Getting bad news about your furbaby’s health is never easy, but you can make the remaining days of his life as comfortable as can be with palliative care.

1. Upon diagnosis, ask the vet all the questions you need to ask and make sure to take down notes. Then do further research. Be your pet’s own medical advocate. You might even be able to suggest care solutions for your four-legged pal. Also, learning all you can about your furbabe’s condition can help you deal with situation better.

2. Get a second and/or third opinion. Doctors have different diagnoses and treatment plans. Some aggressively use synthetic solutions while others believe in phytomedicine. Choose the option that you are most comfortable with.

3. Once you’re comfortable with a diagnosis and prognosis, decide whether you want to keep your dog in the hospital or opt for home pawspice care. Pawspice care is the pet version of hospice care, which provides palliative care for patients. This is focused on improving the quality of life by management of the illness’ symptoms. Ask your vet to teach you how to hydrate your pet patient subcutaneously (underneath the skin, as opposed to intravenously), how to administer meds, provide oxygen, and the like. Learning how to take the furball’s temp should also come in handy. For emergencies, ask to be taught pet cardiopulmonary and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

4. When pets are ill, they often lose their appetite. You may have to allot extra time to force feed your furbuddy so set the alarm earlier or rearrange your schedule to make time. Some feeding methods involve pureeing solids then administering via a needleless syringe, or hand-feeding pellets one by one. Experiment with what works for your little buddy. It may be time consuming, but your ward will definitely appreciate the extra care.

5. Make sure that the water bowl is always filled. Sometimes, even water intake can be difficult, so you’ll also have to provide assistance.

6. Keep your pet comfortable with her favourite toys, security blanket, and a comfy nest. Some pets may suffer from incontinence so always make sure to clean up soiled beddings. Dirty surroundings can only aggravate symptoms of illnesses.

7. Keep emergency numbers on speed dial and locate the nearest 24-hour vet, if yours is some ways away. This way, you won’t have to scramble for directions in the midst of a 911.

8. Build a support group. It’s not easy dealing with a hopeless prognosis. Make sure you have loved ones to lean on for emotional support and for assistance with logistics such as feeding rotations, administering of medicine, etc. Create a schedule so that someone is able to check in on your paw pal all hours of the day.

9. Stop anticipating his death. Easier said than done, but focus on your pet’s life instead of being anxious about when it’s his time to go. After all, worrying does not add a day to his life.

10. Make the most out of your time with your pet. Plan trips that you think would make him happy like what this woman did for her English Mastiff. Get her under some healthy morning sun, take her out for some fresh air, or give her a pet massage. All she wants is to spend time with you. That alone makes her ecstatic.

But, if you notice that your dog’s quality of life is deteriorating significantly, check with your vet for recommendations. Sometimes, the best kind of love you can give is one that is humane. Otherwise, treasure the time you have left with your furlove and make more memories to put in your memory box.

PHOTO: Pixabay

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