In-Home Hospice Care
When "nothing more can be done,"
your pet might benefit from
in-home hospice care.
If your veterinarian has said there is nothing more that can be done, or if you just know in your heart that your pet’s final days are near but you do not know how near, you might want to consider in-home hospice care. The purpose of this type of care is to ensure comfort and quality of life for the final days or weeks of your pet’s life.
End of life care can be a very special time where pets and their caregivers grow even closer. After years of being there for us, they now need us as never before. In order to make sure they are comfortable, the caregivers must be able to accurately monitor and control the key factors in their quality of life: pain management, distress/suffering management, hygiene, adequate nutrition, adequate hydration, ability to breathe easily and circulation status. All of these items and more are discussed, and techniques to ensure quality of life are demonstrated and taught during a home hospice appointment.
Without this proper education, this time can lead to silent suffering and a lot of it. Animals are adept at hiding their pain. In the wild, they must do so or fall victim to predators; in the home, they wish to prevent our pain and will continue to wag their tails or give us a purr for as long as they can. When determining if home hospice care is right for you and your pet, it is very important to consider the emotional needs of your pet, as well as your family. A pet confined to a corner or kennel due to odor or incontinence issues can suffer extreme emotional distress from isolation from the family. A pet who perceives that the caregivers are stressed by attending to his or her needs will know it and experience anguish and anxiety.
Some people are not physically able to care for the needs of their pet due to their own health; some might be very stressed by the expense of continued health care, and others might be too confined by the needs of the geriatric or terminally ill animal. There are no right or wrong choices at this time. It is important to keep the big picture in mind and have a logical plan which works for you and your pet. For many pets, especially those with cancer, an emergency plan is of vital importance should the animal deteriorate rapidly. Pets at Peace can work with you to determine what is realistic and develop a hospice care program that works for everyone.
Please feel free to email or to call Dr. Doffermyre to see if hospice care is right for your pet. The consultation is complimentary.