Animal Medical Clinic | St Johns Veterinarian | End Of Life Care | Pet Services

End Of Life Care

It’s hard to watch our beloved pets get older. Especially if they suffer from arthritis, or from another heath condition that makes it difficult for them to enjoy their favorite activities.

But, getting older doesn’t mean that your dog or cat can’t have a good quality of life. In fact, we can help you keep them comfortable and happy for as long as possible.

And then, when the time comes, we can help you ensure your furry best friend has a peaceful, dignified, loving end of their life.

Focusing on quality of life

Getting old can be tough. Just like us, pets start to slow down, and sometimes have trouble doing things they used to do with ease… like jumping, playing fetch, or even walking on tile floors without their paws sliding out underneath them.

So if your senior pet starts to suffer from pain, mobility problems, or any other medical issue… or even if they’re younger, but have a serious medical problem… we can help you look for early signs of discomfort, and create a plan to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Often this involves supplements and some changes at home to make it easier for your pet to get around, as well as a plan for pain medications for pets who can benefit from them.

By using the right combination of treatments, often your pet can have more “good days,” and the two of you can enjoy some more quality time together.

Ending pain and suffering with euthanasia

The word euthanasia comes from the Greek words meaning “good death.”

And that is exactly what a euthanasia is meant to be — good, in the sense that death occurs peacefully (like a deep sleep), and that it puts an end to pain and suffering that a pet may be experiencing.

Often, when dogs and cats get older and suffer from chronic medical problems, the pain and lack of energy can go on for quite some time. But with a euthanasia, we can choose to let them go peacefully when they’re no longer able to enjoy life the way they used to.

If you feel this may be right for your pet, we’ll explain the entire process in detail, so you know exactly what to expect.

We’ll also explain what can be done in terms of cremation or burial, so you can make an informed decision as to what’s best for your pet and your family.

How do I know if euthanasia is right for my pet?

Sometimes, it’s hard to decide… and that’s especially true if your pet alternates between “good” and “bad” days.

You may find it helpful to bring your pet for a consult. Our veterinarians can do a physical exam to look for signs of pain that might not otherwise be obvious (often, dogs and cats are good at hiding their discomfort), and also discuss how your pet is doing at home.

We’ll give you an honest assessment, and then give you the information you need to make an informed decision about what’s right for your individual pet.

You might also find it’s helpful to keep a journal, where you can note your pet’s good and bad days, and notice if they are getting worse over time.

Home hospice and euthanasia

We offer homecare. That way, your dog or cat can stay in the home, where they’re most comfortable, and have a full health exam, while you discuss their quality of life with the veterinarian.

You can then get advice on what’s best for them, and how to keep them comfortable and enjoying life.

And then, when the time comes, the euthanasia can be performed right in the home, if you prefer. That way, your pet can stay in the environment where they’re most comfortable and calm.

If you have any questions about euthanasia or quality of life, or if you want to schedule a consult for your pet, call us at 904-342-6045.