We love our pets and want only the best for them. But as they age and develop chronic problems or terminal conditions it becomes more of a challenge to know what “the best” really means. How do we begin to guess how they feel? What they want? How do we manage their health issues to maximize their comfort and minimize stress?
Dr. Erika Bruner has been in practice as a vet for over 20 years in Central Vermont. For the past six years her primary focus has been home visits for end-of-life care. She will lead this morning of conversation with empathy and without judgement.
We’ll cover these topics:
-Why this stage is hard for us to understand, and how it’s normal to feel stuck or lost
-Mobility and confusion: the two most common quality-of-life issues for aging pets
-Other quality-of-life issues: appetite; issues specific to diseases like cancer, kidney failure, etc.
-Low-tech solutions and basic medications
-Does medical intervention (tests, procedures, etc.) make sense for you and your pet?
-How does the euthanasia process usually go (a gentle, basic explanation)?
-Options and planning for euthanasia and aftercare
-A simple framework (the JOURNEYS scale) to help you specifically assess your pet’s quality of life
-How to approach thinking about end-of-life decisions; making a plan
We will go through the JOURNEYS scale together towards the end of the workshop. There will be lots of time for questions and answers, and there will be hourly bathroom breaks! Your participation is welcome but not required, and you can come just to listen; you will not be expected to speak.
Admission: Suggested donation of $20 to cover promotional costs and as a contribution to the Grange for hosting us.