Losing a pet can be a devastating experience. Something so difficult to bear. For some pet owner the moment can be so hard and touching that they just can’t be there, next to their furry friends at the very end. But the vets say they definitely should be. A tweet shared by Jessi Dietrich, pointing to this matter, went viral.
“Asked my vet what the hardest part was about his job and he said when he has to put an animal down 90 per cent of owners don’t actually want to be in the room when he injects them,” she wrote. “So the animal’s last moments are usually them frantically looking around for their owners and that broke me.”
Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital, a clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, came with a similar message in response to the tweet by Jessi Dietrich. The clinic urged pet owners to care for their animals until the very end, even if it is difficult to do so. A post written by a “tired broken-hearted vet” at the clinic requested that those bringing their animals in for a humane, pain-free end not abandon them, despite the emotional turmoil it may cause.
“I beg you DO NOT LEAVE THEM. Do not make them transition from life to death in a room of strangers in a place they don’t like. The thing people need to know that most of you don’t is that THEY SEARCH FOR YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE THEM BEHIND,” the clinic’s post reads. “They just search every face in the room for their beloved person. [Pets] don’t understand why you left them when they are sick, scared, old or dying from cancer and they need your comfort. Don’t be a coward because you think it is just too hard for YOU.”
Euthanizing elderly pets in their homes can be a deeply challenging experience, according to Melbourne veterinarian Dr. Lauren Bugeja. However, she states that animals typically feel relaxed and calm during this time, and that sometimes owners may be too upset to stay in the room. Dr. Bugeja emphasizes that she always takes the time to talk and comfort the pets with her nurse, ensuring that they do not feel any fear or anxiety in their final moments.
“If a pet is getting left alone in an unfamiliar environment like a vet clinic or consult room, then they would be more likely to be worried as they do not know where they are,” dr. Bugeja explained. “For this reason, I would recommend staying in the room with your pet if you choose to do it at a clinic.”