End of life care


The specialised area of palliative care and animal hospices seem to be more developed in the US and Canada; with more than 210 veterinarians listed in an online directory offering in-home pet euthanasia1.

Selected references below highlights the different areas of this topic. For general coverage, see -

  • Goldberg, Katherine J. (2016) Veterinary hospice and palliative care: a comprehensive review of the literature. Veterinary Record, 178(15), pp. 369-374
  • Special issue: Palliative medicine and hospice care (2011) Veterinary Clinics of North America, Small Animal Practice, 41(3)
  • Will hospice care become a standard part of practice? A topic of discussion on Vet Futures


Free access content

  • Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Guidelines - published by the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (PDF 995KB) Accessed 24 Feb 2014
  • dogs restingJarolim, E. (2014) Spreading the word on hospice care. American Animal Hospital Association - Trends magazine. (PDF 971KB) Accessed 24 Feb 2015
  • WSAVA (2014) Guidelines for recognition, assessment and treatment of pain (PDF 3927K)


Selected references

  • Gregersen, S. (2015) End of life care: a new speciality. Veterinary Times, 45(8), pp. 26-27.
  • McVety, D. and Gardner, M. (2014) Veterinary hospice. Proceedings of the NAVC Conference, 18-22 January 2014, Orlando, Florida, USA. Volume 28, Small Animal & Exotics
  • Kerrigan, L. (2013) Veterinary palliative and hospice care - making the transition from 'cure' to 'care'. The Veterinary Nurse, 4(6), pp. 316-321
  • Jessup, D.A. and Scott, C.A. (2011) Hospice in a zoologic medicine setting. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 42(2), pp. 197-204
  • Downing, R.; Adams, V.H. and McClenaghan, A.P. (2011) Comfort, hygiene, and safety in veterinary palliative care and hospice. (Special issue: Palliative medicine and hospice care). Veterinary Clinics of North America. Small Animal Practice, 41(3), pp. 619-634
  • Moore, A.S. (2011) Managing cats with cancer: an examination of ethical perspectives. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 13(9), pp. 661-671
  • Scherk, M. (2010) Homecare and end of life issues. BSAVA 53rd Annual Congress 2010, Scientific Proceedings, Veterinary Programme, Birmingham, UK, pp. 220-222


More references are available to download from our 'Related documents' box.


1Gregersen, S. (2015) End of life care: a new speciality. Veterinary Times, 45(8), pp. 26-27.


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