We understand how painful it can be to lose a pet. We also understand how painful it can be to have to make that decision yourself. The veterinary team at Parkside is here to support you through this difficult decision by making sure you are aware of all your options. We recognize this may be one of the most difficult decisions you have to make- we know because as animal lovers ourselves we have had to make the same decisions.
While this time will invariably be difficult, we will do everything we can to make the process as painless as possible. While we encourage anyone who is debating whether or not euthanasia is the right decision for their pet to contact our veterinary clinic and discuss their pet’s needs with one of our veterinarians, we do want to address some of the more common questions and concerns we get in regards to pet euthanasia.
How Do I Know If Now Is The Time To Euthanize My Pet?
This is an incredibly tough question to answer and is best handled by a combination of the pet owner and a veterinarian. Our veterinarians can you help understand the diseases affecting your pet and the possible or likely progression. Together, we will discuss the quality of life for your pet.
We generally ask owners to consider what has consistently brought their pet joy in the past. That could be anything from a simple walk, throwing the ball, meal time or a special treat. When the things that have always brought joy to your pet no longer seem to make your pet happy we have to carefully consider quality of life issues.
Often, we find that pets are communicating to their owner that life isn’t what it once was for them. However, and we have experienced this ourselves, it can be very difficult to hear this communication amongst the emotional turmoil of knowing you will soon lose your pet. But the fact is, no one knows your pet like you do. It is an almost impossible decision but deciding when the time is right for euthanasia is the last act of kindness you can give your pet.
Can I Be Present During The Euthanasia? Should I Be Present?
There is no right way of supporting your pet during the euthanasia process. While we do allow owners to be present, every person will have to make their own decisions on how they want to handle the process and that includes whether or not you want to present in your pet’s final moments. We encourage every pet owner to say goodbye in their own way. Making this appropriate but tough decision for your pet is hard enough- the last thing you should do is put pressure on yourself to act a certain way.
Know that whether you are present with your pet or not, the Parkside Animal Health Center team will treat your pet the same way we would treat our own: with love, kindness, and compassion.
What Can I Do With My Pet’s Remains?
You have a variety of options when handling your pet’s remains. While burying your pet is a traditional option we do not recommend this due to the difficulty of the process. The drugs used to provide a peaceful death to your pet are harmful to other animals if ingested. As a result, your pet has to be buried at least 5 feet or more which can be difficult to accomplish. You will also need to check with local regulations to ensure you are allowed to dig in your area and are able to avoid underground cables and other hazards.
Because of these concerns, we recommend cremation for your pet. This can either be done by general cremation or as an individual or private cremation in which you can receive your pet’s ashes back. Please contact us to discuss further options for how to care for your pet’s remains.
How Will My Pet Be Euthanized?
We provide an overdose of an anesthetic via intravenous injection. Essentially, your pet will experience a similar sensation to the experience of going under anesthesia. If requested or appropriate, your pet may be sedated prior to the intravenous injection. We take great care to make this process as pain-free and as stress-free as possible.
Is Euthanasia Painful For My Pet?
The drug we, and other veterinarians, use to complete the euthanasia process is not known to be painful. The only pain your pet should feel is the poke of the needle during the placement of an IV catheter or during the sedation process. This is the same poke your pet would feel during a normal anesthetic procedure.
What Will My Pet Do While Passing?
Death is something most of us don’t see very often. Hopefully. Regardless of whether your pet passes from natural events or from euthanasia your pet will do some things that you may not expect. It is important that you’re prepared for these changes and understand that your pet is deceased and not experiencing or initiating any of the movements or reactions you are seeing. Again, these are involuntary movements and do not mean the same thing they did when your pet was alive.
Here are some of the more common reactions after an animal has passed:
- Your pet may vocalize or yelp during its last moments.
- Your pet’s muscles may become stiff or rigid.
- Your pet’s muscles may spasm making it appear as though your pet is struggling.
- Your pet may “gasp” suddenly as air is rapidly brought into the lungs after death.
- Your pet may defecate or urinate.
All of these are normal reactions to death and the cessation of brain activity.
Our Aurora Pet Euthanasia Service
We know that euthanasia for your pet is an almost impossible decision to make. As part of our mission to be your Aurora veterinary clinic, we want to help you through this difficult time and provide the most peaceful passing that we can. Whether you have already decided that it is time or you are still weighing your options, we encourage you to meet with our veterinarians to talk about the difficult path ahead.