Euthanasia in Animals – What Does It Mean?Humane euthanasia in animals refers to the process in which euthanasia pills or injections are used to put them down, or in simpler words, to let them die peacefully. Most of the veterinarians use pentobarbital in large doses, which first makes an animal unconscious and then stops the brain and heart functions. In short, it is a gentle and brief journey from being awake to sleep to coma to death. Veterinarians may perform this activity either at their clinic or at the pet owner’s home and it generally takes a just few minutes to get it done.
Quality of Life Scale – An AssessmentVeterinary oncologist Dr. Alice Villaobos came up with seven factors along with a numerical scale to make it easier for pet dog owners and the veterinarian in determining the right time to put a dog down. It is a simple yet scientific approach to comprehend a dog’s quality of life and it gives fairly accurate results on most of the occasions. Also known as the HHHHHMM Quality of Life Scale, each factor is given scores from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest point and 10 being the highest point. The HHHHHMM Quality of Life Scale comprises of the following seven factors:
- Hurt: There are many gestures and signs which will enable you to know whether your dog is currently in pain or not, which includes panting, whining, tail tucking, inability to rest comfortably, and immobility. High scores are to be attributed if your dog has no pain or normal age-related pain, whereas low scores are to be attributed if even strict medications will be a futile effort to keep him alive.
- Hunger: If your dog is reluctant to eat, losing weight rapidly, or is vomiting on a regular basis, it means that his internal organs are giving up. You can go for injections and even spoon-feeding him to see if his situation improves. In case his appetite continues to falter even after the assistance from you or the medicines, you should consider putting him to sleep.
- Hydration: A low score is to be given if your dog is unwilling to drink water or if he stays dehydrated. Water is as essential as food for any pet and indications of reluctance to consume a sufficient amount of water by your dearest buddy implies that you have a big problem to worry about.
- Hygiene: Maintaining a proper hygiene is as important for your dog’s health as is for you. It is common to see pressure sores in untreatable dogs which leads to serious infections. Further, he suffers from incontinence problems and faces issues while urinating, making his chances of survival look bleak and slim. The worse the level of hygiene, the lower should be the marks to be assigned in the check-list.
- Happiness: Dogs normally have a fun-loving, affectionate, and energetic behaviors on offer. But if your dog no longer shows a joyful attitude and rather seems depressed most of the time, you must talk to your pet’s veterinarian. Do not confuse yourself with a couple of odd bad days to judge the level of happiness of your dog.
- Mobility: A healthy dog needs no assistance to move around but if he has become immobile due to age-related issues or any other health problems then it becomes difficult for him even perform basic activities like walking or climbing stairs.
- More Good Days than Bad Days: This factor requires an honest assessment from pet owners regarding their pet’s overall health condition over an extended period of time.