Do Animals Hide Pain?

Animals are designed to hide their pain. By the time we start to seriously consider the option of euthanasia, our pet would have appreciated getting relief long before we can bring ourselves to do the euthanasia. Most people wait way too long. Pets often suffer in silence way too long. And old pets are more painful than we realize.

They don’t cry, whine, or moan. They limp and pant, yet continue to eat and continue to wag their tail. So are they really suffering? Panting, falling, stiffness, difficulty getting up, difficulty laying down, and eliminating in the house are key signs of significant arthritis pain…and unnecessary suffering. The most ignored suffering is pain from debilitating arthritis and simple advanced old age. Our pets have the luxury of euthanasia available to them. They don’t have to linger in a painful body that’s not working for them. Waiting is actually cruel.

Pain meds work in early stages of arthritis. Eventually they stop working. Old age becomes too advanced and severe muscle loss occurs. Without a lot of muscle, the forces on the bones skyrocket. The level of arthritis pain goes way up once the pet becomes skinny. This is when pain meds are not enough and stop working. The reason why old pets eliminate in the house is because it has become too painful to posture and get into the position to eliminate outside. It hurts. So the pet holds their pee and poop as long as they can. And they end up leaking urine and going in the house.

It is very helpful to learn about signs of suffering. Pet Loss At Home veterinarians have a practical mindset for how to handle end-of-life decisions. Old age is very different than other stages in life. We need to be more practical and less aggressive and less invasive when it comes to old age. Almost all old pets (and people) have one or several types of cancer that don’t always show up on tests. It’s just a matter of…are these hidden ailments affecting quality of life yet or not? Organ failure and cancer are happening in all old bodies. It can be better to spend your money on planning a private and comfortable departure for your pet at home instead of testing for what we know is there anyway and not very treatable at all. How do you fix organ failure, cancer, and advanced old age? Euthanasia. Poking and proding and testing and treating illnesses in an old pet are often expensive and futile. Why put your pet through that torture?

Euthanasia is a valuable opportunity to give our cherished pet relief from terrible pain and suffering. Euthanasia is a loving escape out of a painful body that doesn’t work. Another word for euthanasia is relief or escape. And just like people want to die at home and not in a hospital setting, you can be at home to say goodbye to your pet. Ask for help with your particular situation. We can discuss what you are seeing with your pet via phone or email. You will become much more clear about what to do after hearing our advice.