Is it time yet?
A question that we are asked a lot. There are several ways to approach the question of euthanasia. One major factor we always talk to with our clients and people that are faced with this very personal and emotional issue is to understand the values that they may be weighing, specifically, “quality” and “quantity”. My feeling is that without “quality of life”, “quantity of time” is not worth much.
Given that premise how do you come to know what “quality of life” really is.
The following several questions may serve as a guideline: *(excerpt from the book “Merle’s Door” by T Kerosote from the book “Active years for your aging dog” by Bernard Hershhorn veterinarian.)
1) Is the condition prolonged, recurring or getting worse?
2) Is the condition no longer responding to therapy?
3) Is your pet in pain or otherwise physically suffering?
4) Is it no longer possible to alleviate that pain or suffering?
5) If your pet should recover, is he/she likely to be chronically ill, an invalid or unable to care for itself as a healthy pet?
6) If your pet recovers, is he/she likely no longer to be able to enjoy life or will your pet have severe personality changes?
Hershhorn goes on to say that if one’s answers to all six question are “yes” then the pet should be euthanized. If the answers to question 3 and 4 are “no” then perhaps the pet should be allowed to die “naturally”. However, one must answer three more questions:
1) Can you provide the necessary care?
2) Will such care so interfere with your own life as to create serious problems with your or your family?
3) Will the cost involved be beyond your means or unbearably expensive?
If the answers to these 3 additions questions are appropriate then hospice care may be an alternative for you.
We hope this short article has been helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions concerning this issue or about hospice care for your pet.
Robert and Linda Sidorsky