Pet ownership has changed over the past couple of decades with pets becoming treasured members of our families. As their lifestyles have improved, their lifespans have definitely increased. But, still, there comes a time when your dog or cat is either too ill, in too much pain from a chronic condition, or is simply succumbing to old age and you have to make a choice. Fortunately, you have options when it comes to end-of-life decision-making for your pet.
Most pet owners are familiar with the standard in-office euthanasia practice; however, there’s another option. In-home pet euthanasia, a process where the veterinarian comes to your home to perform the procedure, is becoming more commonplace.
“Being able to say goodbye to Dodger in our home, while he was comfortable on his soft bed instead of in an exam room, was a gift to Dodger and to us,” said one pet owner. “We were able to cuddle up to him, hold and pet him, and say goodbye while the vet and vet tech worked around us, letting us have those last minutes with him in a peaceful and familiar place. Afterward, they cried along with us, and gave us all the time we needed. We got to give our sweet beagle a loving passage in a familiar place, and that meant everything to us.”
Assessing Quality of Life
Prior to making the decision to have your pet euthanized, it’s important to evaluate his or her quality of life. Dr. Alice Villalobos, the creator of Pawspice, a program for pets with terminal illnesses, developed a quality of life scale to determine if it’s time for euthanasia.
After taking the assessment, it’s important to have a conversation with your vet if you decide an in-home procedure is the right one for your pet and your family. The doctor should visit your house prior to the procedure to ensure she is familiar with your pet and his surroundings.
“With the in-home experience, we were able to give our 16-year-old border collie, Skye, a peaceful passing without a moment of stress,” another owner said. “We sat with her on the front lawn under gorgeous blue, sunny, late-summer skies, where she was always the happiest, and we held her and petted her as she passed quickly and painlessly. I have never had an experience that peaceful and loving with any of my animals.”
Making the decision about when to say good-bye is one of the hardest parts of owning a pet. In home euthanasia is a really special way to say good-bye for both pets and family.
Little Rock Veterinarian Dr. Marlow Ball has focused her practice on in-home pet care and makes veterinary housecalls to serve you and your pets with care and grace throughout your pets’ lives. Contact her today at 501-516-6813 or NoPlaceLikeHomeARVET@gmail.com to discuss your needs.