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When to let your pet go
Over the years I have watched many owners go through the process of euthanising their pets. I have witnessed the struggle to make that decision.
This has inspired me to help explain ‘When to let your pet go’.
We love our pets however this can cloud our judgment.
When a client asks me how they will know when it’s the right time, I will often refer to the “Pet quality of life scale and daily diary”.
A lot of us in the veterinary industry turn to these guides to evaluate a patients quality of life.
If you have an elderly or terminally sick pet its good to ask yourselves these questions when considering euthanasia.
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Pet Quality Of Life Scale And Daily Diary
Is the animal happy? are they still engaged in the family and their day. Does the pet continue to play, go outside and do things they normally love to do?
If the pet appears more turned off to life then quality of life is compromised.
Is the animal’s pain managed well, if they are on pain medication/s and they are still struggling to move, or be comfortable then its time to contact your vet and discuss euthanasia?
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Are they eating? If your pet isn’t eating that is a clear sign something is wrong.
If you are having to hand feed roast chicken every day just to get a few bites in then the animal is not engaged in its meals.
Is the animal able to move freely, can they get up and go outside on their own or are you having to assist your pet on a daily basis?
If your having to help your pet with basic daily movements then their quality of life is compromised.
Is the animal soiling itself and are they able to move away from it?
Are you finding your pet soiled more often than not?
Hygiene is then an issue, no-one wants to find their pet soiled and worse they can develop sores and scalding from excrement being left on the skin.
It is much nicer to let your pet go before they get to this stage.
More good days than bad?
When there are too many bad days in a row, quality of life is compromised. Bad days may mean nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, frustration, unrelenting pain/discomfort, or inability to breathe.
Not every day needs to be a bad day to make a call on saying goodbye.
You don’t want to wait until your pet is at the stage that every single day is a struggle.
If you start to notice that more days are seeming harder than they should then its time to make that decision.
If you are finding yourself answering yes to these questions then please make an appointment with your vet.
Your Vet is there to help you with this and there are many options for Home euthanasia, or a peaceful clinic appointment.
We are so lucky to have the option of euthanasia for our pets. Even though it feels impossible its the best gift you can give an animal that is ready to leave this world.
As always thanks for reading
Some Extra Resources To Help You
- Is it time to euthanize my dog quiz – https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/03/19/well/family/19petgoodbye-quiz.html
- Is my dog happy quiz – https://www.quizony.com/is-my-dog-happy/index.html?qisrc=main-page
- Letting a dog go poem- https://www.pinterest.nz/pin/11399805287923345/
- Happy dog body language – https://medium.com/happy-hound/12-signs-of-an-extremely-happy-pooch-60e42bd53f5d
- Is it time to euthanize my cat quiz – https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/03/19/well/family/19petgoodbye-quiz.html
- Explaining pet euthanasia to children – https://furfunme.com/uncategorized/explaining-pet-loss-to-children/
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