It always makes me laugh when I catch myself internally chastising itchy animals which are hurting themselves by constantly scratching .“Why doesn’t it just stop scratching?!” I ask myself. Then I think of my recent situation, where, as a keen but incompetent vet student, I was excited to get to scrub into surgery – which means having sterile hands. Hands scrubbed and gloved, I developed a rather inconvenient nose-itch. When facial contortions offered no relief, I sheepishly asked an ungloved vet nurse to scratch my nose for me. A bonding experience, some would say…
… is something I hear all the time. People are, of course, talking about euthanasia. They imagine it must be really hard putting pets to sleep. Well, it isn’t. I see it as a kindness, a gift, the final act of love for our pets.
Only very occasionally is euthanasia hard for me and that is usually when I am forced to put an otherwise healthy animal (almost exclusively dogs) down because of behavioural problems.
Giving medication to pets is not easy. In a typical case of a dog with a skin condition, I may send the owner home with three types of tablets to be given twice daily for ten days. As I write up the final details of the patient’s file, I sometimes reflect that I have sent the owner away with a challenging task to complete.