(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

Editorial: Election vandalism poor way to express an opinion

It was discouraging to hear that two acts of vandalism targeting candidates… Continue reading

Rain raises water levels in Cowichan Lake

Possibility that pumps could be shut down soon

Caps beat Chiefs at home, then bow to Kings

Injuries, suspensions, travel all effect trip to Powell River

Cowichan residents invited to apply for seats on affordable housing committees

“Lack of affordable housing is a critical issue in the Cowichan region”

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Most Read