While some pets die of old age in the comfort of their own home, many others become seriously ill, get injured in some way or experience a significantly diminished quality of life as they grow old. In these situations, it may be necessary for you to consider having your pet euthanized in order to spare it from pain and suffering. Knowing when it is time to euthanize is the hardest part for clients. Often we want to end our pet’s pain and suffering, but we aren’t always ready to let go.
Knowing When It's Time
We always hope that our pets will “go peacefully in their sleep,” but this isn’t always the case. Our pets don’t always make it clear when it is time to go. Your decision should be based on observations of their attitude and behavior. Are they still doing the things that they love? Our handout on euthanasia can be used as a guide to help you decide what the right decision is for you. As always, the veterinarians at Crossroads are here to support you through this process.
What To Expect
The decision to be with your pet through the euthanasia process is up to you. We encourage you to do whatever you feel most comfortable doing.
Our goal is to make an unpleasant experience as easy as we possibly can. We begin to process with a mild sedative which is injected into the muscle. This allows your pet to be relieved of any stress they may feel while in hospital, and it gives your family time to spend with your pet in a more relaxed environment. When you are ready, the veterinarian injects an overdose of an anesthetic drug into the vein, which causes unconsciousness then gently stops the heartbeat. Once this IV injection is given, your pet will become completely unconscious within a few seconds and death will occur within a minute or less.
After euthanasia, we make a clay mold of your pet’s paw as a memory for you. You may choose what you’d like to do with your pet: at home burial, private cremation, or mass cremation.
Grief is a natural response to loss. For many, the death of a beloved pet can be just as devastating as that of another human being. Grieving the loss of a pet is a deeply personal experience. It is important to remember that we all grieve in our own way and in our own time.
The following guides were created to assist individuals and families in coping with this process:
- Coping with the loss of a pet
- Coping with losing a pet – HelpGuide.org
- 5 Strategies for Surviving the Loss of a Pet
We encourage anyone seeking additional information to refer to this guide:
Saying Goodbye to the Pet You Love: A Complete Resource to Help You Heal
Download our helpful guides:
Thank you for choosing Crossroads Animal Hospital!
Our team works hard to ensure that your pet received the absolute best care during every single visit to see us.
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