As pet owners we endeavour to ensure our faithful companions stay fit and healthy, enabling them to live to an old age. Unfortunately our pets don’t live as long as we do and at some point we will have to prepare to let them go. Sadly few of our pets pass away peacefully in their sleep, therefore we all wish to do the right thing at the right time. This fulfils our responsibility and commitment in their final days. We hope these words will help you and your family at this time of conflicting emotions.
Indications things aren’t well
If you have concerns about your pet’s health then the best option is to bring them in and see the vet for a check over and discussion about treatment options. Often the earlier any disease signs are noticed and treated the more favourable the outcome and longevity of life.
Unfortunately there comes a time when the treatment options stop working, the disease diagnosed in incurable or you feel your pet is suffering and no longer has a good quality of life. We are here for an appointment and discussion to help you make this final decision.
Decision to be made
If you would like to come in, without your pet, and see one of our team prior to euthanasia to make an end of life plan then we can do this at the surgery.
We offer home visits so your pet is less stressed in their own environment.
We can sedate your pet prior to the final injection to reduce stress.
You can take your pet home to bury or we can organise cremation for you. Cremation options are varied and you can have your pet’s ashes back to scatter or keep.
Being present is emotional and distressing but the majority of owners feel they give comfort to their pet during their last moments. We understand this is not comfortable for everyone and if you do not want to stay in the room during the euthanasia you can always come back in afterwards to say your final goodbyes.
Initially we will ask you to sign a consent form to give us permission to put your pet to sleep and confirm your decision on what you would like to do with their body.
Euthanasia involves injecting an overdose of anaesthetic into the vein of your dog’s front leg. Sometimes this will go in via a catheter which the vet may place into your pet’s leg.
After the injection has entered the vein, their heart will stop beating and they will rapidly lose consciousness and stop breathing. On occasion the pet’s muscles and limbs may tremble, they may gasp a few times, these are reflex actions only not signs of life but can be upsetting. Your pet’s eyes will remain open and they may empty their bladder or bowel as the body relaxes.
Your vet will listen to the chest to confirm the heart has stopped beating.
Individual cremation – A private cremation for your pet at our nominated crematorium company. Your pet’s ashes will be returned to you in either a scatter box or selected casket of your choice. Our team have leaflets in reception with further details.
Communal cremation – Leave your pet with us to be cremated with other pets. No ashes will be returned to you with this option.
We can provide cardboard coffins for home burial.
Coping with loss
Everyone copes with grief in different ways. Other family members may experience shock, denial, disbelief and often guilt. Pets grieve too, should you wish to talk to the veterinary team then please contact the surgery as we can offer support.
The Blue Cross have a bereavement line 08000 966 606. They are very good at giving support at this difficult time.