Pet Nursing Care

When you enroll your pet in our hospice program, an experienced home care veterinary nurse will engage in your pet’s care every step of the way, including regularly scheduled home visits and telehealth assessments.  Your nurse will have regular communication with you and your pet, to help address incremental changes in your pet’s condition, and to help anticipate changing needs before they escalate.  Your nurse will coordinate regularly with our hospice veterinarians to ensure we’re meeting your pet’s needs at every stage.  

In addition to regular health and comfort assessments, nurse appointments can also include:

Medication Demonstrations – Our nurse can help demonstrate the best ways to give oral pills, liquids, injectable, or transdermal medications.  Some pets will benefit from injectable medications, especially if you find it difficult to give oral medications, or from subcutaneous injections of fluids to help address dehydration.  Our nurse will demonstrate and help you practice giving these treatments.  

Medication Administration – If you’re finding it difficult to give medications, if you are away at work when medications are due, or if you find that your relationship with your pet is suffering due to the stress of medicating, our nurses and nurse assistants can step in to help.  We can also come to administer one-time treatments, or to provide urgent care interventions in your home.

Lab Work Collection– Our nurses can come to collect blood and urine samples for lab analyses, to help monitor your pet’s health.  We recommend blood work at least every 6 months for all senior pets, or sometimes more frequently depending on your pet’s condition.

Environmental Assessments – Our nurse will discuss what options there may be for helping to address your pets’ needs at home.  We look at your home environment to discuss ways to positively impact your pet’s mobility, safety, and emotional wellbeing.  

Emotional enrichment assessments will help you address potential boredom or depression that your pet may experience due to decreased mobility or functioning, and help your pet better cope with pain or discomfort. 

Assistive Devices – Our nurse can discuss what Assistive Devices may be available to help your pet – such as slings, harnesses, ramps, steps, paw grips, wheel chairs, wagons, diapers, etc.  We have a variety of these devices for rent or sale, and our Rehab nurse can help fit the appropriate size for your pet and demonstrate their use.  (Also see our Rehab and Physical Therapy services)

Hygiene Care –  Our nurse can demonstrate hygiene techniques for pets with poor mobility, incontinence, or other messy issues.  We can also perform in-home nail trims, shave mats, express anal glands, and clean ears.

Nutritional Assessments – If your pet is not eating well or is having weight loss, GI sensitivities, or has other nutritional needs, our nurse can discuss recommendations and tips to help address these issues.

Wound Care – Our nurse can help assess and clean wounds such as bed sores, bleeding tumors, lacerations, abscesses, and surgical sites.  We can change bandages, assess healing, clean, and liaise with the veterinarian for care instructions.

Recumbency Care – Recumbency means “lying down.”  When a pet is no longer able to get up and move around easily, or at all, then special care should be taken to ensure their bedrest is as comfortable as possible, and not causing other complications or discomforts.  Our nurse will discuss how and when to help your pet move.  We’ll demonstrate passive range-of-motion exercises to promote good blood flow, discuss how to avoid bed sores, how to address hygiene needs, and a variety of tactics to help your pet avoid depression or boredom.  (Also see our Rehab and Physical Therapy services)

I.V. Catheter, Urinary Catheter, or Feeding Tube Care – If your pet was sent home from the hospital with an I.V. catheter, urinary catheter, or feeding tube in place, our nurses can help maintain proper sanitation and perform other necessary upkeep.

Travel Coverage – Our nurse can coordinate with your pet-sitter if your pet requires skilled hospice assessments, medication administration, or other urgent care needs while you are away.  Our team can be on “stand-by” to assist in the event your pet’s needs escalate while you are away.  You are welcome to provide us with a key to your home any time, for peace of mind that we can be there whenever needed.

Respite Care – Caring for a beloved pet in hospice can be very demanding, physically and emotionally.  Respite Care provides you, the caregiver, with temporary support and relief, for an afternoon, for several days, or even for weeks. 

Planning for the Unexpected – Sudden decline and emergencies can happen, and seem to happen at inopportune times like middle of night or weekends.  Our nurse can help you prepare for these situations, including helping equip you with emergency medications to administer in case of these “worst case scenarios”.

Natural Death Preparations – Our experienced nurses and nurse assistants can work with you to prepare for the event that your pet dies naturally at home, without euthanasia.  We can discuss what to expect during the dying process, what considerations can be made, and when to seek intervention with one of our veterinarians.

Addressing Your Concerns – As your pet’s caregiver you are likely to face moments of frustration and uncertainty, not to mention sadness and even self-doubt. Our nurse will listen, offer guidance, and engage our experienced team to provide further support as needed.