Services are growing, but clients may not be aware.
by Edie Jarolim
Pain management, massage therapy, sitter referrals, and family counseling are among the services offered by veterinary practices focusing on end-of-life care, an emerging field described by the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) as “exploding.” In spite of the increased number of these practices, many of them mobile, members of the public tend to be confused about them, if they are aware of them at all. Perhaps this should come as no surprise, given the current lack of consensus about guidelines and definitions among veterinary professionals—not to mention the difculty of marketing pet hospice, given the inevitable patient outcome. Sheila Kirt, DVM, of Home at Last in Tucson, Ariz., says, “The majority of people who contact me find me through word-of-mouth from other clients, and most of them specifically mention home euthanasia. Often, they want palliative care until they feel that euthanasia is the best choice, or they want an evaluation to give them an objective opinion of their pet’s condition.”
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