As with human hospice care, an important element of canine hospice care is assembling your team. Most of us likely have a primary veteriniarian, who might practice Western, Eastern, naturopathic or other specialty. It is also really helpful to consult with a secondary veterinarian who has a complementary specialty. So, if your primary veteriniarian is Western, you might want to think about also finding a veterinarian who specializes in homeopathy or Chinese medicine, for instance.
In the case of canine cancer, working with a canine oncologist is also important, so that you can learn about the latest and best treatment options for the kind of cancer you are facing. Most veterinarians are not as well versed in the latest cancer treatments as an oncologist will be.
Other great additions to your canine hospice team include, but are not limited to:
- massage therapist
- nutrition expert
- canine water therapist
The main reason behind assembling such a team is because most of us are not experts. And when you are faced with a cancer diagnosis for your beloved pet, it’s really hard to know what the right thing to do is. When you have a team to support you along the way, you no longer have to do guesswork — you can ask your team for advice and then make an educated decision. Your hospice team is not there to make decisions for you, but to help guide you as you make your decisions.
In my next post, I will talk about creating a “hospice toolkit.”