Vet Blog

Making End of Life Decisions for Your Pet

November 07, 2019

One of the hardest moments with our beloved pets is when they are nearing the end of their life.

It can be a sad and devastating time but can be helped with preparation beforehand. When you have a plan in place for end-of-life care for pets, it makes decisions at the time of emotional difficulties slightly easier. At Animal Care Center of Castle Pines, we understand how hard this can be and we want to help make this heart-wrenching process as simple and painless as possible for you and your beloved companion.

Palliative Care

When your beloved pet has a chronic illness or is old in age and near the end of life, palliative care is one possible option. This is where the pet is made comfortable, receives pain relief from appropriate medications, and nursing care. The goal of palliative care is to make sure your beloved pet is most comfortable in their last moments with you. While some decide to allow this process to continue until the pet dies naturally, others decide on euthanasia.

What is Euthanasia?

Euthanasia can be a daunting word, but it can be a loving option to end the pain your animal may be experiencing. While it is a hard and difficult decision, we ensure the most respectful and honoring process possible.

The process of end-of-life care should be a peaceful process. One in which your pet will not know pain, or be able to feel anything but rest. Most veterinarians-ourselves included-use sedatives to provide relief and peace for your pet. The sedatives are given to decrease pain and anxiety and allow your beloved pet to relax into a comfortable state.

From there, an intravenous catheter is placed. When everyone is gathered and ready for your pet to depart, the veterinarian will inject a high dose of an anesthetic drug that shuts down brain activity, leading to heart-stopping. This is a pain-free, serene and peaceful death for your beloved pet. Following the injection, there may be the release of bowels or the last breath taken by your pet, but they are completely unaware of this happening. It may be hard to witness, but know they are no longer conscious and or in pain.

Compassionate End-of-Life Care for Pets at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines

We know none of these options are ideal, as the most ideal scenario would be for your beloved pet to remain with you for as long as possible. We understand the heartache and pain and do not want you to go through this alone. Come talk to us today if you have questions or concerns or would like help when it comes to time to make decisions about end-of-life care for your pet. For further information on the best options for your family, contact your veterinarian at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines today.