Pella Chronicle

Pets

October 21, 2011

Choosing to say goodbye to your pet

Pella — Just like humans, pets can get diseases that wear their systems down. It's not uncommon for pets to be affected by arthritis, cancer, or diabetis. Depending on severity of the case, there may come a time when a pet owner faces the decision of whether or not to euthanize a pet.

Choosing to euthanize a pet can be sobering. Most pets are valued members of their families and the idea of living without the companion that has shared the ups and downs of life can be heart-wrenching. However, while some animals die peacefully on their own, many animals have strong wills to stick around with their pet parents and may live on despite a poor quality of life. It's in their nature to mask pain and illness, so it may be difficult to determine the extent of illness or failing.

While owners cannot control all of the factors, the one thing you can do is alleviate pain and suffering to a companion animal. In many cases, the decision to euthanize a pet is the most humane option available. So how do you determine if it is time? There are certain questions to ask that may help the decision:

  • Is your pet in pain that cannot be alleviated by other methods?
  • Does your pet have a terminal illness that has progressed?
  • Will more treatment create a poor quality of life?
  • Has your pet lost most of his normal bodily functions, such as getting up, walking, going up and down stairs, and relieving himself properly?
  • Does the pet still want to eat?
  • Are the dog or cat's gums pink?
  • Are you putting the pet's best interests at the forefront, or are you simply extending the animal's life for your comfort?
  • Can you afford the vet care or further treatment?

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