The end of a pet's life in Spain...

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hillybilly
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The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby hillybilly » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:07 pm

I thought I would share with you my recent experience that all of us with pets may, at some time, have to go through, in the hope that it might prepare you for what to expect when your pet reaches the end of its life.

At the beginning of February my elderly dog became ill (a combination of longstanding liver and heart problems plus, finally, 2 tumours). She was hospitalised for 3 days at the Hospital Veterinario in Puente Genil, which is the most fantastic state of the art facility and where all the vets and staff are absolutely lovely. During her stay there I was welcome to visit at any time of the day or night and take her out into their garden. The staff go out of their way to explain everything to you with the utmost patience, whether by phone or in person.

My dog returned home after emergency treatment and monitoring and, with a huge concoction of drugs to be administered at home, she was able to enjoy her last few weeks in comfort, being spoit rotten and still enjoying a good quality of life. She was even strong enough to fight off a subsequent cold/viral infection (with yet more drugs!).

She however went downhill very rapidly over the course of 24 hours on 1st/2nd March and I had to make the decision to have her put to sleep. I had already discussed the process etc with the vet and so knew the procedure and what to expect. One of the downsides to veterinary care in Spain that you have to be prepared for is that euthanasia cannot take place in your home - your pet has to be taken to the surgery/hospital. I would have much preferred it to take place at home. So, having called the vet at 2am to tell her we were going to be coming in, she was ready and waiting for us. The necessary paperwork was all ready for signing and a consulting room was prepared, despite it being the middle of the night. (Unfortunately the euthanasia procedure was not straightforward and finally the vet had to resort to an IC injection, which was distressing for me, but that's by the bye).

The vet was lovely throughout, very compassionate, and I was allowed to remain with my dog for as long as I wanted afterwards.

I opted for an individual cremation - there is a pet crematorium in Malaga - and this cost was 145E. The euthanasia itself was around 50E. Today, 2 weeks after the event, I was able to collect my dog's ashes (contained in an urn with paw prints on but that I intend to replace) from the vet's. Other options available are burial (on your own land) or a "collective" cremation. You can go to the crematorium yourself, if you want.

All of the veterinary care that my dog has received in Spain over the years has been excellent, but most especially so at the Puente Genil Hospital, and I have never been shocked at a vet's bill - just the opposite in fact. It's a sad fact of life that most of us will outlive our pets and ideally they will pass away peacefully at home...but if your pet becomes ill, needs veterinary care and ultimately you too have to opt for euthanasia I hope that this post might prepare you for what to expect.

Please, nobody post that darn rainbow bridge thing - it makes me cry at the best of times!

Lyric
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby Lyric » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:18 pm

Sorry for your loss Hilly at least you had time for your goodbyes.

I hope that for us this is some time off as she is only about four and a half (vet's estimate) but when you have a moment could you post where the Pets Crematorium is please.

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby gerryh » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:40 pm

Sorry to hear of your loss HillyBilly.
Know how you feel, we went through the same thing just over 2 years ago and still miss him.
Lyric wrote:... could you post where the Pets Crematorium is please.
Don Animal, in Rincon de la Victoria, run a pets crematorium.
All arranged via our vet.
Cheers
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fincalospinos
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby fincalospinos » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:07 am

So sorry to hear of your loss, its always sad to lose a pet.

However, I think that you have been mislead with regards having to take the animal to a surgery for euthanasia. Over the past 15 years I have had to have two old dogs put to sleep, and to save them unnecessary stress the vet has always come to the house to carry out the procedure. We have then buried them in the grounds.
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hillybilly
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby hillybilly » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:33 am

If that's the case then I'm very upset about having been given incorrect information - I specifically asked some time in advance about the vet coming to my home and was told that it was against the law here...

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby El Cid » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:28 pm

The law changed about a year ago with regard to pet euthanasia. It is now banned in all but terminal cases.

It is possible that it also added the requirement that it had to be carried out on registered premises - I don't know if that is the case but it might explain the differing advice given.

If any forum member is making a vet visit soon perhaps they could try and clarify the position.

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby country boy » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:07 pm

I shot our last dog in the back of her head whilst she was having her last meal ( I'm blubbing while I type this). She didn't know I was there and I can only hope that someone could do that for me when the time comes. Tidy!!
She had never been in a car in her life and was of advanced years and bleeding from every orifice: I am fortunate that I was in a position to give her a stress free exit.... a trip to the vet would have been very stressful for her. She is buried on the Farm with her dish and toys...meanwhile...life goes on!

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby MartinEB » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:35 am

Having just gone through the end of life pain with our dear old girl (of 15½ years) yesterday, I thought it might be helpful just to update this thread.

Or lovely vet arrived at our house yesterday at 9am and euthanased our old girl (English Springer Spaniel) whose quality of life was deteriorating so rapidly. It was the hardest decision we had ever had to make and one we are still coming to terms with.

