(Flickr)

B.C. vet urges owners to consider quality of life when pet is nearing death

‘Most owners regret letting go too late versus letting go too early,’ Dr. Elizabeth Kuan says

Saying the final goodbye to a pet is never easy, but one B.C. veterinarian is urging owners to prioritize quality of life over length of life.

“Most owners regret letting go too late versus letting go too early,” Dr. Elizabeth Kuan said in a news release to mark World Pet Memorial Day on Tuesday.

“With terminal diseases where we’re expecting quality of life to slowly deteriorate, it’s better to let them go when they’re having a ‘good day’ rather than after they’ve suffered for weeks.”

Kuan, who works out of the BC SPCA’s hospital in Burnaby, said that owners can work with their vet to determine how much pain or suffering their furry friend is in by using quality of life scales and surveys. Factors to consider include symptoms a pet may already have, such as trembling or shaking, their mobility and overall behaviour.

READ MORE: Bertie the ‘Wonder Dog’ survives 11 days on Sumas Mountain

“The bond that we share with our pets is incredibly special,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA.

“They bring so much love, joy, companionship and laughter to our lives. We never want to think about losing them.

“But when our pets reach the point where they can no longer live without pain or distress, we owe it to them to put our own feelings aside and to make the right decision for them.”

READ MORE: Healthy U.S. dog euthanized for burial with owner, sparks debates

When the time does come to put an animal down, the BC SPCA has a number of tips in dealing with pet grief – which can sometimes take longer than expected.

“It’s important to understand that this is a genuine loss and that your feelings of grief are real and valid,” Chortyk said. “Seek out the support of friends and family during this difficult time. Some communities even have pet loss support groups where people can share and work through these feelings together.”

Ways to memorialize a beloved pet can include:

  • Keep pet tags and put them on a key ring
  • Record the happy memories in a journal
  • Create a collage of photographs
  • Make a donation to an animal welfare organization in the pet’s name
  • Write a poem about the pet
  • Plant a memorial tree

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates visit Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary School

Students ask questions before participating in their own vote

RDN offers free transit to polling stations on Oct. 21

Initiative aimed at boosting voter turnout, reducing vehicles on road

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

One person hurt in crash at busy Nanaimo intersection

Minivan, sport utility vehicle collide at old Island Highway, Bowen Road and Norwell Drive

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read