Welcome to Westminster Veterinary Hospital!

Westminster Veterinary Hospital provides quality veterinary care for pets (dogs and cats) in Westminster, Maryland and the surrounding communities. We are a modern and inviting hospital boasting superb veterinarians, and numerous caring support staff dedicated to our patients, clients, and community.

We believe strongly in the "human-animal bond" and therefore care for your pets with the same love, compassion, and commitment that we give to our own four-legged family members. 

We are a full service animal hospital emphasizing preventive care, as well as care for sick and injured animals, internal medicine and surgery. Our veterinarians tailor their recommendations to each pet's age, breed, lifestyle, overall health, and medical history.

Our goal is to help your pet enjoy a long and healthy life with you and your family.

Please call (410) 848-3363 to get to know us and to make an appointment for your pet!

 

Westminster Veterinary Hospital Team

Westminster Veterinary Hospital was established in 1970 and has undergone changes and improvements throughout the years in keeping with the many ongoing advancements in veterinary medicine. We focus on providing the highest quality medical and surgical services for your companion animals.

The veterinarians and staff at Westminster Veterinary Hospital are committed to providing quality veterinary care throughout the life of your dog or cat. We understand the special role your pet plays in your family and are dedicated to becoming your partner in your pet's health care.

We serve communities in the Westminster, Maryland area, including: Taneytown, Eldersburg, Sykesville, Hampstead, and Finksburg.

Please call (410) 848-3363 to make an appointment for your pet!

Monday:   8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tuesday:   8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday:   8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thursday:   8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday:   8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday:   8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday:   Closed
 

We are located at intersection of Rte. 31 & Main Street.

 
 

Prolong Your Dog's Life

Westminster Veterinary Hospital provides a full range of preventive care services to help your dog live a longer, happier life and to increase the odds of detecting problems early, before they become severe and costly.

Our veterinarians make their annual preventive care recommendations based on the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). We then customize our recommendations based on your dog's hereditary factors, age, medical history and lifestyle.

Dog Exam at Westminster Veterinary HospitalAnnual preventive care for dogs typically includes:

  • At least one annual Physical Examination at which time our veterinarians will take a complete medical history, make nutrition recommendations, assess behavior, and review any known medical conditions.

    During the exam our doctors will perform a:
    • Ear and Eye Examination
    • Cardiopulmonary (Heart and Lung) analysis
    • Temperature Reading
    • Abdominal Palpation
    • Dental Exam
    • Dermatological Exam
    • Musculoskeletal Evaluation
  • Vaccines based on your dog's lifestyle and/or breed. Core Vaccines include Rabies, Distemper and Leptospirosis. Our veterinarians may also recommend additional vaccines such as Lyme, Bordetella (Kennel Cough) and Influenza.

  • Parasite Control Products to control parasites such as heartworms, intestinal parasites (such as round worms), fleas and ticks. Controlling these parasites helps protect your dog and your family members from easily transmitted parasites.

  • Diagnostic Testing to confirm the absence of heartworms or other internal parasites and early disease screening tests to help identify any internal issues which cannot be detected during a thorough physical exam.

  • Your veterinarian will also discuss other services, such as dental care or microchipping that will benefit your dog's overall health and wellbeing and advise you on any questions you might have regarding your dog's health.

Prolong Your Cat's Life

Westminster Veterinary Hospital provides a full range of preventive care services to help your cat live a longer, happier life and to increase the odds of detecting problems early, before they become severe and costly.

Our veterinarians make their annual preventive care recommendations based on the guidelines established by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and take into consideration your cat's hereditary factors, age, medical history and lifestyle.

Cat Exam at Westminster Veterinary HospitalOur recommendations for feline annual preventive care include:

  • At least one annual Physical Examinationat which time our veterinarians will take a complete medical history, make nutrition recommendations, assess behavior, and review any known medical conditions.

    During the exam our doctors will perform a:
    • Ear and Eye Examination
    • Cardiopulmonary (Heart and Lung) analysis
    • Temperature Reading
    • Abdominal Palpation
    • Dental Exam
    • Dermatological Exam
    • Musculoskeletal Evaluation
  • Vaccination recommendations include core vaccines Rabies and Feline Distemper. Your veterinarian may also suggest the Feline Leukemia vaccine for outdoor cats.

