Dealing with Euthanasia

One of the most rewarding experiences of being a vet tech is the relationship that you build with both the client and the pet. There is no doubt that you will have several clients that you almost think of as family or at least friends. There are some clients that you may see several times a week or even more! I find these relationships to be one of the most important parts of the job. I know that I wouldn’t want someone that I don’t feel close to handling my pet it good times or bad times. It is also extremely satisfying when someone personally requests you to take care of their pet. I know that sounds egotistical, but it is true! Who doesn’t want to feel special in the eyes of someone who is intrusting them with a family member?

Unfortunately these relationships that are built at a veterinary hospital aren’t always full of happiness. There will come a time when you will truly need to be there for the client and pet. When someone brings in an animal to be euthanized it will be heart breaking. No matter the circumstance there will always be a part of you that grieves for the animal and its owner. Whether young, old, or sick nothing will make the process any easier especially when you have grown to really care about the individuals involved. But even when you don’t know the client or pet it will always be tough to deal with euthanasia.

I really feel that as a vet tech you have a very important part in the entire process. And each clinic will be different in the way that euthanasia is approached. But regardless of each clinics policies I really feel that a vet tech is a calming hand, a counselor, a mourner, and a friend. There is nothing worse than seeing someone break down while their family member is euthanized. But I think is important to be the quiet presence by the side of the client doing the best you can to comfort them in such an emotional situation. I myself try hard to hold back my emotions, but that isn’t always possible. But I always try to think that this is the clients last moment with their pet. I don’t want the client to be distracted by my emotions. There will be time for that later.

Euthanasia is easily one of the hardest parts of a vet techs job. I don’t see how anyone could not be affected by a euthanasia. But at the clinics that I have had the fortune to work at, there is always compassion and everyone always cares. I could never feel guilty for being a part of ending the suffering of a hurting animal, but that doesn’t mean I never remember those that were lost. I remember them every day…

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