Hometown Veterinary Care, a mixed animal practice located in Fairfield, ME is a state of the art facility where modern medicine meets hometown values. Their spacious building houses 3 exam rooms, its own surgical suite, a fully equipped lab for in house diagnostics, digital and dental x-ray, large treatment area, isolation ward, fully stocked pharmacy, as well as roomy dog kennels and kitty condos for their patients who are spending the day with them.

Hometown Veterinary Care also provides services for a wide variety of large animal clients in the area. These range from large dairy farms to hobby farms, caring for beef and dairy cows, as well as alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep and pigs. If you have questions regarding vaccine protocols, herd health management, or general livestock care, please contact their office.

They are committed to promoting responsible pet ownership, preventative health care, and health-related educational opportunities for their clients in Fairfield and the surrounding areas. The Hometown team strives to provide the highest standards of care for your pet, not only during your visit, but year round, by providing 24 hour emergency services for their established clients.

So whether you are a long time pet owner or a first time “parent” they welcome you to become a part of their growing family here at Hometown Veterinary Care, where you aren’t just another client, but a valued friend and neighbor.

Meet The Expert

Matthew Townsend, DVM

Dr. Matt Townsend is the owner and founder of Hometown Veterinary Care. HVC is the fruition of a long time dream to own his own practice and he finds it rewarding to be providing care for the pets and farm animals of central Maine, and especially his hometown of Fairfield.

Matt grew up on a small dairy farm in Waldoboro, ME. It was there, along with his twin brother, that he got the itch to become a veterinarian. He went to the University of Maine for his undergraduate studies and completed his DVM studies at Auburn University in Alabama in 1995.

He worked close to home in Rockport, Maine for 2 years before coming to central Maine in 1998, where he got the chance to be a real James Herriot and work in a mixed animal practice. During those years he has been the President of the Maine Veterinary Medical Assoc. and New England Veterinary Medical Assoc.

Dr. Townsend lives in Fairfield Center with his wife Diane and their four daughters. They have an alpaca farm to keep them out of trouble. When there is time to spare, Matt can be found involved with his daughters activities or playing the occasional round of golf.

Springtime Pet Tips:

Spring is here and our pets know it. They have spring fever and that means they’ll want to spend a lot more time outside. Though the outdoors brings us fresh air, sunshine, and cool breezes, it also brings an array of health hazards for our pets.

Certain common spring plants can be extremely hazardous to your pet. Many can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested and some can even be deadly.

Most people may not know that Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats. Easter lilies and other plants including oriental lilies can cause kidney damage and kidney failure in cats. Unfortunately, we do not know what the toxic element in these plants is, but even chewing on one leaf, petal or licking the pollen has resulted in kidney failure in cats. Most cats tend to be plant chewers so if you have a cat, consider getting a bouquet to enjoy indoors that does not have lilies in it, or enjoy the Easter lily bouquet outside on the porch where your cat does not have access to it. If you think your cat has chewed or eaten any portion of the lily plant, please see your veterinarian.

Make sure your pets are protected with flea, tick and heartworm treatments and are up-to-date on vaccinations. Keep a file with your pets’ medical information and keep track of necessary follow up shots and appointments.

Is your dog eating grass? Unless it’s been treated with fertilizer or pesticide, don’t worry. It could mean he has a bellyache, or it could just be his natural instinct to aid his digestion.

Springtime means spring showers and melting snow which can leave puddles of standing water. Try not to let your dog drink out of puddles, as standing water can be filled with bacteria leading to gastrointestinal upset or ailments.

Nothing beats a leisurely spring ride in the car. If you’re taking your pet with you, make sure he is properly contained. Don’t put him in the back of a pick-up truck where he could fall out or let him hang out of open windows where debris can get in his eyes or he could get hurt.

Just like us, our pets have allergies too. If you notice obvious signs of allergies like swollen eyes, frequent scratching, fur/skin conditions or sneezing, you may want to take your pet to the vet to explore those allergy symptoms.

Grooming is not just about vanity. Keeping your pet clean and groomed prevents skin irritations, fleas and ticks and keeps his temperature regulated. Make sure his nails are trimmed but not too short.

Frequently Asked Questions:

“My dogs have strong breath. Do you have anything to help with that?”

Good breath starts with excellent digestive health. Choose a dog food that has the highest quality ingredients, prebiotics and probiotics to help restore the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. Bad breath can also come from mouth problems—you should see your veterinarian routinely to make sure there isn’t a problem with plaque, tartar or something more serious. Daily tooth brushing is also recommended to keep teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

“Is it OK to pick up a new flea collar at the grocery store?”

Another common scenario in the clinic is when we ask clients about which flea or tick control products they are using, and are often told over the counter products picked up at the local feed store or supermarket. As a veterinarian of nearly 20 years, I can tell you that many of the local topical reactions as well as rare whole body reactions, often occurs in pets treated with cheaper imitation topical spot-on products purchased over the counter.

And while rare reactions can occur with any topical pesticide, I do recommend that clients stick with the more tried and tested long standing flea and tick. This is for both performance and safety reasons.

“What Are Hot Spots on Pets?” 

Hot spots is a skin disease (dermatitis) caused by your pet’s allergic reaction. Derm means skin, and “itis” means inflammation, so your pet will have itchy, inflamed skin. Biting insects and fleas are common causes. Often the skin becomes smelly because yeast and bacteria grow well on unhealthy, inflamed skin. When your pet scratches the bacteria are rubbed deep into the skin and hot spots develop. Hot spots are just infected sores. Pets with flea allergy dermatitis are so sensitive they can develop hot spots if bitten just twice a month by fleas. Your pet is having an allergic reaction to flea saliva, feces and exoskeleton.

“What are Allergies in Dogs and Cats?”

Allergies in dogs and cats occur when the immune system overreacts to something that isn’t really a threat. For example, reacting to peanuts, air-borne pollen, or laundry detergent—none of which should cause harm. The material that causes an allergic reaction is called an antigen. Antigens are usually proteins. The term “allergen” is often used rather than the term antigen, but these two terms are slightly different. Antigen refers to any substance causing allergies, and allergen refers to ingested or air-borne substances causing allergies.

It helps to group antigens into three categories and to realize that your pet can be allergic to materials from more than one category:

  • What your pet eats (foods, additives, preservatives, dyes, food storage mites);
  • What your pet breathes (cigarette smoke, pollens, perfumes, particles released from carpet underlays, cat dander, decks treated with a preservative); and
  • What your pet’s skin comes into contact with (dust mites, fleas, soaps, wool).

Pet allergies are additive so that the more antigens your pet is exposed to, the more severe the symptoms. For example, pets with allergies to beef often develop more extreme symptoms in the spring when surrounded with high levels of pollens. 

Watch the video below to learn how to clean your dog’s ears.

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