25 May Euthanasia
No one who shares their life with a loving companion wants to think about their death, but in many ways pre euthanasia discussions and thoughts are a good idea. We want to give you the chance to think about any thoughts or wishes you may have, while you still have a clear mind to do so. Hopefully this way you will not have any regrets afterwards. When you read on we will mention the routine choices we offer, no one option is right or wrong and likewise if you would like something different please ask and we will aim to accommodate you and your pet companion.
Where will the euthanasia take place?
At your home – owners choose this for a number of reasons, such as:
- Don’t have to move an ill or distressed pet
- Privacy and owners often may feel more in control
- Whole family can be there
- Pet is in familiar surroundings
At the clinic – again, owners may opt for this for a variety of reasons:
- The pet may already be at the clinic
- Pets are often less fractious away from their own territory
- Family at home may not want to be there, when it happens
Once you have made this very difficult decision, it should be arranged as soon as possible. If it is to take place at the surgery, we will always try to arrange it for the end of surgery, that way the clinic will be as quiet as possible.
Who will be present?
This is entirely your decision. It is important to discuss with other members of the family and to allow all family members to make their own choice with no guilt attached. There are some advantages to staying – you will know first hand that the death was gentle and kind, and in general people who stay have fewer problems accepting the death afterwards. If you decide not to stay you may leave straight away or wait while your pet has a small sedative and then leave them in the caring hands of one of our nurses.
Please allow all family members (including other pets) the chance to say their goodbyes. It is also worth carefully considering your children’s part in this. We know that it is our job to protect our children from heartache, but a child’s imagination is very often a lot worse than the truth. If you are unsure how to approach this please ask us for advice on supporting them through this difficult time.
What will happen?
When you arrive at the clinic, we will show you straight into the consulting room to wait for the vet. If you would prefer not to be alone just ask and a nurse will sit with you until the vet is available.
The vet will explain the procedure to you before beginning.
Your pet will usually be given a small sedative into the muscle in their neck and while this takes effect (about 5-10mins) you can spend a little time with them. It is important to remember that although at this stage they may look very sleepy, they will still get comfort from your voice and touch.
We’ll then clip a little hair from their front leg so we can get better access to the vein. Once everyone is ready we will then administer an overdose of anaesthetic. You can continue to stroke and talk to them throughout. This injection works very quickly and in a short time the heart and respiration stops. Sometimes there may be some gasps or movements, at this stage it is only the muscles relaxing, as well as the possibility of some fluid leakage but your pet is at peace now.
Aftercare of the body:
It is a good idea to think about this before hand, to avoid any regrets afterwards. Do you want your pet’s collar home with you, or perhaps a piece of their hair? If so please ask. You also have a number of options for your pet’s body:
- Home burial
- Communal cremation
These final choices are you and your family’s decision to make. There is no right or wrong decision.
We will usually send an account out to you afterward. Some people may find this too distressing and will prefer to pay before hand, again if this is what you want please just ask. We understand how difficult this is to think or talk about, but please remember we do understand. If you have any other wishes or questions just ask, we want to avoid as many “what ifs” as possible afterwards.