Palliative and Hospice Care
When we think about dogs, we usually think about them chasing after balls, racing through the park, the sunshine bouncing off their thick and glossy coat.
What doesn’t spring in our minds is when that coat becomes dull and sparse, their eyes cloudy and the only thing they now chase is a good nap. This is the reality for all of us, not just our pets. Aging is guaranteed, it’s normal and is nothing to be feared – rather we believe it should not only be celebrated, but also embraced.
And the sad reality is that, with age comes illness. Our organs don’t function as well as they used to, and our risk of cancer goes up and up. Is that the end? No – it’s another phase on the journey of life. It deserves just as much care and attention as when they were puppies and kittens.
Hospice care is about recognising your pet has a deteriorating medical condition, and supporting them through that time so that they are comfortable and can still enjoy a great quality of life. Hospice is often thought about as being only for elderly pets, but sadly, often we are also managing younger patients.
How can hospice care help your pet?
Hospice and palliative care involves examination of your pet’s condition and quality of life, and importantly your wishes and expectations. Together, we make an assessment based on these findings and start to build out a plan.
Our plan can include;
- Changes to our home environment
Such as adding carpet runners in tiled homes to help with grip when walking.
- Additional nutritional supplementation
For instance, essential fatty acid type supplement as a natural pain relief for arthritis
- Medical management
Sometimes adding in medical pain relief makes a dramatic difference to your pet, or even medications to help them with their failing memory
- Surgical management
For animals having difficulty eating or maintaining fluid, a feeding tube can help avoid the need to be hospitalised on long term intravenous fluids
- End of life planning
Hospice and palliative care is not about supporting your pet through ‘a natural death’. It is about supporting you and your pet through terminal illness to the point at which it is time for mutual goodbyes.
We are very proud that our very own Dr Vicky is currently undergoing accreditation and training in hospice and palliative care to be able to offer this service to our clients as a member of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care.
Do you have more questions about end of life care for your best friend? Feel free to contact us and make an appointment.