Learning to Live With Pets

Deciding On Euthanasia And Making The Process Easier

When your pet is in pain, when they have a terminal disease,  or when they become uncontrollable or dangerous, it is often a benefit to the pet to end their existence in a humane, professional manner. The process of euthanasia is deliberately killing an animal by means of a qualified professional, such as a veterinarian. Euthanasia can be a hard decision, but there are a few things that can help you with the euthanasia process, as well as a few signs that your pet is ready to be euthanized.

How to Know When Euthanasia is the Best Choice

Knowing whether or not to euthanize an animal can be a tough judgment call, but there are some clues to look for when trying to determine whether it is more humane to end a pet's life, than to let them continue to suffer.

A useful thing to do is to keep a diary of your animal's activities. Watch their progress. Look for things such as their eating habits and their ability to move. Lack of appetite and shaky, slow movement can indicate that your pet's quality of life is rapidly declining, and that there might be health issues present, as well as pain.

Large amounts of accidents can also indicate issues, and may be related to tumors or cancer in your pet. Sometimes it is helpful to use a grading or a star system to determine if your pet is getting worse or if their symptoms start to improve.

Deciding on Euthanasia

Pets are loved become a part of the whole family. It is important to get the feedback of all members of the family before making a decision to euthanize your pet. Have meetings and discuss what the other family members have seen regarding your pet's quality of life.

Listen to your veterinarian, click for more information, and feel free to get a second or even a third opinion. A veterinarian will have a more objective view. They will be able to give you advice on keeping your pet comfortable and what to expect as a disease progresses if you choose to not euthanize or postpone euthanasia.

A vet will also be able to tell you what signs to look for if your pet is getting worse or better. The vet will walk you through the stages of euthanasia and tell you what will happen during and after the procedure.

What You Should Expect

After making the hard decision to have a pet euthanized, it is important to know what the process and the costs will be to have the procedure done. The most common form of euthanasia is administering the drug Pentobarbitone Sodium to your pet.

This drug puts the animal into a deep sleep and stops the function of the heart and brain. Pentobarbitone Sodium is the most humane form of euthanasia because the animal feels no pain, since they die while in a deep sleep. This drug can be used orally for smaller animals, such as birds and hamsters, but it is normally injected into larger animals because it's effects will be much slower if ingested orally due to the animals size.

After Euthanasia, What Happens?

Owners may choose to take the pet with them and bury them at their home or somewhere special. Some important things to consider are: city and county laws, depth of the grave, underground utilities.

Check with the local county offices to be certain there is no local laws that prohibit pet burials. Many cities have their regulations on their city web site. The grave needs to be 5 to 6 feet deep. Check with all of the public utilities before you start to dig to make certain there is nothing that will be impacted.

Another option to consider is to let the veterinarian dispose of the body. They can have the animal cremated or locate a pet cemetery where your pet can be buried. The veterinarian will provide a list of options and costs for each of the possibilities.

Moving On

Euthanizing a pet is heart breaking. It is hard for others to understand the grief and pain associated with your loss. It is important to continue to live life after the loss of a pet. Keep regular rituals and eating habits. Regular exercise will release stress and increase energy. Joining a support group can be helpful. If other pets are in the house, maintain their normal routine of walks and care. Children can take the loss of a pet extremely hard. Watch for signs that they need added support and comfort.