How many times have I heard, “This must be the hardest part of your job?” First off, let me say that it comforts me to be able to offer euthanasia to a pet so that his suffering can end.
Making the decision is often difficult for family members. Is it the right time? Is my pet suffering? Should I try one more treatment? Should I borrow money from friends and family so that I can afford the treatment? So often when I am discussing euthanasia with a family, I know these thoughts are going through their minds.
As veterinarians, we can help guide you with this decision. We know whether your pet is suffering. We know the likelihood of your pet being able to recover and have quality of life. We know the general cost of the proposed care. We know what home care will be needed for your pet.
Although there are many issues to think about when you are deciding on euthanasia, the most important one is whether your pet is suffering and has minimal to no chance of recovery. Remember that pets do not fear death as do many people. They rely on us to help relieve their suffering, even if euthanasia is the final outcome.
My recommendation is to speak with your veterinarian. If your pet is elderly or has a debilitating illness, know what your options are to relieve his pain. If euthanasia is the most humane avenue to take, then don’t feel guilty. Remember that it’s a blessing that we are able to help you and your pet through this difficult time.
– C. Wasserman DVM JD