We may have many friends in our life but sometimes, the closest friend we have is our four-legged, furry friend. We do our best to take care of their health and well-being but we realize we could never give them back half as much as what they give to us.
One of the saddest parts about owning a pet is that they have a relatively short life. We may have to say goodbye to many of our animal friends during a typical human lifetime.
When our pet becomes ill, elderly and their quality of life is gone, it is time for us to show them some of the love that they showed us. We make the decision to take our pets to the veterinarian so that they can experience an end-of-life that is dignified and pain-free.
Many people have wondered what their pets go through during that moment but Jessi Dietrich took the step of asking their veterinarian. They then posted the information on Twitter. The answer the veterinarian gave was more devastating than most people realized:
Asked my vet what the hardest part was about his job &he said when he has to put an animal down 90% of owners don't actually want to be in the room when he injects them so the animal's last moments are usually them frantically looking around for their owners &tbh that broke me
— jessi dietrich (@jessi_dietrich) July 27, 2018
“Asked my vet what the hardest part was about his job &he said when he has to put an animal down 90% of owners don’t actually want to be in the room when he injects them so the animal’s last moments are usually them frantically looking around for their owners & [to be honest] that broke me,” she wrote.
“And for this reason I’m literally gonna be cradling my homeboy rick when his time comes with all his favorite (sic) toys and endless ear scratches at the ready regardless of how distraught I am,” she followed up.”
Many social media users responded to this tweet. They wanted to share their own experiences of having their pet put to sleep.
“I work as a tech at a vet clinic. I’d say 80% of owners want to be there! But we give them an injection to make them sleepy first (basically surgically anesthetized) so the transition is that much smoother,” one person responded.
“And when owners don’t want to be apart of the actual euthanasia, they stay for the sedation part so at least they are with them until they are sleeping. Makes everything so peaceful (well as peaceful as that can be I guess).”
“I don’t care how hard it is, I was literally bawling my eyes out and still made sure to hold my cat while they injected her both times. One a pain killer and then the one to put her to sleep. I could NEVER leave my family to die alone,” another chimed in.
“Oh my god, I could never do that! When we put my dog down after he got cancer, I looked right into his face, doing my best to hold in my emotions, so he knew I was there. If I end up having to put my cat to sleep, I’ll do the exact same thing,” a fellow pet owner added.
Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital, a clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa also had something to say on the subject. They posted something similar on Facebook, begging pet owners to stay with the animal during those final moments.
“I beg you DO NOT LEAVE THEM. Do not make them transition from life to death in a room of strangers in a place they don’t like. The thing people need to know that most of you don’t is that THEY SEARCH FOR YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE THEM BEHIND!!!!!” the post written by a “tired broken-hearted vet” said.
“They search every face in the room for their beloved person. They don’t understand why you left them when they are sick, scared, old or dying from cancer and they need your comfort,” adding that a pet owner shouldn’t be a “coward” and comfort their furry friends in their time of need.
Dr. Lauren Bugeja, a Melbourne veterinarian said she goes to the family home to euthanize the pets. She admits that some pet owners must leave the room because they are in extreme distress. In order to make things as comfortable as possible for the animal, she and her nurse comfort them.
“If a pet is getting left alone in an unfamiliar environment like a vet clinic or consult room, then they would be more likely to be worried as they do not know where they are,” Bugeja explained.
“For this reason, I would recommend staying in the room with your pet if you choose to do it at a clinic.” She also added that she would never put pressure on anyone to stay with the pet, because it could harm them emotionally.