End-of-Life Pet Care
As a loving pet parent, deciding next steps for end-of-life care will be the most challenging decision you will make. Luckily, our team of compassionate, caring experts is here to walk with you every step of the way.
Our End-of-Life Pet Care in Topeka, KS
End-of-life care encompasses two categories: illness and natural aging. Each category has its own points that need to be considered by loving pet parents. We can help you understand what is happening, but the decision is not ours to make. We hope the following information will help you and your family make the decision that is best for you and your pet.
It is crucial to understand that pets hide pain. In the wild, animals showing signs of weakness are the most vulnerable to predators. Your pet is not a wild animal, but the instinct is still there. By the time you see pain in your beloved pet, it is no longer a small ache. We work hard to educate our clients about this and strive every day to help ease the pain in our patients. The following are some signs that your pet may be in pain: shaking, decreased activity, inability to stand or lay down easily, hiding, biting when touched, less social than normal, limping, constant licking at one place.
We can provide support for both you and your pet.
Having a loved one battle an illness is not easy. People can tell you how they feel, what hurts, and what they need. Pets can not. Some illnesses can be treated and pain managed with pain medications. However, in other cases, this is not always possible. The following are some illnesses that are extremely difficult to manage the pain present in the pet:
- Cancer of any kind, especially bone cancer
- Organ failure
- Severe arthritis
- Rear leg weakness
Senior pets have the same aches and pains we do as we age. Most of the time, these pains can be eased with pain medications for long periods of time. It is crucial to maintain a relationship with your veterinarian so that long-term medications can be monitored. Pets may also become incontinent. If your pet is having trouble maintaining bodily functions, please ask your doctor as there are medications that can help in some situations.
Quality of life is a crucial aspect that must be considered with our senior pets. Click here for our quality of life checklist.
In our hospital, euthanasia isn’t scary or painful. A sedative will be given first, followed by an anesthetic. This ensures that your pet will not be scared or in pain. It also affords you the opportunity to say goodbye. While you are welcome to stay with your pet through the entire procedure, some people prefer to leave after the pet is no longer aware you are there. When you are ready, a euthanasia injection will be given. Involuntary actions (reflex) may occur which are not painful. These may include exhaling, urination, or muscle twitching that lasts a few moments. Your pet’s eyes will not close automatically.
Our hospital offers cremation services. If you would like to have the remains returned to you, please let our staff know. Your choice of a final resting place for your pet can be done either at home or at a cemetery. Please note, the government may have certain regulations to follow for each type of casket and grave site.
The grief you will feel over the loss of your pet is real. We encourage you to reach out to the important people in your life for support. There are also a great number of resources on the internet to help you with this process.
We understand how hard it is to make the decision to euthanize a pet. If you have additional questions or would like to set up a consultation with one of our doctors, please contact us at your convenience.
The gift of peace: end-of-life care for your pet.
Things to Consider...
- if your pet has a terminal illness
- if your pet is in the kind of pain that cannot be alleviated with medication
- if your pet is in control of bodily functions
- if treatments are improving or maintaining poor quality of life. If you’re uncertain about your pet’s quality of life, click here.
Euthanasia is a kind and gentle procedure that takes minutes. Our hospital euthanizes pets without pain or fear, first sedating them with an anesthesia injection so they won’t feel any pain. You are welcome to be present, but it isn’t required; if you want someone else nearby during this difficult time, then please let us know beforehand. Our caring staff will find somewhere private where your loved one feels most at home.
Our hospital offers two cremation options. A private cremation allows you to receive the cremains; the other option does not. As city regulations permit, you may also bury your pet at home.