What’s in a Hospice Toolkit

An important element of hospice care is to be prepared. One way that you can do this is by creating a first aid toolkit that you can use at home when the need arises — basically, when it is 2 am on a weekday and your dog is vomiting, anxious, nauseous or in pain. I believe it is important to have such supplies on hand and easily accessible, particularly at times when your regular veterinarian is not available.

The first step in creating the right hospice toolkit for your situation is to discuss the following questions with your veterinarian:

1. What kind of symptoms and side effects can I expect from this type of cancer?

2. How will the progression of the disease manifest itself?

3. What kind of symptoms and side effects can I expect during hospice care?

4. How will I recognize that my dog is nauseous?

5. How do I recognize that my dog is in pain?

6. How can I differentiate between my dog being nervous or anxious versus being in pain? Unfortunately, many dogs hide their pain and so it can be difficult to assess.

7. What can I give to my dog to alleviate symptoms/side effects, such as pain, nausea, or anxiety?

Some examples of items to include in your toolkit are the following:

  • For pain:  NSAIDS, Tramadol, Acetaminophen, Neurontin, Tellington Touch, Castor Oil Wrap
  • For nausea and vomiting:  Cerenia, Nux vomica, Ginger, Acupressure
  • For diarrhea:  Fast-Balance GI
  • For anxiety:  Bach Flower Essences – Rescue Remedy
In my next post, I’ll give some more details on Tellington Touch and how that can be used with your dog.

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