When it comes to pet euthanasia, some common symptoms of old age are flags signaling how you can weigh in your decision. From pained moans you hear from heavy panting, limping, and crying that hurts even us are just some of the symptoms of your pet’s age and health. Mobility also takes its toll, just like us, their bones and joints have a harder time performing their functions as they get older, we may ease their efforts with some placemats to allow them to move more freely. Their appetite and hydration tendencies slows down or even go to a complete halt, so the aim is to make them eat more even if they’re very particular now. Hygiene also crawls to a stop as they lose their sense of self and pay less attention to their well-being. Shaving parts of their body helps in reducing unwanted infections.
Our experience at being compassionate pet hospice helps our cause to lessen the pain families and their fur babies endure.
Some of the most common signs of pain in our fur babies consist of pacing, heavy panting, hunched over posture, limping, crying, whining, walking stiff, unwilling to get up, decreased appetite, lying in an abnormal posture or place, attempts to bite when touched in a specific place.
When our babies develop arthritis and become weak and painful, it is harder for them to ambulate. There are several options for pain relief and to help with inflammation, but there are also things we can do around the house to make it easier for them. Tiles and hard wood floors are hard for them to get a good foot grip on. Simply putting placemats, bath rugs, or non slip carpet runners along the main paths of the house will allow better mobility and allow them to continue to engage with the family. You may find that your senior baby will start to pant and pace particularly at night. This is usually due to anxiety so a low dose anxiety medication may be indicated to help them rest at night.
As our fur babies get older, their nutrition needs to change. Their diet may needed to be modified depending on any disease changes. Also, as the level of pain increases, their appetite may decrease. An appetite stimulant may be needed to keep them interested in food. Some of the things that our fur babies like consist of food that is moist, warm, contains salt, and high in protein. During the hospice/senior stage of life, we are not necessarily looking for a balanced diet. The goal is just to keep them eating in order to feed the vital organs. It is important to try different foods and feed them at several different times of the day.
As our fur babies age, they pay less attention/or may not be able to groom themselves. It is important to try to keep them clean with either wash cloth or baby wipes to keep diseases and infections under control. Shaving the hair from around the rectum and vaginal area may help to keep them cleaner. Doggy diapers will help to keep uncontrolled urination and defecation contained. Baby powder and diaper rash cream can help with bed sores and urine scalding.
As end of life nears, many fur babies will have a decreased water consumption or even stop drinking. Low sodium broth, tuna juice, or syringe feeding water may help with hydration. If tolerated by the fur baby and the family, fluids can be given under the skin to keep them hydrated.