We are the only medical profession that has the potential to be involved with our patients for the entire length of their lives. Death is part of the cycle of experience we can expect with each client. Euthanasia offers us the chance to validate the precious relationship shared by the family and their beloved pet. Euthanasia is a gift we give those animals whose quality of life is compromised—we can offer relief from pain, relief from unrelenting discomfort, and relief from suffering.
What To Expect When Saying Goodbye
Once you have made the difficult decision to say goodbye to your special pet, you can either call the office or come in to book the appointment. Our office has put together some packages that contain informative materials that can assist you in validating your decision to euthanize, in preparing yourself for what to expect, in making decisions about after care for your pets’ remains, and deciding what keepsakes you may want to cherish their memory for years to come. Do not hesitate to ask for one of our complimentary packages.
Clients are encouraged to come to the office in advance to prepare for their appointment. Once here, a staff member will go over the necessary paperwork that needs to be signed and collect any fees associated with the procedure. This will relieve some of the stress the day of and will help ensure that things run smoothly.
If it is not possible for you to come in advance, staff are prepared to answer any questions or concerns you may have over the phone.
Once you and your pet arrive for their appointment, they will be escorted into our comfort room. Consent forms will then be presented to confirm that all information is up to date and all after-care details have been settled.
When you are ready, your pet will be escorted into an adjacent room where a technician will place a catheter into the leg to ensure smooth delivery of sedation, which all pets receive to alleviate their stress and/or pain.
While your pet is out of the room, a staff member will then go in to process paperwork and payment (providing this has not been done already). This will eliminate the need for staff to come back into the room and you will not be expected to wait at the reception desk to pay. You also have the option to leave through the side door to the parking lot (located in the comfort room), so you do not have to walk through the public waiting area.
Once you are ready and your pet is sufficiently sedated (usually about 15 mins, keep in mind all patients are different), the doctor will come in to administer the last medication and confirm that your pet has passed away.
Once your pet has crossed over, you can expect some or all of the following behaviours:
• They may have increased respiration
• Patient do keep their eyes open
• They often lose control of bodily functions
• They may stretch once the heart has stopped as the air from the lungs is forced out. This may appear as though they are trying to take their last breath
All of these behaviours are involuntary and can occur even though vital signs are not present.
You can now take as much time as they need to say goodbye and gather yourself before leaving the clinic.
Once you are ready to leave, you can either leave the office through the front or side door, or you can notify the staff that you are ready to leave. At this point the staff will take the necessary actions to follow through with your requests in regards to the care of your pets’ remains.
These requests may be as follows:
• You may choose to bring your pet home to care for their remains privately. In this case you will be asked to leave the room while the staff place your pets’ remains into a biodegradable, earth-friendly bag and then return your pet to you.
• If you choose cremation, you are now free to leave and the staff will complete your aftercare instructions.
Patient remains are sent for cremation every Tuesday or Wednesday. Barring unforeseen circumstances that are out of our control, they are expected to return to the clinic the following Tuesday or Wednesday. Staff will then call the client to inform them that the remains are at the clinic and ready to be picked up.
Our clinics goal is to help you feel as comfortable as possible under the most difficult circumstances.