Home Sweet Home Veterinary Housecall Euthanasia Services
Call Dr. Dawn Ziegler: 619-226-7297
Feeling that it may be time to help your friend?
When? is often the hardest question of all. From the moment our wonderful friends enter our lives, we know that at some point we will need to make a very hard decision for them. It is a decision that none of us want to make but we make the decision out of love and compassion, that our best friend will not know suffering. Sometimes, the decision is easier when we know there are no other options left and there are times that the decision is harder because it is the accumulation of aging changes. Some questions to ask yourself include:
Is my friend eating enough to maintain a healthy weight and drinking normally?
Is vomiting, diarrhea, constipation uncontrollable?
Is breathing comfortable or is it labored and rapid?
Is my friend able to get up and down and move around comfortably?
Am I able to keep my friend clean and not lying in waste?
Am I able to control pain with proper and effective pain management?
Is my buddy happy or is he or she not acting normally, avoiding people, wanting to be left alone, not wanting to be touched, extremely anxious, unusually clingy, behavioral changes?
Is my friend just existing with very little joy left?
While there is no single question that helps to make this decision, thinking about the overall quality of the day to day life in comparison with when times were good can be of benefit. Ill and senior pets can sometimes be on a roller coaster of good days mixed with bad days. When the scale starts to tip, where the bad days are outweighing the good days, it may be time to question the happiness and comfort of your friend. You may want to have an honest discussion with your veterinarian to see if there are other tests or medical treatments that could improve the quality of life. Sometimes, medications can be added in or changes in the amount of medication can be made. Your pet may need to be on multiple pain medications to provide the best pain control and you may have additional options. You may need to share with your trusted veterinarian that you are considering that it may be time for euthanasia. Some veterinarians may not realize that you are getting close to that decision and could have some options to offer your pet.
We do not want to take away good days but we never want pain and suffering to linger. This decision is one of the last acts of love that we give to our friend. We break our hearts so that we can take their physical suffering away from them and that is the biggest act of love.