When is it time?
This is the question you may struggle to answer.
Pets are the ones in our lives that love us unconditionally and without judgement. They love us regardless of our income, physical appearance, education, politics, religion, interests, or position in life. They are always happy to see us and are loyal and dependable. They rely on us to make decisions for their welfare- including life and death.
Sometimes the final decision is obvious to everyone. Other times there can be a balancing act of managing quality of life- good days, bad days, how to decide when is the “right time” to let go? Every pet, every family, every situation is different with unique considerations for those involved.
When your pet has been diagnosed with an illness that cannot be cured, but can be managed, your veterinarian can assist you with a treatment plan. The term “palliative care” is treating your pet to address his/her quality of life knowing you will not be able to cure the disease.
I feel euthanasia should be considered when your pet…
- has pain that cannot be managed
- is in respiratory distress
- is unable to eat or drink and medications are not helping
- cannot get up and move around, or has difficulty getting up and moving around
- has become irritable and snippy
- has a condition that is prone to a sudden, catastrophic event (rupture of an organ, internal bleeding, seizure, broken bone). The only way to guarantee your pet will pass peacefully and without stress is to euthanize before the catastrophic event happens.
- is no longer enjoying life
- your family can no longer manage your pet’s condition
Here are links to some articles on how to make this decision:
- JOURNEYS – my Quality of Life Scale developed from hundreds of conversations with my pet owner clients
- HHHHHMM Quality of Life Scale
- Making the decision
- End of Life Conversations – Your Pet Wants To Talk
For those who wonder about the pet’s perspective, animal communicator Liz Morrison shares how pets feel about end of life. I have had personal experience with her (and so have my staff- Jack, Tip and Mama Kitty) and we feel we can trust her.
Always feel free to call us to discuss your pet’s condition.
I am willing to discuss your questions, concerns, or just listen!