750 State Rd, Dartmouth, MA 02747  •  Phone: 508-996-3731 • Fax: 508-996-3750 • Email
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Veterinary Care in Massachusetts: Saying Good-Bye to a Pet

One of the most difficult parts of pet ownership is having to make a life decision for your pet. Depending on the situation, whether it is due to disease, old age, or chronic pain, it can be tough to know when the time is right to say good-bye. If your pet is under veterinary care in Massachusetts, it can help to get advice concerning your suffering pet. A terminal illness or a condition that severely impedes on your pet’s quality of life isn’t something that anyone wants to put a beloved pet through if they can help it.

It is important to stay on top of your pet’s health throughout their lifetime. Small symptoms, such as bad breath in dogs can mean advanced dentistry is needed to prevent the spread of disease. Canine and feline dental care is available through your South Coast veterinarian, as well as other preventive treatments. However, not every disease or condition can be prevented, so it is important to schedule annual check-ups to determine your pet’s overall health in case something can be done to treat a disease before it becomes life-threatening.

When Is the Right Time?
Once it is determined that your pet will not survive the illness or injury that he is facing, it falls upon the owners to determine when the best time is for euthanasia. Veterinary care in Massachusetts can help by providing you with information that you can use to help make the best decision possible for your pet. You don’t want to “give up” on him, but you don’t want him to suffer needlessly. If a long-term or terminal illness has been diagnosed, there are signs that pet owners can look for, such as losing an interest in food – especially favorite treats, incontinence or accidents in the house, difficulty walking or getting up on their own, responding poorly to prescribed treatments, and acting sad, detached, indifferent, or just pitiful throughout the day.

Consult with your South Coast veterinarian. They have a greater understanding of what your pet is going through and can guide you through this process. Some conditions simply require a period of adjustment, such as losing a limb or recovering from surgery. The signs listed above might be just a part of the healing process and are nothing to be alarmed about in your pet’s unique situation. Don’t ever assume that there is no hope or that treatment is not working. Always consult with a trusted veterinarian and get advice before you begin to fear the worst about your pet. Each pet, illness, and situation is different and should be treated as such. There are no absolutes about this type of decision.

Dogs and “Living in the Moment”
One of the most misunderstood phrases in dog training and care is that dogs “live in the moment.” Some people think that this means they can’t be trained in the long-term because they have short-term memory issues. Others think that this means dogs don’t “hold a grudge” or remember a bad experience, but anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that this isn’t true. Just step on their tail once by accident, and you’ll see how well they remember who did them a wrong! Living in the moment means that dogs focus on what they are feeling at the time. When they are happy, they aren’t thinking about when they were sad or in pain. However, when they are in pain, they don’t reflect on all the times that they were happy. All they know is what they are feeling right then in that moment.

So a dog that is suffering and in pain isn’t thinking about that day you took him to the dog park or stopped and got him an ice cream. He’s just thinking about how much pain and suffering he is enduring at the moment. You might be able to “cheer him up” a bit for a little while, but if the pain is strong enough, even that bit of happiness won’t last long. Understanding this point of view can be helpful for many pet owners who are struggling with the idea of saying good-bye, of knowing when the time is right to make a life decision with the assistance of their South Coast veterinarian. It can even make it easier to say good-bye, knowing that their beloved pet will no longer be suffering or feeling afraid because they don’t understand why they are having difficulty walking, controlling bowel movements or eating like they are used to doing.

Anchor Animal Hospital Provides Lifelong Veterinary Care
From that first puppy check-up to the moment you say good-bye, Anchor Animal Hospital provides quality, lifelong veterinary care in Massachusetts for you and your beloved pet. We know that many pets become a member of the family and that end of life decisions are extremely tough. If you have any questions about check-ups or preventive services, such as canine and feline dental care for cats with bad teeth and bad breath in dogs, make sure to give us a call at 508-996-3731. We can schedule an appointment, answer your questions, and help you make informed decisions about your pet’s ongoing care.