Animal Hospital of Rowlett is a member of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC).
As a member of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC), we promote hospice/palliative care for animal companions as an alternative to premature euthanasia and as an alternative to prolonged suffering which can result either from isolating an animal in intensive care or from inadequately treating the animal at home.
We emphasize the terminally ill animal's quality of life and recognize that hospice/palliative care provides the family precious quality time with the pet, and helps the family cope with the approaching death of their beloved companion. We recognize that different belief systems exist regarding the meaning of life and death of companion animals, what they experience during active dying and what happens after death.
What Is Animal Hospice?
Animal hospice is care for animals, focused on the patient's and family's needs; on living life as fully as possible until the time of death [with or without intervention]; and on attaining a degree of preparation for death.
"Palliative care is the active total care of patients with a life-limiting illness that is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social and spiritual problems, is paramount. The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families." [The World Health Organization, 1990.] Palliative care can go on as long as it is needed, for months and even for years.
Hospice exists to provide support and care for patients in the last phases of incurable disease, or at the natural end of life. Hospice definitely incorporates all of palliative care; and is defined as a philosophy, a specialized program of care, and in some instances, an actual place for the dying.
Hospice recognizes dying as a normal process, whether or not resulting from disease, and sees the end of life as an opportunity for growth. Hospice exists in the belief that patients in the last phases of life deserve this care so that they might live as fully and comfortably as possible. Through appropriate care and the promotion of a caring community sensitive to their needs, patients and their families may be free to attain a degree of mental and spiritual preparation for death that is satisfactory to them.
In most human hospice organizations, services are limited to patients who have decided not to undergo any further curative treatments, and have a limited life prognosis of 6 months or less.
Hospice Care for animals has been described as "management of palliative care patients who have progressed such that death will likely occur within a period of days to weeks"; however, the distinction between hospice and palliative care for animals has not yet been sharply defined.
Learn more about the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care and what it means to be a member on their website at - http://www.iaahpc.org/index.shtml
You can also learn more about Animal Hospital of Rowlett's Veterinary Hospice Care Program.