Euthanasia

WHEN IS IT TIME?

The decision regarding the euthanasia of a beloved pet may be the most difficult decision one makes in one's entire life; obviously, the consequences are irrevocable. Whatever the decision is, it should be one that you can always look back upon and know that the best decision was made and that you would make the same decision over again in the same situation.

So how do you know if it is time? There are several criteria used in evaluating life quality and you should consider them carefully.

  • Is your pet eating?
  • Is your pet comfortable?
  • Does the pet still enjoy its favorite activities?

You know your pet better than any one and only you can truly answer these questions.

If you are considering euthanasia, discuss the pet's condition with us prior to making a decision or even coming in for an appointment. There are many basic and common sense treatments we can utilize to increase your pet's quality of life before the problem progresses and your pet is suffering

SHOULD YOU BE PRESENT FOR THE PROCEDURE?

This is a very personal decision. On one hand, you probably do not want your pet to be alone with strangers in its final moments but on the other hand you may not be up to watching your pet's death. Every owner wants to think of euthanasia as a gentle slipping into death much like falling asleep. In reality, the pet will probably not close its eyes, and there may be a final twitch, gasp, or even urination. These may be disturbing to an owner. To help ease this transition between and death, a sedation is given first thus alleviating some of the above but you should keep in mind that this may not be how you want to remember your pet.

HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?

Appropriate forms must be signed prior to the procedure. If the owner is to be present, an intravenous catheter may be placed. This takes a few minutes and is usually done while the client pays for the procedure and deals with paperwork. The payment transaction is done prior to the procedure so that the owner will not have to tearfully sign papers or slips just following the emotional height of the procedure.

The intravenous catheter serves several purposes. The catheter ensures access to the vein, even if the owner is holding the pet. The catheter also allows for a sedative to be administered prior to the euthanasia solution.
After the catheter is placed, the pet re-joins the owner in the comfy room. The owner may spend some last time alone with the pet if desired.

The procedure itself is quick. If a sedative is to be used, it is given first so that the pet is euthanized from a sleeping status. The euthanasia solution, a fast-acting potent anesthetic is administered and death comes peacefully in a matter of seconds. The owner is allowed to remain with the pet for final private goodbyes. At the end of this time after the last goodbyes, the owner simply exits the room when ready and the clinic team takes over.

We also offer a house visit service to euthanize your pet. One of our veterinarians will come to your residence and perform the service in private. Please let us know in advance so we can manage this.

Let us know in advance if you would like a lock of hair or the collar as a keepsake.

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY PET AFTERWARDS?

You may select one of several aftercare methods.

  1. Communal cremation:
    A service provider will be contracted to dispose of pet remains by group cremation.
  2. Private cremation:
    Should you wish, a private cremation can be arranged and the ashes will be returned to you in an urn of your choice.
  3. Precious Paw print:
    this can also be arranged.
  4. Self burial:
    Please check the local applicable by-laws.

 GRIEVING

Grief is a natural part of loss and has predicable stages. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed about grieving for the loss of your pet. Our pets are beloved family members and their loss is keenly felt. Still, it is important to realize that death is a natural end to life and that love will always continue.

Stages of Grief

1. Denial and isolation.

This is a normal response when faced with a sudden terminal illness or death of a loved. It is the normal reaction of someone faced with overwhelming emotions. This reaction helps you to buffer the immediate shock of the situation and will help you deal with the first wave of pain. This is a normal and necessary part of the grieving process.

2. Anger

This is second stage in the grieving process and our way of dealing with the reality of losing a loved one. Once the denial has decreased we begin to feel angry at the situation. This reaction protects us and helps us deal with the severe emotions we are feeling. The anger can be directed at objects, family, and strangers or even at the loved one we lost because they have gone and that leaves feelings of abandonment. Another reaction of this stage is guilt as we feel guilty for being angry however this is a normal reaction to loss and our way of protecting ourselves.

3. Bargaining

This is a normal reaction of ourselves as we try to gain control over the situation. We feel helpless and vulnerable so we try to bargain the situation;

We should seek a second opinion....
Maybe the tests were wrong...

This is a defense of the self to protect us from the painful reality.

4. Depression

During the stage of depression we see two stages. First we see the stage that deals with the practical implications of the illness or death such as costs or the act itself of the euthanasia. These things in themselves cause depression. The second more private stage of depression is that where we begin to prepare ourselves to say goodbye and deal with the emotions we are feeling.

5. Acceptance

In this stage of grief we finally find our peace with the situation. This does not mean we are happy merely that we accept the inevitable and though the loss of our loved one pains us we can move on to accept that they are gone.

The following on-line areas may be helpful:

Gateway website

www.petloss.com

www.in-memory-of-pets.com/pet-loss.htm

www.aplb.org

www.pet-loss.net