Prevention is the key to your pet’s long term health. This approach helps to identify health issues before they become serious and expensive to treat. At Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group we recommend routine wellness exams, vaccinations, regular lab work, deworming and fecal checks, as well as medications to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks.

Most of the tests that your pet needs can be done during your dog or cat’s regular exam. An annual examination is our chance to get to know your pet, to assess your pet’s overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in veterinary care, and for you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

Wellness Exams

During your pet’s wellness exam we:

  • Examine your pet’s teeth, throat, and oral cavity
  • Check your pet’s vision and examine the eyes
  • Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and other related health issues
  • Examine the respiratory system
  • Assess your pet’s heart
  • Test your pet’s reflexes
  • Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Inspect the skin
  • Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Test to evaluate the function of internal organs

Deworming and Fecal Check: Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. If brought into your home, some of these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. For example, we normally associate parasites, such as roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms, with cats and dogs. But people can be infected with the same parasites. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which can contaminate lawns or any place a pet defecates. A teaspoon-sized stool sample is all that is needed to process the appropriate test in our in-house laboratory.

Regular Blood Testing: A complete physical includes a heartworm test, parasite screening, and should include a full blood workup for older pets. Not only can a full chemistry panel and complete blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations. Additionally, blood work is necessary if your veterinarian recommends a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia.

We recommend complete blood testing annually for all pets over the age of eight or even earlier in some patients.


Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease of dogs and cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite. After the infected female mosquito bites your pet, the heartworm migrates through the bloodstream and moves to the heart and adjacent blood vessels, maturing to adults within 6-7 months in dogs and eight months in cats. As many as 30 species of mosquitoes can transmit heartworms.

Until the early 1970s, the occurrence of heartworm disease in the United States was primarily confined to the southeastern part of the country. Today, heartworm disease is found almost everywhere in the continental United States.

Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Often symptoms are not noticeable until several years after the initial infection. Lack of energy and exercise intolerance are early symptoms. Coughing and difficulty breathing are both common symptoms. As the disease progresses, most dogs develop congestive heart failure. Dogs often collapse in the final stage of the disease. In cats, the symptoms of heartworm disease are similar to those of feline asthma. Some cats may exhibit no signs of the disease, while others may suddenly die.

Since heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually. This test is highly accurate, and we typically have the results in less than 10 minutes.

Heartworm disease prevention is simple. For dogs and cats, a once-a-month heartworm preventative can be given as a tasty, chewable treat, or as a liquid applied to the skin. This same medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents several other types of worms/parasites.

If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet and your family from these dangerous parasites, please call Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group.

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere. Although they’re a bigger problem in certain parts of the country and at specific times during the year, no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Today, there’s no reason for any pet or owner to be bothered by these pests.

Fleas are so common because they are reproductive marvels. A single female flea can lay as many as 30 eggs a day and can live and breed on your pet for up to 100 days. The eggs then fall and land in carpets and upholstery where they can lie dormant for up to 8 months. The best management techniques of flea-proofing your home includes regularly vacuuming of carpets, furniture, floors, and areas where your pet sits or sleeps. You should also wash your pet’s bedding, toys, and towels weekly.

Fleas cause a variety of problems and diseases. Some pets can have an allergic skin reaction to even just one flea bite! They can also transmit tapeworms to your pet that may manifest by the shedding of small, rice-like segments in the stool. Ticks, in our region, can also carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis. These same ticks bite people and transmit the disease as well.

The good news is that these problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective. They are what we use on our own pets.

Contrary to what you may have read or been told, there are no holistic or natural products available that have been shown to be effective in preventing or killing fleas and ticks. Ask a veterinarian or staff member at Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group to recommend the flea and tick prevention product that is best suited for your pet.

Senior Pet Care

By taking the time to learn more about the special needs of your senior aged pet, you have taken the first step toward ensuring your pet leads a healthy and happy life for years to come.

Pets in their senior years—those of about six years of age and older, depending on the breed—begin to go through a gradual reduction of their physical capabilities. This process can be slowed and managed through proper veterinary care, thereby offering your beloved pet an extended period of vitality and good health. Additionally, preventive care tailored to your pet’s age, lifestyle, risk factors, and other elements can help prevent common diseases or detect them at early and treatable stages.

There is also an important role for you to play as your pet’s primary caregiver. While you cannot control age-related decline, you can influence your pet’s activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior veterinary care, and daily nutrition. With your veterinarian’s help, you can manage these factors in order to prolong your pet’s good health, vitality, and increase his or her well being, even as his or her pace slows a bit.

