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Hospice and Palliative Care

What is veterinary hospice and palliative care: 

Animal hospice and palliative care is a change of thought and treatment plan from cure to comfort and is quickly becoming the standard of care for veterinary medicine. Animal hospice is provided to the patient from the time of diagnosis through the death of the animal and addresses the physical, emotional, and social needs in advanced stages of disease under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. We believe that every pet has the right to die with pain control and dignity; be that from euthanasia or natural death.

Please understand that hospice and palliative care requires a significant commitment (time, emotional and often financial) from you as the owner to carry out appropriate care at home and good communication between family members and veterinary staff. Dying is a meaningful experience and a family-centered approach is more important than ever as animals become an integral part of the family. We are here to help develop care plans that benefit your pet the most, whether that be care at home, or recommendations that require in-hospital care. Some diagnostics like blood-draws can be obtained at home, but other possible diagnostics may only be able to be performed in a hospital setting such as x-rays at this time. It is also important to remember that animals are sentient beings that also have internal preferences and their desires/preferences will be considered in our recommendations.

Our team and services: 

Our care team is led by a certified veterinarian through the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care and Chi University for canine rehabilitation and utilizes licensed veterinary nurses and trained assistants to assist you and your pet through the end of life process. Our goal is to offer individualized and high-quality compassionate care to both you and your pet.

We also offer pain management including oral medication options, Companion therapeutic laser pain management (photobiomodulation), nutritional consultations, and mobility support options including help-em-up harness, wheelchair/cart fitting.

Hospice and Palliative Care is beneficial for many diagnoses including but not limited to: 

  • Arthritis and mobility concerns
  • Renal disease
  • Cancer/neoplasia
  • Cognitive disease
  • Heart failure
  • Pain management
  • Wound care
  • General geriatric decline

Additional areas where we can be of assistance: 

  • Quality of life assessment and consultation
  • Diagnosis of health concerns
  • Referral to board certified oncologists or surgeons as deemed necessary or desired
  • In-Home euthanasia
  • Animal care after death including cremation and memorial options

Goals of Hospice and Palliative Care 

  • Improve the quality of life of your pet though:
  • Improved mental well-being
  • Pain management and comfort measures
  • Nutritional support
  • Extending quality time with family
  • Improved quality of death through peaceful sedation and euthanasia


The decision to euthanize a pet due to due age, injury or illness can be very difficult and we are here to assist you in the decision-making process. Euthanasia is a final gift we can give our pets to aid in a peaceful passing and still be surrounded by family or friends. This can be performed in our hospital, or if pre-arranged, in the comfort of your own home.

Once the family and medical staff have deemed euthanasia appropriate, there are a few forms to be filled out to assure decision, legal requirements of pet ownership and that the pet has not bitten anyone in the last 10 days, and body aftercare wishes. For euthanasia, the pet is given sedative medication to relax or ease any pain. This sedative typically takes 5-10 minutes. Once comfortable and relaxed, a second and final medication is given to facilitate passing and death, typically within a minute or two. The family may choose to be present for as much or as little of

euthanasia as they are comfortable with, and our staff will help explain transitions and ensure your pet does not feel any pain or discomfort.

Body aftercare options include home burial if state or local guidelines allow cremation or aquamation with or without ashes returned, options for memorial keepsakes including clay paw prints, ink paw prints or nose prints, hair clippings, or other keepsakes if arranged.