Page Yaxley, DVM, DACVECC, and Katherine Goldberg, DVM, recently founded the Veterinary Society for Hospice and Palliative Care to advance the practice and knowledge of veterinary hospice and palliative care through professional education, community engagement and research. The pair says that with the exponential expansion of palliative and hospice care in the past few years, it is emerging as a distinct discipline of veterinary medicine.
“We are focused on the forward momentum of this field, which sees humane, dignified end-of-life veterinary care as an integral part of overall wellness,” says Yaxley, assistant professor in the department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and founder of the college’s Veterinary Hospice Service.
Goldberg and Yaxley believe advanced training and education are necessary to ensure that the veterinary profession will continue to advance knowledge and practice in the discipline. They share a vision of educating veterinary professionals, students and community members in the areas of bond-centered geriatric support, palliative and hospice care. “The specialty includes medical care and a respect for the unique relationship between animals and their caregivers,” says Goldberg, founder of one the few veterinary practices in the country exclusively focused on geriatrics, hospice and palliative care.
Activities for the new society are being planned for spring 2014. For more information, go to cvm.msu.edu.