Euthanasia & After Care

By December 2, 2012

There may come a point in any pet’s life when the heartrending decision about euthanasia becomes necessary. When your pet’s quality of life declines or your pet has a chronic or terminal illness, we will help you through the euthanasia process. We pride ourselves on making this process as easy as possible for our clients and provide as peaceful an end to life as we can. You will have many questions and our staff is here to help at this difficult time.

How do I set up an appointment?

To set up an appointment time, please call the clinic whenever you are ready. Please let us know if you would like a specific doctor. We often schedule these appointments at times when we are less busy. You may bring as many family members as you like with you and your pet. You may choose to leave your pet for the procedure after signing the consent, you may stay during the procedure, or you may wait and then visit your pet after the euthanasia is completed. We accommodate whatever you feel comfortable with. You can stay as long as you like afterward in our private comfort room. Please ask for handouts on pet loss and discuss the care of your pet’s remains ahead of time.

How long does the euthanasia take?

An appointment for euthanasia usually takes 20-30 minutes depending on how long you wish to stay. The actual injection process will only be 1-3 minutes to complete.

What actually happens when I have my pet euthanized?

The following describes the euthanasia procedure. If you do not wish to read about this, please leave this page now.

The procedure is performed by our veterinarian. Some patients may need sedation so they are able to relax. Sometimes an IV catheter will be placed to ease the injection process. An intravenous injection of a concentrated anesthetic is given, this acts as an overdose. Your pet will almost immediately lose consciousness. On rare occasions there may be a brief instant of vocalization. This is not a cry of pain, but is related to delirium from the rapid onset of the drug. If your pet has poor circulation, low blood pressure, or is dehydrated, it may take a few moments longer to work. Within seconds the heart and circulation will stop. Once the heart stops, then breathing will cease a few moments later and your pet dies peacefully. Once your pet has died, you may observe some involuntary muscle contractions or a respiratory gasp. This is not an indicator of pain or consciousness, but reflexive activity. The pet may lose urine or stool due to the absence of muscle tone. When you are ready, we will prepare your pet’s remains for the aftercare you have elected.

Will my pet experience any pain?

Simply, no. Your pet may feel a small sting from the needle insertion, we try to do it as quickly as possible to give your pet a peaceful journey. If at any time during the process, you feel uncomfortable or have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask.

What are my options for aftercare?

You may take your pet’s remains home for burial on your property, if legally allowed or for burial at a pet cemetery. If you will be taking remains home, please prepare ahead of time to bring along an appropriate container for transport. We also offer Communal/ General Cremation, where ashes are not returned or Private Cremation- where your pets ashes are returned in a tin. We have some recommended sources for urns and other memorials, just ask. We will also provide paint paw prints and hair clippings at your request.