  • Parasite Control Products to prevent and repel heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks. Round worms can be transmitted to humans, so controlling these parasites protects your cat and also your family.

  • Diagnostic Testing to check for Feline Leukemia and/or Feline AIDS (FeLV/FIV), heartworms or other internal parasites and early stages of diseases which cannot be detected during a physical exam.

  • Your veterinarian will also discuss other services, such as dental care or microchipping, that can lead to a longer and healthier life for your cat.

Give Your Puppy or Kitten the Right Start in Life

At Westminster Veterinary Hospital each pet’s first year of care is customized based on its specific needs to help your puppy or kitten get the right start in life. Just like human children, puppies and kittens require additional physical exams and vaccine boosters to ensure that they get the very best start in life.

Below are our recommendations, in addition to ones noted above, for your puppy's or kitten’s first year.

  • Physical Exams: Your puppy's or kitten’s lifetime of wellness starts with its first comprehensive physical exam. Puppies and kittens should have 3-4 exams between the ages of 8-16 weeks. These visits are important because they give our veterinarians an opportunity to assess your pet's overall health and to administer vaccines.

  • Vaccinations: Due to their immature immune systems puppies and kittens must receive a series of properly staged vaccines. Since every puppy and kitten is unique, we tailor our vaccination recommendations based on their lifestyle and/or breed and according to the suggested guidelines.

  • Diagnostic Testing: We recommend that puppies are tested for Heartworm at 6 months of age if not done previously and that kittens are tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS at their first visit if not done previously.

  • Additional Recommendations: Your veterinarian will also discuss and recommend other services, such as spaying, neutering or microchipping that can lead to a longer and healthier life for your dog or cat.

 

Spayed and Neutered Pets live a healthier and longer life!

At Westminster Veterinary Hospital we believe in the importance of spaying/neutering puppies and kittens to provide them with a long and healthy life.

Spaying or neutering your dog or cat will reduce common problems such as:

  • A pyometra, or uterine infection, is a potentially life-threatening condition which can cost thousands of dollars to treat. Occurrence is 100% preventable if your pet is spayed.

  • 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.

  • There are more puppies and kittens overpopulating shelters than there are people willing to provide them with love and care. Sadly, many are euthanized.

  • Testicular cancer can be eliminated and prostatitis, an infection causing malignant or benign swelling of the prostate, can be greatly reduced with early neutering.

  • Unwanted behavioral problems such as dominance aggression, marking territory and wandering can be avoided with early spaying/neutering.

We will also spay and neuter rabbits.

 

Care for Sick and Injured Pets

At Westminster Veterinary Hospital, we focus on keeping your pet happy and healthy. Unfortunately, some pets occasionally experience illnesses or injuries that require a veterinarian's care and attention.Digital Pet X-ray with Cat at Westminster Veterinary Hospital

Westminster Veterinary Hospital offers high-quality diagnostic and medical treatments for sick and injured pets. We provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere to diagnose and treat your pet.

A successful recuperation is our goal and our experienced and caring team of veterinarians is supported by our:

If your pet is experiencing an illness including, but not limited to, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, loss of appetite or lower energy level, our team and facility are here to diagnose and treat your pet.

We are also equipped to help your pet recover if it has sustained an injury such as a bite wound, lameness or trauma from an accident (including if your pet is hit by a car).

We see emergencies during our normal hospital hours. If your pet has an after-hours emergency or if we determine that your pet requires overnight nursing care or a level of specialty we cannot provide here, we will co-ordinate your pet's referral to the appropriate critical care or specialty hospital.

  Dr. Velázquez takes a closer look at a pet's digital x-ray.
  Dr. Velázquez takes a closer look at
a pet's full body digital x-ray.
   

Westminster Veterinary Hospital offers both dental and full body digital x-rays to better diagnose and treat sick or injured pets.

Digital radiography provides x-ray images without the use of conventional film. This allows for the highest-quality images, while providing the lowest possible exposure of radiation to your pet.

Digital images can be computer enhanced to increase detail allowing our veterinarians to see fine detail and subtle changes.