A senior wellness exam provides the owner and veterinarian with a baseline of your pet’s health and allows us to monitor for changes that may be detected and that may identify health problems before they become serious concerns or even life-threatening.

Our senior exam may include:

  • Glaucoma check
  • Complete blood count
  • Complete urinalysis
  • Heartworm test
  • Abdominal and chest radiographs
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Full chemistry blood panel
  • Internal parasite test
  • Thyroid test
  • Electrocardiogram

These tests should not be difficult for your pet, are not time intensive or difficult to do, and most can be performed during their routine wellness exams.


Your pet can develop glaucoma too. This is a condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye increases to a point where the optic nerve is damaged, causing loss of vision and blindness. Glaucoma is relatively common in animals and can develop as your pet ages – this is known as chronic glaucoma – or as the result of an injury or illness – which is known as acute glaucoma.

In many cases, glaucoma can progress quite rapidly, especially when it is the result of injury or underlying illness. This can be considered an emergency situation. Glaucoma symptoms to look for include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • Pain
  • The eye may look cloudy
  • Bulging eyeball

We use an instrument called a tonometer to measure the fluid pressure inside your pet’s eyes. It is a noninvasive procedure and should not cause your pet any pain or discomfort. We will apply a mild anesthetic eye-drop to ensure your pet is comfortable during the exam.

The examination is very quick to perform and once done, we will explain your pet’s measurement, what it tells us about the health of your pet’s eyes, and provide any treatment options if necessary.

Your Pet's Vaccines

We tailor our vaccination protocol to guidelines established by the American Animal Hospital Association, the lifestyle of your pet, as well as the diseases your pet is most likely to be exposed to. Our doctors assess each individual to determine how best to protect your pet from disease while managing the possibility of adverse reactions.

We strongly recommend that you ensure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccines.

Vaccinations are not only safe and effective, but they are also an important and fundamental aspect of your pet’s preventative healthcare plan. Diseases that once were relatively common and fatal to pets are now easily preventable. There are also vaccines – such as for rabies and other zoonotic diseases – that help protect your family from very dangerous and difficult to treat illnesses. Additionally, with each passing year, veterinary science is improving on existent vaccines as well as increasing our ability to prevent an even wider array of contagious diseases.


If left untreated, allergy-related conditions can fester and become serious health concerns for your pet.

Therefore it is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These include:

  • Inflamed ears
  • Hotspots, especially those that recur
  • Scratching or rubbing the eyes or mouth area
  • Flaking
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Red itchy bumps on the skin
  • Asthma-like wheezing or respiratory issues

All of these can indicate a serious dermatological or allergic reaction to allergens such as fleas, pollen, dust, and various foods. If you notice any of these issues it is important that you bring your pet in for an evaluation because if left untreated they can become severe medical concerns.

We will take the time to explain your pet’s condition, how to prevent future occurrences and the proper method of home treatment.

Internal Medicine

Hudson Highlands Veterinary Group is equipped to handle advanced and challenging medical cases. Our veterinarians have experience diagnosing and treating problems affecting the cardiocirculatory, gastrointestinal, urinary, and respiratory systems using the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology. Whatever the illness, we develop a comprehensive plan to diagnose and treat your pet’s problem.

In order to provide accurate and comprehensive diagnostics, Hudson Highlands Veterinary Group is well-equipped with digital radiology, video endoscopy and laparoscopy, high-resolution ultrasonography, and an in-house clinical pathology laboratory.

Some of the services that our internal medicine department offer include abdominal ultrasounds for spleen, liver, kidney, gall bladder, urinary bladder and pancreatic problems; cardiac ultrasounds for heart and lung problems; endoscopic procedures for problems affecting the lungs, stomach, intestines, and sinuses; and treatment for Cushing’s disease, diabetes, and Addison’s disease.

Exotic Animal Care

Since it is often difficult to determine if an exotic pet is ill, we strongly recommend physical examinations twice a year to check for health problems plus annual monitoring to check for nutritional and husbandry-related conditions.

In order to survive attacks from their predators, exotic animals normally conceal their illnesses in the wild. As a result, their medical problems often go unnoticed for long periods. By the time you recognize there is a problem with your exotic pet, the condition is often extremely serious. With bi-annual medical examinations by a veterinarian at Hudson Highlands Veterinary Group, problems are often diagnosed before they become serious medical conditions.

