HOW WILL I KNOW IF IT'S THE RIGHT TIME?
I advise you to watch for signs to tell you that your pet is not happy or comfortable anymore and that their quality of life has changed. The bond that you have with your pet is so strong, and I trust that you will know better than anyone. Options in medical care and your ability to provide for their daily care should also be reviewed. I will give my blessing for euthanasia if I feel that it is in the best interest for both you and your pet. If you are not ready to make the decision to euthanase, I can refer you to another local caring veterinarian who can discuss palliative care options to improve quality of life (such as pain control). I am solely a euthanasia service, but desire to have your pet properly cared for before my service is requested.
The decision to say goodbye is not something you must do on your own, and I encourage you to speak to family and friends about your situation. Please also see grief resources.
HOW DO I ASSESS MY PET'S QUALITY OF LIFE?
I recommend for you to make a list of three things that your pet enjoys doing. This list can act as a guide to allow you to acknowledge any changes you are seeing. If your pet stops one of them, you are getting close. If your pet stops two, you need to do something. I would then encourage you to talk with your family about these noticeable changes, and get in contact with me to discuss your current situation. Try not to accept this new “normal,” and hope your pet doesn’t worsen even more. The HHHHHMM Quality of Life Scale may also be useful.
WILL MY PET TELL ME WHEN THEY ARE READY?
A handful of owners are fortunate enough to have a sixth sense about this, but many do not. If an animal’s suffering cannot be managed, 'good death' (euthanasia) can be our greatest gift. After euthanasia, owners often say that they have waited too long, rather than saying they made the decision too early. You may also wonder why your pet doesn't just pass peacefully in the night. Yes, this would be an ideal situation, but there is no guarantee that their last moments are peaceful. If you are hoping that they pass in their sleep, I do believe the time has come to consider euthanasia. Choosing to euthanize helps ensure that death will come quickly and that the end of life is as pain free and comfortable as possible. Once you have made the decision to end your pet's suffering, think about the actual process. The exercise of visualizing your pet passing away may be helpful.
These five points are important to consider so the day will be calm for you and your pet:
Where would you like the 'final goodbye' to be...envision the place and the time
Who would you like to be present (everyone is welcome, but no one is made to stay)
Do you want your pet to leave when having a good day, or when death is more imminent
What kind of aftercare would you like for the body (home burial or cremation)
How will you and your family grieve and memorialize your pet
I am here to help you with these decisions so please contact me today.