Pet Euthanasia - Making That Most Difficult Decision


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One of the most troubling things in life is having to deal with a seriously ill pet, a pet that literally is on its last legs. As a corollary of that trauma, one of the most difficult decisions that a person can face in life is making the determination as to whether or not the time has come to euthanize a beloved companion animal.

There are some factors that you can weigh and balance to assist you in your own decision making process when it comes to dealing with end of life issues of a much loved pet.

The Issue is About Your Pet - Not You

Oftentimes when a person has a very ill pet, you hear that person make statements to the effect of:

“I am really going to Miss Rover” or “I don’t know what I will do without Fluffy” or (worst of all) “I am going to keep Boxer until the bitter end. ”

In other words, these men and women are putting their own feelings and interests before those of their pet. They seem to be overlooking the fact that it is the pet that is in dire pain.

When it comes to making these life or death decisions involving your pet, it is important to keep in mind that while you might have feelings, it is the feelings of your pet - particularly the pain your pet is suffering - that must be your paramount concern.

Consult with a Vet Early and Often

It is very important that you keep your vet closely involved in the process of determining when the time is right to euthanize your pet. Your vet will have been down this road many times. You vet will be able to five you unbiased and coolheaded advice about whether or not the time has come to bring about your pet’s final passing.

It also is very important that you take your vet’s advice seriously. There really will be no reason for you not to follow the advice of your vet if he or she finally concludes that the time has arrived to euthanize your companion animal. As mentioned, your vet will be unbiased and objective and will be better able to gauge what level of pain your pet is going through.

Should You be There for the End?

One question that may be haunting you is whether or not you should be present in the room when the time comes to euthanize your pet. In fact, some vet clinics have rules against having owners in the room during that procedure. Therefore the question actually may be resolved for you from the start. You may not even have the option of being present in the procedure room for the procedure.

However, if the vet or clinic does give you the option to be present at the time your pet actually is euthanized, you need to be very thoughtful about the decision you make. The ultimate question needs to be whether or not you can really provide your pet with any true comfort during those final moments and how painful the procedure will be for you. This is the juncture in the whole process when you can think of your own feelings and emotions. Moreover, you will not want to have the memory of your pet’s death be the final memory that is etched into your mind.

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