I am often asked “What would you do?” in the exam room. That is a difficult question for a veterinarian to answer. There are so many extenuating circumstances that we can only offer medical advice as to how we think the patient would feel with his or her medical condition. We can advise how to make the pet comfortable and if there is anything more medically that can be done. It is hard for us to make the decision to euthanize because we haven't lived with this pet for 17 years and known it since it was born. We didn't have this pet as our constant companion as we went through divorce or death. As the pet becomes less mobile, we aren't the ones getting it outside or cleaning up urine and feces in the house. We aren't syringe feeding it to keep him or her alive nor cleaning up the vomit from every meal it does eat.
The ultimate decision to euthanize is yours. We are here to offer facts about the pet's health and what it's life may be like if you choose to treat it's condition. We are also here to try and help you through this very difficult decision. It is a private decision and we are not judge and jury nor do we condemn anyone who we think is “opting out too quickly”! As I said, we don't live with this sick pet.
At our clinic, we have a private “comfort room” that we use for the euthanasia procedure. We encourage you to ask any questions that would put your mind at ease about the euthanasia procedure, before, during or after. You can make arrangements ahead of time so that we don't have a waiting room full of noisy patients. You can stay with your pet or not. Each animal is given a sedative first and then a dose of a potent anesthetic that works quickly and painlessly to stop the animal's heart. The whole procedure is as peaceful and as painless as we can make it. We offer a cremation service where the ashes are returned to the owner in a small container if the owner chooses. Some clients prefer to bury their pet at home. Our goal is to make a difficult time as comfortable for you and your pet as we possibly can.
Everyone wishes that their aging/sick pet would simply “go to sleep”. This doesn't happen often and sometimes we have to show our pets how much we truly love them by making the decision to end their pain and suffering.
Leann Flowers DVM