Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Like humans, experience changes in their joints, muscles, skin, digestive system and often a reduction in sight, hearing and brain function. While initially these may may be normal ageing changes and may not cause substantial difficulties for the pet, they still require to be addressed to enable the pet to enjoy a comfortable life for as long as possible.

Ageing can also be associated with many conditions, such as arthritis, heart, liver, kidney disease, endocrine disease (e.g. diabetes, Cushing’s disease) and cancer. Sometimes, when a pet, particularly if very elderly, is diagnosed with such a condition or a terminal illness some carers elect not to pursue normally recommended treatments, especially if a cure cannot be achieved. Palliative care aims to keep the pet as happy and comfortable as possible, by addressing their needs regarding pain relief, nutrition, environmental management and exercise.

Pets in palliative

care normally require regular assessments to enable fine tuning of medication, physical therapies and management. The interval may vary from every 1-2 weeks to every 2-3 months.

As disease progresses and end of life approaches a pet may require more intensive and regular support in the form of hospice care, until a peaceful and kind death. Hospice care includes nursing care, more frequent visits and appropriate medication to ensure the pet’s comfort.

For these patient a care plan is available. For a set fee, carers have access to 24/7 advice and support by telephone or email; priority home visits, discounted out of hours visits (including euthanasia), and free repeat prescriptions (if under the sole care of Selix Vets). Further benefits are available for additional fees, such as regular home visits, nursing care, discounts on long term medication (if under the sole care of Selix Vets); free loan of mobility aids (e.g. harness, support sling, subject to a deposit). Enrolment in the plan in not essential, and carers may elect to use the service as needed.
Care for these patients may be provided in conjunction with the pet’s regular veterinary surgeon or pets may transfer to the sole care of Selix Vets. Pets are expected to remain in the care of their own vet, if they still require regular blood tests or other diagnostics as we do not provide this service. However carers may elect to transfer to Selix Vets at any stage.