a good veterinarian.
(Ideally, before you are
faced with life-and-death decisions), look for a vet who you trust and
can really talk to. Your vet should be knowledgeable, compassionate,
patient, and able to explain things in ways you can understand. If
your current vet does not have these qualities, consider finding one
who does. Also, like any doctor, veterinarians have different
specialties and levels of expertise with particular injuries or
illnesses. What experience has your vet had with your animalís
condition / injury / illness?
What are your financial and
emotional limits? What will you notice when your animal no longer has a
quality of life (and you may need to consider euthanasia)? What can you
afford to spend on vet bills? Is pet insurance an option that might
help cover vet bills? Who might be able to help and support you? How
will you take care of yourself?
everything that you can.
Keeping in mind your financial and
emotional limits, consider every possible treatment, get second
opinions, and decide what is best for your animal. You know your
animal better than anyone; listen to all of the options and make
informed decisions. By carefully considering all of your options, you
will minimize later regrets.
Discuss your feelings and thoughts
with someone who understands what your animal means to you. Consider
speaking with a counsellor who specializes in supporting animal owners
or joining a pet loss support group.
some quality time with your animal.
This will also help to minimize
later regrets and will enable you to make the best treatment decisions.
You may want to take some photos, make a paw print, or start a memory
book to help remember your animal if euthanasia is being considered.
euthanasia is considered, wait for a sign from your animal.
For example, when an animal stops
eating, is in obvious, lasting physical distress, or no longer seems
to enjoy his/her favorite things, this might indicate that there is no
longer a quality of life. Again, you know your animal better than
anyone; therefore, you will know if euthanasia is the best choice
Grief is normal and expected.
It is okay to
cry and experience all kinds of emotions. Grief is a natural,
automatic response when we are threatened with a loss (or an anticipated
loss). Be kind with yourself. Take some time off of work if needed,
remember your feelings are normal, and honour your decisions.
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