April 17, 2023

Euthanasia – When it’s time to say goodbye

Our pets become part of our family and when the time comes to say good-bye it can be very difficult.  Euthanasia can be an option for many reasons, the pet maybe old, unwell or have had an unexpected accident.

When is the right time?

Coming to this decision is never easy; it is important to think about the pet and their quality of life.  No animal should ever suffer unnecessarily.  It can be the hardest choice an owner makes even if they “know” it is for the best.

The Vet will discuss the situation with you and support you in coming to the best decision. Euthanasia can be carried out in the clinic or in your home if preferred. Some owners choose to stay with the pet while others prefer to leave them in our care. There isn’t a right or wrong thing to do.   This experience is unique for each person and different people make different decisions.

For the animal, the process is similar to if they were having an anaesthetic or a blood test. It involves an injection in the vein of an anaesthetic over dose. The animal usually loses consciousness within seconds then the heart stops. Most people comment on how quick and peaceful it is.  If a pet is very fractious a light sedative maybe given. Sometimes after the heart has stopped there may be some reflex movements which is perfectly normal.

Once your pet has passed away you can chose to bury them at home or have their body cremated. Ashes can be returned in a wooden box with a plaque or a cardboard box for scattering.

Losing a beloved family pet is hard and there is a grieving process that is different for everyone. Some people will experience strong and sometimes overwhelming feelings. It can be helpful to make some special memories of your pet and give family members and friends the opportunity to express their feelings.

If you are struggling to come to terms with your loss there is support available. Contact us for details.

Anne Shilston BVSc