Pet Hospice Care

Hospice care for pets focuses on palliative, rather than curative treatment.

When it comes to cancer, the sobering truth is that most of us will reach a point when we can no longer hope to cure our pup of this devastating disease. This could be due to their age or co-existing conditions, because of financial constraints, or maybe because they tell us in their own special way that they do not want to continue the fight.  What do we do then to help our beloved companions?

Hospice care is a concept that has revolutionized the way individuals and families dealing with terminal illness face the inevitability of death.  Hospice is a type of care, not a place, in which the end of life is treated with respect and reverence, and regarded as a natural transition that we will all experience someday.  Hospice care affirms life and uses medical interventions to minimize symptoms and make individuals in the end stages of illness as comfortable as possible, focusing on quality, not quantity of life.  Using a team approach, Hospice care takes into consideration the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and their families during this challenging time. 

You may be familiar with the benefits of Hospice care for people, but did you know that Hospice care is also available to pets?  Pioneered by forward thinking veterinarians such as Dr. Alice Villalobos, founder of Pawspice, Hospice care for animals is a new option for pet guardians who want to provide their animal companions with compassionate end of life care when curative treatment is no longer an option.

Since Hospice care is relatively new in the veterinary field and most pet owners are unfamiliar with how it is applied to companion animals, Georgia’s Legacy spoke with Valarie Hajek Adams, CVT, who is the President of the Healing Heart Foundation, Inc., and Director of
Healing Heart Pet Hospice, which is located in Appleton, Wisconsin.  We asked Valarie to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding Pet Hospice, to help guide pet owners in making the difficult decision about whether or not to pursue or continue aggressive cancer treatment, and also to use as a foundation for talking with their veterinary team. 

The important thing for pet parents to realize when considering Hospice care is that Hospice is not giving up.  Hospice care is a loving gift that we have the ability to offer our animal companions during their final days with us, to honor their life and to help improve the quality of the life they have yet to life.  Hospice is hope.

 This website is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinary professional, and is for informational purposes only. Please seek the advice of your veterinarian or a veterinary specialist before giving your dog any supplements or pursuing any alternative cancer therapies. 

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