The decision of euthanasia is one of the hardest faced by any pet owner. Whilst we would often prefer that our beloved friend would pass away peacefully in their sleep, in the majority of cases we have to make difficult decisions before the natural time comes in order to prevent pain and suffering.
It may not always be clear as to whether the right time has come and this uncertainty can cause a lot of stress and grief as you endeavour to do the best for your pet. If you are not sure and want some advice then speak to your vet. We cannot make the decision for you but we can ensure that you are fully informed and aware of all the options avaiable.
The Process of Euthanasia
Euthanasia can either be performed at any of our practices or at your home by prior arrangement.
When phoning to make the appointment please make our receptionist aware that it is for euthansia. This will allow them to give you an extended appointment so that we can give you the time you need to discuss any matters with the vet and to say goodbye appropriately and without being rushed.
The vet will explain the process to you as well as giving you the opportunity to ask any questions you have. We will need you to sign a consent form before putting your pet to sleep. This is the legal permission we require to perform euthanasia. We will also ask you at this time what you would like to happen with your pet afterwards. Understandably many owners very upset during the consult and so it may help if you familiarise yourself with the options beforehand so you know in advance what you want. The options are:
- To take your pet’s body home for burial
- Communual cremation – your pet will be cremated by CPC crematorium. Token ashes from the cremation are kept in their garden of remembrance.
- Individual cremation – you can have your pet cremated individually and their ashes returned to you.
For more details on cremation and to find out more about individual cremation options please visit CPC’s website www.cpccares.com
When putting your pet to sleep we endeavour to make the process as peaceful as possible. You have the option to stay and be with them or you may leave if you prefer, whichever feels right for you.
Your pet will be given an injection and this is usually given into a vein in the front leg. A nurse often helps the vet with this. The injections are similar to an anaesthetic and the animal will usually fall asleep within seconds. Once your pet loses consciousness, it will then stop breathing and the heart will stop; this usually takes about a minute, but can take longer especially in patients with poor circulation. There may be a few muscle tremors or deep breaths, but this is quite normal. The eyes normally stay open and sometimes the animal may lose control of its bladder. The vet will always listen to the chest to ensure that the heart has stopped. You will be given the option of spending a few minutes alone with your pet.
If you have requested an individual cremation for your pet the ashes will be returned to the practice. This usually takes 7-10 days. A member of staff will call you when the ashes have been returned and are ready for collection.