Euthanasia and your Pet

by Dr. Peter Hill 7. March 2014 15:13

dr. peter hill

When is the right time?

The decision regarding the euthanasia of a beloved pet may be the most difficult decision one makes in one’s entire life; obviously, the consequences are irrevocable. Whatever the decision is, it should be one that you can always look back upon and know that the best decision was made. Often your veterinarian can be very helpful in this process.

If you are considering euthanasia, discuss the pet’s condition with your veterinarian prior to making a decision or even coming in for an appointment. Every veterinarian has a story or two about the pet that was brought in for euthanasia but turned out to have a relatively simple problem and ultimately achieved a complete recovery.

So how do you know if it is time? There are several criteria used in evaluating life quality and you should consider them carefully.

  • Is your pet eating? Basically, quality life involves eating or at least interest in food. An animal that is hungry has vitality that must be considered, though this is not the only consideration.
     
  • Is your pet comfortable? The pet should be free of
    debilitating pains, cramps, aches or even the psychological pain that comes from the development of incontinence in an animal that has been housebroken its entire life.
  • Does the pet still enjoy its favorite activities? The elderly pet does not necessarily need to continue chasing balls catching sticks but he should enjoy sleeping comfortably, favorite resting spots, the company of the owner etc. You know your pet better than any one and only you can truly answer these questions.

Making the decision to have your pet put to sleep is truly heart-breaking. Often getting the family involved in the decision is very helpful. In our practice we encourage owners to be present if possible knowing that there beloved pet had a peaceful passing.

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Comments (1) -

Kaushik Biswas
Kaushik Biswas
3/9/2015 4:17:23 AM #

without a doubt this is the hardest decision that an pet lover can take. specially, when deciding for a creature who cannot express his/her mind & condition. i went through this once. and i'll remember it all my life. the doctor clearly explained me the health condition of my pet before i took the decision. afterward, i landed up in similar situation, but that time doctor said 'no', the creature can die a normal death. and yes, i gathered a lot of faith in pet's doctor when i saw my pet really died a very peaceful death.

in such situations, a good vet is the prime person whom a pet lover needs. birth & death is decided by God, but when humans have to decide, it must be flawless. thanks you Dr. Peter Hill, for such a nice topic.

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