(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

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Runners hit the streets for Special Olympics

Cranbrook RCMP teamed up with Cranbrook Safeway on Saturday, June 22, for… Continue reading

School board reports January malware attack

Email systems compromised at board office and Fernie Learning Centre, according to memo

Bowen Byram goes fourth overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

The Cranbrook native was picked by the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL draft

Residents asked to leave ‘fawn in area’ signs alone

Signs are there for the protection of deer and people

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Most Read