Determining your companion’s quality of life is a very difficult task. It’s wrought with emotion, and isn’t always a clear cut decision. When is it time to lovingly help your pet become an angel? At ECVS, we gladly offer palliative and hospice care counseling for you and your pet.
We typically look at a few factors to determine if an animal has an acceptable quality of life. Generally speaking, we want to ensure that they are emotionally happy, adequately healthy, and are not in pain. Often times, we as pet owners hold on too long to our furry friends, not because we want them to suffer, but because we love them so much that we do not want them to leave us. However, it’s important that we do not selfishly keep them from a peaceful passing for our own well-being.
Eating is one of the biggest joys in life, both for humans and animals alike. Who doesn’t love going out for a nice dinner, or sitting down to a home-cooked meal? Your pet is the same, and their food intake should be watched closely. Pets sometimes slow down or completely stop eating for a wide range of reasons. If they stop enjoying their food or treats, there is usually a concerning underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Remember, undesired weight loss in not normal!
As we age, we often discover new aches and pains that weren’t there before. We can choose to take medication or see a physician for our discomfort. Your pet deserves the same treatment. Often we hear owners say that their pet isn’t in pain, but they limp, are slow to rise, or are stiff when they get up or walk. These are all signs of discomfort. They can’t tell you that their knees hurt – it’s up to us as caregivers to recognize the signs of pain so we can help our pets live as comfortably as possible.
There are many factors that go into the decision to say goodbye to a beloved pet. Euthanasia, at its root, means “good death.” When the time comes and your faithful friend is having more bad days than good; we would be happy to discuss end of life care with you. Although it is absolutely devastating to lose a loved one, sometimes it is the best gift we can give them– an end of suffering.
Please call our clinic if you have any concerns about your pet’s quality of life.