Quality of Life Care at Androscoggin Animal Hospital
Our pets are a big part of our family. Unfortunately, their lifespans are shorter than ours. Better medical care has helped to increase the lifespans of our pets, and to improve the quality of their lives. Unfortunately, quality of life decisions are still common, and very difficult. At Androscoggin Animal Hospital, we see these discussions as a critical part of your relationship with us, and we are committed to helping you make the best decisions for your loved ones. We are trained to help you and, as pet parents, we have been or will be in your shoes at some point. It is not fun to talk about or think about, but the importance of properly approaching these moments cannot be overlooked or understated.
We are committed to helping you to preserve the quality of life of your pets for as long as possible, and we promise to help you make any necessary decisions. Please know that when it comes time to discussing quality of life, we will do so with tenderness, respect, and compassion.
Quality of Life
How is “quality of life” defined? Generally, it means the ability to do most of the things that bring happiness and joy, without pain or suffering. There is not necessarily one thing that determines whether quality of life is good or bad, and we can help you try to gauge quality. Whether it’s a senior patient who is struggling to thrive, or one who is battling a terminal illness, quality of life is something we may find ourselves having to consider when caring for our beloved pet.
Often, we can assess and improve quality of life by performing some tests, prescribing medications or supplements, changing diets, or performing treatments; we are here to help you with that!
End of Life
When we work together and make a determination that quality of life has diminished beyond hope for improvement, the difficult decision to consider humane euthanasia is imminent. It is one of the saddest moments for everyone involved. It is, however, a gift that allows us to avoid unnecessary suffering. Sadly, it is the price we pay for all of the rewarding parts of our loving relationship with our pets. It never gets any easier to say goodbye, but unfortunately, we can’t keep them with us forever.
The Androscoggin Animal Hospital considers the individual needs of each patient and family. We promise to have open and honest communication with you along the way, and to focus on the most peaceful and stress-free experience for everyone involved. If necessary, we will use medication prior to the procedure to relieve un-necessary stress and anxiety. The procedure of euthanasia involves giving an injection of an anesthetic that causes the pet to lose consciousness before he/she actually passes away. It occurs very rapidly once the injection is given. We encourage you to stay with us during the procedure and you can be right with your pet. We also understand that sometimes it is not possible. Whether you stay or not, we will comfort everyone, and we will mourn with you.
We promise to treat your pet with respect and dignity both during and after their life. If it helps to have an impression of a paw in clay for you to have, or to have a tuft of fur, we will help you. We have several options for aftercare.
- Home Burial—We can help prepare your pet with dignity for you to bury at home.
- Communal Cremation—A patient who is cremated communally means that the cremation will be respectfully performed and the ashes will not be returned to you.
- Private Cremation—A patient who is cremated privately means that after the cremation process, the ashes of your pet will be returned to you in a hardwood urn with a brass nameplate on top. The urn can be opened, if so desired.
Regardless of the decision you make for your special friend, our staff and veterinarians are here to help guide and support you with respect and understanding. Our commitment to you and your family begins with our first meeting, and it doesn’t end with the last visit. We will also be here to help you after you have lost a family member.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to call or text us at (207) 729-4678.