Prior to our Visit:
Once we have scheduled an appointment, at your request, we will contact your primary veterinarian to review your pet’s case. We will discuss your pet’s prognosis with your regular vet, and provide you with you any last-minute options you may wish to consider. Again, this is at your discretion and for your peace of mind. It is entirely optional.
In addition, we are happy to offer an in-home private consult if you are not 100% sure. Euthanasia is a very personal decision, and my goal is for you to feel as comfortable as possible during every step of the process.
You will also want to decide where the procedure should take place in your home. Make sure to allow for adequate space for family members who wish to be present and enough room for the veterinarian to function. In most cases a room that allows for our private exit after the grieving process is typically the most comfortable after the procedure. (Access to garage or back exit preferred)
The Visit Itself:
Typically, the first step is to handle the paperwork. This is done out of respect for the family, as the last thing you are going to want to deal with after the procedure is wait for a bill. You will be asked for a final decision on aftercare, to sign a consent form, and payment will be handled at this time. Often times, the responsible party will handle arrangements while other family members begin saying their final goodbyes.
In dogs and cats, euthanasia typically involves the intravenous injection of a solution of pharmaceutical agents that will quickly stop the heart. In most cases, this solution is predominantly made up of pentobarbital, though some euthanasia solutions also contain phenytoin. The most effective way to administer the solution is through a vein. Injection into a body cavity will often work, but not as quickly.
Depending on your pets pain level and temperament, we may administer a sedative to your pet prior to administering the actual euthanasia solution. This will allow your pet to be extremely relaxed and sleepy before the next step.
In many cases, your pet can remain in your lap, on a chair, or wherever you and they feel most comfortable.
The euthanasia solution is then injected into your pet’s vein, where it rapidly travels throughout the body. Within just a few seconds, your pet will become unconscious, experiencing no pain or suffering. Breathing will slow down and then stop over the next several seconds. Cardiac arrest will soon follow, resulting in death. Typically, death occurs within 30 seconds of intravenous administration.
Once the solution has been administered, we will listen to your pet’s heart to confirm death. At this time, we will step out of the room to give you a few moments alone with your pet. This is an emotional time, and the veterinary staff will provide plenty tissues and privacy.
After The Visit:
Once you are ready, we will ask you if you would like to leave the room while we make final preparations. Your pet will be placed on a gurney, covered with a sheet, and removed from your home.
If you have a small pet, the doctor will typically take care of this themselves. For a larger pet, an associate will also be present to assist.
If you have elected for a private cremation:
We will deliver your pet’s remains to Belspur Oaks for cremation. Your pet’s ashes should be available within a week for pickup. The urn can also be delivered via mail or Fed Ex for a small additional fee.
If you have elected for a home burial:
We offer pet burial bags that are biodegradable, leakproof and safe for the environment. Please ask us about details.