When you decide to adopt a dog, you have many doubts, what is the best breed option for my family?, what kind of food am I going to give him?, every time I should take him to the veterinarian?, Is it advisable that I sleep in my bed?, among many other questions. But the hardest question of all never crosses our minds, when should I let my dog go? No one likes to think that possibly; one day you will have to make the difficult decision to euthanize your furry best friend.
A true story.
It was a Friday afternoon, in late January, when Mary and her two brothers got in the car. Mary was carrying little Frida (a poodle). During the transfer to the veterinarian, Mary hugged her pet very tightly. And with tears in her eyes, she told her that she loved him very much; thanked him for having come into her life. For those 15 years they were together and all the experiences they both shared. At last all his suffering would end.
Upon arriving at the vet, Mary removed the collar, so that Frida would be a little more comfortable; everyone said goodbye to her. Gave her one last kiss on her little white head and let the doctor inject the anesthesia to soften her departure.
Two weeks earlier, Mary detected a small lump in Frida’s abdomen. She was not very scared because it had already happened before, and the problem was solved with surgery; so she went to the veterinarian to check her pet and schedule the operation. He never imagined the diagnosis given to him by the doctor. He told her that the tumor invaded much of the bladder and subjecting Frida to surgery was extremely risky; and if he managed to survive the procedure, he would no longer have quality of life. Without the surgery, Frida had a life expectancy of 10 to 12 months.
However, in less than two weeks, the tumor grew too large, and invaded other organs. The night before, they hardly slept, because Frida was complaining of pain, she didn’t want to try food, she didn’t even accept her favorite treats. That Friday, Mary contacted the vet to make an urgent appointment. But the recommendation by the doctor was Euthanasia. Mary with great regret, thought about it for a few hours, but after seeing her beloved pet suffer she decided to put her to sleep.
Euthanasia, a very difficult decision
Every day, veterinarians and pet owners have the difficult and frightening task of deciding whether to put them to sleep or extend their lives. In some cases the decision is quite obvious, but in many others the dilemma is overwhelming, and that’s where the question jumps when should I let my dog go?
Some veterinarians mention that there are two basic factors to take into account, the physical and the emotional. When a doctor sees that the animal is an adult, with a diagnosed disease and does not respond to medications, euthanasia should be seriously considered. The other sign belongs to the owner, when, deep down, he knows that no more can be done for his beloved furry.
Ethics in the decision to sleep a dog
Sleeping a dog, is always a sad moment, Unfortunately, there are people with little or no awareness for animals, and they want to sacrifice the animal without sufficient reasons. For example, when a dog only has mange and its owner does not want to take on the responsibility that comes with curing it. Or worse, when they want to put the dog to sleep because they no longer have space at home.
On the other hand, there are also veterinarians who are reluctant to sacrifice the pet, either because they believe they will be able to save it or, in certain cases, because it is more lucrative to keep it alive, this action is unethical for animal health professionals.
Recommendations about When should I let my dog go?
- Several veterinarians gave the following recommendations for people who have decided to apply euthanasia. Here’s what we’re here:
- Ask for a second and even a third opinion, as the case may be, and always request that the same tests be done.
- If the decision is made to put the pet to sleep, let euthanasia be as human as possible. Reassure the animal by applying an overdose of anesthesia through an intravenous. Make sure you are well asleep and apply the medicine that will cause your death; in this way, the dog does not find out about anything.
- Crying is perfectly normal, it only reveals how much you love and appreciate your pet and how much you will miss her. Use that moment as your grief and don’t save yourself a single tear.
- Never leave your pet alone. It is important to be at the time of their departure not only for the sake of the animal, since they appreciate the company, but to ensure that they do not make your pet suffer.
- Leave her necklace on. Pets are very perceptive, even with the smallest detail. Many associate the removal of the necklace with the moment in which they are going to bathe and this anguishes them, so it is best to keep the process of your departure as neutral as possible in order to avoid any second of stress.
- If you have the opportunity to say goodbye to your pet, take it to its favorite place and spend time with it. You can mourn his departure, but you can also celebrate his life and all the gifts he has given you. It will be one of your most difficult days, but it doesn’t have to be for your pet.