End of life
It is always a sad and difficult experience when a pet comes to the end of their life. Making the decision to put a pet to sleep is tough. They have been a big part of your life and it is natural to experience grief at the thought of letting them go.
Everybody will process this grief differently and we are here to listen with compassion and without judgement if you need somebody to talk to.
Our experienced team can discuss your options and guide you through this process in a sensitive and humane manner.
What is euthanasia?
Putting your pet to sleep, or euthanasia, is a very difficult decision, and we understand how challenging it can be. However, in certain circumstances, it is the kindest option available to prevent your pet from suffering.
Some illnesses and injuries are beyond our abilities to cure or manage adequately, and if your pet is unable to get better or maintain a good quality of life we may recommend euthanasia.
We always have you and your pet at the centre of end-of-life discussions, and our vets and nurses are happy to talk and listen as you come to terms with this decision.
Once the decision to euthanise your pet has been taken, you will be asked to sign a form giving your consent for the procedure and informing us what arrangements you would like for your pet’s body afterwards.
The procedure itself does not take long. Once your pet is made comfortable on a bed or in their basket an overdose of anaesthetic drug is injected, usually into the vein in their front leg. The injection is painless and works very quickly, usually within seconds. Pets are unconscious and when they pass away they have no awareness. Within a few moments, their breathing and heart rate slow down and then stop altogether.
Occasionally, normal reflex actions such as passing urine or faeces, muscle tremors or gasping may occur. These are a natural part of the process, and your pet will be completely unaware and will not feel any pain or discomfort.
You may choose to be with your pet during and after the procedure or you may not wish to be present. The choice is yours and we try to make adjustments to ensure you and your pet are as comfortable as possible.
We can also sometimes arrange home visits for euthanasia. Ask a member of the team for more information.
Further help: Compassion Understood
After a difficult or traumatic event, it can be useful to speak about your feelings.
Compassion Understood is a service which provides support for pet owners before, during and after a bereavement, to help you to reach the best decision and to cope with your pet’s passing.
This service works with veterinary professionals and specialist pet loss experts to help make a difficult time more bearable.
To find out more about Compassion Understood and how they can help you, visit their website compassionunderstood.com or speak to a member of our team in practice.