Pet Wellness:More Resources & Links
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.
Animal Breed Associations
Pet Grief Support
Pet Insurance / Payment Options
Pet Poison Control
Veterinary & Pet Owner Education
Check out this video about the PetSafe® Gentle Leader:
Contact Us:Local Pet Resources:
Just moved to the area?
Let us help make one part of the transition easy – finding a new vet! In between unpacking and organizing, give us a call at (978) 453-1784 and let us know who your previous veterinarian was. Then we’ll do the rest!
Our reception staff will call your former veterinarian to transfer the records to our practice. Keeping pets happy and healthy is our number one priority. Check out our Pet Wellness page to learn about the ways veterinarians and pet owners can work together to keep their pets living long, healthy lives.
Contact Us:Local Pet Resources:Tips for Moving with Your Pet
We know how stressful adjusting to a new home can be – not just for your two-legged family members, but for your four-legged ones, too! Help make your pets feel a little more at home in your new place with these helpful tips.
- Pet proof your house. Did you know that certain plants and food can be toxic to pets? Common household items like cleaning products and medications can also pose a threat. Especially in a new environment, curious pets can get into household hazards. Be sure to store these in areas that are inaccessible to your furry friends.
- Make sure your pet has proper identification. In addition to standard collars that may come off or get lost, consider getting your pets microchipped. The permanent ID option is as easy and as painless as a vaccination, and greatly increases your chances of reuniting with a lost pet. If Fido is already microchipped, be sure to update the microchip database with your new address information.
- Keep your schedule consistent. Pets are creatures of habit, so maintaining your regular routine will help to make things feel a little more normal. Sticking to your usual times for walks, meals, cuddle time and bed time can help your best friend adjust.
- Be loving and patient. The best way to make pets feel comfortable in a new home is to associate positive experiences with it. Remember to be patient with them and give them lots of affection and treats, and you will have plenty of new, happy memories in no time. You can also take advantage of calming pet products like pheromone diffusers and collars, thundershirts and composure treats to help Fluffy feel at ease.
- Get to know your veterinarian. Bringing your pets to the veterinarian for a routine exam is the smartest and easiest way to keep them healthy. Call us at (978) 453-1784 so we can schedule a visit to get to know you and your pets!
Richard McCarthy, DVM — Co-Chief of Staff
Dr. Richard McCarthy is a graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), an associate member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), and a member of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) where he served as Secretary and chaired the Legislative Committee.
Following graduation, Dr. McCarthy worked in mixed practice in New York State and western Massachusetts treating farm animals as well as family pets. He came to Linwood Animal Hospital in 1965 and became an owner in 1966. Dr. McCarthy enjoys the many continuing education opportunities available in the field of veterinary medicine and sharing their benefits with his Linwood patients and their owners.
Dr. McCarthy lives in Chelmsford with his wife, Ann. In his free time, he likes to play with his cat, Ruffio, and also enjoys traveling and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Carol Cookingham, DVM — Co-Chief of Staff
Dr. Carol Cookingham received her undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and her veterinary degree from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in 1979. She joined the staff of Linwood Animal Hospital as a veterinarian in 1981 and then became a partner. Dr. Cookingham is a long-standing member of both the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
In her spare time, Dr. Cookingham enjoys cycling, traveling and watercolor painting, as well as cooking and gardening. She lives in Westford with her husband and two cats: Lily and Spooky.
Emilia Agrafojo, DVM
Dr. Emilia Agrafojo ("Dr. A") joined Linwood Animal Hospital in 1999 after graduation from the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. One of her Tufts' professors recommended Linwood Animal Hospital to her, saying that she thought it would be a perfect fit – she was right!
Dr. Agrafojo's professional interests include feline medicine, physical therapy laser treatment, and compassionate palliative medicine. Her professional organizations include the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).
Dr. A lives with her family of several special-needs kitties and one very understanding husband. Her leisure interests include jewelry-making, yoga, attending science fiction conventions, and planning trips to Disney World (sometimes she even takes them!).
Rebekah Swartz, DVM
Dr. Rebekah Swartz joined the Linwood Animal Hospital team in June 2016. She earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a DVM degree from Tufts University. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA).
Dr. Swartz looks forward to getting to work with each and every pet and their family from puppyhood or kittenhood through old age, and sharing with them the joys and challenges along the way. She is also interested in wellness care, animal behavior, obesity and chronic disease management, and dentistry.
Outside of work, Dr. Swartz enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and their family and friends. She loves the outdoors and, in the early morning, you may often find her rowing on the Charles River. Her hobbies also include baking (especially strawberry rhubarb pies and coffeecake!).
Daniel Rice, DVM
Dr. Daniel Rice joined the Linwood Animal Hospital team in 2018. He earned an undergraduate degree from Union College in upstate New York, while working as an assistant at a veterinary hospital. After graduation he worked his way to earning a DVM degree from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Rice enjoys working together with families to find the best solutions for all of their animals’ needs, while providing individualized care for every animal’s unique obstacles. His professional interests include general medicine and soft-tissue surgery, dermatology, nutrition and behavior.
Victoria Vasilakis, DVM
Dr. Victoria Vasilakis grew up in Andover and currently resides in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and earned a DVM degree from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Prior to joining the Linwood Animal Hospital team, Dr. Vasilakis practiced at the North Andover Haverhill Animal Hospital. Her special interests include general medicine, internal medicine, and cardiology.
