sick, rest assured that he or she will be seen by an experienced, compassionate veterinarian who is well-versed in modern day medicine. From ear pain to limping to vomiting to your pet seeming "just not quite right", we can help figure it out. If your pet's issue is beyond your veterinarian's ability to deal with at your home, she will refer you to someone who can help such as a specialist or 24-hour emergency facility. We also have great rapport with local brick-and-mortar veterinary practices who can help with any hospitalization, x-ray, and/or surgical needs.
Once a beloved pet gets to the point where quality of life trumps everything, we can work with you to make sure your pet's last days, weeks, or months are as pain-free, happy, and filled with what he or she loves to do (even if it is laying next to the wood stove).
The goal of veterinary acupuncture is to promote the body to heal itself. From a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) perspective, veterinary acupuncture encourages healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body. A treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into multiple acupuncture points, where nerve bundles and blood vessels come together. Acupuncture enhances blood circulation, nervous system stimulation, muscle relaxation, endorphin release, and anti-inflammatory and pain relieving hormone release.
Acupuncture can be safely used to treat a variety of illnesses such as arthritis, trauma, allergies, spinal disease including disc disease and paralysis, incontinence, and neurologic disease.
Patients usually start with more frequent treatments which are then tapered off to a less frequent interval for maintenance. The goal is to achieve the longest interval where your pet experiences maximum comfort between treatments.
Wellness / Preventative Care
Preventative care is a critical part in giving your pet the best chance at living a long healthy life. By coming to your home, we can eliminate the stress of the veterinary hospital and keep your pet comfy in his/her home environment. Preventative care includes:
The physical exam: During the in-home physical exam, our goal is to pick up on any subtle issues that might indicate a risk for disease. Examples include weight loss, weight gain, "slowing down", dental disease, or a heart murmur. Armed with this information, we will discuss a diagnostic and therapeutic plan for your animal that will help decrease the risk of disease and maximize health. An annual physical exam is recommended in young, healthy animals. In senior animals, because diseases tend to occur more commonly, exams are recommended every six months.
Vaccines: Together we will design a vaccine schedule according to your individual pet's lifestyle and associated risks.
Screening lab work: Examples include heartworm and tick disease screening for dogs, FIV/FeLV screening for outdoor cats, and screening lab work (CBC, chemistry, urinalysis, thyroid measurement) for senior pets.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive, pain free and drug free method used for relief and treatment of many conditions. It is used for both chronic and acute pain and inflammation. Commonly it is used for arthritis, muscle sprain or strains, ligament injury, spinal pain / disc rupture, post-surgical healing, wounds, lick granulomas, anal gland issues, hot spots, abscesses, bladder inflammation, feline asthma, ear infections, and more! In most cases it can be used in conjunction with other treatments already in use.
At its core, therapeutic laser is using light energy to stimulate healing. This process is called photobiomodulation. The light from the laser simulates energy production from cells, dilates small blood vessels and stimulates signaling molecules (nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species). Helping to stimulate tissue repair, increase oxygen and nutrient delivery to the tissue and remove waste products. All of which helps to reduce pain and inflammation as well as stimulate healing. Read our blog post to learn more about it!
And the best part is they get to wear doggles (there is one made for cats too but we can’t think of nearly as catchy a name). You wont be able to get enough pictures of this!
Once quality of life becomes hard to achieve on a daily basis, it is time to make a difficult decision. It is one made with careful consideration and love. We consider it our privilege to help owners explore this decision and help their beloved pets leave this earth with dignity, without pain, and surrounded by those they love.
As for the process itself, we always sedate first. The initial sedative doesn’t require intravenous access - it’s a quick poke. Then your pet will fall asleep over about 5-10 minutes, with you right by their side. After they are in a peaceful, deep sleep, we identify a vein and administer the euthanasia solution intravenously to make their heart stop. In very compromised animals, finding a good vein can sometimes take a few attempts, but the good news is that your pet doesn’t feel a thing while under the initial sedative’s effect. Euthanasia is basically an overdose of an anesthetic. It is extremely peaceful and is without pain or stress.
There are a few changes to our protocols in light of COVID-19. Please click here to read through them.
After the euthanasia, some people elect to bury their pet at home. Other people elect cremation, with or without the return of ashes. Returned ashes are housed in a beautiful solid wood urn with a customized name plate. If you elect not to have your pet's ashes returned, we have partnered with Memorial Reef International who will respectfully use build your pet's cremains into artificial reef spheres, then respectfully place them on the ocean floor in the effort to rebuild coral reefs. Other urns and memorial items that may help you hold special meaning and remembrance can also be chosen ahead of time through our online store.
When you feel it’s time, we can take care of transporting your pet after the euthanasia and you can be assured that they will be treated with the utmost respect throughout the aftercare process.
NOTE: We are now offering extended emergent euthanasia hours of most Mondays through Thursdays 5:00pm-7:00pm for those pets who live within our Portland / Augusta / Mid-coast service area . The only way to get in touch with our on-call emergent euthanasia doctor during our extended hours (5-7pm Mon-Thurs) is to fill out our online form and choose “Yes, my pet is in immediate distress” option from the drop down when asked. Additionally, even though we may be working, we unfortunately cannot guarantee that we will be able to help you during a particularly high demand day. We unfortunately are not available on the weekends at this time due to staffing. If you live in the Maine High Peaks area, we are still offering euthanasias Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm.
Surgery / Hospitalizations / X-rays
We have close relationships with local clinics in the surrounding area. We confidently refer surgeries and more intensive cases that require hospitalization to these hospitals and stay closely informed on every case. We have several clinics who will take x-rays when needed and email us the films for interpretation so we remain “on the case”.
Our amazing two person tech-team (at least one of whom is a licensed veterinary technician) works closely with your veterinarian to provide further expansion of care. Examples of tech appointments include nail trims, anal gland expressions, fluid administration, and special grooming needs (like potty patches or lion cuts) all in the comfort of home! We also offer what we call "Happy Visits" for animals who struggle with fear and anxiety. We will come over, have a very positive experience with your dog or cat, complete with VERY high value treats. This way, they associate us with all the yummy goodies and happy pets!