The Magic Bullet Fund

Palliative Care


We could say that all or most cancer treatment is palliative care. Palliative care sounds ominous but it does not only apply to the very final stage where death is imminent.

When we decide that a pet is now in palliative care, what we are saying is that aggressive treatment will no longer be given. We accept that the treatment isn't working or that the treatment side effects are making the pet so ill that staving off cancer may be more deleterious to the pet than allowing the cancer to progress. The pet simply cannot tolerate the treatment.

But after choosing to stop treatment, we continue to provide care - palilative care, hospice care, pawspice care. We maintain the pet's quaility of life as best we can for as long as we can. In some cases, the cancer will progress slowly and we will still have lots of quality time.

Depending on how aggressive the cancer is, at some point in time the pet's quality of life slides downhill. It may be days or weeks or months after palliative care begins. Then we make a very difficult decision to provide euthanasia and allow the pet to have a good death, just as we worked to provide him or her with a good life.

For a wonderful aid in evaluating your pet's quality of life, see the HHHHMM Quality of Life Scale by Dr. Alice Villalobos HERE.

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Not Today and Not Without a Fight!
JGP
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