As veterinary professionals we know what a heart-breaking time it is for our clients when it is time for their beloved pet to be euthanased. As most of us are pet owners we have personal experience as well as being part of this last appointment more times than we can possibly remember. But what happens to the client when they leave the building? We comfort ourselves in the assumption that they have family and friends who will support them in coming to terms with their loss. But what if they don’t, or those people are just not “pet” people and don’t understand the extreme emotions that pet loss can bring?
When we discharge patients following surgery or after diagnosing an illness they are often sent home with information to help them understand and plan care for their pet in the coming days, weeks or months. When we send owners home following euthanasia they leave with an empty carrier, a collar and lead and maybe a leaflet from the crematorium.
Now, you can send them home with details about the Compassion Understood pet owner website, www.compassionunderstood.com. It has been developed to be a resource for pet owners to help them find the support they need and to give vets somewhere to direct clients to at this difficult time. So, please take a look at the site and tell your clients, family and friends about it – whether people are trying to cope with their grief, or at the stage where their pet is still with them but nearing the end, reading about what to expect and where they can find further support will help them when the time comes.