(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

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

Vehicle smashes sign and cars in Summerland school parking lot

Driver of a Ford Expedition lost control, crashing into two other vehicles

Dangerous driving in Keremeos and Vernon nets jail time

Gary Patrick Richard will serve 73 days in jail for dangerous driving and other offences

Top classic car show cruises back into Penticton

Peach City Beach Cruise runs June 21 to 23 in Penticton

Penticton pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Emerging artists given chance at Shuswap’s Roots Blues Festival

Chosen participants can perform two 40-minute sets on the Wednesday or Thursday night, and more.

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Dancing with Shuswap Stars attracts Rust Valley Restorers

TV show stars join quest to hone some fancy footwork

Most Read