Sunday, November 29, 2009

Euthanasia Alternative: Pet Hospice

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." Read the entire article.

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