There is probably no more difficult question than whether or not to euthanize a cherished companion animal. Yet when the quality of life for your pet has deteriorated, when your pet is suffering, or when costs of tests and treatments are prohibitive, euthanasia may be the most loving and humane choice for you and your pet.
COMING TO A DECISION
Just because your pet has been diagnosed with a terminal illness may not be reason enough to resort to euthanasia. Depending on the stage and severity of your pet’s illness or injury, and the resources you have available, you and your pet may still have many happy years left together. Exploring all aspects of the decision with your veterinarian and with others whom you trust is very important. Keep in mind, however, that in the end, the decision belongs to you and you alone.
QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERS
Its important to think through whatever questions you may have about the actual procedure so you can discuss these and any other concerns with your veterinarian.
Based on this discussion and the reality of your own situation, when the time comes, you will be better prepared to use your own good judgment.
Think about these questions; then, if necessary, arrange a time to discuss them with your veterinarian:
- How will the euthanasia be performed? (Most veterinarians will inject your pet with a fast-acting heavy sedative. Once the sedative takes effect, a second injection is given that stops the heart.)
- Where will the euthanasia be performed? (At your veterinarian’s office or animal clinic, at your local Humane Society or animal control facility, or at your own home. If your veterinarian doesn’t provide at-home euthanasia, you can ask for a referral to one who does.)
- When will the euthanasia be performed? (Try to schedule it at a time that’s least traumatic for you, and your pet, and when you can be accompanied by a friend or family member – especially if driving is involved.)
- Should the euthanasia procedure be immediate or delayed? (It all depends upon the individuals involved. It may be easier to get it done while you are certain of the decision, since waiting for the inevitable may be difficult for you. Yet a planned delay can afford you and your pet some time to make the most of your final days together.)
- Should I/we be present during the procedure? (You know best what you are capable of handling. You should be guided by what makes you feel comfortable and by what you think you can live with later. Some people consider being present as a final demonstration to the pet of their affection, and take comfort in knowing their pet is actually deceased and at peace with a loved one at their side when passing. Others prefer to remember their pet as they were, alive and active.)
- Will it matter to my pet if I’m present? (Pets feel more secure in the company of people they know, yet they do not have the same awareness of death as humans do. An owner’s anxiety can be conveyed to both pet and veterinarian, but if the owner is calm, the pet will remain calm also.)
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME?
When answering this question, consider the following:
- What is your pet’s general health and attitude? (Is your pet still happy with a zest for life, miserable, in pain, terminally ill or critically injured with no hope of recovery?)
- What is the quality of your pet’s life? (Is your pet still living with dignity?)
- How much care does your pet require?
- Can you afford the costs involved, in terms of time, money and emotional strain?
- What is your pet’s prognosis? (Will more tests, treatments or surgery make your pet any better and are there any negative side-effects from such tests or treatments?)
- How do you feel about euthanasia? (Do you consider it an act of compassion?)
- Are there any signs from the pet that he or she is “ready to go”? (Some pets have a way of letting us know.)
- Sometimes people keep their pets alive in order to meet their own needs (to not feel guilty, to not let go) rather than to meet the needs of the pet. Hard as it may be, ask yourself if this could be going on with you.
WHY IT’S WISE TO PLAN AHEAD
Much as we don’t like to think about it, death and loss are natural parts of living. Sooner or later our cherished pets will grow old, become seriously ill or sustain an injury that can’t be fixed.
Because the life spans of most domestic animals are naturally shorter than our own, it is quite likely that at some point each of us will experience the death of a pet. Accepting that reality gives us a great deal of control over how we’ll handle the situation when it arises, because we can choose to plan ahead for it.
We don’t have to wait until we’re overwhelmed with grief to think about the practical aspects of pet death and afterlife care, and how we could best preserve and honor our pet’s memory thereafter. Ignoring the important decisions associated with the death of a pet or leaving them to somebody else when the time comes only adds to your pain and prolongs your grief. Taking responsibility for the situation lets you prepare yourself for your loss long before your pet dies. Divine AfterLife Dead Pet Removal and Care is available to help you plan and carry out your plan at the end of your cherished companion’s life. Call 602-391-0160 or visit DeadPetRemoval.com for more details and assistance.
admin February 4, 2019 Blog - Tags: cat, dead dog, dead pet, death, deceased, deceased dog, deceased pet, disposing of dead dog, dog, euthanasia, pet, pet death