Many pet owners have been faced with difficult decisions regarding end of life care for their beloved cats and dogs. As pets age, they often develop conditions such as osteoarthritis, heart disease, kidney dysfunction and cancer. These conditions can be managed with appropriate care but sometimes progress until a patient is no longer comfortable. When it is clear that a pet’s quality of life has diminished, it may be time to say goodbye peacefully and gently under a veterinarian’s care. Unfortunately, it can be tremendously difficult for many families to determine whether their pet is still experiencing a good quality of life.
Our veterinarians believe that providing compassionate guidance to families of ailing pets is an essential component of quality veterinary care. Every consultation begins with a discussion of the patient’s health history and current lifestyle. Family members provide valuable input regarding changes in the pet’s behavior, appetite, and mobility. This information, combined with a comprehensive physical exam, enables our veterinarians to help assess the pet’s quality of life and provide helpful feedback to the family. Changes in diet or medication may be recommended. If the level of suffering appears to be too great to overcome with intervention, our veterinarians will offer options for a peaceful goodbye.
Our staff will never pressure a family to make any specific decisions regarding the life of their pet. We understand that every family has a different timeline and we will make every effort to ensure that the pet and the family are as comfortable as possible throughout the decision-making process.