After acquiring your new exotic pet, a complete wellness appointment is strongly recommended. This exam includes a thorough physical examination, husbandry, and nutritional consultation, disease screening, and laboratory testing if necessary. Before bringing your pet into your home, make sure he or she is healthy.

Dr. Furst has a special interest in ferrets, rabbits, rodents, chinchillas, and hedgehogs; as well as common reptiles such as non-venomous snakes, lizards, and turtles.

Weight Loss and Conditioning (Underwater Treadmill)

An underwater treadmill makes it possible for an animal to exercise muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of limbs following injuries and / or surgery (animal physiotherapy). The buoyancy of the water removes much of the pressure from the painful limbs. Dogs can quickly regain muscle tone and range of motion in limbs that have atrophied due to injury.

When dogs are using the underwater treadmill, they are able to work on many things at one time. Their gait is often exaggerated, new muscle groups are engaged, extra balance is required on the treadmill, they are able to bear weight on guarded limbs better, and the treadmill compliments both neuromuscular re-education and agility.

Prescription Diets

We stock a very extensive range of Hills and Iams Prescription Diets and are happy to place special orders to assure that your pet is able to get the diet our veterinarians recommend. Over many years, our doctors have developed great confidence in these diets as an adjunct to the treatment of a variety of diseases including those affecting the kidney, heart, and liver. Additionally, there are diets for obesity, allergy, and cancer, geriatrics, joint disease, and diabetes, all of which have been conclusively shown to help the underlying disease process, and which we, therefore, utilize regularly.


All too often a pet that has run off fails to return home. This is a terrible situation. We have all seen the sad lost pet notices posted on telephone poles. Getting lost is the number one cause of pet death.

Studies have shown that more than 10 million pets get lost each year and about 90 percent would not be returned to their owner unless they have some form of permanent lost pet identification.

This is why we view microchip lost pet IDs as a standard of care for all of our feline and canine patients. With a microchip, your pet can be identified quickly and easily by animal control officers, shelters, or veterinary hospitals. Microchips are safe, unalterable, and permanent identification for pets. The entire implant procedure takes less than 10 seconds.

The microchip system registers your animal with a unique identification number that is filed in a database with important contact information. This information can be updated at any time.

Our practice implants HomeAgain microchips and suggests keeping an active membership with their Pet Recovery Service. One of the many benefits of membership is free access to poison control. When your pet ingests something toxic that unique situation is best handled by someone who specializes in toxicology, so we ask you to call poison control to speak with one of their specialists. After they get all the pertinent information from you, they will give you a case number and let you know if your pet needs to see the veterinarian for treatment. Using that case number, our doctor will be able to get specific advice on how best to care for your pet.

Puppy and Basic Obedience Training Classes

Do you have a new four-legged addition to your family? Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group offers puppy and obedience training. Our classes encourage good behavior while helping you establish a strong bond with your young pet. Key topics can include:

  • Introduction to simple cues, such as sit, come and stay
  • Basic manners
  • Socialization with people and other dogs
  • Relationship-forming games
  • Problem prevention
  • Tips on puppy health, grooming, and nutrition

Obedience training doesn’t solve all behavior problems but should be the foundation for appropriate behavior. Training can also open communication between you and your puppy.

Obedience training should also be fun and rewarding for you and your dog. Our goal is to enrich your relationship and make living together more enjoyable. A well-trained dog is more confident and can more safely be allowed a greater amount of freedom than an untrained one. It can also help minimize the lifetime cost of care for your pet.

Shannon Maeurer is one of our licensed veterinary technicians and a certified dog trainer. For information about her classes or to register please call 845-656-1489 or email her (Download our registration form in our Client Forms Section.)

Grief Counseling

We know that losing a companion animal can be devastating. This is why we partner with Hartsdale Pet Cemetery and Crematory to assist our clients during this time. Their online pet memorial pages offer an owner a way to honor a pet and share stories with pictures of family and friends. Find out more at

Pharmacy and Pet Supplies

As the prescribing veterinarian for your pet’s medications, we are able to ensure there is a direct link between the exam room and our pharmacy. This means your pet will receive the right medication, at the right dose, in the right form as quickly as possible. We will also be able to easily guide you on the medication’s use as well as monitor its effectiveness.

We maintain a complete inventory of pharmaceuticals, vitamins, shampoos, flea, and tick control products and heartworm preventives to meet the needs of your pet. We also carry a full line of prescription diets.

Ensuring that you have convenient and timely access to competitively priced medications is an important aspect of our veterinary practice.

Refills are easy, too. Simply give us a call.