Hospice Care For Terminally Ill Pets


More and more veterinarians are offering hospice care for terminally ill cats and dogs.

This gives pet owners another option to expensive surgeries or early euthanasia by teaching them how to nurse their pet at home.

About 30 veterinarians across the nation offer hospice care for pet owners.

Cats and dogs are cared for at home and are given medication and go through holistic methods to ease their pain until they die or the owners decide to euthanize the pet. Caregivers are also taught the impending signs of death and learn what to do in different situations.

Hospice care will lengthen some lives for just a few days while some pets can live for years with hospice care.

About 40 percent of owners with ill or dying pets go with hospice care.

Alice Villalobos, DVM and owner of Pawspice, an end-of-life care clinic in Hermosa Beach, California, said a successful hospice program ensures that the pet does not suffer. There is a “quality-of-life scale” that rates things like happiness, hurt and hunger. Owners can check the scale at any time to decide if they should continue with the hospice program or euthanize their cat or dog.

“When the time comes to let the pet go, owners feel satisfied knowing that they have given that pet what the pet gave to them, which is unconditional love,” said Villalobos.

Source: MSNBC

Photo: apbpets.com

6 Responses to “Hospice Care For Terminally Ill Pets”

  1. Cate says:

    This is something I really could have used for my last two dogs. It is very confusing as a pet owner to know how many tests/treatments etc. to do on a pet that is failing and when to let go.

    I wish I had had someone to help me understand the impending signs of death so I could have made a more informed choice on when to euthanize. As it was I had scheduled both of my dogs for euthanasia at home but, they both had to be euthanized in crisis at an emergency hospital before their scheduled euthanasia date (a difference of 1 or 2 days). It was a harrowing experience.

  2. Lynne says:

    This sounds like a wonderful idea. Hospice was a Godsend for me when my husband was dying. Like Cate, I would also appreciate knowing the impending signs of death in my pets. I would really prefer they pass at home, with me, in love and familiar surroundings. It sounds like this Hospice program would make that possible.
    Kudos to these people.

  3. NH says:

    I wish a list of the vets that provided hospice care was listed with this article.

  4. Lynn says:

    Yes, I would very much have liked to have seen the names and locations of the vets providing this very much needed service.

  5. Sharon says:

    They probably didn’t list the vets because they would be overwhelmed by the response. There is definitely a need for this.

  6. kathy says:

    This is a great idea!

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