Pet Hospice Care Mount Vernon WA

Veterinarians who are willing to work with individual clients to provide pet hospice at home can help train owners to deal with many of the day'to'day tasks that make caring for a dying pet so difficult.

Banfield Pet Hospital - Burlington
(360) 442-4967
1969 Marketplace Dr.
Burlington, WA
 
College Way Animal Hospital
(360) 848-1189
3801 E College Way
Mount Vernon, WA

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Country Chiropractic Clinic PLLC
(360) 856-5562
22790 Buchanan St
Mount Vernon, WA
 
North Cascade Veterinary Hospital
(360) 856-1809
200 Murdock St
Sedro-Woolley, WA
 
Fidalgo Animal Medical Ctr
(360) 293-2186
3303 Commercial Ave
Anacortes, WA

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Cedardale Neuter & Vaccination
(360) 424-5676
1105 Dale Ln
Mount Vernon, WA

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Mt Vernon Veterinary Hosp Inc
(360) 424-4054
14110 Bradshaw Rd
Mount Vernon, WA

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Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic
(360) 757-3722
896 N Burlington Blvd
Burlington, WA
 
Bezzola, Pauli, Dvm - Fidalgo Animal Medical Ctr
(360) 293-2186
3303 Commercial Ave
Anacortes, WA

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Iverson, Heidi K, Dvm - North Whidbey Veterinary Hosp
(360) 679-3772
1020 NE 7TH Ave Ste 4
Oak Harbor, WA

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Creature Comforts—Fido's Best Friend in the End

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By Lynn Ginsburg

Up until just a few years ago, people had one treatment option for their terminally ill pets—euthanasia—and the average veterinarian thought it better to get it over with sooner rather than later. But if Eleonora Babayants had listened to the veterinarian who advised her to put her dog Lima to sleep immediately, she and Lima would have lost out on their additional three years together. Instead of euthanasia, Babayants elected to care for Lima at home, using a relatively new program for dying pets called “pet hospice.” Pet hospice allows a dying animal to live out the rest of its life at home, pain free and surrounded by its loved ones.

“Human hospice and pet hospice are very similar ideas, because pet hospice is modeled on human hospice programs,” says Kathryn Marocchino, president and founder of Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets, a nonprofit organization that links sympathetic veterinarians with pet owners and provides education and advocacy concerning pet hospice. “The basic tenet is that you live each day until you die, and you make the best of it. And in both humans and animals, making the best of it revolves around pain management,” she says.

Veterinarians who are willing to work with individual clients to provide pet hospice at home can help train owners to deal with many of the day-to-day tasks that make caring for a dying pet so difficult. These include keeping the pet out of pain, teaching owners how to administer medications at home, even shots and IVs, instructing owners on how to keep wounds clean and prevent bedsores, and providing other suggestions to keep the pet comfortable.

“The pet owner needs a vet who is willing to support the owner with anything that may arise when taking care of a dying pet,” Babayants says. “In the case of my vet, she was willing to provide the hospice care for me. She said, ‘If it gets to the point where I need to come to the house and help, I will.’” Babayants says that although it was a bit intimidating for her, she learned how to give Lima fluids under the skin, administered shots, and learned what signs to look for to keep the dog out of pain. “The owner has to be willing to learn these basic medical techniques, but with the support of a vet who is willing to help, I found I could do anything I needed to,” Babayants says.

Another option for pet hospice care is frequent in-home visits from people trained in end-of-life care, like the veterinary students who participate in the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Pet Hospice program. From a medical point of view, it can be difficult and scary to have a terminally ill pet at home, according to Co-Team Manager of CSU’s program, Christie Long, “especially if they require a lot of support, like administering fluids for rehydration, giving medications, keeping feeding tubes clean. It’s so stressful for a sick animal to be brought into the clinic, so we can have a much less stressed pati...

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