Euthanasia may be considered one of the kindest things an owner can do for their pet at the right time. We are here to help you make the correct decision for your pet so please do not be afraid to ask any question, no matter how you feel it may appear. All your queries will be dealt with in a gentle and respectful manner at all times.
What you ask us most at this difficult time
- How do I know I am doing the right thing?
This is the major factor in making decisions, each patient will have different needs and the best people to discuss this are the owner and the vet. Our vets are able to examine each patient and detect any signs of pain, suffering or distress. As an owner, you will have a deep intuition of what is right or wrong in respect of your pet’s quality of life. We can combine both your knowledge of how they are at home with the veterinary and clinical knowledge we possess, to enable the correct decision to be made.
- Could a vet visit my home to put my pet to sleep, or do I have to come to the practice?
If practical we will do our best to comply with your requests, however it is not always possible to leave the practice when we are busy with patients in the waiting room or with operations. Most home visits can be arranged on weekdays around 11am to 1pm or after evening surgery. There is a charge for home visits in addition to the usual fees.
- What if my pet is hospitalised, can I come to say goodbye?
In most cases we will be happy to arrange visiting, but for animals already under anaesthetic, it may be best to consider letting them go before they wake up, which would probably not allow time for a visit. In these cases the patient would have the absolute absence of suffering and this would be better than waking up from surgery to wait for a visit.
- Can I request the vet who has been caring for my pet?
Yes, we would encourage this, however sometimes the vet may not be present in the practice on that day.
- Should I stay with my pet?
This is entirely up to you. You may wish to stay to comfort your pet, however the procedure is very gentle and you may feel that your distress may pass to your pet. All our staff are very understanding of the distress you may feel at this time and you may even prefer to leave the room and return afterwards to say goodbye.
- Could I bring a friend or family member for support?
Of course, we are here to support you in your decisions.
- Could I bring things from home such as my pet’s favourite toy, blanket or bed?
This is a lovely idea and may increase their reassurance and comfort.
- Can I keep a lock of hair?
Yes you can, just ask a member of staff, at the time.
- What happens afterwards?
All our staff are animal lovers and as such we ensure that all pets are treated with the utmost respect at all times. We use a pet crematorium with the highest standards of care and quality.
- What is individual cremation?
This is where your pet is cremated and their ashes are returned for you to keep or scatter in a special place. Please be assured it is guaranteed to be done correctly. This is a more expensive option and the cost should be discussed before you make any decision.
- Could I bury my pet at home in the garden?
Yes this is frequently done, the pet should be wrapped in a cotton towel or sheet and buried in the garden of the house in which they lived. There should be 2-3 feet of soil over the top of the body, and you are not allowed to bury your pet near a watercourse.
- Where will my pet go after leaving the practice?
We use dedicated pet crematoriums who have been selected for their high standards and level of care.
- Do you offer pet bereavement services?
The crematorium have details for bereavement counselling, also there are many online websites with help and advice.
- Will other pets be affected?
Some pets may be confused or distressed at the loss of a pack member, there may be a change in their attitude as the hierarchy will change. Behavioural treatments such as DAP diffuser or Zylkene can help, just ask the vet if this appears to happen after the event.
- How is euthanasia carried out?
The pet is given an injection, usually into the vein in their front leg, this is similar to the method used for giving anaesthetics to pets undergoing operations. The drug that is given is a type of heavy anaesthetic, with relaxing properties, at a much higher dose, this will cause anaesthesia and then become fatal by stopping the heart while asleep. This is a medical way of allowing your pet to peacefully die in their sleep. Please be assured that all our vets are extremely proficient and will do their absolute utmost to ensure everything is as gentle and caring as possible.
- Finding a new pet?
Don’t feel guilty, new pets are not replacements, they are their own individuals and they may play a valuable part in helping you when you are upset.