Aging Pet Care
Veterinary Nutrition & Proper Diet for Optimal Pet Wellness
Proper nutrition is an important component of your pet’s wellness regime. We will help you make healthful adjustments to your pet’s diet based on his or her age, weight, activity level, and the existence of any special medical conditions. Observing your pet’s eating habits and fluctuations in weight and appearance are critical in the early detection of medical conditions, and any significant changes should be reported to your veterinarian. We have a large variety of prescription and non-prescription diets, and we can special order a diet for your pet if we do not carry it.
- Life stage diets
- Our veterinarians can help you provide the nutrition your pet needs for every stage of his or her life. We want your pet to live a long and happy life, and nutrition is an important factor in that.
- Nutritional counseling and education
- Our veterinarians can evaluate your pet’s current diet and will help you select a balanced diet that will meet your pet’s specific needs. We will also discuss with you how to prevent certain diseases through a balanced diet.
Pain Management and Relief for Your Pet
Multiple research studies have shown, both in humans as well as pets, the positive effects of reducing pain on the overall health and healing process. Our approach to pain management for our patients is rooted in our philosophy for compassionate care. We not only understand how difficult it is to watch a beloved pet suffer, but also we make it our priority to minimize or eliminate pain and discomfort in all of our patients. We will teach you how to recognize the signs of pain and discomfort in your pet and help you choose the best medicines and therapies to minimize pain.
Some of the key points of our pain management program are:
- Each patient receives an individualized pain treatment plan that is specifically tailored to his or her health status. We utilize a balanced, multi-modal pain management technique if needed—a strategy that uses the synergistic effects of several pain medications together to achieve better control of pain. This significantly lowers side effects and results in better management and reduction of pain in your pet.
- Adjunct methods of rehabilitation therapy and acupuncture are also available to manage senior pain through our affiliation with PAWS for Rehabilitation.
Traditional and Complementary Pet Cancer Treatment and Veterinary Oncology
There are more oncology options than ever before, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, nutritional support, acupuncture, and clinical trials. Cancer poses a significant risk to pets, particularly to aging and geriatric animals. Early cancer diagnoses and proper treatment can improve your pet’s quality of life and help him or her to live longer with fewer complications. You can be proactive in your pet’s well-being by observing your pet and reporting any physical and behavioral changes you see to your veterinarian. Remember that allowing us an opportunity to detect problems early gives your pet the best chance at successful treatment and recovery.
Our oncology services include cancer screening, therapy, and surgery. Strawbridge Animal Care veterinarians will provide you with information about your pet’s condition and discuss which proven treatment options will most benefit your pet. In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend that you consult an oncology specialist and will provide you with a referral.
We understand that this can be a difficult time for you and your pet. We want to assure you that our primary goal is to enhance your pet’s quality of life and provide the most appropriate treatment solutions to fight the 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?
When your pet is ill, this may be the last question you want to think about. Yet, it is an important question that needs to be considered. Our veterinarians can provide you with information on your pet’s problem that can help you form your plan. For example, you may decide to seriously consider euthanasia when your pet refuses to eat or drink for a certain period of time, is in pain despite medication, or has difficulty urinating/defecating in a normal manner. By defining a “decision point” in advance, you place boundaries on the suffering your pet is likely to endure.
Will you be there?
This is a very personal issue. This is not a decision to be made lightly or based on someone else’s choices. Many feel that the pet’s well-being is the most important consideration. If you believe your pet will feel more comfortable or secure in your presence, you’ll probably want to stay. On the other hand, if you’re concerned that your own reaction and grief may disturb the pet more than the process itself, you may prefer to stay away.
What will you do next?
The worst time to decide what to do with your pet’s remains is at the last minute. It’s far better to begin discussing options in advance. At Strawbridge Animal Hospital, we offer three options:
- You may take your pet home for a private burial.
- We can help you arrange a private cremation for your pet with his or her ashes returned to you.
- We can handle your pet’s remains for you, which involves a communal cremation.
Special thanks to Moira Anderson Allen, whose article on euthanasia was used to compile this information.