All you need to know about Pet Euthanasia
People consider their pets as a part and parcel of their life. However, sometimes they have to take a painful decision to euthanize their pets on compassionate grounds. This article looks into the need for such a difficult decision, valid reasons to euthanize pets and various methods of doing this. The article tries to analyze the myths surrounding this mercy killing and also suggests ways to dispose the remains of the pet after euthanize them.
The Painful Decision
All of us very well know that our pets have a short lifespan of 15 to 20 years. But at some point of time when they are affected by some terminal illness and because of which they suffer pains and the quality of their life deteriorates and they become unmanageable emotionally and behaviorally, the owner is forced to take this painful decision.
Valid reasons for having a pet euthanized
A pet is forcibly killed by a veterinarian for a humane relief of suffering. The reasons include animal’s uncontrollable behavior, aggression, and toileting misbehavior because of an incurable disease, population and disease control. Sometimes personal and financial problems are also cited as reasons.
1. When a pet is suffering from an acute illness and medication and therapy doesn’t help relief or cure.
As long as the pets’ eating, drinking and toileting is normal, a pet can lead a normal life with right medications and diets. Animals with heart failure, severe arthritis or cancer are in constant pain and feel distressed and anxious. It is kind enough to put them out of the misery than to let them die in agony.
2. Treatment becomes trauma than a cure
Sometimes the efforts taken to make a pet live become unworthy for the slim chance of survival. Prolonged hospitalization and medications make a pet’s life miserable. Because of their inability to express whether they want to suffer or live with the pain, the owner is forced to take a decision.
3. Behavioral changes in pets
Another reason is when the pet becomes unmanageable behaviorally and emotionally because of the frequent hospital stays, veterinary checkups, and medications. The pet is unable to cope up and becomes aggressive, needle shy and requires anesthesia even for a small treatment.
4. Aggressive behavior
Non-provoked aggression shown on other pets in the same house, other people and outside people and the modified behavioral therapy doesn’t help any more.
5. High risk for human and other animals
When the pet causes high risk diseases like rabies, bird flu, and anthrax, in humans and other pets, it is better to put them to death because it is harmful to the country and the economy.
Types of euthanasia
1. Intravenous anesthesia: In this method the animal is injected with pentobarbitone or sodium thiopental. This liquid acts like a severe veterinary anesthesia and enters into the animal’s blood, affects heart and brain causing instant unconsciousness. Heart beat stops and death occurs while the animal is asleep.
2. Some veterinarians follow dual injection method: One to make the pet unconscious and the other to cause death. This method reduces the emotions of both the pet and the owner.
Administering a different combination of drugs through injection and Shooting with free bullet and captive bolt are used for horses, deer and cattle in some cases. Gas inhalation (for poultry animals and pigs), cervical dislocation (for small animals like mice) decapitation and electrocution are the other well known methods of euthanasia.
Myths about euthanasia
1. It is not natural: Some people feel, though euthanasia is done with a good intention, guilty feeling may haunt the owners. Everyone has the right to live their full life and we are nobody to end someone’s life.
2. Act of selfishness: Owners feel they become selfish because they are unable to handle the diseased pet and are more concerned about their own interest.
3. Pet’s permission is not sought: All of us would love to have pet’s permission to end its life, instead of taking the tough decision on our own. If this can happen, the burden of having taken a decision and the guilt that follows our decision will leave us. Practically, this is not possible. On one hand, we feel we have taken the decision ‘too soon’ by killing the animal, on the other hand we feel distress because we allow our beloved pet to suffer a lot.
Things to do with the remains
- Many people prefer to take their pets’ body home and bury it near their house. They feel this will give them peace of mind. Digging the whole well in advance, the place is safe from other pets, and taking care of the underground pipes and cables are some of the things we should remember before we find a place at home turf.
- Some people leave the pet in the hospital to be used for research. Very rarely some pet owners prefer to stuff their pet’s body and preserve it.
- Some leave the body with their veterinary doctors to be disposed. A few others take them to pet cemetery.
- Finally, it is not an easy decision to kill a pet and though we can see some valid reasons to kill a pet, it is very difficult for a pet owner to make a decision.
published in Instamedia.com