The vet left and we kept our girl at home for 3 hours before heading off for Malaga (we live 3 hours away) to get her cremated at; http://www.residenciacaninaparaiso.com/ at a 4pm individual cremation booking. The place was wonderful and the staff so helpful and compassionate. We witnessed our girl being taken to the incinerator, was given time alone with her and witnessed her being placed inside (alone and individually) amd the incinerator being sealed and started. We then completed the necessary paperwork and paid the 145euro fee (which included a porcelain urn from a standard range, with others available at an additional fee). We went for coffee locally and 90 minutes or so later returned to collect her ashes.

It was a day we have been dreading for a long time, made all the more painless by our lovely vet visiting us at home and the staff at the crematorium facility being so kind and compassionate.

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby chrissiehope » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:41 am

My sympathies Martin - I have been through this process three times now (in UK), and another is looming, so I know how painful it is. You'll know when you're getting over the worst when you stop looking for her when you get up in the morning....
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby Lyric » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:49 am

Sympathy too here Martin, there is not much worse.
However thanks for posting the Crematorium details as when the time comes I know we would want individual cremation, and while we knew we could we did not know where.

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby katy » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:08 pm

Always get tearful on these threads. Just glanced at a photo on my desk of one of our dogs who died a couple of years ago. She is wearing a rosette she won as best rescue dog at a show in Estepona dated 1995. She was around 18 when she died. I bent down to cuddle her as they gave the injection and she gave me a last lick.

We have never gone in for the crematorium stuff. Fine if you find it comforting but I would rather just have the memories.

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby rafiki » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:59 pm

So sorry Martin. I feel for you and I hope the pain doesn't take too long to heal. When our Polly died at home in my arms two years ago I vowed to wait some time before thinking of getting another dog. That resolution was overtaken less than two weeks later when we passed a young, abandoned Boxer lying in a street in our village almost dead from malnutrition and dehydration. Two years on Lulu is our joy.
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby detourer » Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:05 pm

So sorry Martin.......Yesterday was bad day for us as well…………..

Normally all hell breaks loose and it descends into chaos when someone arrives at our gate. This time there was a respectful, knowing and considerate silence as the rest of our dogs, all eight, gathered together or took to their own special places while the vet performed the inevitable. They of course understood and had all earlier said their own farewells to an old friend in their own individual ways.

I read somewhere and it has been oft said “You can't replace one dog with another any more than you can replace one person with another, but that's not to say you shouldn't get more dogs and people in your life.” Oh so true……but, there will be no surrogate anytime soon for Sky, our faithful and dependable German Shepard, who from a rescue situation had been with our family for over 11 years……but sadly today had leave us.

Why do they do this to us? How can they invoke such deep feeling of loss? Only a dog owner and thus someone who has experienced that deep and profound partnership with an ever reliable and devoted friend would perhaps fully understand…….that gut wrenching feeling of hopelessness, bleakness and despair.

It’s the self-inflicted and fundamental crime committed by most dog owners and is born of the profound love we hold for them, which, like the love of a child, runs deep. It is said that no parent should have to bury a child, but that is what we dog owners do, sometimes time after time, throughout our own comparatively long lives.

While we remain unchanged to their welcoming and pleasing eyes, they themselves pass without objection from birth to the grave all too swiftly by our own measure of age. Their time with us burns like dry kindling. Although we know we can never replace one dog with another, we keep trying, in hopes of reawakening those whispers and hints of some remarkable absent companion……if only on that count we are destined to fail.

No, of course they are not children and I am not really suggesting such, but some dogs come very close……so very close.

Ray
Last edited by detourer on Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Go to the grave in an attractive and well preserved body? Rather skid in sideways, women on each arm, champagne and credit card in each hand, body thoroughly used, abused, totally worn out and screaming …."WOO HOO, WHAT A RIDE"

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rafiki
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby rafiki » Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:10 pm

Nice words Ray and very true. Sorry for your loss. A dog's love is so unconditional.
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby Chica56 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:44 pm

Ray you brought tears to my eyes, its so true.............I still miss the labrador I had in older childhood, he was so special......................

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby chrissiehope » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:31 pm

Wonderfully expressed, Ray
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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby MartinEB » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:06 am

Lovely words Ray and thank you all for your kind comments, much apreciated as we come to terms with loosing our best friend after 15½ years

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby luckyjim » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:43 pm

If they treat and care for other people's dog so well, why don't they afford the same sort of treatment and dignity to their own(the Spanish, I mean. I came across three kittens which had just been dumped in a Basra.

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby luckyjim » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:47 pm

I really do make some gaffs in my spelling I meant Basura. And I should have generalized by saying their pets. Silly me.

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Re: The end of a pet's life in Spain...

Postby El Cid » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:51 pm

Because the Spanish are not prepared to pay anything towards the health of their pets when they are alive and even less to dispose of them.

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