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What Is Euthanasia?

Courtesy of 
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

Preparing yourself for your pets Euthanasia

Euthanasia is often the most emotional and painful decision you make for your animal.  And because this decision is so difficult, it can be comforting to you to know what to expect from the procedure and how you can best meet both your and your animals needs.  This brochure suggests a few of the most important questions to ask your veterinarian beforehand.  Knowing what to expect may help make the experience just a little easier.

1.  Where will the euthanasia be performed? 

 Can it be done at my home?  Some veterinarians make house calls for euthanasia and some work solely in a hospital.  Keep in mind how your animal typically reacts while in the veterinarians office and also your comfort level with having the procedure done there or at your home.  

2. What will happen to my animals body afterwards?  

How long will it take to get my pets remains back?  Do you have a special burial spot in mind or would you like your animal cremated? If you would like to have your pets ashes returned, be sure your vet knows your wishes.  Know what your cremation options are. 

The veterinary office of your choice should be able to inform you of local laws and costs surrounding these options.

3.  What method is used to perform the euthanasia? 

The euthanasia process itself is designed to be as quick and peaceful for you and your animal as possible.  Euthanasia solution is ideally injected intravenously and is a fast-acting sedative which stops the heart within seconds. This requires the placement of either a catheter or needle directly into the vein.  The veterinarian will test it first, to make sure it is in the vein and that the solution is administered as desired. In some instances, it may be necessary for your veterinarian to administer an additional sedative before the euthanasia solution. If possible, discuss with your veterinarian or his or her office staff how euthanasia is performed at that particular office.  Your animals health, temperament, and your preferences should each be considered when making this decision.  Be sure that you are comfortable with the procedure that you and your veterinarian choose.

4. What can I expect during the euthanasia? 

Be aware that your animal may gasp, have bodily tremors, vocalize, or void urine and/or feces after the heart is stopped.  This may be unpleasant, but the reactions are natural -- and your pet has already passed on. 

Can I be with my pet during the euthanasia? 
Can I spend some time with him/her after?

Once you know what to expect from the procedure, you can decide whether or not you wish to be there, or if you would like other important people and /or pets to be with you during that time.  How and when you say goodbye is an important and very personal decision.  Talk with your veterinarian to make sure you may be present with your animal if you so choose.  If your Veterinarian does not allow you to be there....find another vet.  Your precious pet is "yours" and the care is up to you.

Final Thoughts
After you have been through this experience, you are probably experiencing mixed feelings including sadness, guilt, or even anger.  Others may have difficulty understanding your bond with your pet.  Know that there is support.  The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB) has a major Internet website www.aplb.org with a wealth of information including helpful literature, local support groups and even a special chat room open several times during the week.  Your veterinarian may also know of additional local support. 
Euthanasia literally means “good death.” Your careful consideration of this process will hopefully make it a little easier on both you and your precious companion. 

The Association Of Pet Loss And Bereavement

We can connect you with a Veterinarian that will euthanasia your pet at this facility or at your home.  If you need this information Please call us.   360.213.0323
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