Q&A with Dr Pauline Taylor, BVM&S MACVSc
DR. PAULINE SAYS: This is a question I have been asked countless times. Euthanasia stands for a ‘good’ death performed to relieve pain or suffering and it is something most people wish for their pets. There is no straightforward, simple answer on exactly the right time. I always say that you as the person who has loved and cared for your pet for many years is the best person to make the final decision and go ahead with input from your vet. Sadly different family members may disagree and some religions frown on euthanasia complicating a very emotional time. It is important that all pets enjoy a quality of life which includes eating & drinking naturally, and being responsive, not in pain, anxious or distressed. When the time comes your vet will explain what will happen and that involves the administration of a powerful sleeping type drug that stops the brain sending messages to the rest of the body. Shortly after its administration the heart stops and your pet will then be pronounced dead.