In her spare time, Dr. Vasilakis enjoys cooking, hiking, and staying active. She also shares her home with two cats and two birds.
Dr. Cookingham's Farewell Announcement
It is with both great excitement and sadness that we announce the retirement of Dr. Carol Cookingham from Linwood Animal Hospital.
Dr. Cookingham has been an esteemed member of the Linwood Animal Hospital family since 1981.
Important Notice Regarding Online Pet Pharmacies
Due to increased fraud with online pet medications, we are no longer faxing prescriptions to online pharmacies. We apologize for the inconvenience, but can assure you that providing safe, effective, and fully-guaranteed medications is a top priority to us.
Please feel free to call us at (978) 453-1784 if you have questions. Thank you for your understanding and your continued trust in Linwood Animal Hospital!
Dog Flu: What You Need to Know
CBS Boston reported that, about three weeks ago, Massachusetts confirmed its first case of dog flu this year. Veterinarians estimate the vaccine is about 60% effective and they are urging in-state dog owners to vaccinate their pets for added protection.
The American Kennel Club describes dog flu as ‘an infectious respiratory disease caused by an influenza A virus, similar to the viral strains that cause influenza in people.’ The disease is airborne and respiratory secretions can be spread via coughing, barking, and sneezing. It can also be transmitted via infected objects, such as toys, bowls, and collars.
Dog flu typically incubates for two to four days. After day four, viral shedding starts to decrease but dogs can remain contagious for 10 – 26 days, depending on the specific strain of dog flu they contracted. If a dog comes into contact with dog flu, (s)he will almost always be infected.
Common symptoms of dog flu include:
Our Renovations Are Complete!
The doctors and staff at Linwood Animal Hospital are excited to announce that our renovations are complete! We have an all new reception desk, exam rooms, flooring, and waiting room - including a cat-only waiting area.
We look forward to providing our loyal clients with a more comfortable experience in our new facility, while also allowing our veterinarians and staff to provide more services and better care to our patients.
There is a new tick-borne illness on the rise. The Powassan Virus (or POW) is a rare but very serious disease found in New England and the Great Lakes region of the United States. The POW virus is spread by the bite of an infected deer tick, the same tick responsible for the spread of Lyme disease.
There is no known test for the virus in animals. It is also unknown at this time if the disease affects pets as it does humans. Symptoms of this disease in humans may present itself as fever, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination and seizures. This is why prevention is so important – not only for your pets, but for you and your family as well! Remember that ticks can also hitch a ride in on your pets from the outdoors.
Call us at (978) 453-1784 if you have any questions or if you need help choosing the right tick prevention product for your pet.
Disease-Carrying Ticks on the Rise
It's such a treat when we get a warm winter here in New England, but unfortunately, ticks love it too! Without heavy snow cover, and the spring weather approaching, ticks are multiplying at an alarming rate.
Ticks can spread serious infectious diseases such as Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis, to pets and people. This season, be sure to protect your pets from these little monsters! The health of your pets and family depends on it. Learn more about the rise of ticks in New England here.
At Linwood Animal Hospital, we carry and recommend Vectra 3D for dogs and Frontline for cats. Both are flea/tick preventative topical oils which you apply to your pet once a month. We also carry Bravecto, an oral preventative for dogs which protects them for up to three months.
Could Your Pet Be Our Star Of The Month?
Wouldn't it be great to see your pet featured as a Facebook "Star" for an entire month for all to see? Great news, now they can. Simply share your pet's photo with us on our Facebook page, and your pet could be Linwood's first Star of the Month!
How it works:
- Share an adorable photo of your pet on our Facebook page
- Spread the word-remind your friends, tell your family to vote, vote, vote for your pet!
The pet with the most likes will be displayed as Linwood's Facebook profile picture all month long! Hurry, the first "Star of the Month" will be announced on the first of every month. Any picture submitted from the second of the month until the last day of the month will be in the running to be next month's star!
Pet Health Insurance FAQs
Pet insurance can help you manage the cost of caring for your pet should the unexpected happen. Here at Linwood Animal Hospital we strongly encourage you to consider health insurance for your pet.
Why Do I Need Pet Insurance?
No one likes to think about their beloved pet getting hurt or sick, but it can happen at any time. Pets are typically curious, active and often quite fearless, so it's difficult to protect them from all dangers all the time. Pets also get sick, just like we do. In fact, every year about 6 million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer in the United States.
Fortunately, there are more life-saving treatments available for pets than ever before. However, with these new advances, come more expenses. That's where pet insurance comes in. By covering your pet, you can make sure you will be able to afford the medical care he or she needs.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
- Get Treatment
- File a Claim
- Get Reimbursed
With pet insurance, you can visit any veterinarian or emergency hospital. You pay your bill at the time of service and submit a claim to the pet insurance company, which reimburses you directly with a check.
Some insurance companies even have the ability to make a direct deposit straight into your bank account, or submit payment directly to the veterinary hospital.
Archived Pet Health Articles
Puppy Care Guide
Kitten Care Guide
Linwood Animal Hospital's Dedicated Team
Meet our skilled team of veterinary technicians, receptionists, and hospital manager. They will take great care of you and your pets!