How do you know it is time say goodbye?

How do you know when it is time for euthanasia?

This decision is the hardest part of owning a pet, our pets and companions have put their trust in us, and we must decide when enough is enough. I believe there are several important questions to ask yourself. Is the pet still eating and drinking? Can the pet walk enough to get up and go to the toilet by itself Is the pet still happy to see you? Have you had your pet examined by a vet? If all reasonable vet care has been given to the pet and there is nothing else you can do to relive the suffering it may then be time to consider euthanasia.

People find this decision very difficult and spend a lot of time agonising about it. Usually as the deterioration in the pets condition happens slowly and there is no clear reason or time to take the pet down the vet. It is always good to talk to your vet about the condition of your pet as there maybe simple solutions to your pets problems. The vets’ job is to help you make this decision and then support you in this decision. Sometimes economic reasoning must come into the decision making, you could spend a lot more money but this may only extend the life of the pet for a small amount of time. Some people would put themselves into a lot of debt to pay for the treatment of their pets.

This always humbles me as a vet that people would go without so much to save their pet. But sometimes people have to be realistic and see that the best solution is euthanasia, this can be quite painful to realise if you had more money you would go ahead with the treatment. This is a difficult decision to make and you must balance the economic reality to the needs of the pet, your pet would not want you to suffer for it sake. When you know it is time you need to stay focused on that decision and do all the right things to make sure it is a good euthanasia.


By Michael O’Donoghue BVSc People and Pets