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91 North Stark Highway
Weare, NH 03281

Author Archive

Deskunking your Dog

My dog Mattie has been sprayed by a skunk 3 times in her life, twice in June, and surprisingly once in February. It has always happened at night. If you are as unfortunate as I have been and your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Once you realize what has happened, try to keep your dog outside until after bathing. Otherwise, your dog will try to rub it’s skunky face all over your couch!
  2. Flush the pet’s eyes with water if they are irritated.
  3. In a bucket, wear rubber gloves, and mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 tsp liquid dish soap. Apply mixture to affected areas on the dog. Rinse well.
  4. Follow with dog shampoo.

To avoid contact with skunks in the first place, turn floodlights on and scan the yard before letting your dog out at dusk or dawn to go potty.

By Dr. Sullivan

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Noise Phobias: Summer Storms and Fireworks

Between fireworks and thunderstorms, summer is stressful for our two dogs. Last year, we heard fireworks every night from June 29th through July 15th! Here’s what we’ve found works:

1. Carly is the less nervous of our two dogs. For her, distracting her with an awesome treat is enough to get her through the fireworks or storm.

After loading up a Kong with peanut butter and treats, we freeze it so we always have one ready. A frozen treat takes more focus and takes her longer to get through it.

2. Adie is our nervous Nellie – we can hear furniture or heating baseboard shaking if she’s touching them. Sileo came out last year and is a game-changer for her.

Manufactured by Zoetis, it is a gentle medication for noise phobias. A gel that we place in her cheek, It doesn’t knock her out and she stays alert – it just relaxes her. We can adjust how much we give her based on how nervous she is. Most importantly, she becomes part of the family again.

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Running Safely with your Dog in the Summer

It is important to make sure your dog is safe when running during the hot summer months. Here are some tips to keep him safe and healthy!

  1. Make sure your dog is conditioned to run in warm, humid weather for the distance you are going.
  2. Always check that the road is cool enough for your dogs paws. Place your hand or bare feet on the road, if it is uncomfortable to hold them there for more than 30 seconds, then it is too hot for your dog to run on.
  3. Run early in the morning and towards evening when the weather begins to cool.
  4. Always watch your dog for signs of heat exhaustion: slowing down/lagging behind, excessive panting, tongue hanging out. If they seem to be having trouble, bring them to a cool area and call a veterinarian.
  5. Bring plenty of water for you AND your pet!

Photo on the right Oz after an 11 mile run. He got a cool spray down with the hose and a frozen healthy treat. Just mix water, blueberries, and raspberries in a small Tupperware or ice cube tray, and freeze!

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How to Decrease Your Pet’s Anxiety About Going to the Vet

Do you have pet who is a little skittish when it’s time to come visit us? Here are our top four tips to help!

  1. Practice: Pull out the cat carrier several days ahead of time, and leave it open with treats inside. Or take your dog for a few car rides leading up to the appointment day.
  2. Rewards: We use high-value treats, such as peanut butter and hot dogs, to reward your pets during their exam. It’s really important that your pet comes hungry to their vet visit.
  3. Sounds: Sounds can set the mood – even for pets! Consider playing classical music during the drive, and speak with a low calm voice. High-pitched praise can often increase anxiety.
  4. Call: If you have a really anxious pet, call us ahead of time to let us know. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical intervention may be advised to supplement your other fear-free efforts.

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Ferret Information Sheet

Ferrets are playful, intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and fun-loving. They are sure to capture your heart with their unconditional love and playful antics.

Ferrets are also tough and great at hiding or masking disease which often leads to many ferret diseases that seem to strike quickly. It is important your ferret is examined by a veterinarian with ferret knowledge and experience so you can work as a team to ensure the best possible health care for your ferret. Furthermore, it is important you monitor your ferret’s health and learn to recognize what is normal and not normal behavior for your ferret.