Benefits of Digital X-ray over Traditional Film

  • Images are obtained much more quickly and with greater accuracy.
  • Fewer retakes are required, resulting in less radiation exposure for both the patient as well as the staff.
  • Images can be easily and quickly sent to other veterinarians, including board-certified veterinary radiologists, allowing us to get results in a matter of hours rather than days.
  • Records can be stored electronically and are protected from damage or loss.
  • The chemical processing step required to develop traditional film x-rays is eliminated, creating a huge reduction in chemical usage and hazardous waste.
  • Digital x-ray allows us to provide superior care to our patients and supports our goal of progressive, high-quality medicine.

Digital Dental X-rays Help Us Assess Your Pet's Oral Health

Digital Pet Dental X-rayAt Westminster Veterinary Hospital, we always provide a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment plan for pets when their teeth are cleaned. Digital dental x-rays with periodontal probing helps with our assessments. In fact, two thirds of our pets' teeth are under the gingiva (gums) and are not visible.

Digital dental radiographs allow assessment of the teeth (fractures or internal disease), the surrounding soft tissues (periodontal disease, stomatitis, cysts, draining tracks, facial swellings, fistulas or tumors), the joints (TMJ or mandibular symphysis) and the bone (jaw fractures). Digital x-rays can also reveal subgingival (under the gums) foreign objects, cysts and tumors.

X-rays allow us to find problems that need attention. Studies have shown that without dental x-rays, significant problems are missed in up to 75% of pets.

We always diagnose first before creating a treatment plan for each patient. Digital dental x-rays will help us do that by replacing a guess with a diagnosis, and allowing for the correct treatment to be optimally performed.

Why we are the best choice for your pet’s surgical needs

Many pet owners are curious about what is involved when their pet is placed under anesthesia. At Westminster Veterinary Hospital your pet’s safety and comfort are our top priority so you can be sure that your pet will receive only the best and safest anesthetic and surgical care.

  Laser Surgery at Westminster Veterinary Hospital

Our procedures include the following:

  • Safe Anesthesia—a very safe anesthetic gas which is also used in human pediatric medicine.

  • Experienced Monitoring Support—our trained technicians use state-of-the-art anesthetic monitors to continuously monitor your pet’s pulse rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure.

  • IV Catheter Placement—fluids are given during surgery to maintain blood pressure and to help your pet recover quickly from the anesthesia.

  • Pain Medication—is administered prior to and after surgery to ensure your pet’s comfort.

  • Pre-Anesthetic Blood Work—ensures your pet is healthy enough to undergo a surgical procedure and that its internal organs can safely process the anesthesia.


Veterinary Surgical Services

Westminster Veterinary Hospital provides surgical services for dogs and cats. We offer a clean and well-equipped facility and experienced team to provide your pet with high quality surgical care in a stress-free and relaxing environment.

Our team of veterinarians and technicians are experienced with a range of surgeries, including spaying and neutering. All of our procedures include a thorough pre-surgical physical examination by a veterinarian, surgical monitoring and lots of care and attention throughout the day.

We now offer laser surgery!

 

Veterinary Dental Services

Our veterinarians provide veterinary dental services including routine cleaning and polishing (dental prophylaxis) and surgical extractions to manage and treat severe oral disease conditions.

When dental problems and oral diseases are diagnosed, sometimes a dental procedure may be necessary. Westminster Veterinary Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art oral surgical equipment and the latest technology, such as digital dental x-rays, to provide your pet with a safe and advanced dental procedure.

Pet Dental Care

Routine and preventive dental care is vital to your pet's long term health. Pets with poor oral hygiene can develop periodontal disease, which can often lead to heart, lung, and kidney disease. Westminster Veterinary Hospital offers a full range of dental services for cats and dogs including dental examinations, dental extractions, and oral surgery as well as home care instructions for keeping your dog's or cat's teeth clean and healthy.

Routine Pet Dental Examinations

Our veterinarians perform basic oral exams on all our patients during their comprehensive physical exam. Puppies and kittens will be examined to detect any problems related to the deciduous (baby) teeth, missing or extra teeth, swellings, and oral development. Senior pets will be evaluated for developmental anomalies, the accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease, and oral tumors.

Good Oral Hygiene for Pets

Dental Care Tips for Dogs and Cats

  • Schedule a dental oral exam for your dog or cat every year
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings as recommended by your veterinarian
  • Brush your pet's teeth daily, or if every other day give your pet a dental hygiene chew
  • Serve dog or cat food and treats that control tarter and plaque and promote good dental health

Westminster Veterinary Hospital Now Offers Laser Therapy for Pets!

