End of Life Care
Northland Animal Hospital views your pet as a member of the family. We understand the difficult decisions that come with having a four-legged family member. It is both a blessing and a challenge that we are able to make end of life choices for our pets. There may come a time when your family experiences the hardship of a pet with a terminal disease.
In these situations, pets can become ill and uncomfortable. Sometimes, a cure is no longer possible and you may be faced with the question of quantity of life versus quality life. When extraordinary measures are no longer reasonable, the veterinarians and staff at Northland are here to formulate a plan that allows your pet to be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible, before making the difficult decision to say goodbye. Often, trips to the veterinarian for tests, exams, and treatment cause stress and anxiety for pets.
A hospice care plan helps to alleviate that stress by limiting the number of veterinary visits in favor of care at home, provided by your family. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of providing this care on your own, there are local veterinarians that can provide in-home hospice care. That information is provided at the bottom of this page. Our hospice service offers an approach that is personal and comfortable for the whole family. Hospice is focused on giving pets a safe, caring, and intimate end-of-life experience in their familiar environment.
It is not geared toward curing a pet’s disease, but rather toward keeping the disease from causing the pet discomfort. The goals of hospice care are primarily pain control and emotional comfort. To prevent the anxiety of hospital visits and to allow pets and owners the maximum amount of time together, open lines of communication between you and your veterinarian are maintained. This is to allow you and your family to manage care for your pet at home, rather than at a veterinary hospital. In this way, owners are given tools to understand and time to come to grips with their pet’s progressive disease and can say good-bye in their own way. Hospice helps to make a pet’s death a kinder, more intimate experience for both pets and owners.
Our hospice approach may include:
- Pain recognition and management
- Palliative care
- Fluid therapy
- Wound care
- Nutrition management
- Medication administration
- Mobility management
- Hygiene management
- Quality of Life Assessments
- Emergency Planning
If you are struggling with whether or not it is time, our veterinary staff can help you in deciding if this decision is the right one.
One of the main things we look at when trying to decide if euthanasia should be the next step is your pet’s quality of life. Are they still eating and drinking normally? Are they able to get up and down the stairs and jump up on furniture? Are they still able to do the things that they love to do, whether it be chasing a ball or going for a walk? Are they having more bad days than good? We can provide you with resources that will allow you to evaluate and monitor your pet’s quality of life at home.
If you have decided that euthanasia is the best decision for your pet and are ready to schedule that appointment, you can call our office and our staff will help to find a time that works best for you.
If you would prefer to have your pet pass away at home, there are local veterinarians we can recommend that will come to your home to assist you in saying goodbye. We understand that the decision to say goodbye to your pet is one of the hardest there is. When the time comes, it is our hope that we can help you to make the process as uncomplicated as possible.
Local Hospice and In-Home Euthanasia Providers:
Heaven at Home : https://www.pethospicevet.com/
Lap of Love :