Pets become a member of the family and so deciding to say goodbye is one of the hardest decisions a pet owner faces. We are here to help and support you and your pet.
How do I know it is time?
We all wish our pets would pass away peacefully in their sleep. Sadly, this rarely happens. Often, we are faced with the emotional and conflicting question. When is the right time to euthanise our beloved pet?
When your pet is old or is suffering from a chronic condition, it can be difficult to assess their quality of life. Often, they will have “good” and “bad days”. A diary can help assess if they are having more “bad days” over a given time period. Below are some questions to consider when assessing your pet’s quality of life.
· Are they eating and drinking enough to maintain their strength and body condition?
· Are they able to groom and toilet appropriately?
· Are they able to move around comfortably?
· Do they show interest e.g. greeting you at the door, looking for treats, watching out the window?
We should always decide whether to euthanise our pet with their welfare at the forefront of our mind. Of course, we are here to offer as much guidance as we can to make sure you are aware of all the options available and help understand your pet’s condition. But ultimately, the final decision to have your pet put to sleep will always rest with the owner.
Some owners opt to be with their pet in their final moments, others find this too difficult. There is no right or wrong decision, this a very personal decision and entirely up to the owner.
To carry out euthanasia, we need to access a vein to allow us to inject the medicine we use quickly and painlessly. In most cases we use a front leg, but sometimes this may not be possible and the medicine may be administered elsewhere in the body. Occasionally we may need to use a sedative in a very anxious animal. The vet will discuss this with you at the time if they deem it appropriate.
Once the medicine has been injected, your pet will pass away and your vet will confirm their heart has stopped. In the few minutes after death you may see some reflex muscle tremors, or what appears to be gasps. These are normal and are not signs of life.
What happens after euthanasia?
You can bury your pet at home, but most people opt for cremation. We can arrange this through the clinic. This is usually communal cremation, but we can arrange individual cremation and ashes returned to you. You can ask your vet for further information.
Deciding it is time to say goodbye is one of the most emotionally tough times for a pet owner. Regardless of whether they are old and have lived a happy life or young and did not have the life we had hoped for them. We believe that the ability of saving your pet from unnecessary suffering at the end is the ultimate gift we can give. The responsibility for a pain-free, peaceful death is the kindest act an owner can do for a much-loved pet.