Dr. Goldberg’s interest in veterinary hospice and palliative care developed while she was working in the emergency/critical care field. She certainly thought that the most advanced, invasive options for diagnostics and treatment were indicated in many cases. However, she felt more could be done for clients in helping them cope with serious illness, terminal diagnoses, evaluating whether intensive care is in the best interests of their pet, and discussing death & the dying process.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care, which may be provided at any time over the course of an illness, is a growing medical specialty that provides expert pain and symptom relief as well as emotional support and help navigating the healthcare system for patients and families.
Palliative care is not solely for elderly patients; in fact, a sub-specialty of palliative care within human medicine is pediatric palliative care.
What is veterinary palliative care?
Palliative care as a distinct area within veterinary practice is still emerging. Principles and philosophy of care are identical to those in human medicine. Veterinarians who are currently providing exemplary palliative care include: oncologists, anesthesiologists/pain specialists, sports medicine & rehabilitation veterinarians, credentialed integrative care providers (such as certified veterinary acupuncturists), and those focused on geriatric care. Social workers and other mental health professionals are also important members of palliative care teams.
Palliative Care Resources:
Human Palliative Care Organizations:
- American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine
- Center to Advance Palliative Care
- Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association
- Palliative Doctors
Veterinary & Animal-Related Organizations