“Euthanasia” is a Greek term meaning “good death” and is also the professional term for putting your animal “to sleep”. The decision to euthanize is made by the owner and veterinarian when it is felt and determined that a pet is suffering or unlikely to make a recovery; euthanasia offers a way to end a pet’s pain.
The decision is difficult for both the owner and the veterinarian, but we should recognize that sometimes this is the kindest thing we can do in the final stages of a pet’s life. We also recognize that this can be a time of great stress and we try to make the experience as peaceful as possible for both the pet and the owner(s).
The decision to stay or not to stay with a pet is a very personal one. Some owners feel they could comfort their pet in their final moments, but others may feel their emotional upset would only cause distress for their pet and some may wish to wait in the waiting room until their pet has passed. The procedure is carried out with the owner and pet’s comfort level in mind. In special circumstances, home euthanasia may be arranged in advance, however, this service is at the discretion of the veterinarian.
Understanding how the procedure is performed may help an owner in this decision. It may also help an owner decide whether they wish to be present during the euthanasia procedure. Initially, a pet is made as comfortable as possible. Euthanasia’s are performed in our comfort room, which is a nice quiet room that offers privacy and where the pet and owner may feel more at ease.
Often, a mild sedative is given first if the animal appears anxious or painful and will help the animal to relax further. Frequently an indwelling catheter is placed in the pets vein to ensure that the euthanasia solution is delivered quickly. The euthanasia solution provides not only the same effects as general anaesthesia (loss of consciousness, loss of pain sensation), but additionally suppresses the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Since the pet is not conscious, they do not feel anything and most times the pet passes so smoothly and quickly that it is difficult to tell until the veterinarian listens for an absence of a heartbeat. Many owners are surprised by how quickly and peacefully their pet passes.
When considering euthanasia for a pet one may additionally wonder about the care of their pet’s remains. There are several options for the final resting place of your pet: home burial, pet cemetery burial, group cremation or private cremation. The private cremation option involves the return of the ashes in a special urn or box. All of these services, except home burial, are provided to us by Fond Memories Pet Cemetery and each service carries a different price.
Additionally, we offer a service for clay paw-print mementos at an additional price.
All information regarding euthanasia an the care of remains can be obtained by contacting our staff, who are happy to answer any questions you may have and help guide you through the process.