At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we feel that end-of-life care is often the most important and most humane type of care a pet receives. With the advances in veterinary medicine, we now understand more about identifying pet suffering and how to manage pet pain to improve quality of life.
How do I evaluate the quality of my pet’s life?
With end-of-life care, pet owners want to ensure that their pet has a high quality of life for as long as possible. Our doctors have the experience to compassionately advise pet owners about quality of life issues. The end-of-life decision is a very painful and personal choice. It is always our goal to work with you and give you guidance in end-of-life care options and hospice care, along with a solid assessment of your pet’s condition.
There have been many times when we have examined a pet thought to be at the end of his or her journey, only to find the condition was treatable. Through the use of pain medications or other treatments, the pet’s health can often be improved or restored so he or she could enjoy considerably more time and quality of life.
Some factors to consider when determining quality life include:
- Appetite—Is the pet interested in food and taking in an adequate amount of nutrition?
- Nausea—Is the pet able to keep down the food that he or she ingests?
- Mobility—Can the pet move about in order to have normal function? Does lack of mobility interfere with urination or bowels?
- Interest—Does the pet show an interest in his or her favorite toys and activities?
- Alertness—Is the pet aware and interacting with his or her environment?
- Pain management—Is the pet comfortable or can he or she be made comfortable with reasonable adjustments or through medical intervention?
What should I expect with pet euthanasia?
Being pet owners ourselves, we understand the emotional stresses experienced when euthanasia is the choice to be made. We have designed our hospital with a quiet, comfortable room where pet owners and families can spend the time they need with their pet.
Our veterinarians are always available to communicate and discuss with you how to proceed and can help you through this very difficult time. Grief support and professional counselors are available for those who have a particularly difficult time with their loss.
What if I have more questions?
Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital believes in the importance of providing compassionate care for pets and their families through the difficult decisions to be made in end-of-life care. Our compassionate veterinarians are available to consult with you on your pet’s health and to answer any questions you may have.