Laser Therapy accelerates the body's natural healing process and provides tangible benefits to your pet. Laser therapy is effective in treating chronic conditions, acute conditions, as well as post-surgical pain and inflammation without drugs or sedation.

Canine Laser Therapy at Westminster Veterinary Hospital
Feline Laser Therapy at Westminster Veterinary Hospital

Benefits of Laser Therapy

  • Non-pharmacologic pain relief
  • Effective for difficult conditions
  • Alternative to surgery
  • Fast treatment times
  • Easy, comfortable, non-invasive treatment
  • Scientifically-proven

Clinical studies and real-world use over several decades have proven that laser therapy alleviates pain and inflammation, reduces swelling, and stimulates nerve regeneration and cells involved in tissue repair.

Deep, soothing laser therapy...

  • provides a drug-free option for enhanced patient care
  • relieves pain, inflammation, and swelling
  • is extremely well tolerated by pets
  • has no known side effects
  • may decrease the need for surgery and medications
  • reduces healing time
  • requires no sedation or clipping
  • is quick to administer (approximately 3 to 6 minutes per site)

Laser Therapy helps pets suffering from a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Acute and chronic ear infections
  • Acute traumas (e.g., sprains or strains without radiographic changes or ruptured ligaments)
  • Degenerative joint and disc disease
  • Dermatologic disorders (e.g., hot spots, interdigital dermatitis, acral lick granuloma, allergies, feline acne)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Periodontal disease (e.g., feline stomatitis) and tooth extraction pain relief
  • Post-operative healing (e.g., to treat incision pain and reduce inflammation before the patient wakes up)
  • Post-surgical healing and pain relief
  • Wounds, cuts, bites

If you think that your pet would benefit from laser therapy call us at (410) 848-3363 to schedule a consultation to find out how laser therapy can help your dog or cat.

Watch this video demonstration of a laser therapy session to see how a typical patient reacts to the laser.

 

Westminster Veterinary Hospital offers an array of both prescription and over the counter products to keep your pet happy and healthy. Our in-house pharmacy is stocked with prescription medications to provide preventive care, treat illnesses and ensure that your pet’s medication is always available.

 

We see emergencies during our normal hospital hours. Please call us at 410-848-3363 for immediate assistance. If your pet has an after-hours emergency or if we determine that your pet requires overnight nursing care or a level of specialty we cannot provide here, we will co-ordinate your pet’s referral to the appropriate critical care or specialty hospital.

We refer after-hours emergencies to:

Central Carroll Animal Emergency
1080 Baltimore Blvd Suite 180, Westminster MD 21157
(P) 410.871.2000

Emergency Animal Hospital
10270 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City MD 21042
(P) 410.750.1177

Crossroads Animal Referral and Emergency
1080 W Patrick Steet, Frederick MD 21703
(P) 301.662.2273

 

 
 
 

clientcare@westminsterveterinaryhospital.com

clientcare@westminsterveterinaryhospital.com

New Clients

Thank you for choosing Westminster Veterinary Hospital to care for your pet. Downloading and filling out the New Client Form prior to your first appointment will greatly assist us in adding you and your pet to our system. Please feel free to fax it to us at 410-848-4959 or to bring it with you to your pet's first appointment. We will be happy to contact your previous veterinarian to obtain any necessary information or documentation regarding your pet's medical history.

 

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.

  Pet Exams icon   Pet Vaccines icon  
 

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.

 
Pet Dental & Oral Care icon   Veterinary Lab Tests icon   Parasite Prevention icon
Dental and oral care prevents bad breath and diseases that could become life-threatening.   Lab tests diagnose and prevent sickness or injury in safe and non-invasive ways.   Parasite prevention treats and protects against deadly heartworms, parasites, and flea/tick infestations.
         
  Pet Nutrition icon   Spaying & Neutering icon  
  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 Home Care icon   Care for Pets at All Ages icon   Pet Ages & Stages icon

Home care is just as important as veterinary care in keeping your pet happy and healthy.

 

Care for all ages includes veterinary care and home care tips for your pet at every age.

 

Ages and stages is our chart to help you find out your pet's age in "human years."

