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Hospice & Palliative Care

It is devastating when our pets are diagnosed with a disease or illness, especially when they are terminal. Treatments may be available in some instances and help for a certain amount of time. But when they are no longer beneficial, we will begin palliative care.

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The goal of palliative care is to maintain comfort and a quality of life for your pet. We shift our focus from trying to treat or cure a disease or illness, to managing their symptoms and keeping your pet as comfortable as possible. This service can be provided for as long as it is needed (months to years).

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For the most part, palliative care will take place with you in the home, with guidance from your veterinarian and their staff. Under certain circumstances, palliative care can also take place in the hospital.

What Palliative Care could look like for you and your pet

  • Education on your pet's condition

  • Education on recognizing pain

  • Pain medication

  • Symptom Management

  • Mobility support (ramps, orthopedic beds, sling/harness, wheelchair, massage, joint supplements)

  • Environmental recommendations

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When your pet’s quality of life begins to decline and palliative care is no longer helping, your veterinarian may recommend euthanasia to prevent your pet from suffering. We view this as our final act of love and our last gift to give.

Our main focus and goal is to make this a peaceful experience for both you and your pet. If you need help deciding if this is the right choice, our veterinarians will discuss all available options with you.

How to know when
"it's time"

  • Have they stopped eating or drinking?
  • Do they struggle to get around or are unable to walk?
  • Do they have normal wake/sleep cycles?
  • Are they having accidents in the house?
  • Are they uninterested in socializing with the family?
  • Personality changes - are they more aggressive or more reclusive?
  • Do they still enjoy doing their favorite things? (playing with toys, walks, etc.)

What to expect...

As stated above, we want to make this as peaceful as possible. Our veterinarians and staff will first go over options that are available to you as far as care of your pet’s remains. Cremation is available offsite, or there is the option to take your pet’s remains home for burial. Private cremation is an option if you wish for your pet’s ashes to be returned to you, or there is a Group cremation option if you do not wish to have your pet’s ashes returned. There are memorial products that can be purchased as well (paw prints, nose prints, garden stones, etc.).

An IV catheter is first placed to allow easy access for the medication to be administered. In certain circumstances or upon request, sedation is used to help your pet relax. The doctor will then administer the euthanasia solution. This solution allows your pet to feel as though they are falling asleep and is very peaceful.

Image by Yulia Gadalina

"No longer by my side, but forever in my heart"

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