Hospice Care

What is Hospice Care?

Veterinary hospice and palliative care is a team approach with the family to provide optimal quality of life care and guide owners throughout the end of life journey with their pets. Both hospice and palliative care focus on the comfort of the pet with their disease process rather than curing. Palliative care is comfort for a long term basis whereas hospice is for pets whose disease process advances quickly ( few weeks – 6 months).

What kind of diseases or conditions would warrant palliative care?

●      Cancer
●      Organ failure [kidneys, liver and heart are common examples]
●      Osteoarthritis
●      Cognitive dysfunction, or Dementia
●      Senior pets approaching the end of life
●      Failure to thrive
●      Any life-limiting condition that is contributing to an excessive burden of care-giving for a family, or treatments that are unacceptable to the pet.

Setting up an End-of-Life plan:

With the many decisions we as pet owner’s face, sharing our wishes with our veterinarian or hospice care provider beforehand can help ensure that
our pet’s final farewell is filled with reverence and love. Here are a few things to consider:

  1.  Do you want to be with your pet when the time comes?
  2. Do you want to be at home or in the hospital? Some want the comfort and privacy of home when the time comes; where others don’t want the daily reminder of the living room as the place where their pet died.
  3. Would you prefer to bury your pet or have them cremated?
  4. Do you want to keep the ashes?
  5. Who should be there when it happens?  Pet owners, relatives, children, other pets?
  6. What happens if your pet gets worse when your regular Veterinarian is closed?  Is there an emergency clinic or emergency protocol in place?
  7. What to do if your pet dies at home?
     

How do I cope?

Our pets have become so much more than ‘just animals’. They are loved just as much as our spouses and children and we grieve for them just the same. Pets provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the time they share with us.

Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express your feelings. Reach out to friends and family for support. Capture your feelings through a journal or artwork.  Volunteer at your local Humane Society or provide a foster home for pets awaiting adoption. Join a support group! Pet Loss support groups can provide the environment and support you may need during this difficult time.

Purple Paw Hospice Care

Growing old is difficult for everyone, and the constant reminders are everywhere. That gray hair that wasn’t there yesterday, the increasing strength of your eye prescription, the number of prescription bottles you have in your medicine cabinet, or the fact that the president doesn’t look as old as what you think he should; these are all reminders. Every year we celebrate another candle on our birthday cake, and that’s one year closer to being “old”. But what if, instead of every birthday bringing us 1 year closer to that golden age, it brings us 4,5, even 7 years closer. That is the life of your pet. “Jake” your 78 pound golden retriever may only be 6 years old to us, but to his body he is 45 years old, and now is the time to prepare as “Jake” enters his senior years.

What is Senior Care?

Senior Wellness helps focus care on a pets aging body, and the illnesses and concerns that they may face in their advancing years. Senior Wellness focuses on preventative steps that may be taken to prolong a happy and healthy life, long into their golden years.

 

What is Hospice Care?

Veterinary hospice and palliative care is a way to provide quality of life care to patients facing their end-of-life journey and to help guide owners throughout the process. Both hospice and palliative care focus on the comfort of the pet with their disease process rather than curing.

Bereavement

Our pet’s have become so much more than ‘just animals’. They are loved just as much as our spouses and children and we grieve for them just the same. Pets provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the time they share with us.

But how can I cope?

Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express your feelings. Reach out to friends and family for support. Capture your feelings through a journal or

artwork.  Volunteer at your local Humane Society or provide a foster home for pets awaiting adoption. Join a support group! Pet Loss support groups can provide the environment and support you may need during this difficult time.

Pet Bereavement Counseling

Cathy CampbellLCPC, CT

Hospice of Washington County, Inc.
747 Northern Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21742
(301) 791-6360 x153

Pet Loss Hotlines:

VA/MD Regional Veterinary School
540.231.8038
6pm-9pm Tues. – Thurs.

ASPCA Petloss Hotline
1.800.946.4646
Pin#140-7211
Leave a message and your call will be returned immediately