Euthanasia often referred to as putting to sleep is the process of preventing the suffering of an animal that is too sick to have a happy and fulfilled life. It is usually one of the hardest decisions that an owner of a pet has to make but sometimes it is the kindest thing to do for your pet.
What will happen?
When the decision has been made, we aim to make it as stress free for your pet as we can. We ask you to sign a consent form. The vet will then shave an area of fur off one of the front legs and place a cannula or insert a needle into the vein. An overdose of a drug is injected which will make your pet lose consciousness and be asleep within a matter of seconds. The breathing and heartbeat will stop a few seconds later.
In the last moments, your pet may give a gasp which is caused by a spasm of muscles. Other muscles in the body may twitch and as the body relaxes, often the bowel and bladder will empty.
Do I have to stay with my pet?
This is something that needs to be discussed in advance between you and your family. It is nice for your pet if you are able to be there at the end – to hear a familiar voice. But if you are frightened or anxious then your pet may pick up on this and they might also become frightened and upset.
What happens to my pet‘s body?
This is your decision. Generally, you are allowed to bury the body of your pet (at least 2 feet below the surface) or we can arrange for the body to go for cremation. Cremation can be either as a group from the Practice or as an individual. With individual, you have the choice of having the ashes returned in a casket or for scattering. It is important that you let us know if you wish to have an individual cremation.