Client Services at Animal Medical Center

HomeAgain Microchipping to Keep Your Pet Safe

Pet Microchip IDAll too often a pet that has run off fails to return home. This is a terrible, frightening situation. We have all seen the sad lost pet notices posted throughout our neighborhoods. Getting lost is more than an inconvenience: It's 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 the team at The Animal Medical Center views microchip lost pet IDs as a standard of protection for your pet. With a microchip, your pet can be identified quickly and easily by animal control officers, shelters or at veterinary hospitals. Microchips are safe, unalterable and permanent identification for pets. The entire implant procedure takes less than 10 seconds.

We use the HomeAgain microchip system. The HomeAgain ID system uses microchips that register the animal with a unique identification number that is filed in a database with important contact information. This information can be updated at any time.

HomeAgain membership also offers benefits such as proactive pet recovery and free access to ASPCA Poison Control. HomeAgain also comes with a number of very useful services to pet owners such as their National Pet Recovery Database, Lost Pet Specialists, Rapid Lost Pet Alerts, Lost Pet Medical Insurance, Travel Assistance for Found Pets, and more.

HomeAgain uses technology that is standardized around the world so that your pet's microchip can be read at shelters in a number of countries.

Behavioral Counseling

Behavior problems are the number one reason that owners give up a pet. Animal Medical Center offers behavior counseling for many of your pet's problems including inappropriate urination or defecation, aggression, separation anxiety, inappropriate chewing and barking, and introduction of new pets into the household.

Our veterinarians will work closely with you to understand the source of these behavior issues and develop a specific plan to help eliminate your pet's unwanted behavior. Often the behavior problem, such as inappropriate voiding, can be linked to a medical issue (such as cystitis, bladder stones, or kidney disease) and can be treated medically.

For other behavior issues, the treatment plan often includes behavior modification and may include medication-assisted training. If our veterinarians and technical staff members cannot help with your pet's behavior problem, we can refer you to a board-certified animal behavior specialist.

Pet NutritionNutritional Counseling

Animal Medical Center offers prescription diets and nutritional counseling for your pets. Why is this important? Pets are living longer, healthier lives than ever before largely due to our expanded knowledge regarding the importance of proper nutrition to overall health. Nutrition is the biggest health variable controlled by a pet's caregiver.

During your pet's physical examination, we can evaluate his or her body condition and give recommendations based on what we see. We can offer nutritional counseling appropriate for the life stage of your pet, illness-related diets, weight loss, and allergy-related food concerns.

Some pets have more serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions that can benefit from a special diet. Pets with liver disease, intestinal problems, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies, and diabetes can lead healthier lives on these foods.

At Animal Medical Center, we utilize Purina's Overweight Management computer program. For most pets, our recommendations include information on proper serving size and other feeding strategies to maintain optimal body weight and nutritional health. We also help you understand the claims made by pet food producers so you can make the most informed choice.

We carry a diverse inventory of prescription foods. If your pet requires a prescription diet that we do not carry, we may be able to order it for you.

Euthanasia

Difficult Choices, Compassionate Answers

Euthanasia and tending to your pets' remains are two of the most difficult issues for many people to consider. Asking the question means confronting fear, guilt, and grief.

Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Talk to a veterinarian or staff member at Animal Medical Center about pet euthanasia long before it becomes an issue. Find out about your options, make some key decisions ahead of time, and ask us to add this information to your pet's record.

Taking the time to plan, as challenging as it may be, will lessen the pain and discomfort for you and your pet in the event this option ever has to be considered. Ask us about our crematory and burial services.

All of us at Animal Medical Center will do our best to help you prepare for these important issues with the compassion and sensitivity they require.

Grief counseling

GriefThere are questions you will ask when your pet has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or is nearing the end of his or her life:

  • When is the right time to euthanize my pet?
  • Should I stay during euthanasia?
  • What can I expect to feel when my pet dies?
  • Am I crazy to hurt so much?
  • What can I do about my feelings?
  • Should I get a new pet right away?
  • What if I experience guilt?
  • Will my other pets grieve?

You have a right to feel pain and grief. Someone you love has died and you feel alone and bereaved. You may also feel anger and guilt. First, acknowledge your feelings.

Express your grief to the fullest extent. Cry, scream, talk it out. Do what helps you the most. Don't try to avoid grief by not thinking about your pet; instead, reminisce about the good times. Prepare an appropriate memorial. This will help you understand what your pet's loss actually means to you.

Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems, stories, or letters to the pet. Other approaches include rearranging your schedule to fill in the times you would have spent with your pet.

There are other considerations: Your children may take longer to grieve. A short time of depression, acting out, or gloominess may occur, but should fade. Longer periods or abnormal activity following loss should be addressed by the parent, a counselor or clergy member, or a grief/loss support resource. Warning signs of severe or prolonged grief vary significantly with the variables of child's age, relationship with the pet, emotional maturity, and circumstances involved with the death.

Pets also notice the absence of a companion. Pets form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a pair may seem to grieve for its companion. Cats grieve for dogs, and dogs for cats.

You may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through. If you are going to introduce a new pet, your surviving pets may not accept the newcomer right away but new bonds will grow in time. Meanwhile, the love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing for your own grief.