Tip of the Month

11/14/2011 Euthanasia: Having to Face the Inevitable

To lose a beloved pet is hard enough but to have to decide to euthanize might sometimes prove to be even more difficult. Some pet owners may choose to not euthanize and just make their home as comfortable as possible for their petís last remaining days. Their pet may have some health issues or may be deteriorating from old age. Some things to consider in making the home more comfortable is to surround him/her with his/her favorite toys and blankets. The blankets should be very soft with lots of cushion. If your pet is unable to move much, then they may develop sores on certain areas of their bodies, so make sure to provide a comfortable lounging option for them. Some pets may also no longer be able to control their bladder. If this is the case, you may need to check your pet regularly so that he/she does not lie in soiled blankets. They do have puppy pads that you can place under your pet in case any accidents were to occur. They also sell clothing such as doggy bands and doggy diapers in case your pet were to have incontinence problems.

Although some may choose to keep their pet at home and let him/her go naturally, others may feel that euthanasia is a better decision. Signs to look for in your pet could be anything from his/her behavior changing to visible physical changes. Some cats and dogs donít always cry out in pain. They might show excessive panting, irregular breathing, lethargy, seclusion, loss of appetite, and loss of energy. If you have other pets in the house, they may even start to show changes in their behaviors due to the one pet that is ill. If you are ever unsure of how your pet is doing, then it would be in the petís best interest to have them see their Veterinarian. Once at the veterinarianís office the Doctor, Technician, or Veterinary Assistant will be able to assist you with any questions you may have as well about symptoms you may have noticed. The problem may even appear to be bigger than what it really is so itís always best to seek professional help.

If the problems persist, medicine doesnít seem to be working, your pet appears to be in pain, and the veterinarian has advised you that euthanasia might be an option, then it might be something to consider with your family. Euthanasia is a procedure thatís painless and done very quickly. To let an animal die naturally might not always be the best option as it could involve seizures, starvation, dehydration, hemorrhaging, etc. causing your pet a long process of pain. Once the decision is made to euthanize your pet, the next question will be whether or not to be present. Some feel that staying with your pet offers your companion love and comfort for their remaining seconds of his/her life. Some owners may also feel a type of comfort for themselves as well if they were to stay. Other pet owners sometimes see this as more difficult and might not be able to handle it well. For this reason, they might choose to not be present.

Although no one wants to ever think about what might happen one day if they were to lose a loved one, it is usually best to know all your options now and plan for things ahead of time.

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