Euthanasia in dogs When should it be applied?

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Euthanasia is a controversial topic at different levels. The word euthanasia, commonly used as a synonym for slaughter, refers to a clinical procedure that is possible in veterinary medicine.

But just because a vet can euthanize a dog does not mean that it is ethical to do so under any circumstances. That is why it is important to understand what euthanasia really means and in which cases it can be applied.

Index of contents

  • 1 Euthanasia vs. sacrifice
  • 2 When is it possible to apply euthanasia?
  • 3 When to decide if I euthanize my dog?
  • 4 How is the process of euthanasia?
    • 4.1 What happens after euthanasia?
  • 5 Can the dog be euthanized in our home?
  • 6 How much does it cost to euthanize a dog?
  • 7 Should an aggressive dog be euthanized?

Euthanasia vs. sacrifice

Etymologically, we can define the term euthanasia as well to die. The Royal Spanish Academy defines it, specifically, as the acceleration of the death of an incurable patient with the aim of preventing him from suffering. On the contrary, to sacrifice is simply to kill an animal.

In the veterinary field it is not strange to hear both words as synonyms. But the nuance that differentiates them is very important if we want to understand the clinical procedure involved in euthanasia.

In fact, the confusion between euthanasia and sacrifice leads some people to go to clinics asking the vet to euthanize completely healthy dogs. This in no case could be called euthanasia. It is a sacrifice and the vet should not agree.

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When is it possible to apply euthanasia?

Going back to the definition of euthanasia, the first requirement to apply it is to meet a sick dog. But not just any disease, no matter how chronic, involves expensive or complex treatment or surgical intervention. The disease that affects the dog must be incurable in the first place. But not only.

For example, a dog with a renal disease you have no treatment that can restore functionality to your kidneys. But it is feasible to maintain it with a good quality of life for months or even years. So, The other determining factor in talking about euthanasia is that the disease causes suffering such that it cannot be alleviated with anything..

Without cure and pain, it is common for the vet himself to tell us about euthanasia. Taking into account the pathologies that can lead to death, statistically it is more common to have to euthanize an old dog. But serious accidents or infectious diseases are causes of euthanasia that can affect young dogs as well.

When to decide if I euthanize my dog?

The decision to euthanize the dog is the hardest one that we will have to make for it. AND the responsibility of deciding alone rests on us. The ideal is to guide us through the same aspects that the vet takes into account. That is, incurable disease and suffering impossible to alleviate. Outside of these circumstances it is called sacrifice. Let’s not fool ourselves.

When our dog can no longer lead his normal life, we will know that the moment of farewell is approaching. Offering him his favorite food, taking him to a place that he especially likes, and above all, staying by his side with caresses and loving words is what we can do for our dog before euthanasia.

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How is the process of euthanasia?

Once the decision is made, the vet will proceed to sedate the dog. In this way, you will fall asleep soundly without feeling any pain. It is at that moment that euthanasia is administered, generally intravenously. For this, if you do not already have it, a path will be placed in a front leg.

Less often, euthanasia can be done by intracardiac injection. In any case, the goal of the euthanic is to stop the heart. Without suffering. After a few minutes, the vet will listen to the dog to confirm that there is no heartbeat. Has died.

What happens after euthanasia?

According to the legislation of our locality, we will have different options after the death of our dog. If we have a garden in some cases we will be able to bury it in it or in any land of our property.

  • What to do when a dog dies?

Another option is incineration, which can be done collectively or individually. In the latter case, we can request that the ashes of our dog be delivered to us in an urn. It is a more expensive procedure.

Can the dog be euthanized in our home?

The vet clinic is perhaps too cold and public a place for a farewell. Or maybe we don’t want to move our dog, he doesn’t like the car or we prefer that the vet is not his last memory.

So it is common for handlers to think about euthanizing the dog at home. And the truth is that it is an option offered in many clinics. Therefore, before making a decision we can explore this point with our trusted vet. At home you can perform the same procedure that we have already described.

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How much does it cost to euthanize a dog?

Euthanizing a dog is not free. It is not a simple injection. We have already seen how the whole process runs and, of course, this can only be done by a veterinaryn.

Although we will find differences between clinics, the price of the lethal injection, on average, it will range between 30 and 50 euros. But we have to take into account that, depending on the weight, there will be variations in the cost. In addition, the amount of the incineration must be added, if this is our case.

Should an aggressive dog be euthanized?

An unfortunately common example of sacrifice disguised as euthanasia occurs in those cases where it is intended to be applied to an aggressive dog. Aggression is not a cause of euthanasia. On the contrary, the solution is to intervene in the behavior of the dog.

For this, consultation with a ethologist, a canine educator, or a behavioral veterinaryn. Or, at least, we have a duty to contact a protective association that can take charge of finding a new home for the dog that we cannot / want to take care of.