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I want to give my dog palliative care; vet won’t let me

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in need of urgent advice. Vet told me today that my dog has liver cancer, it’s very bad and he probably only has days to live. The animal hospital want to put him down, I want to take him home and take care of him and give him drugs to at least ensure that he doesn’t have pain. They say it’s not treatable. But they will only allow the drugs to be given to him in the hospital and won’t give them to me to take home because they’re ‘regulated’. They’re also saying that they won’t keep him in any longer than 24 hours. They basically keep telling me I should put him down. I think not giving me the drugs is basically just their policy and not the law. I can of course justify why I need them. I would appreciate any advice very much. I’m in Melbourne 

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Firstly @Darkstar... I'm so sorry you find yourself having to say goodbye to your loyal mate sooner than you ever thought...


As for the clinic not giving you the meds to take home and administer, it is most likely that they are extremely strong medications that are of a shedule that means only vets (and nurses under direct vet instruction) can give them. Paperwork probably needs to be filled out for government inspection in order to even dispense such medications each time he requires them. If your boy is on such medications, he will not be aware of anything around him except that he is in less pain... and to be perfectly honest, I don't think you want to remember him in that state, do you?


Vets do not recommend euthanaisia lightly... it is an option of last resort in order to end suffering... and it's the one true gift that we have the option of giving our loyal furry friends when they are in a position like your boy is in. You don't want him suffering or so doped up he's not aware of anything (even your love and devotion)... maybe it's just his time NOW, despite it being so hard for you to accept right now.


Hugs to you... and hugs to your boy who needs you to be strong for him right now.



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I am sorry you and your best mate are going through this.

As dog owners we luckily have the choice (and moral obligation) to say goodbye to our bestie when the time comes rather than have our dog linger on, comatose on drugs and unaware of anything other than their pain (remember they are stoic and are not letting on how much in pain they are).

I feel that palliative care is for humans as their loved-ones don't have this choice, you do and though it's tough, saying goodbye now is the best for your dog.

All of us DOLers have needed to say goodbye and we do it because it is the final gift of love we can give them.


B xx

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I think it’s time to say goodbye. 

Think about how you’d like to remember your precious pet. If you take him home to pass, drugged up or otherwise, do you really want to see him gasping for air or screaming in pain, or such outcomes, and possibly have to rush him to an emergency vet to find all of you in that situation. Or would you rather take a deep breath and take the most peaceful and painless of options, of which we are so privileged to be able to choose for our pets. 

There are vets who will visit you at home to perform this service. Your pet can be passed over peacefully in his bed or favourite chair, or gathered with his family in the yard in the sun, however you’d like it. 

Can anyone here in Melbourne recommend a mobile vet? . Or you could ask your vet if they offer this service or know of one who does.

It is a very difficult time, but please act quickly. Ease your dog over peacefully rather than let him drag on just for the sake of a few days.

if you have never been present for the euthanasia process, it is so quick. Your pet will appear to rapidly drift off to sleep and that’s it. 


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I've had pets die in all ways possible (I think). None of the are 'nicer'. I had one pet pass in its sleep at a really old age and with no illness, I was still really sad. So you need to do what is best for your pet. If your dog is distressed in the hospital and you really want the dog to pass at home call your local vet and ask if they will come out to your house and euthanise your dog. 


The liver not working probably also means that drugs don't work quite the same way as a lot of drugs are processed through the liver. This might also be why the vet hospital aren't keen on giving you the drugs to take home. 


In this respect we are kinder to our pets than people (although laws are changing). We send people home to die slowly but release our pets from pain in a much kinder manner. 


I am sorry you are going through this. 

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@Darkstar  :( Such a sad and heartbreaking time for you . 
Others have explained it all beautifully .
I will just confirm what they have said , and say that as difficult as it may seem,it is time to help your boy to cross over that rainbow bridge , with the professionals there, and you to hold him and love him as you have always done . 

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