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News > Hanscom’s vet clinic can help keep pets healthy
Hanscom’s vet clinic can help keep pets healthy

Posted 6/17/2010   Updated 6/17/2010 Email story   Print story


by Peter Blackburn
66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

6/17/2010 - HANSCOM AFB, Mass. -- With June recognized as National Adopt-a-Cat month, a necessary step in owning a new pet is getting them checked out by a local veterinarian. Here at Hanscom, the veterinary clinic takes pride in providing hundreds of military family pet owners who reside on and off base with great care and quality service.

For any family who is looking to adopt a pet, the veterinary staff, headed by Dr. Heather Mazzaccaro, recommends bringing the animal in for a checkup within a week after adopting. Cats can often hide diseases and problems well, so it is vital for a new owner to be aware of issues if they exist.

Pet owners also need to make sure that their new pets are vaccinated. Necessary vaccinations for cats include the rabies vaccine, feline distemper shot and the vaccination against feline leukemia. Indoor cats require these vaccines on a three year basis, while outdoor cats should receive them annually.

Keeping pets' rabies vaccines current is vital to the safety of owners' families, neighbors, visitors and the pets themselves. It is also mandated for all cats, dogs and ferrets over the age of 12 weeks per Electronic Systems Center Instruction 48-131, and Massachusetts state law.

Cats can be ideal pets for military families moving around frequently, as they require less care than other domestic animals. Key care tips are to keep a clean litter box, maintain fur and grooming and avoid overfeeding. Weight loss and excessive drinking or urination may be a sign that something is wrong. Regardless, annual veterinary checkups are recommended.

Dr. Mazzaccaro advises that owners should also consider getting their felines neutered or spayed, as more than four million cats are brought into animal shelters each year, with over 70 percent ultimately being euthanized.

The veterinarian treatment facility's hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The clinic is closed on Thursday for training, as well as on all federal holidays. Limited walk-ins are available, but it is best to make an appointment by calling the clinic at (781) 377-3266. For information on keeping your pet healthy all year long, go online to the Hanscom Services website at www.hanscomservices.com/VetClinic.html.

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