Performing euthanasia and saying goodbye to a beloved pet is one of the hardest choices we ever have to make. They depend on us and love us so unconditionally that the bond between pet and human is one that really transcends description. One of the most common questions pet owners ask is “How do I know when it’s time?” There are a lot of different answers to this question and everyone seems to have their own opinion. Answers typically include things like “You’ll know when its time” or “It’s time when your pet stops eating.” You can be assured that for most situations it is really not that simple. For most of our pets end of life choices come about as a quality of life issue.
Ask yourself the following question: Is your pet enjoying life and happy to be alive? If you can’t answer yes to this question on a daily basis then it may be time to say goodbye. Pets with debilitating illnesses can still have an appetite, yet be unable to walk or even get up without significant pain and assistance. Pets that are soiling themselves on a regular basis are also typically unhappy and have a poor quality of life. There are, of course, many medical options for pets that are in pain or have problems with incontinence. Once these options have been exhausted, difficult decisions need to be made.
In-home euthanasia starts with the physical exam. This is important as it allows the doctor a chance to evaluate the patient and let pet and doctor become familiar with each other. It also has a legal ramification in creating a Client-Patient relationship which will allow the dispensing of controlled drugs. Once it is confirmed that euthanasia will proceed, the process will occur in 2 stages which are used to carry out the procedure. First there will be an administration of an inject-able anesthetic. This has the advantage of allowing the pet to relax and relieves anxiety. Once the pet is relaxed, you usually are as well. The sedation works fairly quickly but can take several minutes to achieve a full affect. Your pet will be free of any pain at this point and will not feel anything. The next step will be an intravenous injection of the euthanasia solution. It is essentially an anesthetic overdose where the heart and brain are anesthetized leading to a rapid, comfortable and pain free passing.
Once your pet is gone it is also important to be prepared for aftercare. There are several options. You can choose to bury the pet yourself or we can arrange for crematory services. You can also choose to have the ashes returned to you if you so desire.
Having to perform euthanasia on your pet is never an easy decision. However if you know what to expect and have a plan made in advance, it can certainly relieve a lot of anxiety. We are here to help you in any way possible and answer all your questions in order to make this as smooth and comfortable as we can.