Euthanasia of the dog: keys
“Deciding when it is time to euthanize the dog is undoubtedly one of the most difficult decisions to make when dealing with a pet sample. Chronic diseases, or the unbearable suffering of the dog, may indicate that the time has come to say goodbye to our friend, with a dignified death. There are certain keys that should be known to help our faithful friend in these last moments.
The very old age of the dog or a painful chronic disease in our pet can force the owner to consider whether the time has come to say goodbye to their animal, and apply a medical euthanasia.
The death controlled by the veterinarian should serve to mitigate the pain of the death of our pet and minimize the irreparable suffering derived from its possible health problems.
Making the determination to euthanize our dog is, however, one of the most difficult decisions that a pet owner must make. A visit to the veterinarian will guide you about the health of your dog, and the doctor will be able to tell you, in each case, if opting for euthanasia is the most appropriate alternative to help your sick pet, or if it is too old.
What is dog euthanasia?
The word euthanasia comes from the Greek eu, good, and thanatos, death; so its literal meaning would be “”good death””. Euthanasia is, therefore, an act that causes the death of the dog in a placid way, without pain, fear, or anxiety. For the controlled veterinary death of our pet to comply with this kindness requirement, it must meet, at least, certain requirements, according to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA, for its acronym in English).
The absence of pain at the time of the death of the pet is the golden rule that requires adequate veterinary euthanasia. The medication provided must also ensure that our friend loses consciousness as soon as possible so that he is not conscious when the death occurs. Another requirement that must be demanded of a euthanasic medication is that its application be “”irreversible””, as explained from WSPA.
Conditions to be demanded in the controlled death of the dog
The requirements necessary to consider euthanasia as adequate do not end with the physical and medical appearance of the dog. The psychology of the dog must also be taken into account when a correct euthanasia is required to fire our friend. In this sense, the Society for Animal Protection believes that the controlled death of the dog should imply the least suffering for the animal: “”euthanasia has to minimize the fear that our pet may feel””, states the WSPA.
The person who goes to the veterinarian to provide a dignified death to their pet must also demand that the procedure take place in adequate hygienic conditions. Having a calm environment will help the animal, and also the owner, to have the intimacy and calm that this complicated moment requires.
Products allowed and prohibited
The standards approved by the different autonomous communities mark the products that the veterinarian may or may not use to cause the death of the animal (after sedation). In this sense, Catalonia was one of the pioneers in legislating the euthanasia of companion animals (Decree 254/2000).
Among the different products allowed to carry out veterinary death is called fentobarbital (a barbiturate that also serves to control possible anxiety) and thiopental, which causes the dog’s heart to stop. When it comes to choosing the most appropriate drug to euthanize our pet, the Humane Society, the largest animal protection group in the United States, opts for the first: fentobarbital. According to the organization, it is the most appropriate drug, applied with an injection, when the difficult time comes to drive the death of the dog. “”It is the most humane, safe, least tense method for euthanasia of the dog,”” indicates the Humane Society.
Phenobarbital is not always deadly. This medicine causes death only if it is applied in the proper dose.
Prohibited euthanasia methods
The regulations that regulate the medical death of pets not only contemplate how euthanasia has to be carried out, but also indicate illegal chemical preparations and practices that cannot, under any circumstances, be used. Among the prohibited procedures is the use of muscle blockers or certain substances such as strychnine, which can trigger death by suffocation of the animal, contradicting the euthanasia intention: death without suffering.”