Shannon Nakaya
Hello, my name is

Dr. Shannon Nakaya


Professional information

  • Veterinarian, DVM
About Vet

I was a happy veterinary technician for about a decade before and during veterinary school. Then I got ambitious and wanted to do more. As a veterinarian, I practiced at the cutting edge of integrative medicine for dogs, cats, and birds in Massachusetts for ten years, then moved to the Big Island of Hawaii where I added acupuncture, herbal medicine, and food therapy to my Integrative Medicine tool bag. I was also challenged to expand my caseload to include not just dogs, cats, and birds, but also zoo animals and wildlife. Through it all, I've worked with many committed individuals and families to provide care for ailing and/or aging pets.

I wrote a book, "Kindred Spirit Kindred Care: Making Health Decisions on Behalf of Animal Companions" (New World Library, 2005). I believe in educating and empowering clients to advocate for their pets as members of the family. I followed that up with an online manuscript titled, "Graceful Aging, Graceful Exits" which was a practical guide to supporting pets with special needs such as mobility issues, incontinence, hearing impairment, visual impairment, and dementia, for example. There were also chapters for quality of life and end of life. A more comprehensive version of that manuscript is scheduled to be published by the end of 2024.

After more than 25 years on the "front line," I am stepping back and utilizing technology to better balance my professional and personal lives. Answering the phone personally for decades gave me a lot of tele-triage/health/medicine experience. There are few immediately life-threatening emergencies, so many times, I can offer people some peace of mind, suggestions for interim home care, and tips on what to watch out for. That being said, there are also occasions when I recommend going to the first available veterinary appointment or the nearest veterinary ER. The goal is to get the patient the most appropriate care for their situation.

Telehealth is also a useful way to get answers to questions about a specific diagnosis, treatment options, and pros and cons of different treatment options, including alternative treatment options based on evidence of safety and efficacy. Telehealth can be helpful in tailoring a care plan for individual patients and situations. I've also done a lot of coaching for geriatric, handicapped, and patients with special needs being cared for at home. Telehealth can also be useful in working through quality of life evaluations.

  • Kailua Kona, HI, US
Spoken languages
  • English
Species treated
  • Dogs (Canine)
  • Birds (Avian)
  • Cats (Feline)
Areas of interest
  • End of life/Hospice care
  • Nutrition
  • Preventive
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Animal Welfare
  • Neurology
  • Hawaii, US
  • Consult on diet, nutrition & exercise
  • Consult on general health & wellness
  • Consult on behavioral issues
  • Navigating nutrition from the new baby to the senior pet
  • Optimizing your new puppy or kitten experience
  • Tips and tricks on pet grooming techniques
  • Pet training, house training and litter box training