Annual Pet Care logo

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.

Pet Exams for Dogs and CatsYour 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 Mind

Your 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.
 
     


Download the Pet Exams handout

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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.

     
  Canine Vaccines

Rabies

The rabies vaccine is required by law and protects against the fatal illness. Rabies can be transmitted to other pets and people through the bite of an infected animal.

Distemper (DHPP)

This combination vaccine protects against viruses that cause life-threatening neurologic, respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.

Leptospirosis

This vaccine protects against a bacteria that can cause deadly kidney or liver disease. Leptospirosis is also transmissible to people.

Lyme

This vaccine helps prevent Lyme disease, which is easily transmitted through the bite of an infected tick.

 
 

Lifestyle Vaccines

These might be recommended if your dog visits boarding facilities, groomers, training classes, dog parks, and other social settings.

Bordetella

This vaccine protects against an airborne respiratory virus known as "Kennel Cough."

Canine Influenza

The canine influenza vaccine protects against a contagious respiratory infection.

 
 
     
  Feline Vaccines

Rabies

The rabies vaccine is required by law and protects against the fatal illness. Rabies can be transmitted to other pets and people through the bite of an infected animal.

Distemper (FVRCP)

This combination vaccine protects against viruses that cause life-threatening respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
 
     
 

Lifestyle Vaccine

This is given to all outdoor cats, including those who go out occasionally -even if it's just on an open porch.

Feline Leukemia

This vaccine protects against the contagious and often fatal disease, which is easily spread between cats.

 

 

     
 

Vaccines are the key to a long and healthy life. Your veterinarian will suggest the best vaccines for your pet based on age, medical history and lifestyle.

 
     

Download the Pet Vaccines handout

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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.

Pet Dental & Oral Care

     
 

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.

 
     


Download the Pet Dental & Oral Care handout

Annual Pet Care logo

Yearly lab tests are safe and non-invasive ways to diagnose and prevent sickness or injuries in pets that a physical exam cannot detect.

     
  Dog and Cat icon

Blood Screening

A blood screening checks for anemia, parasites, infections, organ function and sugar levels. It is important to get a blood test annually for your pet, to help your veterinarian establish a benchmark for normal values and easily see any changes that may point to problems.

Urinalysis

This test has the ability to screen for diabetes, urinary tract infections, bladder/kidney stones, as well as dehydration and early kidney disease.

Intestinal Parasite Check

Using a stool sample, your veterinarian can check to see if your pet has parasites. Many parasites can be passed on to humans, so it is important to complete this screening annually, especially if your pet has any symptoms including upset stomach, loss of appetite and weight loss.

 
     
 
 
     
 

Routine testing can add years to your pet's life. Your veterinarian will recommend lab tests appropriate for your pet based on age and lifestyle.

 
     
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  Dog Icon

Canine Tests

Your veterinarian may check for the presence of heartworms in your dog, as well as the three common tick-borne diseases – Lyme, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia Canis.
 
     
 
 
     
  Cat icon

Feline Tests

A combination test checks for heartworm, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). FeLV and FIV are serious diseases that weaken the immune system, making cats susceptible to a variety of infections and other diseases. FeLV is spread through casual contact, and FIV is transmitted primarily through bite wounds. They can also be transferred to cats by their mothers. Any new pets, or sick/stray cats entering a household, should be tested.

Blood Pressure Testing

Senior cats are routinely tested for high blood pressure. It may occur as a secondary disease to another illness and is commonly seen in older cats. But it can affect a cat at any age and cause damage to the eyes, heart, brain and kidneys. A new heart murmur or alterations in your cat's eyes during a routine exam may prompt your veterinarian to take a blood pressure reading.

 
     

Annual Pet Care logo

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.

     
 

EXTERNAL PARASITES
are assessed visually by your veterinarian.

 
     
  Flea icon

Fleas

Fleas thrive when the weather is warm and humid. All cats and dogs are susceptible to flea infestations. Beyond the skin irritation and discomfort, flea infestations can also cause deadly infections, flea-allergy dermatitis (OUCH!) and the transmission of tapeworm parasites if ingested.

Tick icon

Ticks

Ticks can spread serious infectious diseases such as Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis to pets and people. Pet owners should inspect their pets regularly for ticks, large and small, especially after being outside in a wooded or grassy area.

