As pets approach the end of life, the families that love them often have to make difficult decisions. Northern Valley Animal Clinic’s technicians and veterinarians understand the unique bond that exists between pets and their families and will help guide you through the process of providing a comfortable and humane situation for your pet.
Are there ways to keep my pet comfortable through a debilitating disease? Understanding your pet’s condition and treatment options can greatly extend the length and quality of life for your pet. While some changes in activity level and mobility are normal, it is important to keep up on regular health exams to rule out any underlying, curable conditions.
When a diagnosed condition exists, Northern Valley Animal Clinic is often able to provide pet pain management to keep your dog or cat comfortable for long periods of time. Our veterinarians will regularly evaluate your pet for signs of pain and will advise you on the best course of action for his or her specific situation.
How do I know when it’s time to consider euthanasia?
The decision to put a pet down is an individual one that families have to make based on the quality of life their pet has. Our veterinarians will help you evaluate any signs of discomfort or degree of pain a pet is experiencing. As pet owners ourselves, we can share with you our experiences and insights but will never pressure you to make any type of decision. Some of the questions we have used to evaluate a pet’s quality of life include:
- Can the pet’s pain be managed?
- Is the pet able to move enough or be supported to handle bathroom functions?
- Does the pet still enjoy his or her favorite activities?
- Is the pet isolating him- or herself or hiding?
- Does the pet still enjoy interacting with the family?
- Can the pet eat enough to maintain proper nutritional levels and comfort?
- Does the pet exhibit any signs of confusion, fear, or loss of cognition?
- Is the pet incontinent?
- Is the pet still drinking water?
- Is the pet having difficulty breathing?
What should I expect when having my pet euthanized?
Northern Valley Animal Clinic provides a separate room where families can remain with their pets throughout and following the euthanasia so they can take the time they need in a peaceful and comforting environment.
As a memorial, our clinic will make a clay paw print impression for you to keep. You can choose to take your pet home for burial or we offer a cremation service for your convenience.
How should I handle grieving over my pet?
There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a pet. Some find a support group to be helpful while others seek to make a memorial that honors the pet’s life. Still others find strength in spending time with their family members or time around other animals helps. We encourage you to check our pet loss library for information from experts as well as other pet owners who have gone through the loss of a pet.
Whether you need guidance on your pet’s condition or more information on end-of-life care, contact our compassionate staff and veterinarians anytime you have questions.