END OF LIFE CARE (EUTHANASIA)

End of Life Care (Euthanasia)

As pets age, the primary focus of healthcare shifts from prevention to comfort. Some pets eventually develop unmanageable symptoms, leaving them with more bad days than good. Near the end of a pet’s life, it’s up to pet owners and their veterinarians to determine whether it’s time to relieve a beloved pet of suffering.


This is usually the most difficult decision pet owners ever have to make. Although it’s a tough choice, providing pets with a peaceful end of life can be one of the kindest and most compassionate choices you can make, when the time is right. Euthanasia, which literally means “good death,” allows pets to pass away peacefully and painlessly.


At Animal Wellness Clinic, our veterinarians and staff understand that this is a very stressful time for pets and their people. As your pet ages during his or her golden years, we will be with you to provide advice, support, and guidance every step of the way.

Assessing a Pet's Health and Quality of Life

If a pet’s condition becomes untreatable, unmanageable, and the pet can no longer be kept pain-free, relatively comfortable, and happy, this is usually when our veterinarian will recommend pet owners consider euthanasia for their pets. Since our pets are unable to tell us about their pain and other symptoms, it’s up to us to pay close attention to their behavior.
The following signs and symptoms might indicate that a pet’s health is rapidly declining:
  • Disinterest in contact with other members of the household (people and other pets)
  • Extreme difficulty moving or reluctance to move
  • Appetite loss and dehydration
  • Unusual vocalization, whining, or whimpering

All pets express pain and discomfort differently. If you are unsure how severe your pet’s condition is, our veterinarians will help you assess your pet’s pain and comfort level. This is not a decision or assessment you need to make on your own. As your pet ages or his or her conditions worsens, our veterinarians will help you assess your pet’s comfort level in order to identify when the time is right.

 

We do not recommend or provide euthanasia to pets who are not suffering or whose conditions can still be managed with reasonable care. We will never perform euthanasia for the sake of convenience.

A Compassionate End for a Loving Companion

Throughout their lives, our pets are loyal, loving, and by our sides. Coping with their final weeks or days can be harrowing. Deciding to limit your pet’s pain and suffering is one of the most generous and compassionate choices you can make at the end of your pet’s life. We welcome you to contact our office for guidance and advice regarding your pet’s end of life care.