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Palliative care is any treatment which relieves suffering and improves quality of life, regardless of the age of the patient or at any stage in an illness, whether that illness is curable, chronic, or life-threatening.

Hospice care is an option if your pet is suffering from a terminal illness and a cure is not possible, and usually involves some degree of palliative care. With hospice, medical diagnostic testing and treatment is ended, the goal is to make a pet’s final time in life as comfortable as possible.

Strategies such as pain medications, diet and supplements, mobility aids, and holistic therapies can all be utilized. Some pets may pass away at home without euthanasia intervention at the conclusion of their illness. Dr. Amy has had three pets pass away naturally at home after periods of hospice care.

We are fortunate that Animal Hospice, End of Life and Palliative Care Project (AHELP) is based right here in Washington. They are a wealth of information to help with end of life care for your companion.