Informational website for: Home Euthanasia Tucson Services Pet Hospice Tucson Services & Palliative Care
Home Euthanasia Tucson Services Serving Tucson, Oro Valley, and Marana
Home Welcome and thank you for your interest in home euthanasia and pet hospice services for your dog or cat. This site was created by Tucson euthanasia veterinarian Dr. Dennis Dosselman and Cactus Creek Mobile Veterinary Services to provide pet owners with a brief background on euthanasia, hospice, and palliative issues. Caring and compassionate home euthanasia vet Dr. Dosselman has been providing veterinary care and education to all of Tucson, Oro Valley, and Marana, Arizona since 2003. It is Dr. Dosselman's belief that pet owners greatly benefit from educating themselves on these euthanasia, hospice, and palliative topics well before the time of need arrives. By thinking about these issues in advance, it becomes possible to be better prepared, be more familiar with available options, and to maintain a better quality of life for your beloved dog or cat when the time to say goodbye approaches.
First off, let us define a few commonly used terms related to the topics of aging pets, pet hospice, and the home euthanasia procedure. ‘Euthanasia’ is defined as a peaceful death via administration of a drug that painlessly and gently stops the brain and the heart; a euthanasia procedure is the ultimate way to stop pain and suffering when no other options exist. To ‘Euthanize’ (put to sleep, put down) is to perform the home euthanasia procedure. ‘Hospice’ care is care provided to an animal with a terminal diagnosis and a short life expectancy. Hospice care addresses pain and other symptoms the pet has, but doesn’t try to cure the pet. ‘Palliative’ care is similar to hospice care but can include pets which have not been given a terminal diagnosis and therefore may still live a long time. Palliative care focuses on addressing pain and symptoms as hospice does. ‘Senior’ dogs or cats are those reaching the human equivalent age of 51 years old or higher. Cats and small breed dogs are often considered to be seniors at around 7 or 8 years old. Large and Giant breed dogs are often considered to be seniors at around 5 or 6 years old. ‘Geriatric’ dogs or cats are those reaching the human equivalent of 69 years old or higher, and are those pets most often faced with health conditions requiring hospice and home euthanasia care.
Senior and geriatric pets are a bridge between younger healthy pets and those that are nearing the end of their lives. Although there are many older pets that do remain healthy for most of their lives, many others do not and need veterinary intervention to help them along. Eventually, advanced aging or other diseases catch up with even the healthiest of pets. Many senior pets and geriatric pets have degenerative diseases that can be managed well with palliative services. Arthritis medication used to control pain in a middle to older aged dog would be an example of palliative care; the pet is not being cured of the problem (osteoarthritis of the joints), but the pain is being addressed. If that same dog were diagnosed with an inoperable cancer, and given a life expectancy of 3 months, then pet hospice care would begin and a more aggressive pain and care management protocol might be instituted. For some owners, however, home euthanasia services might be chosen for this dog with cancer. One possible reason to choose a home euthanasia could be that the drugs to control this dog’s pain have lost their effectiveness and no other effective drug options exist. Dr. Dosselman’s housecall practice offers caring and compassionate services to euthanize Tucson pets in situations such as this and others; these types of scenarios are not uncommon in veterinary medicine.