As every pet owner knows, the day will come when you must say goodbye. When an accident occurs and you lose your pet unexpectedly, the situation is difficult. However, when you must watch them decline and decide when they should be euthanized, the process involves uncertainty and guilt, in addition to sadness. The team at Otay Pet Vets wants to help you navigate this time with our answers to your questions concerning hospice care.
Answer: Pets do not want to show their vulnerability and can be stoic when they are ill. Cats are especially good at hiding indications they are sick. Signs to look for that indicate your pet is in distress include:
A: Rather than focusing on curing your pet’s illness, hospice care focuses on keeping your pet stress-free and comfortable during their last days. Any curative treatments that cause your pet discomfort are discontinued. Palliative treatments to decrease your pet’s discomfort may be prescribed. These medications and procedures help alleviate their pain, decrease nausea, improve breathing ability, and increase mobility. In addition, acupuncture, laser therapy, and hydrotherapy may be employed to assist your pet.
If your pet has an incurable disease and has only days to months to live, hospice is a viable option. If you are not ready to say goodbye, but you also do not want your pet to suffer needlessly, providing hospice care can be a good option.
A: At-home hospice care can be extremely disruptive to your usual routine, because your pet will need constant supervision and support. Hospice care usually involves the following factors.
A: When to euthanize your pet is the hardest decision a pet owner can face. When you first become aware of your pet’s terminal illness, start recording their eating, drinking, urinating, defecating, and joy in life details. These factors are the most important to judge your pet’s quality of life. When your pet’s bad days become more frequent than their good days, you will likely need to start considering saying goodbye. Euthanasia is an extremely difficult decision, but can be the kindest option for your pet when their condition deteriorates. The American Animal Hospital Association-accredited team at Otay Pet Vets offers grief support to help you know when your pet is ready, and to help you cope during this terrible time.
A: Euthanasia is a painless process. Your pet may first be sedated to make them drowsy before the sodium pentobarbital is administered. Once the sodium pentobarbital is injected intravenously, your pet will become unconscious in only a few seconds, and death will occur in minutes. Some muscle twitching may occur, and your pet may urinate or defecate. Their heart will be auscultated to ensure they are gone, and you will be allowed time to say your final goodbyes.
Your pet deserves the dignity of spending their final days as comfortable and serene as possible. Hospice care is a feasible option to ensure you get a little extra time in your pet’s company without causing them unnecessary suffering. If you would like to discuss whether hospice care is appropriate for your pet, contact the team at Otay Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment.