Handouts for handling pet pain and death

Handouts for handling pet pain and death

From the first signs of pain to helping children and surviving pets who have lost their best friend, here are veterinary client handouts to help explain many important questions throughout.
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Jul 05, 2017
By dvm360.com staff

Photo: Shutterstock.comEuthanasia can often leave a veterinary professional at a loss for words. Finding the right thing to say at the right time and knowing which pet owner will react positively or negatively can make an already difficult process even tougher. We’ve found client-facing handouts for you to use, from the first signs of pain to after a euthanasia has taken place. Here’s the rundown.

Reality check: How old is your pet in human years?

We’re sure your clients are probably still working from the old adage of one dog year equaling seven human years. You know it takes more than that simple math to get an accurate read on how “old” a pet really is, as well as the important difference between senior and geriatric pets. Show your clients the real numbers using this age comparison chart.

Lack of mobility may mean less time with your pet

Pets that have lost their mobility are some of the most heart-wrenching examples in euthanasia cases. No longer are they the playful cats and dogs they used to be. Get the leg up on mobility problems in senior pets by helping them get back to the things they used to do. Here are two great client handouts for mobility: One featuring great exercises for the four-legged workout, the other featuring five ways to improve your senior pet’s health.

Osteoarthritis in your senior cat: Do you know the signs?

Just like in humans, sometimes mobility exercises aren’t enough to keep osteoarthritis at bay as a pet ages. Your client should know this, as well as the signs of the painful disease, so that you and the pet owner can alleviate any suffering and get that painful cat back to its spry self. Here’s a helpful client handout listing the signs of osteoarthritis a cat might show.

Stress the importance of senior pet care to veterinary clients

Whether it’s osteoarthritis or simply the hurdles that come with old age, your veterinary clients should be aware of the importance of senior care in their dog or cat. Encourage them to stay ahead of disease in older pets with wellness exams and preventive diagnostics, and give them a handout listing common signs of illness in older dogs and cats. You can find handouts tailored to senior felines and canines here.

Help kids say goodbye to their pets

Euthanasia offers a unique opportunity to help children understand the process of death—perhaps for the first time. Still, it’s a tricky process to guide a child through, and when a parent asks you for advice, you might not know what to say. Here’s an age-appropriate client handout full of advice to guide parents through the euthanasia discussion with their kids.  

Helping pets who have lost their best buddy

The loss of a pet can be hard on the entire family—including other pets that are highly attached to the deceased. When they’re separated, the surviving pet may demonstrate a “distress reaction”—or as clients might say, “Lady’s just not herself since Teddy passed. She’s depressed.” Here’s a client handout explaining how a pet may react to losing their best friend, and what pet owners can do to help.  

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