When it’s time to say goodbye

rainbow bridge from 123rf

Making the decision to euthanise your pet is one of the hardest decisions you as a pet owner will ever make. While it is the last thing you can do for your pet, it is also one of the most important, to end suffering in terminal disease processes, or lay them to rest when the body is struggling and the quality of life has gone. Leaving your pet to pass naturally is often not peaceful and can involve considerable pain and nausea over an extended period depending on the disease leading to death. In contrast, euthanasia is a quick and pain free process, where your pet can pass away with the owners present if they wish. At Levin and Horowhenua Veterinary Centre, we try to make this process as smooth as possible for you, by providing a private room, caring staff and sedating animals where appropriate, to make their final moments as stress free as possible.

Determining the time to euthanise can be hard, we want to spend as much time with our loved one as possible, but don’t want them to suffer or require emergency euthanasia. Frequently assessing quality of life in our senior pets is the best way of noticing subtle differences that can change over time indicating their quality of life is diminishing. There are many quality of life scales available on the internet, but it can be as simple as listing the top 10 things your pet likes to do, then periodically assessing if your pet can still do those things they enjoy. Once they are unable/unwilling to do multiple activities, we consider the quality of life to be deteriorating. Early intervention and treatment of some signs can improve the quality of life for a period of time, so it is important to discuss these signs with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you are concerned about the quality of life of your pet, please contact the friendly team at Levin and Horowhenua Veterinary Centre, to discuss how we can help you and your pet.