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This is a very common question and is becoming a well-recognized area of practice in veterinary medicine. When a pet is diagnosed with a terminal disease, a different type of care is required.
The focus of your pet’s care becomes an issue of quality of life and pain management. This is best accomplished in the pet’s home where they are most comfortable.
During our pet’s end of life, their needs are very similar to our own. The hospice program must provide for the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the pet and family. Your regular veterinarian will typically refer you and your pet to someone that specializes in this area. The treatment goals are not to prolong your pet’s life but to help your family and your pet during their end of life. The key elements are the quality of life assessments. With these assessments, modifications are made to enhance this stage of life. Care and comfort are key issues. With the help of a hospice veterinarian, many pets can pass peacefully and will not need to be euthanized.