Pet’s become part of the family. We share our lives with them but unfortunately like any other part of the family they can suffer terminal or fatal diseases which have no cure. These diseases can happen no matter how well you take care of your pets, and just like other family members you do not want to see your furry friend suffer.

What you need to know about end of life care

At Crofton Down Veterinary clinic our vets are not only experts but they are animal lovers too. We understand how hard it is knowing that your pet is ill and that they will be leaving your family. It is important to know what exactly end of life care is.

End of life care is simply making sure that your pet’s last months or weeks are as comfortable and happy as possible. We achieve this with pain medication, dietary strategy and love and care. Palliative or end of life care makes it less painful both emotionally and physically for your pet.

Questions to ask your Vet about Palliative care

  • No one wants to see a pet suffer- ask your vet if end of life care would alleviate the suffering of your pet.
  • We all want to be comfortable at the end of our life. Your dog or cat deserve that too, find out from your vet how to make your home as comfortable as possible for your pet.
  • Would euthanasia be a better option for my pet than palliative care, if a pet is in too much pain, end of life care may not be enough to make them comfortable.
  • The death of a pet is very difficult, especially for younger children, your vet can advise you on how to involve them, make them feel a part of the last days while keeping the pet comfortable and not upsetting children more than necessary,
  • Find out about pet grieving support groups, reach out and speak to people, it will help.

End of life care facts

  • End of life care is not surrendering your right to make decisions about your pet’s health. The vet will give you all the information you need, what to expect and decide with you what the best course of action is.
  • If palliative care is discussed it is because there is no option for a cure. Late stage kidney or heart failure, arthritis or hip dysplasia can’t be cured. The goal of end of life care is to make the last days as good as possible for your pet.
  • The goal of this type of care is not only to support your pet, but you as a caregiver as well.
  • Deciding to end your pet’s life, no matter what the reasons, is very difficult. Euthanasia is just not an option for some people, and palliative care is a humane way to allow your pet to reach a natural death.
  • Euthanasia carried out by a vet is a peaceful procedure, the medications used by a vet to ease your dog into death does not cause them any pain or distress.
  • There are times when your pet is in too much distress or pain, medication and human interaction will not help them, at a time like this your vet will discuss euthanasia. When no medication can ease your pet’s suffering, this is the best and most loving route, no matter how difficult.
  • If you can, take your pet home for their end of life care, it is their home too and where they feel most comfortable and happy.
  • Every case is evaluated by our vet to determine what is required for end of life care and the best course of action.
  • At the end, you will need support, our vet will help you with arrangements for the remains.
  • We understand that the grieving process will be difficult. You are not alone, don’t be scared to seek out help.

In Closing

No one wants to think of the day their pet will no longer be with them, but it is a reality. Generally speaking, pets do not live as long as humans do. Be kind and make sure they have what they need in their final days. Show them as much if not more love during this time, if that means you need to lay with them to comfort them, or euthanise them, do what is right for your pet. Be comforted knowing you have done all in your power to make the end of their time a comfortable and happy one.