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Review
Veterinary hospice and palliative care: a comprehensive review of the literature
  1. Katherine J. Goldberg, DVM1
  1. 1Whole Animal Veterinary Geriatrics and Hospice Services, East Tompkins Street, Ithaca, New York 14850, USA
  2. 1Dr Goldberg also has a courtesy lecturer appointment at College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Tower Road, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: kgoldberg{at}wholeanimalvet.com

Abstract

The death of a pet is a universal experience for those who share their lives with animals. In parallel with a rising interest in palliative medicine, hospice care and advance-care planning within human medicine, increasing attention is currently being given to serious illness and death within veterinary medicine. Our ability to prolong life has created the need for thoughtful end of life discourse. Interest in hospice and palliative care for companion animals is on the rise, yet there has been limited scholarly research in these areas to date. This review concludes that veterinary hospice and palliative care is currently hindered by an inadequate amount of scholarly research to guide clinicians. Given a lack of prospective studies in veterinary hospice and palliative care to date, a significant opportunity exists for veterinary teaching institutions to contribute to the literature in an important and growing field.

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