Open 7 Days A Week
New Client: 904-516-9767
Existing Client: or 904-399-5557
1546 San Marco Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Navigating the end-of-life journey with respect and compassion

Sometimes, the best decisions are the hardest ones to make. The steps you take as a family toward the end of your pet’s life embody this difficult truth. As lifelong partners with human clients and pet patients, we walk this journey alongside your family and your dogs and cats. Know that our San Marco Animal Hospital team respects these difficult and deeply personal conversations and decisions. We are privileged to be your support system and be “present” as much as you need or require.

Best End of Life Care Near Me in Jacksonville FL

Compassionate, caring services in Jacksonville, Florida

End-of-life care transcends “euthanasia.” Not unlike other stages in your pet’s life, from puppyhood to adulthood, these “twilight hours” are also a journey. As we navigate managing pain or other challenges, there are opportunities for you and your family to also prepare for a new normal, the transition when your beloved fur-baby is no longer physically present. 

Our team will be working with you throughout this process to ensure your pet’s physical, social, and emotional needs are being met. Generally, veterinarians think of these needs as a pyramid. The base of the pyramid is concerned with physical well-being. Care that addresses physical needs includes those “traditional” services that veterinarians provide to resolve acute and chronic symptoms and conditions; for instance: 

  • Pain management with medications, modifications to a pet’s surroundings and nutrition, and careful handling techniques
  • Identification and management of symptoms, such as shortness of breath, GI distress, pressure sores, skin infections, and cognitive decline
  • Hygiene support and adjustments to account for a pet’s impaired mobility and to assure cleanliness
  • Dietary interventions that support balanced nutrition and healthy hydration
  • Solutions to mobility challenges, from the incorporation of nonskid flooring to assistive devices like harnesses and slings
  • Minimize safety hazards while improving comfort within the home by creating a peaceful refuge for your pet 

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The middle part of our “needs pyramid” refers to the following social needs and approaches to care:

  • Engagement with (human) family members through ongoing interactions as dictated by how your pet feels and symptoms and to avoid isolation
  • Monitoring changes concerning how other pets in the household react toward the sick pet and making adjustments to interaction and socialization based on these behaviors
  • Keeping your pet’s mind as sharp as possible with regular games and other interactions to enhance mental stimulation

Lastly, but certainly not least, emotional well-being resides at the top of the pyramid. Responses to caring for pets are focused on:

  • Preserving dignity (i.e., with good grooming and hygiene)
  • Reducing stress and stressful environmental changes
  • Monitoring for behaviors such as withdrawal from social interactions 

We celebrate the gift of companionship that our pets provide at every stage of life. We welcome your questions about care as your cat or dog gets older and new challenges to good health and well-being arise—Call 904-516-9767 to speak with one of our kind and knowledgeable team members in Jacksonville.

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Meet San Marco Animal Hospital

Dr. Venkat Gutta
San Marco Animal Hospital

Dr. Venkat Gutta moved to the US almost two decades ago to further his passion for veterinary science. Having earned a Master’s Degree in Animal Science in Georgia and having completed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam, he completed clinical rotations at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Gutta then received his license to practice in Florida. For over a decade, he served as an associate veterinarian at the Banfield Pet Hospital. He benefitted from a great amount of exposure and experience, especially in high-quality veterinary medicine and surgeries for soft tissue injuries. To date, Dr. Gutta strives to be approachable to his clients and ensure that they have complete awareness and understanding of the health issues that are faced by their furry friends. His special interests lie in skin issues, behavioral problems, senior pet wellness, nutritional counseling, preventive care, and wellness examinations, particularly relevant to canine and feline medicine. Today Dr. Gutta continues to keep himself updated about modern advances in veterinary science through his memberships in the Jacksonville Veterinary Medical Society and American Veterinary Medical Association.

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Wonderful and very caring service. This hospital rate's are extremely fair and reasonable, they only perform the necessary testing needed unlike other vet places I have been to. I was very impressed with the knowledge and skills of the doctor. I finally found my new vet here in Florida! Lila and Gomez thank you!
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I took my cat to San Marco Animal Hospital and would highly recommend them. Dr. Gutta spent quite a bit of time talking to me about my cat’s health and preventative care. The staff was friendly and even called to check on my cat after his vaccines. Excellent service, and caring providers!
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