Veterinary Hospice Services - In home Euthanasia
The concept of Whole Animal Veterinary Hospice Services began while Dr. Goldberg was working in the emergency/critical care field. She certainly thought that the most advanced options for diagnostics and treatment were indicated in many cases. However, she felt more could be done for clients in helping them cope with terminal diagnoses, evaluating whether intensive care is in the best interests of their pet, and discussing death & the dying process.
Dr. Goldberg’s goal is to work with pets, their people and their primary care veterinarians to expand the options for them in the areas of geriatric support, hospice, & palliative care. She collaborates with a team of professionals to ensure that her patients receive care that is comprehensive, progressive, and compassionate during this important and tender time.
What is veterinary hospice?
While hospice care for animals is in the process of being defined in the veterinary profession, dealing with the end of an animal’s life is very familiar. Most people have experienced the loss of a pet, and have had to make difficult decisions on an animal’s behalf prior to and leading up to death – whether via euthanasia or unassisted death. Because euthanasia is deeply integrated into end of life care for animals, veterinary hospice care is often distinct from its human counterpart. Similarities exist in the overall philosophy of hospice, that is: respect for the family unit as “patient” in addition to the dying individual, acceptance that additional medical interventions are unlikely to change the outcome of a disease, desire to alleviate pain and emotional suffering, and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than aggressive treatment to extend it.
Hospice for animals is not a place, it is a philosophy.
Veterinary hospice care can include all, or some of the following: end-of-life options counseling, education regarding death & the dying process, regularly scheduled home visits with administration of pain medications and nursing care, provision of palliative care within a veterinary hospital, palliated but not intentionally hastened death, personalized in-home euthanasia services, aftercare, memorialization, and bereavement support. The approach of Whole Animal Veterinary Hospice Services is to completely evaluate each patient and discuss the caregiver’s goals so that an individual care plan may be created. The plan will serve as a framework for care that is tailored to each animal and caregiver(s). It may be referred back to or updated at any time.
Dr. Goldberg feels strongly that good death & dying for our animals is best defined by the ones who know them best – their families. She is committed to supporting families through the path that is best for them, providing emotional support for humans and dignified care for animals.
Services provided by Whole Animal include:
- individualized hospice/palliative care evaluation, quality of life assessment & counseling
- advice & consultation to help navigate treatment options for your animal companion
- in home palliative & nursing care, implementation of Individual Care Plan
- phone consultation: end-of-life options counseling, euthanasia decision-making & preparedness counseling
- referral to consulting specialists for integrative care – physical therapy, massage, Reiki, acupuncture
- In home euthanasia
- transport and coordination of cremation services
- bereavement support