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Euthanasia, the gentle death

Wed, 27/10/2010 - 12:16pm

littlelab writes: " It seems that everyday on every forum I visit, someone has had the painful and emotional decision of having their beloved companion euthanised or 'Put to Sleep'.

For many it is an end to weeks or months of suffering, some are oldies and some sadly are young animals only just starting out in life. For many, it may very well be an end to years of neglect from previous owners, but whatever the reason for putting the animal to sleep, we are always left with the feeling of guilt, ' if only we could have done more', if only I had spent more time/money with him/her' if only we had got there sooner', 'if only we could have had a few more days'. How can we really know that Euthansia is the best option for our beloved companion, lets look at the criteria of what an animals basic needs are:

Freedom from uncontrollable pain, distress and discomfort. Ability to walk and balance. Ability to eat and drink without pain and vomiting. Freedom from painful, inoperable tumours. Ability to breathe freely and without difficulty. Ability to hold up head when at rest. Ability to urinate and defecate without difficulty or incontinence. Ability to see and hear. Ability to enjoy food. Pet responds to owner and family. Not suffering from repeated vomiting and/or convulsions.

Your pet should be able to enjoy a majority of these basic things, but these criteria are intended only as guidelines when used as a benchmark in deciding your pet's wellbeing. Euthanasia may not be appropriate even if some of these criteria are not met. Each case for euthanasia should be judged on its own merits and your vet should always be consulted beforehand. (As the owner you also know your pet better than anyone.)

If you and your vet decide that Euthanasia is the kindest course of action, then don't be afraid to ask questions.

Many vets will offer you either the last or first appointment of the day, go with a relative or friend for support.

You may want to hold your pet whilst the vet administers the drug. Most euthanasia solutions are a combination of chemicals whose intent is to effect a quick and painless termination of nerve transmission and to effect complete muscle relaxation. When nerve impulses are not conducted there is no thought, no sensation, no movement.
br> The vet will then give you time with your pet to say your goodbyes, this is your time, take as long as you need, grief has no time limits.

For those reading this and feeling guilt then please read a wnoderful article called ' A letter from Annie' http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/annie.html

For those wanting more information on Euthanasia and the facts here are a couple of very useful websites:
 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathNES/environment/animalsandpests/Dogs/Copingwithdeathofdog.htm "


By Littlelamb

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Thats sad :(