The word euthanasia is derived from the Greek word "euthanatos" meaning easy death. Generally, it is used to describe the process of intentionally terminating an animal’s life to reduce their pain and suffering.
If you choose to bring your pet to the hospital for euthanasia, first, you may want to ask the hospital staff for an appointment time when it is likely to be more quiet, perhaps at the very beginning of the day or at the very end of the day. However, given the unpredictable nature of our scheduling, it is not always possible to predict a hospital’s “quiet” time.
If we have never seen your pet at our hospital, we will require a consultation to ascertain that it is time for euthanasia and that other avenues have been exhausted. We have a moral obligation to do the best we can for our patients and euthanasia may be denied if the doctor thinks the pet’s condition is treatable.
After the consultation, you will be asked whether or not you want to stay with your pet for the euthanasia. This is an important point to consider. Some people are not emotionally capable to witness the euthanasia itself. A technician will also go over your options as to what you would like to do with your pet’s remains. Your first option is whether you would like to take your pet’s remains for private burial, secondly, you could opt for group cremation which means that you will not receive your pet’s ashes back, and lastly, you can opt for private cremation and receive your pet’s ashes back. If you decide on this option, you can also choose from different types of urns available. Our staff will go over all these options with you prior to the euthanasia.
Our veterinarian may or may not recommend to sedate your pet. This is an option that is not very often needed but will be discussed so that you know the pros and cons of sedation prior to the euthanasia if necessary. If sedation is opted for, you still have the choice of staying with your pet after the sedation has been administered and until your pet is comfortably resting or sleeping. This may take as little as a few minutes and up to
15-20 minutes depending on the drug used and on your pet’s condition. Then, your veterinarian will take your pet to the treatment room and will insert an IV catheter into your pet’s leg to ensure that the final injection is properly administered.
In the majority of cases, the process will involve the administration of two injections. The first injection is an anesthetic drug. Only seconds after it is given your pet will fall asleep in a very smooth and calm manner. Secondly, we will give the final injection which takes only seconds to take effect and after it has been given, the doctor will listen to your pet’s heart to make sure that he has passed away.
You will always be given the option to spend a few moments with your pet before leaving. We recommend that all paperwork and payments be done ahead of time so that you can leave when you want after the procedure and you do not have to wait at reception and take care of paperwork and payment details at a moment when you will likely be experiencing heavy grief.