Here at the Animal Happiness Vet and Mobile Vet Perth, every day we strive to help pets be happy and healthy, however inevitably there comes the time – whether through illness, injury or old age, that we have to consider euthanasia for our much-loved pets.
Dealing with a severely sick or injured animal, or an elderly pet whose quality of life has deteriorated, can be a stressful and traumatic time for pet owners struggling to decide on the best course of action. I thought it would be useful to demystify the pet euthanasia process so that you, as a pet owner, know exactly what’s involved, in order to minimise any anxiety about it if you are faced with considering euthanasia of your pet.
We offer pet euthanasia both in our hospital and as part of our mobile vet service. The mobile vet service option means you and your pet can be in the familiar surrounds of your own home, which can minimise stress and anxiety for both you and your pet. Providing pet euthanasia is a common procedure we as vets undertake, but this is not to say its trivial – we’re humans too, and whilst performing pet euthanasia can take a toll on vets, I see it as a very real honour where we can ensure your pet has a peaceful experience and we can make sure the process is as least stressful for everyone involved.
As much as possible, I think it’s important that you be present with your pet during this time, in order to be able to say goodbye and commence the grieving process. Typically, if we are preparing to euthanase a pet, I will discuss with you the process and answer any questions you may have.
I take a different approach to some of my colleagues. Many vets like to pre-place a catheter in a vein to make the final injection painless. However, the act of placing this catheter is not painless so I choose not to use this approach. Instead I give a simple, and almost always painless, sedative injection that is like a vaccine needle. This is a cocktail of gentle sedatives that allow your pet to relax and drift into a gentle and deep sleep over the space of about 5 minutes. You can be right with your pet through-out the process, and I’m sure they appreciate your presence. You can even give treats and cuddles as you wish. After the sedative has taken effect, I will administer the euthanasia solution into a vein. Within a matter of seconds they slip away gently and quietly. In this way you can actually be guaranteed that your pet will die peacefully in their sleep – something everybody hopes for.
I’ll be with you during this entire process to support you. There’s never a right way to react, and each of us grieve in different ways. Afterwards I can also take care of your pet’s body, as we can provide various cremation options including returning your pets ashes to you in an urn or small box. We can also advise you on other options for burial.
If you are considering euthanasia of your pet, or want to discuss their end of life care, please contact our friendly team and we can organise for me to see you at home or in our hospital, to discuss your pet’s health and the options available to you.