 
     
 
     
 

INTERNAL PARASITES
are assessed by blood tests and fecal exams.

 
     
 
  Intestinal Parasite icon

Intestinal Parasites

Roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm, Coccidia, Giardia and Cryptosporidium are all common in cats and dogs. Many of these parasites can be transmitted to you and your family if your pet becomes infected.

Heartworm icon

Heartworm

Mosquitoes can spread heartworm, a harmful disease that affects both dogs and cats. As its name implies, heartworm lives in the blood of a pet's heart and blood vessels. We recommend annual screenings for both dogs and cats, even if they are already on heartworm preventatives.

 
     
     
     
 

Life is better for your pet and family without parasites.
Let us help you choose your flea, tick, heartworm and
intestinal parasite preventatives today!

 
     


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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.

Proper Nutrition

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.
Pet Nutrition

 

Growth Diet

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.

Adult Diet

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.

Senior Diet

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.

   
     
 

Every pet ages differently. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best diet for your pet's needs.

 
     


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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...

Uterine Disease

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.

Testicular Cancer

This cancer, as well as prostatitis (an infection causing malignant or benign swelling of the prostate), can be greatly reduced with early neutering.

 

Behavioral Problems

Unwanted behaviors such as dominance aggression, marking territory and wandering can be avoided with spaying or neutering.

Overpopulation

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.Cat and Dog graphic

   
     
 

Spayed and neutered pets live healthier and longer lives! Consider the benefits to your pet and the community, and ask us when is the best time to spay or neuter your pet.

 
     


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Make your pet's well-being a priority. See your veterinarian regularly and follow these tips to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Nutrition

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.

Identification

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.

Safety

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.

Grooming

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.

 

Exercise

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.

Training

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.

Environmental Enrichment

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 Care at Home

     
 

Be Your Pet's Guardian Angel

Call us if your pet experiences vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, lethargy, trouble breathing, excessive drinking or urinating, wheezing or coughing, pale gums, discharge from nose, swollen eye or discharge, limping, and/or difficulty passing urine or stool as these may be signs of illness.

 
     


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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.

Annual Wellness

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.

Spay/Neuter

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.

Nutrition

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.

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Exercise

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.

Training

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.

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Animals age at a faster rate than humans do, and your pet's health needs will evolve over time. Use this chart to figure out your pet's age in human years, and check with your veterinarian to establish a wellness plan specific to your young, adult or senior pet.

Pet Ages & Stages Chart

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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. We also share contact information for local pet service providers for your convenience.

Animal Breed Associations

Canine Care

Feline Care

Humane Societies

Pet Grief Support

Pet Grooming

  • Andie's Doggie Do's
    Andrea Hockensmith, Owner/Operator
    410-848-9380 (Hours by Appointment)
    269 West Main Street, Westminster, MD

Pet Information

Pet Insurance

Pet Nutrition & Obesity

Pet Products

Recommended Advice for Pet Owners

Veterinary Education

Video Tips & Tutorials 

Video: Take the Scary Out of Cat Carriers (source: dvm360.com)

Flea Control: How to Apply Frontline Plus (video)

Canine Cruciate Ligament Tear: Symptoms and Diagnosis (video)

Reverse Sneezing in Dogs (video)

Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs) in Dogs (video)

Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs) in Cats (video)

How to Pill a Cat (video)

How to Give Liquid Medication to a Cat (video)

How to Use a Cat Inhaler (video)

Zoonotic Diseases in Cats (video)

Alana Velazquez, DVMDr. Velázquez joined Westminster Veterinary Hospital as Chief of Staff in February 2013. She grew up in south Florida and is a 1993 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She spent her first ten years practicing small and exotic animal medicine and surgery in West Palm Beach and then became Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of the Veterinary Technology Program at Miami-Dade College. Prior to joining our practice, Dr. Velázquez practiced medicine and surgery at a "cats only" veterinary hospital in Montgomery County and enjoyed honing her skills at geriatric feline medicine.

Dr. Lauren Hall, DVM with CatDr. Hall grew up in Baltimore, MD and currently resides in Mt. Airy, MD. She received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and earned her DVM degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Before joining the Westminster Veterinary Hospital team, Dr. Hall practiced at the Fulton Animal Hospital in Fulton, Maryland. Her special interests include preventative medicine, internal medicine and behavior.

