What is Veterinary Hospice Care?

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“Veterinary hospice is not about extending suffering, but rather preventing suffering from occurring at all.”  -Lapoflove.com

What is veterinary hospice? Veterinary hospice is the comprehensive care for your pet that focuses on comfort as they approach the end of life.

From feeding our pets the most nutritious foods to keeping them pain-free, playing fetch, and letting them sleep in our beds, there are various ways we show our love for them. As our pets age, their needs will change, and it can be difficult to know the best way to keep them happy and healthy.  This is where veterinary hospice starts to play a role.  

Traditionally, hospice care had been reserved for terminal patients. It is also useful for those pets showing general signs of aging, such as an arthritic Labrador that requires pain management. The main components of hospice care consist of pain management, home environment, and general supportive care.  

Pain Management: Oral pain medications are the hallmark of pain management. Depending on your pet’s specific condition, multiple pain medications can provide better pain control. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture may also provide pain relief. 

Home Environment: Minor changes in the home can result in significant improvements to your pet’s quality of life. For example, many older dogs will slip and slide on tile or hard floors.  Laying down yoga mats or carpet runners will help with traction. Cats and dogs with arthritis will often benefit from raising food and water bowls to a more comfortable level. These two examples are only scratching the surface of changes we can make to help your pet.

Supportive Care: Supportive care includes, but is not limited to subcutaneous fluid therapy, nutrition, incontinence management and cognitive support. 

In-home hospice care provides you and your loved one with one-on-one care that is tailored to your pet’s needs and lifestyle. Please ask us about scheduling your in-home hospice appointment. 

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