Dog Euthanasia Mesa
What is Dog Euthanasia
Euthanasia is the technical term used for deliberately ending the life of an animal. It is usually performed by a veterinarian, and done for reasons such as humane relief of suffering due to uncontrollable behavioral defects, population and disease control and sometimes due to personal financial limitations of the pet owner.
During this process the pet will be injected with a chemical called pentobarbitone, which is similar to the drug that is used to induce general anesthesia. Basically this drug is like an overdose of anesthesia that enters the blood stream and stops the function of both the heart and the brain, which causes instant loss of consciousness and pain sensations. This is where the term "put to sleep" comes from as the animal falls into a deep sleep and the heart stops beating, allowing the pet to pass into death without experiencing pain.
Relieving our pet from pain and suffering is the most common reason that most owners elect to euthanize a beloved friend. Like humans, animals are living longer lives due to better nutrition and healthcare, and just like people they are facing slow death by degrees from chronic, incurable diseases like cancer, renal disease and heart failure. It is becoming common for owners to elect to make the choice that they feel is kindest for their terminally ill pets.
It's important to remember that not every pet that is diagnosed with a terminal condition must be put down right away. Many owners panic at the mention of a fatal condition, but the truth is that some conditions can be managed with medication and treatment if the owner is in a position to financially support that decision, and the pet can live with normal functions for a period of time. The decision to put your pet down is typically made when the animal is starting to suffer as a result of the condition and when drugs can no longer bring enough pain relief. Excessive vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal pain, severe arthritis, tumors or cancer can all lead to these symptoms and complete body failure. In these cases it is much kinder to put the pet to sleep and out of their pain and misery.
Regularly occurring aggression that is non-provoked is also another valid reason for choosing to put a pet down. This aggression can be shown towards people or other animals inside or outside the home. Animal behaviorists are at odds as to whether an animal needs to be put down after its first act of aggression. Sometimes the act occurs because of the circumstances surrounding the incident, and may have been an act of self-defense on behalf of the animal. In other words some forms of aggression are situational and wouldn’t require euthanasia but merely behavioral modification through training and avoidance of the situation that provoked the aggressive behavior. However in some areas the laws will require the animal that attacks a human adult or child unprovoked to be put down immediately. Societies typically will not give a person aggressive animal a second chance.
Financial euthanasia possibly the most controversial reason given is performed because the owner cannot afford life-saving medical or surgical treatments. Opinions on this reason are obviously polarizing and often cause a clash between clients and their veterinarian. There are those individuals that believe that finances is an inexcusable reason for putting a pet down and are outraged at their veterinarian for even suggesting the procedure. Many will also be outraged that the veterinarian won’t provide the service for free. Most veterinarians do consider financial limitations a perfectly sound reason to put a pet to sleep.
The two main arguments and opinions for and against financial euthanasia are as follows:
1. First those who believe financial limitations are an invalid reason to put a beloved pet down typically have the following situations. Many of these individuals have plenty of money to spare and some may not have pets of their own, most likely haven’t been faced with thousands of dollars in potential medical bills, or have methods of borrowing funds from friends or lending institutions. Many in this line of thought feel that a life is a life and humans don’t have the right to take it particularly if money is the only factor it is being done. Many of this opinion also feel that a veterinarian shouldn’t charge for these services thereby allowing more animals to live.
2. The second thought is that everyone has the right to own a pet regardless if they can afford to treat and meet its healthcare needs. This thought is that pets provide benefits to humans in the form of companionship and that it improves a humans mental and physically well-being if they own one. Many in this camp are usually okay with euthanasia but feel that they shouldn’t be charged for the services by the veterinarian either. Most veterinarians generally support the concept of financial euthanasia, we perform the procedure for financial reasons and don’t provide the service for free. This doesn’t mean that we enjoy it; however we are also business owners and want to keep our doors open. Most veterinarians prefer that people that cannot afford the basic care of animals choose not to own them, sense this is never going to be the case individuals who can’t afford to take care of their animals must be afforded the option to put them down.
Shelter or Euthanasia?
Shelters often try to save and "rehome" every animal they can, but a responsible shelter shouldn’t take the time to do so with pets that have major behavioral or medical problems. In doing so it results in the pet being surrendered back to the shelter multiple times and possibly being subjected to cruelty from the new owners. The aggressive and unpredictable animal may injure the new owners existing pets or family members creating greater costs and harm. Shelters that spend unreasonable amounts of money to save or board these animals should consider the good that can be done with the funds they are spending to avoid euthanizing this animal. Donating or using the funds saved by financial euthanizing these pets can be used to spay and neuter hundreds of pets which will reduce the need to euthanize so many in the future. Moving and life circumstances change and sometimes a good pet are no longer able to remain with an owner. This is not always anyone's fault: people lose jobs, lose their homes, increase their work hours, are forced to go into pet-free rentals, get positions overseas and so on. These pets that can't be kept should not be automatically put down, however. Attempts should be made to place these animals in a shelter before euthanasia is elected.
Is it time to put my dog down?
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