Your relationship with an animal is special and may be different with each animal you have. When you acquired an animal, you assumed responsibility for its health and welfare. Owners are sometimes faced with making life-or-death decisions for their animals. Such a decision may become necessary for the welfare of your animals and your family.
Although a personal decision, it need not be a solitary one. Your veterinarian and your family and close friends can help you make the right decision. Consider not only what is best for animal, but also what is best for you and your family. Quality of life is important for animals and people alike.
How will I know when?
If your animal can no longer experience the things it once enjoyed, cannot respond to you in its usual ways, appears to be experiencing more pain than pleasure, is terminally ill or critically injured, or if the financial or emotional cost of treatment is beyond your means, you may need to consider euthanasia. Your veterinarian is best qualified to examine and evaluate your animals condition and to discuss with you potential disabilities and long-term problems.
What if the animal is healthy?
If your animal has become dangerous, unmanageable, unserviceable, or difficult to maintain, euthanasia may be necessary. Some undesirable and abnormal behavior can be modified, so it is important to discuss these situations with your veterinarian. Economic, emotional, and space limitations may also force an owner to consider euthanasia for a horse if a suitable home cannot be found. Discussing all possible alternatives with friends, family, and your veterinarian will help you feel more comfortable with your decision.
How can I say goodbye?
Saying goodbye is an important step in managing the natural and healthy feelings of grief, sorrow, and loss. Your animal is an important part of your life, and it is natural to feel you are losing a friend or companion, because you are. Once the euthanasia decision has been made, you and other family members may want to say goodbye to your animal. Spending some special time with this animal may be appropriate. Family members may also want to be alone with the animal. Once all the necessary information is available and the decision has been made, it is best not to wait too long before having your horse euthanatize. Farewells are always difficult.
Will it be painless?
The process of euthanasia is quick and painless. For horses: if the horse is standing when the drug is adminstered, the horse will become unconscious and unable to sense fear or pain while still standing. After the horse has fallen to the ground, unconscious, death will ensue.
How can I face the loss?
After an animal has died, it is natural and normal to feel grief and sorrow. For some people, spending some time with the horse after euthanasia is helpful. The grieving process includes accepting the reality of your loss, accepting that the loss and accompanying feelings are painful, and adjusting to your new life that no longer includes your horse. By understanding the grieving process, you will be better prepared to manage your grief and to help others in the family who share this loss.
Should I get another animal?
The death of an animal can upset you emotionally, especially when euthanasia is involved. Some people may feel they would never want to own another animal. For others, a new animal may help them recover from the loss more quickly. Just as grief is a personal experience, the decision of when, if ever, to bring a new animal into your life is a personal one. If a family member is having difficulty accepting the animal's death, getting a new horse before that person has resolved his or her grief may imply that the life of the deceased animal was unworthy of the grief that is still being felt. Family members should agree on the appropriate time to acquire a new animal. Although you can never replace the animal you lost, you can obtain another to share your life.
Remembering Your Animal
Death is part of the life cycle. It cannot be avoided, but understanding and compassion can help you, your family, and your friends manage the grief associated with it. Try to recall and treasure the good times you spent with your animal. You may also wish to establish a memorial of some type or contribute to a charity in honor of your animal.
Rendering and Cremation
Eden Memorial Pet Care
202 Easy Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Tallow & Rendering
Due to the Salinas Tallow closing, the San Luis Obispo equine community has come together to provide us with a humane disposal service. Services are rendered from 8am to 5PM M-F. After hours and weekends will be an additional fee. Pre-Schedule as soon as you can as the service is subject to availability. Contact TEC at 805-541-6367 for more information.