For a pet-lover no decision is more difficult than the choice of euthanasia. Once you know their quality of life is no longer what you want for them, it is time to make a decision. The humane procedures offered at modern veterinary clinics have a clear advantage over an illness which prolongs the suffering of both pet and pet owner. Many people will say your pet will let you know. Although that may be comforting, that is not always the case for every pet and owner. When I lost my Bijou she had been sick for a number of months and grew weaker every day. I was watching and waiting for some sign from her. It never came. I made the decision based on my love for her and observation that her quality of life was not what I wanted for her. The medication was no longer helping and although she was not in pain she slept most of the time. When she was awake she was restless and uncomfortable, sometimes confused. It was obvious to me she was not happy. I did not want to hold onto her to satisfy my own feelings or put off the pain I knew I would go through. It was time whether she sent me a sign or not.
Discuss euthanasia with your veterinarian. Many pet owners choose to spend the final moments with their pets. If you should choose this you should know the intravenous drug does not cause any pain. You might wish to stroke the animal's head and speak gently as the drug is administered. The pet simply goes quietly to sleep as bodily functions cease. The last thing it will be aware of is your loving touch.
Some pet owners choose not to witness the procedure and prefer a last 'good-bye' after their companion passes on.
Others can not deal with seeing their pet gone and will choose to place them in the hands of a caring vet.
It is an intimate and personal choice with no right and no wrong.
"Like all vets I hated doing this, painless though it was, but to me there has always been a comfort in the knowledge that the last thing these helpless animals knew was the sound of a friendly voice and the touch
of a gentle hand."
James Herriot, All Things Wise and Wonderful
Copyright 1977, St. Martin's Press, New York.
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Grief Support Page
Euthanasia: The Difficult Choice
Often after losing a precious pet we are afraid to make a commitment once again. For many we swear we will never get another animal as long as we live. The fear of pain is natural and very real. Afterall why would you ever want to go through this again? When I lost Fluffy after 22 years I was determined to never go through suffering like that again.
Some may feel they are being disloyal to their long time pet. That, in effect, they are replacing them with another one.
During this time it is hard to remember the pain, which comes with losing a pet, is far outweighed by the joy they bring us when we had them. It is hard to imagine what I would have missed had I stuck to my guns and not taken in Bijou after I lost Fluffy. Bijou was such a joy and I was so thankful she came into my life because I know if it weren't for Bijou I would have suffered much more while trying to cope with the loss of Fluffy.
You will never replace them. You are not trying to. A new pet does not take the place of the departed pet.
What a new pet does is give you a focus away from your grief and in my opinion it is the best therapy to help get you through your heartache. For some it is better to get a new pet soon after the passing. For others it may be easier to look into that after some time has passed. Only you can decide when the time is right. One thing I am positive of is that your departed friend would not want you to suffer.
Remember this. You need to keep your eyes opened if you have recently lost a beloved animal.
There is another one somewhere looking for you right now to help fill that hole in your heart. If it is meant to be you will find each other.
Click here to read how I dealt with Fluffy's passing, what I learned and how Bijou popped into my life when I needed her most
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