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Vet describes heartbreaking signs it's time to say goodbye to pet dog 'Starting to suffer'


Dr Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, said owners often blame “old age” but there are signals that a pet pooch could be suffering. He highlighted examples including becoming more withdrawn, struggling to walk and no longer enjoying activities like playing.

Dr McCormack told the Mirror: “Often things are put down to ‘just old age’ when in fact they can be indicators your dog is beginning to suffer or experience a poorer quality of life that we’d like them to have.

“Behaviours like becoming more withdrawn, interacting less, sleeping more, not enjoying play or other activities they used to or not wanting to go on long walks.

“Also physical symptoms like struggling to get up or cover great distances, to get out of the car or going up steps.

“All of these can be signs of pain but also maybe that they are just not feeling well or enjoying life anymore.

“The important thing is to work with your vet as soon as you notice these changes and there are very often things that can be done to alleviate pain or tackle any issues and maintain quality of life for much longer than if these things are ignored.”

The vet made the comments as he discussed preparing to say goodbye to a pet and the option of euthanasia.

Dr McCormack said quality of life is more important than quantity.

He added that owners are more likely to regret refusing to say goodbye to their pet than doing so too soon.

Dr McCormack said: “Firstly, talk to your vet team about likely timescales, when and how to decide on the right time to consider euthanasia or putting them to sleep.

“Vets are highly trained to assess pet welfare and can talk you through what you need to look out for with your pet.

“Spend time with them, spoil them if you like, especially in their final days, but most importantly keep them comfortable and take your vet’s advice onboard.

“We often say that the most important thing at the end is quality of life, not quantity.

“I’ve rarely met an owner who regrets putting their elderly, unwell pet to sleep a day or two too early.

“But plenty who have regretted clinging on to them for a day or two longer than they should have, because they were finding it hard to let go themselves.”



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