Thursday 3 May 2012

Veterinarians Dealing With Cat Euthanasia

A really good and experienced veterinarian is essential during the time when decisions have to be made about the possibility of euthanising your cat companion. Whereas on rare occasions a person may have to deal with the death of their beloved cat, a veterinarian will be routinely involved in advising clients about euthanasia. People don't have the experience of dealing with euthanasia because we don't euthanise people, or at least it is extremely rare.
My Darling Girl - Her Last Hour
My darling girl about to be euthanised.

These are big decisions as almost everyone who losses a cat companion will be sad and some will be devastated. In fact in an Australian survey it was found that 40% of people who had lost a pet were devastated.

You can imagine therefore the great difficulties that pet owners go through leading up to euthanasia. It might be a period of months while efforts are made to recover the health of the cat or dog, with the constant threat of euthanasia hanging over every decision.

The process of euthanasia being a new process for some pet owners, an experienced vet is essential to advise when best, in the interests of the cat companion, euthanasia should be considered. It is a decision that depends on the cat's health but the decision is also made upon the life experiences of the vet. That is why I believe the best vet to advise under these circumstances is not a young vet.

I am sure that veterinarians have a wide range of perspectives on euthanasia. It is a question of timing. There is a lot of emotion involved and the client (the cat's human caretaker) may ask the vet to euthanise a cat that is healthy. How does a vet deal with that?

Many people are frightened to discuss their sadness due to the loss of their pet or discuss their anxieties leading up to the death of their cat companion for fear of being ridiculed. Once again a good and open minded vet will be helpful.

People appreciate vets who can provide clear information on euthanasia and also provide the options available whilst listening to the client.

A sensitive vet will ask if the client would like to leave the consultation room while euthanasia takes place. The vet will also, perhaps, bill the client later by post rather than in the usual way on leaving the clinic.

There is also the question of how to proceed immediately after euthanasia. A good veterinarian should have a business relationship with the nearest good crematorium and be able to make arrangements on behalf of the client. Those arrangements should include the option to individually cremate the cat while the former cat's caretaker waits. If you want to keep you cat's ashes you need to ensure that you are keeping her ashes and not the ashes of something else.

The only way to find to a good veterinarian is to suck and see. You simply have to try someone else if you can see euthanasia on the horizon and you are unhappy with your current veterinarian.

Associated: Humanely Euthanize A Cat -- How can I tell when a cat is in pain?

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