Pet Euthanasia - A Vet's Perspective


Pet ownership in Dubbo and elsewhere, has extraordinary benefits. Scientific facts indicate pets improve our general health. Cat lovers have on average lower blood pressure and pet owners have less chance of a repeated heart attack.

This makes the enormous challenge facing us when considering pet euthanasia all the more testing. The strong connection forged over many years of mutual respect, love and adoration emotionally binds us to our pets. I’m sure many have experienced the anguish of this decision. Everyone shares the mixed feelings of guilt and sadness and typically most are reluctant to make the hardest of choices.

My aim is to change everyone’s perspective and look on pet euthanasia in a different more positive light. The decision will never be easy but a change in thought may provide some peace of mind.

When we know our pet is in pain or has reached an age where degenerative processes have left mobility and/ or appetite diminished or absent, then it is time to say goodbye. Rather than look on putting an animal to sleep as a bad thing, please understand it is a way of relieving pain permanently and a means of preventing suffering. If the future for our pet offers a poor quality of life, I consider it a final precious gift.

Euthanasia in pets is performed by initially administering a sedative in preparation for an overdose of anaesthetic. So the pets are initially sedated, become anaesthetized, then stop breathing and die as their heart stops. Nothing could be kinder or more peaceful. The pets don’t experience any discomfort as the anaesthetic provides pain relief as it circulates.

For those yet to face this experience, please give this advice careful consideration. For those already suffering the effects of grief, it will take time for you to deal with this enormous challenge. Slowly your pain will recede, your perspective will improve and you’ll regain your positive outlook on life. Never try and rush this process and do not expect too much of yourself.

Our feelings and reflections relating to certain events are often really enjoyable. Euthanasia however, mostly conjures up guilt and negative memories. Rather than punish ourselves with gloomy reflection, just remember you did the very best for your pet at the time, and your final gift was the kindest and most thoughtful of all.

Dubbo is most fortunate to have a strong branch of the National Association of Loss and Grief (NSW) NALAG active in our community. These wonderful carers are only a phonecall away and offer sympathetic council for anyone upset from loss of any kind. Please phone NALAG in Dubbo on 02 6882 9222.