Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vet Tech Thoughts

It's a strangely unsettling feeling to have clients shake your hand and thank you after euthanizing their beloved pet. Yet this is a regular occurrence at my job. My vet performs euthanasia fairly regularly, and it never gets easier. The one thought I hold in my mind is that we are giving the old or sick pet a final gift, to end their suffering.
Clients see how we care for their dog or cat, and how we give them a last dignified moment. That is where the "thank you" comes in.
Thinking back, I thanked my vet for caring for both of my Greyhounds when the end of their days came. I suppose the gratitude comes from knowing their suffering has finally ended, and they are at peace.
We had a very sick senior pet at the clinic yesterday. We discovered that he had some masses on his spleen, and one on his lung. The dog was clearly depressed, unable to eat, and was vomiting. The owner chose euthanasia rather than submit his dog to surgery, which I think was the correct choice.
We cared for him with dignity and love, as we always do. As I escorted the bereaved clients out of the hospital they stopped to shake my hand and thank me for all my help. I told them I was sorry for their loss.
I had a mix of emotions inside me: sorrow for the clients, relief that the pet's suffering was finally over, and anticipation of our next appointment..where I would get another chance to make a difference in an animal's life.
As it turned out, that appointment was an ailing cat that had not been eating. I had opened a small can of cat food earlier in the day, as a treat to a Siamese cat that had come in for a well visit.
I offered this sick kitty a small portion of food. A few minutes later she had cleaned the plate! The clients thanked me and I felt a warm glow as I gave the cat some more food and she continued to eat.
The simple things at my job give me pleasure; and hopefully I can continue to make pets' lives better by continuing those simple things...a meal for a kitty, caring words for bereaved clients, and above all, love and compassion for those who cannot ask for it.

No comments: