Veterinary hospice is as much a philosophy as it is a branch of medicine, and it draws heavily from human hospice practices. When the pets we love are facing terminal illness or advanced aging, hospice shifts the focus of care away from finding a cure and towards providing comfort, peace, quality of life, and freedom from pain, as well as offering education and emotional and spiritual support to their caregivers.
“Palliative care” is defined as treatment which supports or improves the patient’s quality of life by relieving suffering, and this is one of the most important facets of hospice care.
It is also very important to make sure that the people involved feel supported. In addition to caring for your pet’s needs, Dr. Schoenberg will help you with understanding your pet’s diagnoses, your options regarding their care both now and as their condition progresses, and will provide teaching and support as you navigate this challenging situation.
During the initial hospice visit, which may take 1-2 hours, we will meet in your home, review your pet’s history and medical records, discuss your hopes, goals, and concerns, and gently examine your pet. We will also discuss the potential paths of care and of disease progression. Within a few days Dr. Schoenberg will send you a personalized plan for your pet’s care.
End-of-life decisions are always challenging, and there is no one right or wrong way to face this difficult stage. If you think hospice care may be right for you and your pet, call or email Dr. Schoenberg to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Together we will work with you and the rest of your veterinary team to provide the best support for your pet and your family.