Call our clinic and leave a message requesting hospice care. Becky or Crystal will call to arrange an appointment. Typically, appointments are at your home but it can be at the Old North End Clinic, if your pet can travel.
At the first appointment, it is best if you have copies of your pet’s current medical records, if there has been a recent vet visit. This helps me know exactly what conditions we are addressing. I will discuss with you what to expect from the progression of the disease. If it is old age, we’ll address that, including associated ailments and frailties. We will discuss signs of pain, quality of life, and will develop a plan for your pet’s pain control, nutrition, hydration, and when appropriate, hygiene, wound management, and other therapies available (e.g. acupuncture, laser). I may also discuss simple environmental changes, in the home, that might help.
When appropriate, I will put together a home care kit for your pet. Each kit is patient dependent, designed to help one specific patient. A kit might contain something for pain, for nausea, for anxiety, for seizures, or for better sleep. If there are wounds or lesions, we will address wound care. If possible and necessary, I will teach you to give your pet fluids subcutaneously to prevent dehydration. Together, we’ll put together a short or longer term strategy for you and your pet.
We will also go over your plans for end of life care. This is for when medication and home care no longer provide relief. In spite of all our efforts and wishes, death is both inevitable and unpredictable. To achieve a peaceful death, without suffering, requires planning. I strongly believe that hope is not a plan. We cannot just hope that an animal dies in his sleep.
Dear Old Fang
Blu with lymphoma at age five