How do you know when your pet's quality of life is no longer what it should be? How do you make that decision to let them go? If you know early enough you have some time to treat them like royalty, make them special goodies and give them lots of love. Sometimes all you have time for is a kiss goodbye.
Putting your pet down is usually a decision made by you and your vet, or sometimes you and your family based on your pets illness or the circumstances involved. Sometimes it is sudden and you have no choice at all. They are hit by a car and are not able to be kept alive. Other times you may be told by your vet that there is little or no hope it is only a matter of time.
This is what happened with my dog, Athena. She had cancer and we watched her lose weight over the past year until her ribs showed. I made her extra treasures and fed her twice as much as the other two dogs to keep her going. I did lots of reading and watched her for signs. It did not happen fast, but her time finally came.
First, she quit eating. The next day, I did not expect to see Athena breathing, Instead she greeted me at my bedroom door with a big smile on her face! Athena was a great smiler! But then I remembered most of the time both people and animals have that "I am all better" time right before the end. I enjoyed it while I could. She still came out when we walked the others, but did not have enough energy to actually walk. She laid there on the grass by the door and watched us. Then next day she did not come out at all. I knew now it was time.
I made the call to my vet and was shocked to find that my vet would not do a house call for this sad time. I guess I should have asked when she was diagnosed. After calling everyone in the book and begging I finally got a hold of a vet who would come out. She did not have any appointments until late the following day. I thought to myself, I will probably have to cancel in the morning, I do not think she will make it through the night. But she did. She toddled from spot to spot all day. She finally went under my desk and lay there on her favorite blanket and barely moved.
The children said their goodbyes and left. The vet arrived. Interestingly enough, she wanted to do a mini interview to make sure this was the right time. The vet says sometimes she gets to a house and the dog she is supposed to be putting down is at the door jumping up and down to greet her. She calls this "convenience euthanasia" and that is the reason most vets will not come to your house unless your dog is their patient. She explained that this occurs when people do not want the dog anymore so they have someone come and put it down.
Not my dog. The vet took one look and agreed it was time. I hit my knees and hugged and kissed my girl until the vet was ready. She gave her a sedative to relax her. This is the more humane way to do it as the final shot is an overdose that stops their hearts. Athena took the sedative and sighted a huge sigh of relief. I knew then she had been very uncomfortable and we were doing the right thing by not prolonging this. She was such a brave girl for her family.
We let her relax for a few moments and enjoy the sedative while we both petted her and brave her affection. Then the vet stopped gave her the final injection. I did not even know when she left.
The funeral was beautiful. We buried her in our backyard with her favorite blanket and a fancy ribbon on her neck because she loved to be dressed up.
My advice, get a second opinion and then learn what you can about the illness and if there is treatment and if you can afford it. Read, read, read. Learn what the final stages are. Watch, you will know. The light in their eyes dims, they no longer want to eat or play, only escape. It is heartbreaking but I felt very proud of myself for being brave enough to let go and so must you.
Source by Donna Sanders