What is Animal Hospice?
Although many of us have experience with human hospice, the concept is relatively new in veterinary medicine. As veterinary medicine is progressing, however, it is becoming increasingly important to give pet owners alternative options to help care for their pets near the end of life.
Animal hospice supports the physical and mental needs of older and/or ill pets when aggressive curative therapies are either not available or are not in accordance with the owner’s beliefs or goals. This support can come in the form of alternative therapies, additional pain management, dietary advice, or simple nursing care.
Hospice also recognizes that death is a natural part of life. In many cases, euthanasia is used when pets no longer have good quality of life. Sometimes, however, owners prefer to allow their pets to die naturally without intervention. Animal hospice respects and supports both options. The overall goal is to help pets transition peacefully and with dignity in the comfort of home.
What Does Meridian Mobile Veterinary Offer in its Hospice Program?
At Meridian Mobile Veterinary Care, we offer an extensive list of hospice services. At the initial hospice consultation, we create a personalized plan that takes into account the pet’s diagnosis, prognosis, and current quality of life along with the owner’s expectations and beliefs.
Our Hospice Services Include:
- Review of the pet’s medical record
- Full Western physical examination (similar to what is done at a regular veterinary clinic)
- Full Eastern physical examination which takes into account energy, personality, and acupuncture point sensitivities
- Quality of life assessment and ongoing monitoring
- Coordination with the pet’s regular veterinarian
- Assistance with nursing care
- Pain management
- Alternative therapies including acupuncture and herbal options
- Nutritional counseling including a customized homemade diet recipe
- Recommendations for respite care providers who have 24 hour phone access to our veterinarian
- Short-term respite care provided by our veterinarian for advanced hospice patients
- Peaceful, in-home euthanasia if desired
- Counseling and pain management to facilitate natural death if desired
- Cremation services
- Resources for memorialization
- Resources for grief support providers
If you want to take care of your older or terminally ill pet in the comfort of your home, or if you want time to prepare for and plan your pet’s peaceful death, then hospice might be the best choice. Please contact us to learn more about our hospice service or to schedule an initial consultation.
You can also learn more about animal hospice care at The International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care.