Hawthorne Animal Health Care offers a comprehensive menu of services that integrates the best of traditional and alternative therapies. Our holistic approach allows us to provide the care and treatment best suited to your pet’s unique needs, with a focus on maintaining optimal health.
Traditional Medical Services
Regularly scheduled exams play an essential role in keeping your pet healthy and happy. After the initial series of growth-and-development checks that kittens and puppies receive with their vaccinations, most pets can be safely monitored with one wellness visit per year. After your pet reaches the age of 10, we recommend a visit every 6 months as a key way to support healthy aging. Blood work and other laboratory tests will be offered as needed.
Vaccinations are an important aspect of disease prevention, but they can cause adverse side effects, so we take a careful approach. Our protocol coincides with the recommendations of the American Animal Hospital Association, which advocates only certain core vaccinations for cats and dogs. We consider each pet’s age, health, risk of exposure, and other factors before we vaccinate. We vaccinate for rabies in accordance with state regulations, except when a pet is unhealthy and a waiver is allowed. We limit the number of vaccinations given at any one time and, for older pets, often replace vaccinations with titers to monitor levels of protection.
Nutrition Guidelines for Health
Diet is an especially important aspect of good health and disease prevention for pets. We offer feeding guidelines for various commercial diets as well as for home-cooked and raw diets. No matter what you are feeding your pet, and no matter what your budget, we can help you find strategies to make your feeding more optimally nutritional.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
We use low-level laser therapy as a safe and effective way to treat pain and inflammation, as well as to stimulate healing. The technique, which can also be used in conjunction with acupuncture, works at the cellular level to trigger reactions that increase the production of endorphins — natural painkillers — and stimulate blood flow.
Dr. Freedman performs general surgery, spays, and neuters; when specialty surgery is required, it is performed by a board-certified surgeon, either at our clinic or via a referral to another clinic. We participate in the MSPCA’s SNAP program, offering spay and neuter services at a 50 percent discount to pet owners who apply to the MSPCA and qualify for assistance. We also offer this discount to people who adopt pets from shelters and rescue organizations, and to people who foster or have service dogs.
We offer a wide range of veterinary dental services. Dr. Freedman performs both routine prophylactic teeth cleaning and more complex procedures involving multiple extractions and significant periodontal disease.
When we feel it is in your pet’s best interests, we will suggest a referral to a specialist. We have long-term relationships with specialists at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, Bulger Animal Hospital in Andover, and the New England Veterinary Oncology Group in Waltham, among others. We refer patients requiring ultrasound, echocardiography, or endoscopy to our trusted neighbors at the Animal Ultrasound Clinic in Salem.
House Calls & In-Home Euthanasia
Though we see most of our pets on the premises, we can arrange for an appointment in your home if you live nearby but can’t bring your pet to the clinic. Such appointments need to be scheduled in advance. House calls are also offered to pet owners facing the loss of a pet; if you and your vet have concluded that the time has come to say goodbye, a house call may offer a comforting setting in which to do so.
Alternative Medical Services
If you are interested in exploring alternative therapies, we offer in-depth appointments with special focus on nutrition or other alternative treatments. We welcome referral clients for holistic consultations and will work with your vet to incorporate a new approach into your pet’s health plan.
Acupuncture, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, can be effective in a veterinary setting as a treatment for arthritis and a wide range of other acute, chronic, and degenerative conditions. Under the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine, health is dependent on the balance and flow of vital energy (chi) throughout the body; when energy is imbalanced and flow is blocked, disease results. In acupuncture treatments, fine needles are inserted painlessly at specific body points to stimulate, disperse, and regulate the flow of chi. It is not always curative, but it often alleviates pain and improves wellbeing.
Homeopathy, a system of medicine used to treat humans for centuries, has more recently been applied by trained veterinarians to the treatment of animals for a multitude of conditions, both physical and emotional. In a homeopathic approach, a patient’s symptoms are signs of imbalance and keys to a cure — important pieces of a disease puzzle. With focus on the specific symptoms and overall uniqueness of each patient, the homeopath attempts to find a remedy (a homeopathic medicine) that will help the patient’s body restore itself and remain disease free.
Treatment with herbs can be effective against a variety of conditions, including skin disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, immune-mediated disease, urinary incontinence, anxiety, arthritis, epilepsy, and cancer. Emotional issues also can be treated effectively with herbs. Veterinarians practicing herbal medicine believe that plants not only carry pharmacological benefits but provide nutrients as well, helping to support the body’s own healing mechanisms.
Flower Essence Therapy
Flower essence therapy, another form of energy medicine with ancient origins, is often used to support emotional wellbeing as a pathway to overall health. It can be effective in restoring balance to pets suffering from many of the same emotional issues that humans face: fear, grief, loneliness, jealousy, depression, or dependency. The flower essences we use are derived from petals that have been sun-infused in pure water, preserving the energetic properties of the flower.