Considering Euthanasia for Your Pet…..What Next?

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Deciding when to say goodbye to a family member is one of the hardest decisions we, as pet owners, ever have to make. The feeling that “it’s time” can be more obvious in some situations than in others. But no matter how clear-cut the case may seem, a decision to euthanase a beloved pet often still involves a slew of conflicting thoughts and emotions. In this time, remember that it’s normal to feel these emotions and allow yourself time to grieve. Chances are, you are saying goodbye to someone who has been part of your life, for many years.

There are a number of things to consider when making an appointment to have your pet euthanased. At East Port Veterinary Hospital, we have a special room dedicated to family time before and after euthanasia, where you can have peace and privacy. Alternatively, we can arrange a house visit to your home. If you would like to enquire about this option, please give our reception team a call.

If you decide to bring your pet into the hospital for euthanasia, we can schedule the appointment for a time when it suits you. We can also offer times when the hospital is quieter to allow a more comfortable visit for you and your family.

On your arrival, the reception staff will take you through to our “family room”, where you can spend time with your loved one. The veterinarian will answer any questions you may have and discuss the euthanasia procedure with you so you understand what’s happening. If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. It’s important that you are comfortable and satisfied you have all of the information available to you, before making your decisions. You may be asked to sign a consent form allowing us to proceed with the euthanasia.

The veterinarian will take your pet out into our treatment room temporarily for one of the nurses to assist in placing an intravenous catheter. This will allow the veterinarian access to your pets’ vein to administer the euthanasia solution, while also allowing you to be close to your pet during the procedure.

The decision whether to stay with your pet or not to be present at the time of euthanasia is a personal decision that only you and your family can make. We are not here to judge you in any way and support your decision entirely. There isn’t a wrong or right decision. Some people do not like to be present at all, others don’t wish to be present but would like some time with their pet afterwards to say goodbye and some wish to stay. If you choose not to stay, rest assured, they will be looked after and comforted by our compassionate staff during the procedure.

The actual euthanasia procedure is very quick and painless. Essentially, they are given an intravenous overdose of an anaesthetic agent, and they drift into an unconscious state, before they slip away.

Again, you will be given an opportunity to spend time with your pet to say goodbye. You are in a safe environment where everyone understands what you are going through. Stay as short or as long as you are comfortable.

The other decision to consider is what you would like to do with your pet afterwards. There are a number of options available to you and again, it comes down to personal preference.

  • You may choose to take your pet home for a home burial.
  • You may ask us to take care of your pet for you. If you choose this option, your pet will be cremated and their ashes scattered on the grounds of the pet crematorium.
  • You may opt to have your pet privately cremated and their ashes returned to you as either ashes to scatter or their ashes in a timber urn. A commemorative plaque can also be added to personalise your pets urn.

We understand that this is a hard time for you and can make these arrangements on your behalf. If you choose to have your pet privately cremated, we will contact you once their ashes have been returned to us.

Grief is a little different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Don’t be afraid to cry. It takes time to heal because your pet was an everyday part of your life, part of your family. Allowing yourself time to grieve is an important part of your recovery. Not everyone will understand the impact losing a pet can have – it takes a special type of person to truly appreciate this.

There will come a time when you are able to look back and remember the good times, where the tears will be replaced with smiles. Be kind to yourself and if you need some help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you have any questions about euthanasing your pet or the procedure itself, please give us a call on 6583 5677.