“He’s wandering around and panting at night. He’ll get up every 2 hours and ask to go out, then just stands there in the yard. Everyone in the house is exhausted.” “She has definitely developed selective hearing. I know she knows her name but sometimes she is obviously ignoring me.” “He’s started messing in the hallway. He’s never done that before! I think he’s mad at me.” “She’ll often just stand facing a corner. I have no clue what that means.”   These are common complaints from caregivers of aging pets. What does it all mean? Are they getting lazy, stubborn, or cranky? Maybe not.Read More →

A particular animal’s innate sense of dignity may be affected by hygiene problems. Cats, in particular, are normally very fastidious. Here’s why hygiene can become a problem for aging or ill pets, and what to do about it.Read More →

When I was in general practice, clients asked all the time whether they really needed to order the diagnostic testing that I just recommended. The answer is…it depends. In veterinary school, we’re pretty much trained to do ALL THE TESTS, and it takes time and experience for us to learn which ones are really important, and when. When the situation is life-or-death, you would be well advised to listen to your vet’s advice. Other times, the answer might depend on your resources and priorities for your pet’s well-being and comfort, especially near the end of life. The Question It all boils down to this: WhatRead More →

We share so many adventures with our animal companions. There are endless ways to honor the bond that we share with these amazing creatures who bless us with their unconditional love. Whether you are preparing for the final end-of-life journey or wish to recognize a companion who has already passed, here are some ideas and things to consider. Please note that this list is provided for information only, and is not an endorsement of the websites or services that are linked from this page.  Body Care Options Holding for Ceremony Some families may wish to keep their loved one at home a little longer before burial orRead More →

Being an animal lover is often equated with owning a lot of animals. It should equally mean respecting the needs of those animals, and making a selfless choice to limit ourselves when necessary. It’s better to enjoy the bond I share with my pets to its fullest, support spay and neuter efforts with my time and money, and enjoy dog ownership vicariously by stealing a few cuddles and kisses from my patients. Read More →

“How did you decide to do animal hospice?” I need to polish my response to this frequent question because, well, I tend to ramble. The seed was planted, I think, when I experienced hospice firsthand with my own dad. I subsequently developed a deep professional interest in pain management and quality of life issues. Seeing an unmet need in my community, I launched my practice in August of 2015. The most common service for which I am called upon is home euthanasia, and my hospice clientele is also growing steadily. It has been an incredible journey. As I developed my business plan, I knew that confronting grief on a regularRead More →