Home
Guest Posts
Print|Text Size: ||
Delicate End-of-Life Decisions for Our Dogs

A much-commented New York Times article explores the singular pain and responsibility that comes with end-of-life decisions for our pets. How much effort, and how much money do you spend to extend their lives? All of the diagnostic tools and treatment options available today make these questions inevitable and also much more difficult to answer. Cancer can be treated with chemo and radiation, even amputation. Nearly every medical specialty for humans has its counterpart in veterinary medicine—cardiology; neurology; oncology; surgery—including hospice care for the end of life. We don’t like to talk about the expense involved with the treatment options we’re offered, but financial resources for our entire family (including our other pets) are impacted by the choices we make.

The same questions we must answer for ourselves—health care directives regarding heroic measures, do-not-resuscitate orders, what a quality life looks and feels like—should be answered with regard to our pets, at least in a general way before we’re sitting in the vet’s exam room and are asked “What do you want to do?” There are no easy answers, no one-size-fits-all. Ultimately, we as pet guardians must decide what’s best for them, what they would want, and what maximizes their quality of life.

Reading the article and the comments it generated are a good way to start your own discussion.

 

 

Print

Rebecca Wallick, a long-time Bark contributing editor, resides with her two dogs in the mountains of central Idaho.

@rebeccawallick
More in Guest Posts:
Smiling Dog: Saphira
Shock Collar Found on Dog After Day Care
Daisy Gets her Chance
Smiling Dog: David
Police Brutality - Dog Playing in Brooklyn Park Shot and Killed by NYPD
Neighbor Harassed Dog With His Drone
Smiling Dog: Chester
Peeing on the Leash or on Other Dogs
Smiling Dog: Steve
Smiling Dog: Buffy