Wellness Exams

  • Post-Purchase Exam: Physical Exam, Rabies Vaccine, Distemper Vaccine (may need a booster in 3-4 weeks), Fecal Analysis, Microchipping, Deslorelin Implant to prevent adrenal disease.
  • Young and Mature Ferret (1 to 4 years of age): Annual Exam: Physical Exam, CBC/Chemistries if over 3 years of age, Rabies Vaccine, Distemper Vaccine every third year, Fecal Analysis
  • Senior and Geriatric Ferret (4+): Physical Exam, CBC/Chemistries, Fecal Analysis, Radiographs, Cardiac Ultrasound


If your ferret is exhibiting any of the clinical signs described below your ferret needs to be seen right away.

If during normal business hours, contact us immediately at (603) 529-4999.

If after our normal business hours, contact CAVES immediately at (603) 227-1199.

Depression, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, open mouth breathing, grinding teeth (likely indicates pain/discomfort), pawing at the mouth (may indicate nausea due to very low blood sugar), lack of appetite, frequent trips to litter box with little or no urine production.

If you notice your ferret is not eating, you may try hand or syringe feeding warm chicken or beef baby food. If your ferret seems weak or disoriented, you can rub some Karo syrup, honey, or maple syrup on her gums. Then you can attempt to feed a high protein food (meat baby food) until you are able to get to our hospital. It is important we examine your ferret at soon as possible to address the underlying condition.


Wellness Exams, Diagnostics, Dental Cleaning, Hormonal Suppression, Surgery, Vaccination, Grooming, Boarding, Microchipping, Nutritional Consultation, Behavioral Consultation, Antibody Titer Testing


Ferrets need two vaccinations (distemper vaccine and rabies vaccine). We recommend only using specific vaccines labeled for ferrets. Vaccine reactions are very common in ferrets and can be life threatening. Therefore, it is important you choose a ferret knowledgeable veterinarian so if an emergency does arise, your ferret will receive the proper life-saving care. New Hampshire state law (RSA 436:100) requires every ferret 3 months of age and older shall be vaccinated against rabies. If your ferret is not up to date and bites someone he or she will be quarantined at owner’s expense for at least ten days to monitor for signs of rabies.

Deslorelin Implant

Deslorelin (Suprelorin F) hormone implants assist in the medical treatment of adrenal gland disease in ferrets. Adrenal disease is extremely common in middle-aged and senior ferrets which occurs when tumors develop in one or both adrenal glands. This leads to a release of hormones that can cause clinical signs such as hair loss, itchy skin, anemia, prostate gland enlargement in males (with potential fatal urinary tract obstruction), and life-threatening bone marrow suppression.

This implant is placed subcutaneously (beneath the skin) between the shoulder blades by our veterinarian while your ferret is under light sedation. The implant has a slow sustained release action and is effective in ferrets for a period of 6 months or up to several years depending on the severity of your ferret’s disease. Studies have shown that the most common signs of adrenal disease are all reduced quickly after implantation with the implant.

In addition to providing a medical treatment for adrenal disease in ferrets, the deslorelin implant also shows promise for prevention of adrenal disease in ferrets. At your first ferret examination, we will discuss specifics of the implant, how it works, and the best time to schedule the procedure. One could think of the deslorelin implant as a preventative “vaccination” against adrenal disease to prevent the disease from developing in your ferret.


In order for your ferret to board with us, we require a physical exam within the last year. Your ferret must have had a rabies and distemper vaccination within the last year. A fecal test with no parasites observed is required as well. If your pet’s examination was done by a different veterinarian, it needs to have been within the last six months and your pet’s complete record needs to be sent to our hospital several days before boarding so we can ensure all required testing and vaccinations were completed.

Common Diseases/Conditions

  • “Adreno-Cortical Disease” (cancer of the adrenal glands/Adrenal Disease)
  • Insulinoma (cancer of the pancreas)
  • Lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells)
  • Ear Mites
  • Dental Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Nutritional Disease
  • Gastrointestinal Foreign Body
  • Gastrointestinal Disease: epizootic catarrhal enteritis or Helicobacter mustelae infection
  • Canine Distemper
  • Upper Respiratory Disease

Click here to view/download this Ferret Information Sheet in PDF format.

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