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In a perfect world, our pets would grow old as slowly as we do. The sad truth, however, is that humans are generally fated to outlive their beloved animal companions -- and a serious illness or traumatic event may cause your pet's quality of life to be cut short even earlier. If your pet is suffering with little hope of recovery, you may have to make some hard decisions. Your friends at New Hope Animal Hospital can help you decide the right course of action for providing your Durham or Chapel Hill pet with the happiest and most comfortable final days possible.
It can be hard to know whether your ailing and/or elderly pet is still getting sufficient enjoyment out of life to make its continuance worth his while. Of course animals can't tell us what they would want directly, and some pets (notably cats) will do everything they can to hide their discomfort or weakness. If your pet's health has been declining for some time, watch for serious turns for the worse such as:
Even when you're not certain about how your pet feels, medical test results can be brutally unequivocal about what the future holds. If your pet can only be kept alive through lengthy, extensive treatments that may only prolong his misery, then you may have no choice but to explore options such as palliative care and euthanasia.
Palliative care focuses on keeping your pet as comfortable and happy as possible, as opposed to prolonging his life at all cost. Your caring, compassionate veterinarian at New Hope Animal Hospital can prescribe painkilling medication and other palliative treatments while advising you on how to provide a comfortable and reassuring environment as your pet's home caregiver. When it becomes clear that the time has come to say goodbye, our vet center can perform painless euthanasia. We administer a sedative followed by a very strong dose of anesthesia, literally "putting your pet to sleep." This humane procedure, which is over in a matter of seconds, ensures that your pet's final moments are peaceful ones -- and you're welcome to stay with him throughout if you wish.
The end of any relationship is hard to think about and even harder to implement, but your pet's best interests must come first. Whatever choices you need to make about the final stage of your pet's life, New Hope Animal Hospital is ready to help you make them. Call 919-490-2000 for a consultation so we can advise you on how to take most humane steps for the sake of your special friend.
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