Friday, December 20, 2013

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Dr. Ehud Sela: End Of Life discussion: Euthanasia In Our Loved Pets.

In today's discussion I would like to discuss the painful issue of terminal illness and euthanasia in our so much loved pets.

It is a painful subject, I know, but one that many of us had to face over the years in regards to our pets.

First and utmost: euthanasia is a medical procedure available to our pets and has to be done based on sound medical decisions.

The patient's well being is the first and only consideration in my mind. In my practice, I have patients that I know for many years--I'm practicing for over 20 yrs now--and knowing them, and knowing the owners is imperative as to the decision making. A good line of communication with the owner is essential in this regard as to understanding the patient's quality of life at home.

I'm very conservative in regards to euthanasia and perform the procedure only after knowing that the pet can't be helped. Life is precious and such decisions should be taken with care and concern.

If the decision of euthanasia has been made--after careful examination of the patient and conversation with the owners--then in my practice it's done with utmost attention to the patient's comfort and lack of stress during the procedure.

If the owner wants to be present they are welcome to be present.

I pre-medicate the patient with sedatives and usually have them under general anesthesia, so when they pass, it's as if they pass in their sleep.

In conclusion: first and utmost is the patient's well being. As I can't ask my patients their wishes, good knowledge of them and their health status greatly facilitates the decision process. Of course knowing the owners, and knowing that the euthanasia request is based on deep felt emotions of love and compassion for their pet is as important.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Margate Florida


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