There are new guidelines in place in regards to End of Life care for your beloved best friend. Not only are these new guidelines exceptionally humane and caring to the animals involved, but they also show a great deal of love and concern for their human counterparts. The guidelines were a collaborative effort, created by the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care and the American Animal Hospital Association.
End of life care and decision making embody the critical final stage in a pet’s life and are as important and meaningful as the sum of the clinical care provided for all prior life stages. It should focus on maximizing patient comfort and minimizing suffering while providing a collaborative and supportive partnership. Timely, empathetic, and nonjudgmental communication is the hallmark of effective client support.
End Of Life Pet Care Options For Your Pet
Veterinarians should not allow an end of life patient to succumb to a natural death without considering the option of euthanasia and ensuring that other measures to alleviate discomfort and distress are in place. One of the bigger decisions faced in the ending moments of your pet’s life is in regards to Hospice Care.
Hospice Care is defined as a philosophy or program of care that addresses the physical, emotional, and social needs of animals in the advanced stages of a progressive, life-limiting illness or disability. Animal Hospice Care is provided to the patient from the time of a terminal diagnosis through the death of the animal, inclusive of death by euthanasia or by hospice-supported natural death. Animal hospice addresses the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the human caregivers in preparation for the passing of the animal and the grief experience. Animal Hospice Care is enhanced when provided by an interdisciplinary team approach.
In addition to the comfort of pets, it is recognized within the guidelines how hospice vets can properly administer care for the emotional needs of their clients and recognize that grieving generally begins well before a pet’s death occurs.