Features

May 2012 Issue

Veterinary Hospice: An Option?

It’s a solution that can help both your family and your chronically ill cat. Here’s what you should know.

For many years, Katherine Goldberg, DVM, worked in veterinary critical and intensive care units. As she found herself becoming increasingly interested in the stories behind the emergencies, she was moved to make a difference for terminally ill pets. In 2010, she founded Whole Animal Veterinary Hospice Services, a practice whose mission is to provide “compassionate care in the comfort of your home.” She now spends most of her time doing just that. We spoke with Dr. Goldberg at a recent presentation in Ithaca, NY, where her practice is based. What exactly is veterinary hospice? The word “hospice” — which has the same root as “hospitality” — originally meant a place of shelter for weary travelers. In 1969, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s groundbreaking book On Death and Dying helped to jumpstart the human hospice movement, and the term “hospice” began to be used to describe specialized care for dying people.

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