Tough call: Choices when you learn your pet is terminally ill - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tough call: Choices when you learn your pet is terminally ill

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Duke had one more day to spend on Earth and was surrounded by his family and friends. (Source: Robyn Arouty www.robynarouty.com www.facebook.com/robyn.arouty.photography) Duke had one more day to spend on Earth and was surrounded by his family and friends. (Source: Robyn Arouty www.robynarouty.com www.facebook.com/robyn.arouty.photography)
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's not an easy conversation to have. So many of our pets are considered members of a family. But what do you do if your pet becomes terminally ill? What are your options? Do you have a plan? Should you have a plan?


On Monday many of you saw the heartbreaking story of one black lab on his last day- documented in a blog with photos of him living it up on his last day. In a poll, most pet owners agreed that losing an animal is like losing a member of the family.

Kris Morrill takes his three dogs, Max, Oly, and Moe everywhere. He even takes them to work.

"These three are like my children," he said.

Like most pet owners, Morrill can't imagine life without them. He knows how difficult it can be to lose a dog, and remembers the difficult decision of having to put one down.

"That was a very tough thing," said Morrill, "I was able to go into the room and see him one last time before he had to go, and it's like someone in your family passing away."

Dr. Steve Whatley with Bush Animal Clinic says that's a decision that only a pet owner can make.

"Not a veterinarian, not a friend," said Whatley. "They need to be comfortable with their decision."

He says although some illnesses come on suddenly, yearly check-ups can help extend the life of your furry friends.

"[Take] heart disease for instance," said Whatley. "We can see a nine or 10-year-old patient that appears perfectly normal, and the following year they have a pretty severe heart murmur. If they weren't checked, that could lead to congestive heart failure."

MORE: Texas photographer chronicles dog's last day in powerful post

As for Morrill, he said if you take care of your dog, or dogs in his case, they will return the favor.

" They're very in-tune to what your feeling. If you're sad you can definitely tell they know what you're going through. They'll come over and when your happy they're happy, and they can pick up on things like that."

We want to know what you think - let us know in the comments, share pictures of your pets with us!

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  • WALB Online Poll

  • Is your pet like a member of the family?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    YES
    98%
    44 votes
    NO
    2%
    1 vote