April 24, 2019 5:19 pm
Updated: April 24, 2019 6:53 pm

Toronto doctor creates mobile veterinary service for geriatric, end-of-life care for animals

WATCH ABOVE: Mobile Veterinary Hospice Services is dedicated to geriatric and aging pets in Toronto. Veterinarians go into the homes of pet owners to help them say goodbye to their pets with dignity and respect. Susan Hay has the story.

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Dr. Faith Banks graduated from veterinary school more than 20 years ago ready to make a difference in the pet world. But as her passion grew deeper caring for her patients, Banks wanted to do more and she did – creating an in-home care service.

“Midtown Mobile Veterinary Hospice Service is dedicated to geriatric and aging pets in Toronto,” said Banks. “We have veterinarians that go into homes to help owners care for their pets as they age.”

Banks started the mobile veterinary service seven years ago after experiencing a need for it herself.

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“I had a lovely Bernese Mountain dog named Smudge. As she started aging, I started seeing all the issues she was having with anxiety and accidents in the house and difficulty with mobility not sleeping very well – which was making us not sleep very well,” said Banks. “I read an article about animal hospice and I thought this is incredible, I want to do this.”

Riley is an 11-year-old Bernese Mountain dog with lung cancer. Dr. Banks has been taking care of her for the last few months.

“I need somebody like Dr. Banks to help our family navigate Riley’s life,” said Tracey Steinhart.

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“Having Riley at home rather than a clinic means she’s familiar with her surrounding,” said Steinhart.

“She doesn’t get stressed or agitated. When Dr. Banks comes to the house, it’s very comforting for Riley as well as for myself.”

The in-home care service is made up of five compassionate veterinarians along with three hospice care coordinators and one hospice team manager.

“When I started this service seven years ago, I wanted to really focus on geriatrics and end of life, and that’s all we do,” said Banks. “I like to think that we are helping pets age gracefully and die with dignity.”

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