Aging Pet Care

Like humans, pets need proper nutrition too! Great Neck Veterinary Clinic believes nutrition is an important component of your pet’s wellness plan. Like everything else, we base our nutritional recommendations on your pet’s age, weight, activity levels, and if your pet possesses any current medical conditions. Pay close attention to your pet’s eating habits and weight fluctuations because those could be critical to the early detection of diseases or disorders. We encourage you to report any drastic changes to your veterinarian right away. When you bring your pet in for his or her exam, our staff and veterinarians will evaluate the current diet and supply you with further guidance on the many different aspects of nutrition, such as:

  • Life stage diets—From a 6-week-old puppy exploring his new home to a Siamese cat in her golden years, your pets have different nutritional needs for every stage of life. Nutrition is an important factor in the long and healthy life of your pet.
  • Nutritional counseling and education—After evaluating your pet’s current diet, we’ll be happy to counsel you in the best ways to balance it to meet your pet’s needs. Did you know? You can prevent your pet from contracting certain diseases by feeding a balanced diet!

Pain Management and Relief for Your Pet

It may go without saying that the management and reduction of pain has a huge positive effect on the overall health or healing process of humans—so why shouldn’t it be the same for our pets? As fellow pet owners, we know the effect of watching our pets suffer and therefore make it a priority to eliminate pain and discomfort from our patients. When you bring your pet in for his or her exam, we will teach you how to spot indications that your pet is experiencing pain and then counsel you with the best methods or medicines to minimize it. Some of the key points of our pain management program are:

  • Every patient receives a personalized pain treatment score and a plan that is customized to his or her condition.
  • Our technique for pain management is a balanced, multi-modal strategy in which several pain medications will collaborate together for the best possible pain control.
  • The use of different mediations will lower the potential for adverse side effects and have better results in the management or reduction of pain.
  • Additional rehabilitative therapy and acupuncture methods are also available to manage pain in senior pets through our affiliation with PAWS for Rehabilitation.

Traditional and Complementary Pet Cancer Treatment and Veterinary Oncology

Unfortunately, cancer poses a considerable risk to our animals as it does to us, but the good news is that there are more oncology options than ever. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, nutritional support, acupuncture, clinical trials—they are all available at our hospital for the sake of your pet. As with most serious conditions, early diagnosis is key to prolonging your pet’s life with fewer complications and better quality. By giving your veterinarian the chance to detect these problems early, it will improve your animal’s chances for a successful treatment and recovery.

Great Neck Veterinary Clinic offers oncology services such as cancer screening, therapy, surgery, or referrals to board-certified oncologists for advanced cases and care. Your veterinarian will discuss the condition of your pet’s health and which proven treatments will benefit your pet the most. The good news is that many cancers are treatable and our staff is here to coach your family on the therapeutic choices and assist your pet post-therapy. It is a difficult time for you and your pet, but we want you to know that we want nothing but to enhance your pet’s quality of life and provide the most appropriate treatments to combat this very sad disease.

Pet Euthanasia and Support for End-of-Life Care

Our staff members are also pet owners, and therefore, they understand the bond between humans and animals and the difficulty of losing a cherished pet.

Grief for the impending loss of your pet is complicated by the need to make difficult, often painful decisions. You may ask yourself: How much treatment should I pursue? At what point will treatment cause more trauma than relief? Can I provide the care needed to keep my pet comfortable? At what point, if any, should I consider euthanasia?

Sometimes circumstances don’t give you time to ask such questions. An unexpected illness or injury might give you only minutes. Whenever possible, it is ideal to develop a plan, taking into consideration three basic issues:

When should you consider euthanasia?

For most pet owners, this is the hardest question to consider and is simultaneously also the most important. When your pet faces a serious health condition, our veterinarians will supply you with the information you need to form a plan. It is helpful to define a “decision point” in advance—the point your pet will reach that decides the time when euthanasia is the best option. For example, some decide it is when their pet refuses to eat or drink for a certain period of time or is in pain despite medication. Considering these things in advance will place limits on the suffering that your pet experiences.

Would you like to be there?

Another aspect to consider is your presence at the time of your pet’s euthanasia. As the pet owner, this decision is entirely up to you. Many believe that the pet’s wellbeing and emotions should be the priority during this event. If you think that your pet will benefit from your presence, then you are welcome to stay. On the other hand, if you are concerned that your reaction and grief may disturb your pet, it is perfectly OK to stay away. There is no wrong option. You must go with what feels right.

What will you do next?

If you have lost a beloved pet, the thing furthest from your mind is what to do with your pet’s remains. If you currently have a sick or elderly pet, we recommend that you consider your options now so that you’ll only have to focus on grieving for your loss when the time comes. It has become increasingly common for pet owners to arrange for their pets to be cremated, but there are other choices to consider. For example, take some time to decide whether they would like to keep their pet’s ashes as a remembrance. If so, an individual (or private) cremation will need to be arranged to ensure that your pet will be cremated alone.

At Great Neck Veterinary Clinic, you may choose from three options:

  • Take your pet home for a private burial.
  • Keep your pet’s ashes in remembrance. We can assist you in making arrangements for a private cremation so that the remains you receive will be only those of your pet.
  • Communal cremation where ashes are not returned but sprinkled for you.

Our staff would like to offer you a shoulder to lean or cry on while you make this decision. In order for you to understand what to expect, we will be available to discuss the euthanasia process before you come in for the service. Whatever you need, we want to be there for you.

Have questions about senior pet care?

Please complete the form below and a member of our staff will get back to you as quickly as possible. If this is an emergency situation during business hours, please call us at 757-481-2800.