Archive for December, 2013

In today’s discussion I would like to discuss the painful issue of terminal illness and euthanasia in our so much loved pets.

It is a painful subject, I know, but one that many of us had to face over the years in regards to our pets.

First and utmost: euthanasia is a medical procedure available to our pets and has to be done based on sound medical decisions.

The patient’s well being is the first and only consideration in my mind. In my practice, I have patients that I know for many years–I’m practicing for over 20 yrs now–and knowing them, and knowing the owners is imperative as to the decision making. A good line of communication with the owner is essential in this regard as to understanding the patient’s quality of life at home.

I’m very conservative in regards to euthanasia and perform the procedure only after knowing that the pet can’t be helped. Life is precious and such decisions should be taken with care and concern.

If the decision of euthanasia has been made–after careful examination of the patient and conversation with the owners–then in my practice it’s done with utmost attention to the patient’s comfort and lack of stress during the procedure.

If the owner wants to be present they are welcome to be present.

I pre-medicate the patient with sedatives and usually have them under general anesthesia, so when they pass, it’s as if they pass in their sleep.

In conclusion: first and utmost is the patient’s well being. As I can’t ask my patients their wishes, good knowledge of them and their health status greatly facilitates the decision process. Of course knowing the owners, and knowing that the euthanasia request is based on deep felt emotions of love and compassion for their pet is as important.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital



A male obese cat–weighing 21lbs–become suddenly ill with anorexia, low grade fever, and changes in his behavior: he became less social and was hiding a lot. In the past the cat had slightly elevated liver enzymes and on ultrasound his liver had the appearance of early Lipidosis. The cat was asymptomatic at the time and prescription liver supplements returned his liver enzymes to normal.

Tests revealed that the cat had a severe UTI, but also due to the stress of his Illness developed early Diabetes. The cause of the Diabetes was due most likely to his obesity and early liver Lipidosis diagnosed during the screening ultrasound.

The good news are that Mr. Pussycat has returned to normal, feeling great, eating well, with antibiotic injections and supportive fluid care. I treated the cat as an outpatient with exams every 24 hours. An outpatient approach is my preferred approach whenever feasible. In addition the cat’s Diabetes was transitory and all parameters have returned to normal.

This case illustrates the inherent risks of obesity in our patients as causing secondary complications in case of Illness.

Mr. Pussycat was informed by me that he won’t have to start on Insulin, and that he’ll have to become more active and eat less. Mr. Pussycat gave me a “high paw” with a nice purring promising that he will follow my advice.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.

Phone: 954-972-5900.

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