By Dr. Andrew Jones
There were many months at the clinic I have had to euthanize far
too many dogs and cats.
They generally were all been for very legitimate reasons..Cancer ( 4 patients), Paralysis, Bleeding Disorders, End Stage Kidney Failure..etc..
It seems that more of this happens during the Holiday Season.
I’m not sure if that is true, or if it had more of an
effect on me.
Most clients make the decision in a very thoughtful,
sensitive and respectful way- they weigh out the quality of
their pet’s life, with their own needs to keep their pet
I was often asked if now is the time..I always then asked my
clients questions regarding quality of life, pain or discomfort in
their pet and how they are feeling.
It’s not easy.
If any of you have gone through this, you know just how agonizing and
difficult it is.
I am honored that we have this option with our dogs and cats- I
watched my Grandmother waste away from Lung Cancer, only to be
given narcotics for the last month of her life to keep her comfortable.
But the point is to respect this right- AND not treat it frivolously.
Here are some things to consider to help you make this serious decision:
1. Eating and Drinking. Is your pet able to eat and drink normally.
My dog Hoochie ( a Lab cross) was a food hound, so when his appetite ended,
I knew it was time soon.
2. Pain. Is your pet in pain often? ASK your Veterinarian this. Does the
pain control medication help?
3. Activity levels. Can she still go for walks?
4. Housetraining. Has your pet lost bladder or bowel control?
5. Senility and aging. Does your pet enjoy interaction with you, or
could she care less?
6. Does your pet have a terminal illness such as Cancer?
7. Are you willing to explore ALL the options for treating their disease
OR do you want just palliative care?
8. Are you keeping your pet alive for your own Issues around death..or is
this in the best interests of your pet?
9. Have you asked a friend if you are making the right decision? It helps
to have a 3rd party.
10.Discuss and be aware of what euthanasia is, HOW it will happen, What will
happen with your pet afterwards ( ie burial or cremation), and How you will
get support to deal with your grief. I have NEVER felt so low and such a
deep sense of loss than when my last dog Hoochie died.
I hope this helps some of you.
Dr Andrew J
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