End of Life Care
What is it?
End of Life Care is also often times referred to as palliative care. Hospice has been available on the human side for a number of years but is still new to the pet world. Being an emergency and specialty practice we have seen a need for an "End of life Care" to be offered to our clients and patients.
This program is not for just cancer patients. It is meant for any pet with any life limiting illness. It is the intention of the program to provide education to the pet owners and comfort and symptom management for the pet.
The End of Life Care is a team effort. We will work with our team of doctors and specialist as well as your regular veterinarians. Some of these patients may be hospitalized at the being of this program, however it is our goal to help you take your pet home for some quality time. During your pets End of Life Care, they may still receive medical treatments including chemotherapy and pain medications.
When your pet has reached the stage when you are starting to evaluate their End of Life Care, we encourage you to keep a journal. This journal will help you track your beloved pets progress or decline. We have provided a copy of a journal for you to download. It order to evaluate your pets condition, we recommend you write in it every day. Be sure to include your thoughts and memories on how they brought joy to your life. Your pets can feel your emotions and like to see you smile also.
Also included here is a Quality of Life check list provided by Dr. Alice Villalobos'. We encourage you to sit down and answer each question independently and honestly. This scale will help you to answer the "is it time?" question.Quality of Life Scale
In order to best service your needs and your pets needs, we have invested time in training our staff to help you in your pets evaluation. The staff will be able to provide you with a variety of published resources and support groups.
When the Time Finally Comes
There are many choices when that final day comes. Euthanasia is usually the leading humane choice. This can take place with us in our quiet private grievance room, at your regular vet's office, at Memorial Pet Services, or in your home, if special arrangements are made.
Some of you may chose to let your pet die naturally at home. If this is your choice, arrangements can be made with Memorial Pet Services to pick up your pet at home and have it privately cremated for you.
Our staff will be happy to review all these options with you.