End of Life Care
End of Life Care
End-of-life care and decision-making can be difficult and very emotional for everyone involved. I can support you as you think through your options at this very important time. My aim is to help make this period peaceful for you and your animal, embracing and honouring the special bond that you share.
Animal hospice care seeks to maximize patient comfort while minimizing suffering. When considering hospice-supported care and natural death vs. euthanasia there may be several factors to consider. The main priority must always be your animals wellbeing. The QOL quality of life scale may help you in determining the wellbeing of your beloved animal.
There may be limitations in a person's resources, financial and otherwise, for providing animal end-of-life care for an animal. This may mean that the options for animal hospice services may be significantly more limited.
Hospice-supported natural death: Use of palliative care measures during a patient’s terminal life stage, including the treatment of pain and other signs of discomfort under veterinary supervision until the natural death of the individual animal.
Palliative care: Treatment that supports or improves the quality of life for patients and caregivers by relieving suffering; this applies to treating curable or chronic conditions as well as end-of-life care until natural or assisted death.
Quality of life: The total wellbeing of an individual animal that considers the physical, social, and emotional aspects of the animals' life.
Suffering: An unpleasant or painful experience, feeling, emotion, or sensation, which may be acute or chronic in nature; including, but not limited to, physical and emotional pain and distress.* Suffering may also include that of the human caregiver, including emotional suffering.
Humane euthanasia: The intentional termination of life by human intervention utilizing veterinary-approved methods that cause minimal pain, discomfort, and anxiety for the purpose of relieving an animal’s suffering.
Definitions as per AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association)
There tends to be great conflict and guilt when faced with the difficult decision about euthanasia. Even though this may be the ultimate act of kindness that one can chose for an animal, there is often great anguish over the decision.
Many people now prefer to have in-home care and euthanasia for their beloved pet and there are veterinarians and mobile vets who offer in-home visits.
Following euthanasia, some people find themselves feeling guilty, often second-guessing their decision. They may wonder if they should have waited or whether they could have done more for their animal (or if they waited too long). These are all normal reactions.
When experiencing these thoughts and emotions, try and remember that you made the best decision you could, based on the information you had, and the circumstances at that time. Your decision was made from a place of love and for that you should not feel guilty.
If you are struggling with decisions about end-of-life care or euthanasia for your animal or are in need of support, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com