Five Benefits of In-Home Pet Euthanasia
Are you agonizing over the right time to consider in-home pet euthanasia for your pet in Los Angeles? It can seem impossible to be objective when dealing with your own animal. How do you know when your pet is suffering?
Below is a scale to assist you and your family in making the decision of when it is the most humane choice to choose in-home pet euthanasia. Please include your family and take this quiz on at least three different days to address changes in your pet’s comfort level.
Review and Assess Quality of Life with the Quality of Life Scale
The HHHHHMM Scale
Pet caregivers can use this Quality of Life Scale to determinethe success of Pawspice care. Score patients using a scale of: 0 to 10 (10 being ideal).
0-10 HURT: Adequate pain control and breathing ability is of top concern. Trouble breathing outweighs all concerns. Is the pet's pain well managed? Can the pet breathe properly? Is oxygen supplementation necessary?
0-10 HUNGER: Is the pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does the pet need a feeding tube?
0-10 HYDRATION: Is the pet dehydrated? For patients not drinking enough water, use subcutaneous fluids daily or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.
0-10 HYGIENE: The pet should be brushed and cleaned, particularly after eliminations. Avoid pressure sores with soft bedding and keep all wounds clean.
0-10 HAPPINESS: Does the pet express joy and interest? Is the pet responsive to family, toys, etc.? Is the pet depressed, lonely, anxious, bored or afraid? Can the pet's bed be moved to be close to family activities?
0-10 MOBILITY: Can the pet get up without assistance? Does the pet need human or mechanical help (e.g., a cart)? Does the pet feel like going for a walk? Is thepet having seizures or stumbling? Some caregivers feel in-home pet euthanasia is preferable to amputation, but an animal with limited mobility yet still alert, happy and responsive can have a good quality of life as long as caregivers are committed to helping their pet.
0-10 MORE GOOD DAYS THAN BAD: When bad days outnumber good ones, quality of life might be too compromised. When a healthy human-animal bond is no longer possible, the caregiver must be made aware that the end is near. The decision for in-home pet euthanasia needs to be made if the pet is suffering. If death comes peacefully and painlessly at home, that is okay.
TOTAL : A total over 35 points represents acceptable life quality to continue with pet hospice (Pawspice).**
Reduce Stress around Euthanasia
Most pets are not easy to move at the end of life and are fearful and stressed in some way. A large dog may be in pain and unable to walk. It could seem too difficult or even impossible to get your pet into a car or carrier to transport them to a veterinary hospital. Cats may act aggressive when we attempt to move them when they are uncomfortable. Pets are most at ease in their own home at the end of their lives.
We sedate all animals with an injection before performing in-home pet euthanasia. Your pet will slowly lose consciousness and will be completely unaware of the actual euthanasia injection.
You may choose the most comfortable location in your home for the process, such as on a well-loved pet bed or even on your own bed. It is comforting for them to have a special blanket, toy or item of your clothing with your pet when we arrive. Our technicians are very gentle and are respectful of your pet’s need for comfort and your need for privacy.
Share The Process of Saying Good-Bye
One of the main advantages of in-home pet euthanasia is the opportunity to have family and friends with you to comfort both you and your pet. We acknowledge that your pet is a family member. Some children have been with this pet for most of their lives and it may be the first time they have experienced this kind of loss.
In-home pet euthanasia allows for grieving in a private setting. Most of us would rather not be observed by a group of strangers in a reception area during our time of mourning. Dr. Kent has had decades of experience in counseling pet families at their time of loss. She understands that the stages of grieving we experience are the same, whether for a human or a pet. She will kindly validate your decision and answer any questions you have before and after the procedure. For many people, seeing the relief from suffering and pain at the time of death is an important aspect of closure, as a long and loving relationship comes to an end.
A Smooth Transition for Cremation after Euthanasia
We will assist in the handing of your pet’s remains following euthanasia. All pets are cremated. If you wish, we will transport the body to our clinic, where the crematory service will pick them up. If you are interested in having your pet’s remains returned to you, we can also arrange for the crematory service to meet at your home at the time of euthanasia. They will then transport the body directly to their facility for cremation.
**Hospice Guidelines. Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alice Villalobos & Wiley-Blackwell.