Your Pet Dies: Euthanasia There are very few dogs or cats that die of old age on their own, spontaneously. Unlike humans, a pet usually dies at a planned time: the so-called ‘put to sleep’ or euthanasia. Although for many people this is the most difficult moment in their life as an owner, it is actually also a great privilege.
Because you as the owner must – and may – make the choice when his suffering ends. It gives you the opportunity to say goodbye in an appropriate way and to prepare for the events after the death.
The Right Time For Euthanasia
If you are in a situation where your dog or cat is deteriorating quickly or is terminally ill, it is difficult to determine the right time when he will fall asleep. Saying goodbye to your pet is terrible, no matter how sick or old it is. You know he’s suffering, he’s tired. But you also see him enjoying himself now and then: your cat purrs when you hug him, and your dog wags his tail when you talk sweetly to him.
And that’s exactly what you should keep in mind. Animals often keep a positive attitude until the bitter end. No matter how sick they are, there is always a joy when you give them attention. If you would wait until even that one wag is no longer there, then you are already too late. If you know that the situation will only get worse, some reflection is in order. At that moment you can ask yourself the question for whom you are delaying the decision: for your pet? Or more for yourself?
Preparation For Falling Asleep
It is not always possible to properly prepare for an approaching end. Sometimes it catches you off guard and you have to make a decision very quickly. If you are fortunate enough to have searched and found information before you have to make the decision, then you know what choices you can – and must – make. This applies not only to the final resting place of your dog or cat but also to the way in which your pet falls asleep.
Procedure In Euthanasia
Anyone who has said goodbye to a pet before may know that not every vet euthanizes an animal in the same way. Everyone has their own preferences and reasons for that choice. Ask your vet about this, so that you can help decide whether this method is also suitable for you and your pet.
The working method is the same on a number of points: your animal is put into a deep sleep and the euthanasia itself, the actual death, actually only takes place when the dog or cat is under full anesthesia. As a result, they no longer consciously experience this. The farewell therefore already takes place before the actual falling asleep, if you want to be present at the euthanasia.
Different Ways Of Falling Asleep
The order of falling asleep is the same, but the method used may differ. One vet prefers to inject directly into the heart, which usually results in a quick death. The other vet does not do this, because it can sometimes lead to less pleasant (physical) reactions. But sometimes an animal, no matter how sick it is, still has a very strong heart and it can take a long time before the euthanasia agent causes death.
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It is good to discuss this with your vet beforehand. Do not feel embarrassed to enforce rest: this moment is extremely important to you and a vet should respect this. Haste or impatience is inappropriate for such rituals.
Anesthesia Through An Iv
A third possible method of putting your pet to sleep is to apply an intravenous drip. The advantage of this is that both drugs (anesthesia and euthanasia) do their job very quickly, without many side effects, a long wait, or unpleasant symptoms. It is important to be aware of this: you can only say goodbye before administering the first injection because the dog or cat falls asleep quite acutely.
A further disadvantage may be that some animals have very sensitive legs. Applying the infusion can then be experienced as annoying. Once the infusion is in place, the animal hardly notices it and the further procedure goes almost unnoticed.
Select A Resting Place In Advance
It is recommended to think in advance about what should happen to the deceased animal after euthanasia has taken place. The moment of falling asleep demands a lot from you and it is nice not to have to make all kinds of difficult decisions at the same time.
There are many possibilities, but sometimes a pre-chosen wish turns out not to be possible at all. For example, an animal does not meet the conditions for donation or because the vet does not have space to keep the animal (for longer than a day) until it goes to its final resting place. These are also matters that can be discussed with the vet in advance, including a ‘plan B’.
Unfortunately, death is part of life and animals often do not grow old enough for us to have them with us for a lifetime. Saying goodbye therefore often plays a role several times in your life when keeping pets. Anyone who has the opportunity to prepare for this farewell, with a beautiful final period and a resting place as desired, will notice that the death of an animal is a sad but also enriching part of the life of an owner.