Veterinary Hospice

Hospice for Animals
In the past few weeks, the growing field of veterinary hospice (home euthanasia) has made the news nationwide, and I couldn’t be more pleased! This is perhaps one of the most important services a veterinarian can provide.  When I was working in the animal hospital, the lack of options really bothered me. People would ask if any of the vets would come to their house to put their pet to sleep. The answer was always “no.” Don’t get me wrong – when I am working in a clinic, I make the experience as pleasant and low-stress as possible. Still, there’s nothing quite like being in your own bed.
One of the reasons I started this practice was to fulfill that need. This might sound weird, but I find it very rewarding to help a pet and his or her family during that time. I’m an animal lover, and I hate to see anyone suffer. Helping an animal end suffering in a dignified, painless, and peaceful way is a service I feel honored to offer. I love hearing the stories of when they were young and obnoxious, or the funny quirks they developed with age. Sometimes we laugh, often we cry.
I get calls from people who have a vet they’ve seen for years, but they want euthanasia at home and not the clinic. I’m happy to discuss the decision and help an owner decide when the time is right for euthanasia. Sometimes I end up going there soon, other times we’ll decide it isn’t time yet. I can care for their remains however the family desires, using a cremation service that lets me come any time, unannounced, if I want to monitor the process. Some people choose to have the ashes returned to them, others don’t. Some people choose burial at home. Whatever makes it easier, I will do.
I’m just happy to meet a need that makes a hard time a little better.