The idea for a hospice care service for pets didn’t come to Karen Randall all at once. As a practicing veterinarian for nearly 20 years, Randall began to notice that her clients were asking to close a glaring gap in traditional veterinary services. “They didn’t know what they were asking for, but they wanted more help with end-of-life decisions,” Randall says.
Shortly after moving to Edina in December 2010, Randall decided to open Solace Veterinary Hospice, which offers short-term hospice and in-home euthanasia for pets. “This whole business is about honoring the bonds between people and their animals,” Randall says.
As part of the service, Randall comes up with an extensive care plan after meeting with the owner and observing the pet, which may include pain management, palliative care and maintaining nutrition and hydration. “Controlling pain is a big part of controlling quality of life,” she says.
Randall says a common misconception of pet hospice is that the services prolong suffering, when in reality, “it’s about trying to make your pet feel as good as possible for as long as possible.” Some pets have lived an additional 8 to 12 months in comfort.
And while losing a pet may seem like an insurmountable loss, veterinary hospice offers an alternative to honor the life of a devoted companion.