End-of-life decisions for your pet

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It is important to understand what is taking place with your pet and how you can assist them remain as comfortable and content as possible, whether you are dealing with a terminal illness or a pet's advanced age. Everyone who cares for a pet will sooner or later lose them. Whether your pet has been diagnosed with a terminal condition or is nearing the end of his life, you will have to decide how to provide the best end-of-life care for him.

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How can I make my home comfortable for my elderly pet at the end of their life? 

The best thing you can do for your pet is to ensure that they are not in pain or distress. Your vet should examine your pet to ensure that there are no underlying health issues that need to be addressed. Ensure that your pet's bed is comfortable and cushioned to prevent pressure ulcers as they may spend a lot of time lying down. Check your pet for incontinence, a condition in which the bladder loses control, to make sure they do not become wet or dirty. A sling or towel may be used to assist your pet in urinating or defecating if necessary. Surround your pet with their favourite toys and comfort items last.

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How can I tell if my pet has a poor quality of life?

 

We all have bad days, but if your pet is experiencing many of the following symptoms all or most of the time, you should see your OAC to determine the next steps:

 

  • Doesn't want to play

  • Doesn't interact with others like they used to

  • Hides

  • Doesn't enjoy activities they previously liked

  • Seems depressed

  • Sleeps a lot

  • Is in pain

  • Not eating or drinking well

  • Losing weight

  • Not active

  • Has more bad days than good days

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How can I tell if my pet is in pain?

If your pet is in pain, it may exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Aggressive behavior

  • Hiding

  • Increased vocalizations

  • Changes in normal eating and drinking habits

  • Changes in sleep habits

  • Panting or other breathing changes

  • Trouble moving

  • Shaking or trembling

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Euthenasia​

 

What is euthanasia? 

 

Euthanasia for pets is an easy, gentle method to end a pet's life when it would otherwise endure pain. It is a procedure that is performed by a veterinarian after getting extra instruction. Your pet will be sedated and then given medicine to finish its life. Your vet will help you determine when it is time to euthanize your pet. Your pet will not experience any discomfort or distress. It will take just ten to twenty seconds. Keeping a log of your pet's quality of life may assist you and your vet in deciding whether your pet's suffering outweighs his ability to enjoy life

Osborne Animal Clinic may assist with any arrangements or special requests during this difficult time