One of the most difficult parts of owning a pet is the fact that eventually, we must say goodbye. In some cases, especially in cases where a pet’s quality of life has significantly deteriorated, you and/or your veterinarian may decide that euthanasia is the most humane option for your animal. Some signs that euthanasia may be the best option for your pet include unmanageable pain, vomiting/severe diarrhea, significantly weight loss, unwillingness to eat, loss of interest in favourite things, major mobility issues, or laboured breathing/coughing.
We understand that euthanasia can be a very difficult decision to make. If you are unsure about your pet’s quality of life, we suggest speaking with your veterinarian as they are best qualified to assess your pet’s health and behaviour.
Once you and/or your veterinarian have decided on euthanasia, a member of our team will contact you book the euthanasia. Deciding whether or not to be present for the euthanasia is a personal choice, but many owners decide to stay with their pet until the end. If you decide to be present, a specific appointment time will be provided to you, giving you the time and privacy to say goodbye. At the time of booking you will also be asked to make aftercare decisions, such as if you prefer an at-home burial or cremation.
Euthanasia is a quick and painless procedure. At the appointment, your veterinarian will explain the procedure before proceeding, as well as answer any questions you may have. In some cases your pet will first be administered a sedative. An IV catheter will then be placed and your veterinarian will administer an overdose of the drug phenobarbital, causing your pet to become drowsy within seconds. Death will follow within a few minutes. In some cases, your pet may release their bladder or bowels. After a few minutes your veterinarian will verify that the pet’s heart is no longer beating. After the euthanasia you may also wish to spend some extra time with your pet.
We suggest getting a ride to and from the euthanasia appointment; even if you feel comfortable, the procedure can become emotional and you may not want to drive home after. The majority of our staff members are pet owners too and understand that euthanasia is an emotional experience. Please do not feel embarrassed if you cry or feel like you cannot be upset; many times, our own staff may shed a tear during your pet’s euthanasia, too.