We look after our pets when they are well and when they are unwell. The time may come that we are unable to help you to maintain the quality of life of your pet. When that time comes we can help with making the final decision.
We are frequently asked ‘when is the right time?’ or ‘how will we know?’ These are very hard questions to answer. Quality of life is the most important aspect to consider, not necessarily the actual disease or the treatment. Some pets cope well with what we might consider to be very significant disease and will have a good quality of life for longer than expected, others may not cope as well. It is a very individual ‘thing’.
Quality of life is hard to define. The main considerations should be behaviour and appetite. If both of those are normal then it is reasonable to assume that quality of life is okay.
We are here to help and it can be very useful to discuss your concerns at an early stage. Please remember that being brave enough to make the decision to euthanase your unwell pet is a sign of your love for them.
We would like to take this opportunity to advise you of the practicalities. Hard as they may be to consider it is often helpful to know what will happen and what the options are.
Consider whether you would prefer your pet to be euthanised at the practice or at home. We can help you with either. The other consideration should be your choice of how to deal with your pet after the euthanasia. You can opt to deal with this yourself or we can help with organising a cremation. You can choose to receive the ashes back if you wish. We will provide information on the cremation options so you can take some time to decide on your wishes. (We reserve the right to organise cremation without return of ashes if we do not have confirmation of your wishes within a month from the euthanasia. An invoice for that will be forwarded.)
At the time of the euthanasia we will ask you first to sign a consent form. We will then ask you if you wish to stay with your pet during euthanasia or whether you would like leave. The choice is yours and please remember that there is no 'right or wrong' way of dealing with this. A sedation may then be given to help your pet relax. We will then inject the euthanasia drug after which your pet will lose consciousness. Your pet will stop breathing and their heart will stop beating. This may be accompanied by twitching, gasping, urination and defecation. These are normal responses so please don't panic if this happens. We will remain with you and your pet until their ‘passing away’ is confirmed and we will then ask you if you would like to have some time alone with your pet.
Everyone grieves in their own way. You may feel shocked, numb, angry, guilty, anxious or relieved. These are all normal emotions. There is support available and we can provide you with some contact details of organisations which can support you in your grief.
We are very keen to help you cope with the decision and the process as much as we can so please discuss any concerns you may have with us.