Pet Euthanasia

Euthanasia and Your Pet.

Making the decision to euthanize your pet is a difficult one, but often the kindest thing you can do if your pet is extremely ill or severely injured that it cannot maintain a good quality of life.

How will I know it’s time?
Ask yourself “Does my pet have more bad days than good days?”.
When your pet:

  • Cannot enjoy the daily experiences
  • Cannot respond to you in its usual way
  • Experiences more pain than pleasure

If your pet is terminally ill or severely injured and the financial and emotional cost of treatment is too much, euthanasia may also be an option. Euthanasia may also be necessary if a pet is dangerous and its abnormal behaviors cannot be changed.

Your veterinarian cannot make the decision to euthanase for you. But, they can help you understand your pet’s condition, chances of recovery, potential outcomes, long-term prognoses, and the risks involved with medical and surgical options. It is important that you ask as many questions as you can to help you understand your pet’s condition and discuss the facts with your vet, family, and friends before making the decision.

“Quality Of Life” Questionnaires are a helpful tool to assess when it may be time to consider euthanasia for your pet. These can be used on a weekly or monthly basis until you may think it is the right time. Click the button below to access a great Quality of Life questionnaire created by The University of Ohio State.

How can I say goodbye?
Saying goodbye is an important step in the grieving process. You may choose to do this as a family unit or individually. You may also choose to be with the pet for the procedure or choose not to be. It’s important you choose what is comfortable for you and not to feel pressured in your decision.

What happens during the procedure?
Euthanasia is accomplished by the delivery of a euthanasia drug into the leg vein. It induces a deep and irreversible unconsciousness and ultimately a quick and painless death. Before the final injection is given, your pet will be given a sedative to help relax. If your pet is particularly anxious around new people or in the clinic, we can arrange for an oral sedative to be given at home.

As your pet’s body relaxes, it may urinate or defecate, take a deep breath or twitch its legs or head and its eyes may remain open. These reflexes do not indicate pain or suffering, it is just a natural reflex as the body begins to let go. The process only takes 1-2 minutes from injection to death. The veterinarian will check the pet’s heart and confirm that they have passed.

Where is the procedure performed?
Routinely euthanasia is performed within the clinic, if you do not feel comfortable coming inside the clinic, you may choose to have the procedure done in your car or outside the clinic in our garden.Alternatively, a Veterinarian and Nurse can come and perform the procedure in your home.

How to manage the loss?
Managing grief is a natural and individual process. It is the process of accepting the loss and the pain associated with it (denial, sadness, anger, anxiety, numbness, guilt) and adjusting to life without your pet. 

You may wish to spend time with the pet after euthanasia or you may wish to surround yourself with friends and family.
If you ever feel profound and prolonged depression, always seek assistance from a professional counselor, a social worker, or a psychologist.

What happens to my pet after euthanasia?
There are many options for your pet’s final resting place:

1. Home burial; please ensure you comply with the local council legislation.
2. Individual cremation; we can liaise with the local crematorium
3. Standard disposal; we can coordinate this through the practice

You may keep your pet’s collar and tag.
If the loss of your pet has come on suddenly, and you have not had time to process what you would like to do, please let our team know, and we will place your pet on hold until you have made a decision. 

Do I need to pay the account on the day?
Payment is expected on the day of service. However, to avoid the matter of payment on the day, we recommend you pay prior to the appointment. 

]