Humane Euthanasia at Allegheny Veterinary Services

A Dignified Passing for Pets in Intractable Pain and Suffering

When, despite our best efforts, it becomes clear that a critically ill patient’s suffering and pain can no longer be adequately controlled while maintaining any semblance of life, we humbly offer a dignified passing. When you choose humane euthanasia to eliminate the intractable agony of your beloved companion, you are choosing the most selfless act by giving him one final gift. This may be one of the hardest decisions of your life, but you will know when the time is right. The doctors and staff of Allegheny Veterinary Services are here to help guide you through this difficult time. We can provide assistance determining life quality, as requested, and are available to assist with planning for final arrangements, as well. We are here to provide professional services in a compassionate manner. We understand your situation. We are all pet owners –and we are here for you.

How Do I Know When Euthanasia is the Right Choice for My Pet?

While every case is different, as your companion animal’s guardian, you know your pet best and are the best judge of when providing mercy is the right decision. There is no single best time, or guidelines, or rules to follow. We suggest that you discuss your pet’s symptoms with your veterinarian. Learn about the progression of the illness or injury that your pet is suffering through. Discuss your pet’s situation with a caring friend or relative to help gain additional perspective. Your emotional attachment may make it difficult to see the situation as it is.

Symptoms of Pain and Suffering in Cats and Dogs

When pain is steadily increasing and your pet is showing clear signs of distress, the decision can come easily. However, many animals attempt to disguise their distress. Symptoms of suffering and constant pain in dogs, cats, and other companion animals may include:

  • Loss of Interest in Food/Water
  • Soiling Himself/Incontinence
  • More Bad Days Than Good
  • Loss of Interest in Most or All of His Favorite Things
  • Overall Declining Health, Appetite, & Behavior
  • Chronic, Uncontrollable Pain
  • Frequent Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Dehydration & Weight Loss
  • Unable to Stand or Walk
  • No Interest in Attention, Treats, Toys, Being Petted, etc.
  • Chronic Cough/Labored Breathing

The Quality of Life Scale developed by Dr. Villalobos may also help you to analyze your pet’s condition to determine whether to continue on with hospice care or consider humane euthanasia. Remember that your pet lives his entire life in the moment. For him, there is not much thought given to the past or future. If he is suffering and in pain right now, that is his entire existence. Careful consideration of your pet’s view of life from his own eyes may help you to better know when euthanasia is the right choice.

Euthanasia: Choosing A Good Death for Your Pet

Euthanasia literally means a “good death” (from Greek: “eu” as goodly/well, and “thanatos” as death = “the good death”). This is in stark contrast to the natural, unassisted death that most living beings face, which does not involve simply going to sleep and not waking up. In contrast to euthanasia, those who have witnessed a natural, unassisted death are aware that the process cannot rightly be described as “good” at all. Natural death is typically a long, drawn out process that involves significant pain, discomfort, and anguish. Death will occur whether or not medications are used to alleviate suffering. Regardless of your decision, we want you to know that we understand that you know your pet the best and we respect your right to make all medical decisions for your pet. We will do everything within our power to provide you and your pet with the comfort that you deserve throughout all of life and into the transition into the great beyond, as well.

“Forever would not have been long enough.”