Our furry best friends are never with us quite long enough, and the responsibility falls to us as their compassionate caretakers to make some very important decisions in their final days. End-of-life care for pets can be tough, and pet euthanasia even harder. Androscoggin Animal Hospital is honored to help you navigate this important time.

End-of-Life Care for Pets

Making sure our beloved pets have a peaceful and comfortable end-of-life experience is very important. Pet hospice care and palliative measures include things like:

  • Providing pain relief if necessary
  • Managing and treating medical issues with solutions
  • Managing symptoms like nausea
  • Improving accessibility
  • Continuing to provide social and mental stimulation
  • Providing good nutrition

Our veterinarians are happy to help you through developing an appropriate end-of-life care plan for your individual situation.

Sometimes, though, no matter how much we wish differently, a pet’s overall quality of life declines beyond an acceptable point. When this occurs, it is time to consider compassionate euthanasia as an option.

Why Pet Euthanasia

Our pets tend to be brave and deal with whatever life throws at them without complaint. This can make it especially hard to assess whether pet euthanasia is appropriate or not.

Making the decision to euthanize is not something to be taken lightly. Many factors should come into play when weighing choices. Pets need to be able to perform basic functions, though, and when they can no longer do these things letting go may be the best option. These functions include things like:

  • Moving around comfortably
  • Eating or drinking adequate amounts to maintain a healthy body weight
  • Getting up to eliminate
  • Sleeping restfully
  • Showing excitement when previous sources of happiness are present
  • You can no longer physically, financially, or emotionally care for your pet appropriately

Sometimes pet quality of life scales can be helpful. It is not in an animal’s nature to “give up,” and many times we have to intervene before true suffering begins.

Saying Goodbye

Making the decision to euthanize is almost never easy, but rest assured that compassionate euthanasia is often one of the most important things that you can do for your pet.

You should discuss the choice to say goodbye with the entire family to give everyone the chance to make their peace in their own way. For young children, this can be a difficult event to explain. Resources such as When a Pet Dies or Remembering My Pet can be helpful.

Euthanasia is typically a peaceful procedure. We inject medicine into the vein to cause the pet to lose consciousness then to stop the heart. Generally, the injection helps a pet to peacefully pass within minutes.

It is important to consider ahead of time whether or not you might want to be present and what your wishes are during and after the procedure. Our caring staff is honored to help with navigating these decisions.

Of course, grieving before, during, and after this process is natural as well. Please reach out to us for veterinary support for pet loss, online support groups, or even targeted therapy.

Saying goodbye to a pet is never easy, but is a noble act borne out of pure love and care for your best friend. We are here to help however we can.