Saying goodbye to your loved ones can be a heartbreaking experience.
Sometimes these tearful farewells are made voluntarily, while others are dictated to us by a sudden illness or series of unexpected events.
What factors would you consider if you were making that final decision for someone close to you?
Are they in pain?
Your purring cat or enthusiastic dog are secret masterminds at masking pain.
Pets tend to hide their pain as a natural survival instinct passed through generations to avoid being seen as someone’s next meal. In the wild, animals seen as weak or injured will be treated as prey and are easy targets for predators.
Diseases such as arthritis can go unnoticed unless picked up by their owners… or their local vet!
Look for signs like your dog licking their paw excessively, your cat avoiding their usual high places or a general loss of appetite. Your pet may be experiencing a high level of pain without any major red flags.
Talk to your vet, and they can help you decipher the signs.
For any member of the family all options are up for discussion when making serious decisions about their future health.
It’s important to check with your vet about what can be done to make sure your pet is pain-free without sacrificing their quality of life. There may be medications or actions that can be performed by owners to keep pain at a manageable level.
Serious surgeries involving orthopedics or cardiology can be performed to help alleviate some of the pain. Much like humans, the longer we are under anesthesia, the more likely a complication may occur. The bigger the surgery, the bigger the risk.
Palliative care is an option for those pets with terminal illnesses such as cancer. Treatments such as massage, physical therapy, acupuncture and other alternative methods can be considered to ease your pets’ moments at the end of their journey.
Not sure what the right choice is? Your vet will look at your pets weight, prior medical history, age and breed when considering their best option for recovery and treatment.
Quality of Life Scale
Picture a sunny day in the Australian summer. Perfect temperature for a swim at the beach or a stroll in the park with your family and friends. Unfortunately, you’ve just broken your leg falling down the stairs… now walking on sand or for long periods may seem unrealistic!
Your injury will most likely heal in a couple of weeks, allowing you to enjoy the rest of the summer tanning on a beach.
But what if the injury or illness was more serious? You may be stuck inside for months or even years. You may be in pain. Would you be comfortable with your quality of life?
Would you ask the same question if stuck in a similar predicament was your beloved pet?
Dr Ari often provides his clients with a quality of life scale. This can help pet owners determine whether the quality of life is worth the pain your pet may be suffering. If your pet is unable to move due to an injury or illness our mobile service can come directly to your home for an assessment.
Knowing the ones you love are in constant pain can be heartbreaking to watch.
The topic of enthanasia is a difficult thing to imagine in any pet owners’ lifetime. If your pets pain can’t be adequately managed and their quality of life is seriously diminished your vet may recommend enthanasia.
Highly skilled veterinarian surgeons perform the process in a painless and peaceful manner.
Some of the best choices in life are also the hardest we will ever have to make.
Your vet will provide you with a number of options depending on the situation.
Taken into consideration are things like their future quality of life, pain management and treatment options before a final recommendation will be made
Contact your local vet about the best quality of life for your pet.