This is a difficult subject for clients and vet staff alike. It’s a subject that can make us all feel a little uncomfortable and very sad at the same time. Hopefully, this article will make the decision making process and discussing it with your vet a little easier when it comes to that ‘time’.
What is Euthanasia?
In veterinary medicine euthanasia is by way of an overdose of anaesthetic. The anaesthetic is given into a vein and the pet goes to sleep. As with all animals that pass away, there may be some reflex responses at this time including doing a little wee or poo.
What are the vital factors when considering euthanasia?
- What is your pet’s every day life like? Does she still jump up to greet you and interact with the family? Is she eating and drinking? Is she able to go to the toilet herself?
- Is your pet in pain? Is there something that can be done to manage that pain?
- Does your pet have an illness that is terminal? Are there things that can be done to improve his quality of life for the mean time?
- If your pet has high care needs, is the family coping with delivering those needs or is it putting excessive strain on particular individuals? If not, are you able to get extra help or not?
- Are you able to afford the care your pet requires?
In general, the pivoting point is evaluating whether your pet has more “good” or more “bad” days. If you think the “bad” are starting to outweigh the “good” it may be time to discuss your pet’s quality of life with your vet.
Other factors to consider:
- Chat to your vet. She is there to help you with the decision and give you a professional opinion on what is and isn’t feasible for managing your pet’s care.
- If you do decide to go down the road of euthanasia, try to discuss it with the rest of the family before it takes place. That way it won’t come as a dreadful shock to anyone and allows time for family members to express their feelings and start the difficult process of trying to deal with the loss of their pet.
- Decide whether you would like all the family present, or just a partner or friend to support you.
- Decide whether you would like the procedure to take place at home.
- Decide whether you would like your pet cremated or if you would like to arrange to have him buried.
- Once your pet has passed you may consider holding a little ceremony at home to allow children (and adults) to express how they feel and say goodbye.
- Get help: If you or a loved one are battling to manage your feelings or you are feeling sad for prolonged periods of time, get help. Speak to a counsellor, your GP or call a help line like Beyond Blue or Kids Helpline.
If you would like more information or would like to discuss your pet’s care, please call 0481 527 678 or email us. We’ll be happy to help you work through this tough decision.