Pet Care: End Of Life Options

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
Older beagle

Part of being a pet owner is having to deal with end of life issues. Dr. Carrie Donahue joins us to talk about what we can do to help make our dogs and cats more comfortable when that time comes. She also talks about using acupuncture on your pet and answer your pet care questions.

Featured in this Show

  • Holistic Veterinarian Shares Importance Of End-Of-Life Care For Pets

    Dr. Carrie Donahue isn’t your average veterinarian. She’s as familiar with acupuncture and Reiki — a Japanese form of alternative medicine rooted in touch therapy — as most veterinarians are with preventing heartworm.

    Donahue, the owner and founder of Full Circle Holistic Veterinary Care in Madison, said one of the most important and meaningful parts of her practice is end-of-life care for animals.

    Many pet owners feel guilty when they decide palliative care is what’s best for their pet, Donahue said.

    “I really think that guilt should have no place in end-of-life care,” she said. “It’s easy to say that, and it’s difficult to actually do, but knowing that you provided such a good life for your pet all the way through and keeping them comfortable, that is absolutely all that they ask for from us.”

    Donahue helps pet owners struggling with end-of-life care figure out how to manage hospice care for their pets and how to make the decision to euthanize.

    “I think it’s something that a lot of pet owners do provide for their animals without kind of putting a name on it,” Donahue said of hospice care.

    Donahue provides counseling for pet owners trying to figure out the best way to care for their pet at home. In her counseling, Donahue helps pet owners know what to expect based their pet’s particular circumstances.

    Her hospice counseling is in line with her practice’s ethics of making sure pet owners know they don’t need to feel guilty for allowing their elderly or sick pet go naturally.

    As Full Circle’s website puts it, the idea that hospice is “doing nothing” is wrong. Rather, “it is doing everything for your pet by not putting them through prolonged pain and suffering in the interest of a diagnosis or remission or because we cannot let them go.”

    Donahue also helps pet owners decide at what point euthanasia might be the best option for their pet, and if so, when the right time might be.

    “It’s a loving service that veterinarians can provide,” she said of at-home euthanasia for pet owners who have decided it’s the right time. Letting pets “be at home at the end of life, surrounded by their families in the place that they love to be makes the whole process so much, I would say, more peaceful,” she said.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Jill Nadeau Producer
  • Dr. Carrie Donahue Guest

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