Only You Can Decide When Euthanasia Is Right
by Dr. Kari Trotsky
Peaceful Endings for Pets
Previously, I’ve blogged about how nobody should be judged or told by well-meaning people that they should euthanize their pet. People who don’t understand the circumstances around the care of an older pet, shouldn’t step in and make you feel guilty or pressured to do something you don’t want to do. With the proper care, many older pets can have a good quality of life, even if they do have diseases or disorders.
But, I’ve also encountered the opposite, when a pet parent decides to euthanize a pet, and other people, often those who don’t live with the pet or have all the information, weigh in against that person. Aside from convenience euthanasias (ones in which the pet is not ill but the pet parent wants the pet euthanized for convenience purposes, such as they are moving and can’t bring the pet with, or they no longer want to care for the pet), I do not judge a pet parent’s decision to euthanize. The reasons are that I know a lot of thought has gone into this very difficult decision, I don’t know how much time or money is available to provide the proper care, and I wasn’t involved in the conversations between the veterinarian and the pet parent.
It’s not fair when the pet sitter/walker, or the groomer tells you they dislike your decision. People already feel guilty when they make this decision, they don’t need more piled on. And, it’s not fair for family members who don’t live with the pet, or for those who live there but don’t take care of the pet, or even adult children who grew up with the pet and have significant attachments, to make anyone feel guilty. I’ve also seen situations where a veterinarian may disagree with your reasons to euthanize without fully knowing your predicament. And, this is wrong, too.
So, I won’t judge you for feeling that the best thing for your pet is euthanasia. I try to understand what each person and pet is going through. And, even if it’s a situation that I wouldn’t euthanize my pet for, I know that it’s different for me because I am a veterinarian. I don’t need to pay for constant treatment or advice. I often can get treatments or medications free, or at a very low discount. And, I know what to watch for as a pet continues treatment. So, feel comfortable discussing your pet’s case with me. Unless it’s a convenience euthanasia, I will understand.