Loss of a Pet: Knowing When It's Time to Say Goodbye

Paws-down, our pets are fully-fledged family members. Unfortunately, they live much shorter lives than we do, and at some point, we face the difficult, yet compassionate decision to say goodbye. Euthanasia limits suffering at the end of life and allows a beloved pet to pass away peacefully.
At Signature Veterinary Services, we understand how difficult it can be to face these end-of-life decisions. We’re highly experienced in treating aging and terminal pets; we will support you throughout every step of the process with the best interests of your pet and your family at heart.

How Do You Know When the Time for Euthanasia Has Come?

When a pet is diagnosed with a terminal illness, has been critically injured, and/or has developed quality of life concerns associated with aging, veterinarians shift the treatment approach from curative to comfort care. Comfort care (also called palliative care) focuses on managing or alleviating a pet’s pain to preserve quality of life and limit suffering during the final months, weeks, or days.
When we’re no longer able to ensure comfort or maintain some quality of life with palliative care, it becomes time to consider euthanasia. Signs that palliative care is no longer effective include uncontrolled pain, loss of appetite, withdrawal from the family, difficulty breathing, and/or extremely limited mobility.
We understand the challenges surrounding end-of-life decisions, including rapid changes in a pet’s condition. We encourage pet owners to stay in contact with our team for ongoing guidance and offer at home and virtual quality of life assessments to assist in this process.

End of Life Care in the Comfort of Your Home

Taking a trip to the veterinary clinic can be stressful, even on the best of days. When your pet’s nearing his or her final moments, the veterinary clinic is the last place your pet and your family want to be. At Signature Veterinary Services, our mobile team is fully equipped to provide quality of life assessments and end of life care in the comfort of your home. While nothing can eliminate the heartbreak of saying goodbye, having the ability to do so in your own home, where your pet and family will be most comfortable and relaxed, tremendously eases the stress.
To learn more about end of life care with Signature Veterinary Services, we welcome you to contact us today.

The Golden Years: How to Help Your Pet Age Gracefully

With veterinary advances and improved nutrition, cats and dogs are living longer lives. Although we get to enjoy more snuggles and companionship than ever before, their lifespans are still much shorter than our own. Pet ownership almost always involves navigating the inevitable aging process. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to help your pets maintain a high quality of life well into their golden years.

How Does Age Affect a Pet's Wellness and Preventative Care Needs?

Normally, healthy adult pets visit the veterinarian for a checkup once every year. Pets should have a checkup every six months once they’ve reached about age seven (give or take a year or two depending on species and size), which coincides with the start of “seniorhood”.
During a senior pet’s wellness exam, our veterinarian will take extra care to examine your pet and screen them for conditions and diseases that are more common with age, such as:
More frequent veterinary check-ups can help us detect early signs of these diseases and conditions in senior pets. Early diagnosis helps to ensure improved management and treatment options, before a problem causes considerable pain or discomfort or has a chance to progress to an advanced stage.
Your pet’s wellness exam will include a complete physical examination in addition to routine diagnostic testing. Diagnostic tests that help us detect health problems in senior pets include blood tests, urinalyses, and x-rays or ultrasound. Our veterinarian will also provide you with recommendations for modifying your pet’s diet, exercise, and environment for optimal health.

Does My Senior Pet Need to See a Veterinarian?

We recommend scheduling an appointment for your pet, if you notice any unexplained changes in your pet’s behavior or appearance, such as:

At-Home Veterinary Care and Diagnostic Testing for Senior Pets in Carlsbad, CA

When your pet enters the golden years, help them enjoy the highest quality of life and the best health possible. With Signature Veterinary Services, your pet can receive veterinary care in or at the comfort of your own home. There’s no reason to put unnecessary stress on an aging pet with frequent trips to the veterinary clinic when we can bring our services right to your doorstep. To schedule an appointment for your aging pet, contact us today.