Dr. Hall shares her home with three dogs and two cats. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband, John and their daughter, Kate, reading, and horseback riding.

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269 West Main Street
Westminster, MD 21157
P: (410) 848-3363
F: (410) 848-4959

Is your dog very tired? Is your cat eating less than usual? These seemingly minor changes may mean your pet has a flea allergy, an internal parasite infection, or a tick-related disease.

parasite prevention for petsLet's talk about fleas first. The majority of pets don't have fleas – but many have been bitten because fleas are everywhere! Yes, fleas live outdoors but they can live indoors too – even in really clean homes, year-round in any climate. 

Fleas will gladly hitch a ride on your pet into your house. And all it takes is one flea bite (specifically the flea's saliva), to set off a full blown skin allergy. Pets may scratch their sides, neck or even lick their paws until they're red and painful. What pet wants to move around or eat when feeling this miserable?

Internal parasites (such as worms) can infect your pet in a number of ways. Sometimes, it's hard to know if your pet has them. But left untreated, worms can be dangerous to your pet's internal organs. They can even cause your pet to lose blood.

We are excited to now offer digital dental radiographs for dogs and cats, which allow for the highest quality x-ray images, to assess your pet's teeth and oral hygiene. Veterinary Technician Kristy takes a look at at pet's digital dental x-rays.

According to the American Veterinary Dental College, the use of digital x-ray equipment significantly reduces your pet's exposure to increased levels of radiation by one third, making it safer for your pet.

The use of digital x-ray equipment also allows for the enlarging of the image, increasing and decreasing image contrast, and the ability to store, print, and email digital files, making it easier for our staff to share your pet's dental images with you or a referring specialist.

Nexgard Chewables Flea & Tick Product for DogsWestminster Veterinary Hospital is now carrying NexGard Chewables, a beef-flavored flea & tick chewable tablet! Now, with NexGard, dog owners can effectively kill adult fleas, treat and prevent flea infestations and treat and control ticks with the convenience of a soft chew. This product is only available through your veterinarian and by prescription only.

We are excited to offer great rebates on NexGard when combined with the purchase of Heartgard heartworm preventative. No more worrying about greasy residue, bathing, swimming, or your children petting animals after topical applications.

Protect your pet from tick-related diseasesDid you know your pet can have a tick-related disease and you may not even realize it?

Schedule your pet's annual checkup today to be sure your pet is healthy! Is your dog tired or achy after a walk? Is your cat eating less than usual? These seemingly minor changes may indicate your pet has a tick-related disease.

Our team of veterinary support professionals is dedicated to delivering the best customer service and compassionate care to you and your pets!

Patty McLaren, Westminster Veterinary Hospital ManagerPatty completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland and has been part of the Westminster Veterinary Hospital (WVH) team since 1997, starting as an emergency veterinary technician. She is married and has two terrific children. Patty lives in Westminster with her dog, Biscuit, and four cats — Posie, Boots, Rufus and Mabel. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, camping, hiking, biking and traveling with her family.

Veterinary Technician Kim HaschertKim was born in Maryland and has lived in Westminster for over 40 years. She joined Westminster Veterinary Hospital in 1998 as a volunteer and started full time in 1999. She is married with two children. Kim has five cats — Meka, Harley, Clint, Trigger and Isabelle — and a handsome Silver Labrador, Knox. She loves to snow and water ski, bike ride, camp, and most of all, travel to tropical islands with friends and family.

Veterinary Technician Trudy MooreTrudy is originally from Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. She joined Westminster Veterinary Hospital in August 1994 after her husband was transferred to Maryland. She has two grown children and four grandchildren.

 

Veterinary Technician Kristy LinkKristy was born and raised in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She joined the WVH team in 2006 as an overnight emergency veterinary technician. She got married in 2007 and had a beautiful baby boy in 2008. She also has six cats. Outside of work, Kristy enjoys boating, fishing, and having a good time with family and friends.

Veterinary Technician Evelyn BakerEvelyn has been part of the WVH team for over eight years and has started her own pet-sitting service on the side. She has a fat cream and white tabby cat that she spoils rotten and is more like a dog than a cat! In her spare time, Evelyn loves to read and spend time with her niece and nephew.