End Of Life Care
Saying goodbye to a family member is an extremely difficult and personal decision. While some pets die quietly at home from old age, many other pets grow seriously ill, become painful or have extreme limitations which diminishes their quality of life. Euthanasia is a humane choice to ease a pet's suffering. Knowing the facts about euthanasia can help your family make a decision and be at peace with the process.
While the idea of saying goodbye to your pet may be devastating, watching your pet suffer is a far more terrible experience. Try to assess your pet's quality of life by asking yourself the following questions:
- Does your pet have a terminal illness?
- Can your pet's illness be alleviated with medication or surgery?
- Is treatment affordable?
- Is your pet losing his or her bodily functions? Can your pet stand up, walk up and down stairs, defecate, and urinate on his or her own?
- Does your pet still want to eat and drink water?
- Is extending your pets life in his or her best interest? Or are you extending his or her life for yourself? Many pet owners find it difficult to answer this last question and struggle to answer it.
If you are unsure on how to answer some of the above questions, talk to your veterinarian. Every pet, illness and situation is different and a veterinarian is the best qualified person to help you decipher through your options and guide you through the process. Also, talking to loved ones is a great way to help sort out emotions and see things from others perspectives.
When you've decided it's time to meet with the veterinarians at New Hope Animal Hospital for your pet's end of life care, know that we'll take the process seriously and skillfully.
The euthanasia process varies slightly if the pet owner chooses to be present or not, but in general, the veterinary team will place an iv catheter while the pet owners signs paperwork, chooses burial or cremation options and pays for the procedure and other services. Pet owners are then given time to say goodbye. Many bring a pet's favorite toy, blanket or "forbidden" foods like cheeseburgers and french fries. When the family is ready to say goodbye, they alert the veterinary team and the veterinarian gives the euthanasia solution Iv through the catheter. After confirming that the heart has stopped, the family is given more time to say goodbye if desired. Then, based on what the family has decided to do, the family will take the pet home in a small coffin or the veterinary team will take the pet to prepare the body for cremation.
If you believe it's time for your pet's end of life care, please contact our staff.