Our pets are our constant and most loyal companions – by our sides through good times and bad – and the relationships we share with them are often among the most unforgettable of our lives.
One of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that our pets’ lives are far shorter than ours, which means that after many years together, there will come a time when you may need to make a difficult decision regarding euthanasia.
Your pet may pass away naturally, but if it doesn’t, and its quality of life is severely compromised, your vet may recommend euthanasia, which is a painless way to end your pet’s suffering. Deciding to put a pet to sleep may be one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make, but it is necessary to ensure your animal does not experience any unnecessary suffering.
There are common signs that old age is taking its toll on an animal, but it’s important to note that there’s a big difference between common signs of old age and an animal that is in pain and no longer enjoying life.
Signs that your pet may be reaching the end of its life:
Pain may be the first sign that your pet is struggling. Persistent pain can cause an animal to become reclusive, irritable and even aggressive. They may vocalise their pain by panting, whimpering or growling when approached.
Your pet may prefer to stay in one place all day, without reacting to calls or other stimuli. Does it struggle to climb steps or get up for food and water?
If you notice that your pet isn’t eating its normal portion of food on a regular basis, or not eating and drinking at all, you need to take it to your vet right away. Older animals have a higher risk of dehydration and malnutrition.
If your pet is struggling to control its bowel movements it can be a sign of a more serious issue.
Consider your pet’s condition over a week or so. Is it vomiting, coughing or having seizures regularly? Work out if it’s having more bad days than good because the last thing you want is for your pet to suffer.
If your pet is displaying any or all of these symptoms, you should consult your vet for advice immediately. The team at South Eastern Animal Hospital are always available to answer any questions you may have about caring for your elderly pet. Book a consultation today.