Compassionate care in the comfort of your home
There are many reasons why people choose an in-home visit. Patients with mobility issues may have difficulty getting into a vehicle, anxious patients may become overly stressed by travel and in-hospital visits, and in dealing with upsetting news, many clients feel more comfortable being at home. Whatever the reason, in-home visits allow you to receive professional veterinary care without the struggle involved in getting your pet to the hospital.
Laboratory Testing and Drug Monitoring
As many chronic diseases progress, the focus of treatment also changes. Periodic laboratory tests can help us adjust your pet's treatment plan to provide the best palliative care options available.
For pets on chronic medications, routine blood monitoring can allow us to ensure they are receiving the ideal dosing, and when necessary, make changes to their medicine
Professional Pain Management
Meeting pets in their home environment allows us to observe subtle signs of pain that can often be masked by a surge of adrenaline that frequently accompanies a visit to the hospital.
When pain is identified, we work with you to develop a pain management plan that may include any or all of the following: massage, chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal therapies (including hemp-based products), nutritional supplements, laser therapy, heat/cold therapy, at-home exercises, and of course, prescription pain medication.
Just like in human hospice care, the enjoyment and nutritional importance of a good meal cannot be under-estimated. We will review your pet's current diet and appetite, and offer professional advise on an appropriate prescription diet for your pet's medical condition, review home-prepared dietary options, and when needed, provide appetite stimulants to ensure they continue to receive the necessary nutrients for health.
As pets age, they can become less flexible and lose the ability to groom themselves. Nails can become long, fur matted. These can cause discomfort to our pets. When indicated, we can provide basic grooming assistance such as nail trims and shaving of mats, using gentle sedation when necessary.
Studies have shown that most of our senior pets have some degree of arthritis, which often progresses to difficulties getting around. Other conditions that affect the muscles, bones, and neurological systems can also impair our pets' mobility. We can assist in findings ways to support your pet using medications, therapies, and mobility aids such as slings, harnesses, and wheeled carts, as well as doing an environmental assessment and offering suggestions to make your home more "pet-friendly" during this time of their life.
In concert with appropriate veterinary care, many specific musculoskeletal conditions are well addressed by animal chiropractic, also known as veterinary spinal manipulation therapy. In addition, numerous animal care-takers understand the value of chiropractic in the overall health and wellness of their dogs, cats, horses and other animals. The benefits of animal chiropractic include enhanced performance, function, and quality of life.
Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. This technique has been used in veterinary practice in China for thousands of years to treat many ailments. The Chinese also use acupuncture as preventative medicine. Acupuncture is used all around the world, either along or in conjunction with Western medicine, to treat a wide variety of conditions in every species of animal. Clinical research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans, and the use of acupuncture is increasing. Acupuncture will not cure every condition, but it can work very well when it is indicated.
Laser Therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to stimulate the body's natural ability to heal. The effects of laser energy include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling. In palliative care, the use of KLaser therapy can reduce pain and inflammation, improve mobility, and assist in the healing of wounds.
When we perform a hospice visit, we are not only assessing your pet, but also the environment in which he or she lives. We will often be able to make suggestions to improve their access to common living spaces, bathroom areas, etc. These may include improved floor traction, improved stair safety, bedding changes, litter box access, etc. If you are interested in making any modifications in the home (ie. outdoor ramps), we can even recommend a trade carpenter to help!
The use of medical cannabis is rapidly growing in human medicine, and similar medical benefits are to be expected with pets as well. Current legislation, however, prohibits the prescription of medical cannabis for pets, including CBD oil.
That said, now that all adult Canadians can legally access a range of cannabis products, the potential for pets to be exposed to cannabis inadvertently, or medicated by well-intentioned owners has risen dramatically.
Deciding to utilize a cannabis product for your pet can be a tricky decision. If you are considering cannabis for your pet, make sure you have information on product safety, potential drug interactions, and administration guidance to keep your pet safe and working toward their optimal health.
Telehealth appointments are now available and are conducted through a secure and private video or telephone call with our veterinarian.
These consultations are available for:
Existing patients - for a follow-up consultation
Consultations for new patients (Prescriptions for controlled drugs not available, and when necessary patients may be referred to hospital for hands-on assessment or further testing)
Licensed veterinarians seeking assistance with one of their patients
Having a consultation through a video or phone call obviously does not allow us to perform a complete physical exam. Therefore, regulations do not allow us to prescribe controlled medications during a telehealth appointment unless we have previously examined the pet in person.
Common reasons pet families may wish to schedule a telehealth appointment are to go over a recent diagnosis along with possible treatment options, how to assess their pet's quality of life, and to begin the discussion surrounding end-of-life plans, OR to discuss planned (or current) cannabis use for their pets (see above under Cannabis Consultations).
When you and your veterinarian have decided that the time has come to say goodbye, our doctors can assist your pet's passing in the comfort of your home.
Your pet will receive sedation (typically by an initial injection), and only once relaxed and comfortable, will a final intravenous injection be administered to complete the euthanasia process. If desired, a hair clipping can be provided for a keepsake and ink paw and/or nose-prints can be made.
Aftercare services provided by Gateway Pet Memorial can be coordinated for you, and following euthanasia, we will transport your pet to prepare for cremation.
Alternatively, we can allow your pet to remain with you, for family-directed aftercare.