As dogs and cats age, their ability to travel to the veterinary hospital for medical care wanes. The floors are slick, they have to jump in and out of the car, and the commotion of the waiting area is stressful. Fortunately, most of their veterinary needs can be met in the comfort of their own home.
In-home veterinary services provided to elderly pets include routine wellness care, managing chronic and acute illness, and general support for the pet and the family. Progressive conditions common in senior and special needs pets are easily addressed with in-home veterinary care through follow up blood tests, specific treatments and therapies, and overall monitoring. Evaluation of the environment and how the individual pet is functioning in that environment leads to recommendations for ramps, extra carpeting and yoga mats for better footing, special harnesses, and other accommodations. Pain management is accomplished with supplements, medications, therapeutic laser, acupuncture, and chiropractic.
Quality of life assessments by a house call veterinarian at regular intervals, and follow-up support via e-mail and phone calls help families manage and enjoy the end stages of their pet’s lives. Palliative and hospice care focus on quality of life and maintaining dignity for aging pets. Compassionate in-home euthanasia and cremation services are available with flexible scheduling to accommodate the needs of pets and their families during this sensitive, emotional time.
Developing a long or short-term relationship with a house call veterinarian may result in a higher degree of trust and comfort for families during their pet’s end of life phase. Most house call vets are willing to work with the pet’s regular veterinarian to provide individualized, flexible, continuity of care.
Whether for routine, palliative, or end-of-life care, senior dogs and cats benefit from in-home veterinary visits- compassionate support in the comfort of their own home.
Melissa Shapiro, DVM is the owner of Your Senior Pet’s Vet, a mobile veterinary practice offering custom in-home vet care to very special senior patients. Your Senior Pet’s Vet operates with the primary goal of maintaining dignity and a good quality of life for pets and their people. Dr. Shapiro lives in Westport with her husband, three children, 7 rescued dogs, 3 rescued House Sparrows, and one very sweet parakeet. Your Senior Pet’s Vet is a subdivision of the Visiting Vet Service.
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