GENERAL VETERINARY SERVICES
ADVANCED VETERINARY SERVICES
Compassionate end of life care for pets with terminal illness
When pets are diagnosed with terminal illness emotions often run high. In many cases you may be facing one of two very difficult choices – prolonging life through further therapies or helping your pet pass peacefully through euthanasia.
However, hearing those dreaded words “there is nothing more we can do” does not mean euthanasia is your only choice.
Hospice care (derived from the human approach to quality end of life care) can also be applied to equally to our beloved furry companions. Applying this comfort orientated care to our pets means we don’t carry out on further diagnostics, surgery or advanced medical treatments but instead focus on maintaining quality of life through supportive medications combined with gentle, non invasive therapies.
In our experience (palliating hundreds of patients over many years) – depending on your pet’s condition, this period of time can vary from just a few days to several weeks and even months.
Applying hospice principles allows you to spend extra quality time with your precious pet as well as emotionally plan and prepare for his or her final passing.
Veterinary Hospice is based on managing these minimum Quality of Life Standards of Care
Our Billy Care Program
Our in house Pet Palliative and Hospice care program is designed to meet the needs of pets with terminal illness where further treatment or surgery has been declined in favour of quality end of life care management.
It is dedicated to “Billy” who many of our clients knew as Dr Malcolm Ware’s loyal companion for over 11 years who was palliated through terminal heart disease for over 14 months. (RIP Billy 2001 – 2013)
Our Palliative Care program enables you to take care of your pet in the comfort of your own home. You have the right to allow your pet to pass peacefully at home under the supervision and guidance of your veterinary team.
This can be achived by organising a Home Euthanasia or having them pass naturally with the right supportive veterinary care.
We have wonderful non invasive therapies that help keep our patients with chronic or terminal illness as mobile and pain free as possible Therapies include:
- Rehabilitation therapies – Massage – Therapeutic Exercises
- Acupuncture for mobility and pain management
- Laser Therapy for mobility and pain management
- Hydrotherapy – For mobility and muscle retention
- Shock-wave therapy – for pain management
We also offer respite care for our terminally ill patients. Please feel free to reach out if you need us to take care of your your pet for a few days or so while you take a break.
Our hospital services take care of pets 24/7 with a vet available at all times.
How does a Home Palliative Care Program work?
All pets in a Home Palliative Care program must be under Veterinary Care. This means you are checking in daily or as frequently as required to ensure your pet remains comfortable and pain free at all times.
You can be prescribed medications that assist in keeping your pet free from pain and discomfort as necessary during that time.
Veterinary supervision comes in the form of regular reporting, home visits and hospital care as necessary.
Reporting can be in the form of virtual consultations (we can see your pet in their home environment and speak with you at the same time) phone calls OR email. Usually it is a combination of all of the above.
Will I be able to get more medications for my pet as needed?
Provided that all the criteria for “Veterinary Care and Supervsion” are strictly met, we can continue to prescribe the necessary medication for your pet.
How will I know whether my pet is comfortable and pain free?
To assess this we use a “Quality of Life Assessment” Tool. This is used to score your pet daily against a set of specific criteria and helps you determine the balance of good days vs not so good days.
This helps you and your vet to assess your pet’s quality of life more objectively and make the best decisions going forward.
All pet parents are given this tool once becoming part of a Palliative Care Program.
How will I know when the time is right to let my pet go?
By keeping in regular touch with your vet and assessing all the criteria for “Quality of Life” you will know when it is time to let your pet pass through assisted Euthanasia.