Here at South Shore Vet we know that saying goodbye to your beloved, lifelong friend is a very difficult decision and an emotional time. We take end of life discussions very seriously and will treat you and your pet with the gentle compassion and guidance needed and are here to help you every step of the way.
You have made the decision to euthanize, now what?
- The procedure (the technical side of things):
- Often a sedative can be given to your pet prior to the final needle which will help relieve any pain or anxiety they may be feeling.
- The final needle is an injection overdose of anesthetic and is given directly in the vein. This can be administered through the syringe and needle which is faster but may require more restraining as a technician is needed to isolate a vein for the attending veterinarian. Alternatively, an intravenous catheter can be placed which allows for direct access to a vein and therefore minimal to no restraint necessary for the final needle (which can make it a much more peaceful process particularly for cats). In order to place the catheter, some restraint is necessary, and the catheter placement is done in the treatment area of the hospital after the sedative is given. Your pet is then returned to you and the final injection proceeds, with you present, and you are able to hold your pet if you would like.
- Once the injection begins, your animal will be as if they are going under a deep anesthetic-this takes only a few seconds. It will take another 1-2 minutes for their heart to stop completely.
- Once the injection is completed, the body begins to go through the process of dying. Occasionally, during this phase (usually no more than a minute or 2) there may be slow gasping or mild muscle twitching/tremoring. Although this is not a conscious response of your pet, it can be startling for you to watch, but please know this is normal. Once their heart stops, the twitching will stop and your pet’s eyes remain open.
- Do you want to stay with your pet during the euthanasia procedure?
- This is a very personal decision and there is not a right or wrong answer. We can accommodate whichever way you choose: we are used to people wanting to stay through the procedure, but make no judgments if you choose not to.
- For some patients a home euthanasia may be possible. This option can be discussed further with your veterinarian.
- What will happen to my pet afterwards?
- There are several options available to you for care of your pet’s remains:
- Mass burial (buried in the same grave with other cats and dogs)
- Take your pet home with you if you have a place suitable
- Individual cremation where the ashes are returned to you in an urn
- If you have blankets/toys/letters or other special items that you would like buried or cremated with your pet, please let us know and we will ensure they are included with your pet’s remains.
- You can have and ink or claw impressions made of your pet’s paw. These are made immediately after your pet has passed, but there may be a small wait time, as it does take some time to prepare the materials. We can hold the prints until you are able to come back.
- We can also take snippets of hair as a keepsake
- We are also partnering with the town of Bridgewater, as they try to raise funds for their new dog park, and offering a memorial stainless steel dog bone (2 sizes), which can have your pet's name and a brief comment on it. these will be mounted on the fence of the new park when it is built. The money collected from these go entirely to the dog park.
If you choose individual cremation, there are a number of different urns for you to chose from:
This is an example of the clay paw print that is available as well:
There are also custom pawprint or noseprint silver keepsakes available through Sand Dollar Silver. You can find more information on their products at this website:http://www.sanddollarsilver.com