The decision to end a pet’s suffering is one of the most difficult but important ones that a pet owner can face. It may help to recall the meaning of the word euthanasia – “an easy and painless death”. We would all like to hope that when the time comes our pet would be able to die peacefully in their sleep at home, in a timely fashion before any suffering occurred,.
Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. If your friend has chronic unmanageable pain, is sick and dying or is elderly with a multitude of problems and diminished quality of life, euthanasia may well be your best option. Fortunately your pet is spared your mental anguish of your difficult decision and knows only that you are there to help.
We will strive to ensure that the process is a peaceful and painless one. You may bring your pet to the hospital, or if you are able to plan a few days in advance we often arrange a home visit. Many owners choose to stay with their pets to provide comfort and support, but please let us know if you are not comfortable with this idea. First, a small injection under the skin is given to make your pet drowsy and relieve any anxiety or pain that they may be experiencing. This will take 10-15 minutes to take effect. Your friend will appreciate your presence and loving touch during this time. Smaller pets may even fall asleep in their owner’s arms. When your pet is feeling truly calm and peaceful, an area of hair is shaved over the vein of the front arm or back leg and an intravenous injection is given. We use an injectable anesthetic in overdose to stop the heart. In fact you may have received a similar anesthetic if you have ever undergone surgery, (the one where your doctor asks you to count backwards from 100 and you only get to 95…),
the difference being that we give enough anesthetic that your pet will not wake up. This is a completely pain free procedure. The anesthetic acts very rapidly and many pets are gone before we have finished the injection.
If burial is not an option, both communal and private cremation services are available. We will discuss these options with you before the procedure. With private cremation, your pet’s ashes will be returned to you in an attractive urn and a ceramic paw print will be made.
The grieving process is a very personal experience. The length of time it takes to come to terms with the loss of a pet is different for everyone. Talking to family and friends about your difficult decision, reminiscing about your friend’s younger years, or creating a memento such as a photo album are all helpful. If you have young children, there are some excellent books that you can read together to help them understand their loss. If you are feeling truly overwhelmed, please let us know. We are always there to listen.
Veterinarians and Pet Care Staff of Care Pet Wellness Group