Animal Hospice, Diversity and Education
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention,
Georgia World Congress Center, Bld B, Rm 304
American Association of Human- Animal Bond Veterinarians (AAH-ABV,) track.
On Sunday August 1, 2010 multiple distinguished veterinarians from across the country presented invaluable information throughout the day relevant to the Human- Animal Bond and especially how it relates to providing, and supporting animal hospice care. The audience ranged from fifty up to two hundred intent listeners as the speakers rotated during the day.
As a member of the IAAHPC, and as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT,) interested in actively supporting families with options and alternatives to early euthanasia, it was incredibly exciting to hear the possibilities properly provided hospice care offers. This information is close to my heart; it was challenging to contain my optimism as I hand out information on the newly formed International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC,) to veterinarian after veterinarian.
IAAHPC is a fledgeling organization dedicated to education surrounding animal hospice and end-of-life care. IAAHPC is unique in that it is open to all; it encourages membership and support from concerned pet owners, veterinary professionals as well as any others interested in promoting awareness of the options for animal hospice and palliative care.
The veterinary professional plays a crucial role in animal hospice, even if they choose not to offer supportive services in their own practice. By acknowleging the family’s choice or sometime, a shift in the philosophy of care, veterinarians keep the lines of communication open to their aging clientele. The comfort that comes from knowing there’s someone you can call is empowering for pet parents riding the roller coaster the end of life can bring. Care providers human hospice can tell you how “creative” they may have to be in order to fulfill the ultimate mission, absolute comfort care. Veterinarians bring to the table the high ethical standards and guidelines to help keep hospice safe for families and their pets.
One of the most unique and refreshing aspects to the presentations and to IAAHPC is the inclusive theme. We were presented with issues from managing pain via multiple modalities to the acknowledgment and respect rendered to the psychosocial component of animal hospice care. Many speakers touched on the importance of memorials and bereavement not only during but also after the death of a pet. IAAHPC welcomes individuals and organizations across all these fields. Pet parents will be able to clearly connect with and benefit by this great diversity.
Pulling out my crystal ball, I see a beautiful future full of options. Pet parents are not only in control of their pet’s care, they feel comfortable and have clarity on what choices are best for themselves and their pets, as a family.
Robyn Kesnow, RVT
American Association for Human- Animal Bond Veterinarians, AAH-ABV
International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, IAAHPC
International Academy of Pain Management, IVAPM
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