I’ve been asked to post this question on the forum so here it is.
I know our focus is on maintaining quality of life for as long as possible but there will come a time when quality of life is just not acceptable and we have to make a decision to put our friends out of pain. How do we know when that time is? It’s something I am struggling with at the moment that wasn’t talked about at the owners workshop. When Gillie was diagnosed I had an idea of what I considered acceptable quality of life for him – we have now gone past that. How do we know? What are we looking for?
Thanks Kathryn. I guess I’m finding it tough because he has extremes. When he gets up he looks really painful but then the other 90% of the time he is jolly and happy, playing etc. I’m less worried about what to do when the time comes and more worried about knowing when the right time is.
You are at a very un-enviable part of the pet owner journey, sorry to hear that you’re struggling.
One approach would be to make a good-day-bad-day diary (there is a basic one on the website under “how cam can help”). I would pick 5-10 things that you want to see Gillie doing a good day – this could be getting up to greet you in the morning, begging for her breakfast, bringing you a toy to show off, playing with her favourite teddy… it can be anything and will be unique to each individual. On days when she does all or most of these things, that’s a good day, when she doesn’t, that’s a bad day. When you are having more bad vs good days then you will have a more objective measure that it is time to change your treatment.. be that more or different meds or be that saying goodbye.
I’d speak to your vet about it too, just so you are more prepared for what happens on the day and afterwards in terms of cremation options etc. It might help you to be more prepared and when the time does come, you can have all your wishes already in place to make that day a little easier for you and all about love for Gillie.
I hope that helps