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Euthanasia

How can we help at this difficult time?

When is the right time?

Your pet's quality of life is the most important thing to consider when thinking about euthanasia. We want your pet, and you, to be enjoying normal daily activities and the overall quality of life to be positive for as long as possible.

Changes can be very gradual and hard to notice. There are quality of life questonaires available on line that are designed to take account of your pet's normal routine, to help you think about and measure your pet's quality of life. One that we like is the Ohio State University Questionnaire  

If you think that it might be time, or if you're even just considering it, please do not hesitate to tak to one of our vets or nurses about it. We are always here to help with this very difficult decision.

What happens when a pet is euthanased?

HOME VISITS OR APPOINTMENTS AT THE PRACTICE

If you would like a home visit, please speak to us and we will arrange for a vet and nurse to come out to you at a convenient time. 

If you would prefer to come to the practice, we will always do our utmost to support you as best as we can. We aim to book the appointment for a quieter time in the day. Please speak to reception on your arrival and they will take you to a quiet room where you can wait peacefully with your pet.

THE EUTHANASIA PROCEDURE - what will happen?

The vet may first administer an injection of a sedative under the skin, after which your pet will relax and become sleepy. If you prefer you can request a sedative tablet to give at home before the appointment.

In order to give the euthanasia injection, the vet, with assistance from the nurse, will clip a small patch of fur on your pet's leg and place a cannula in the leg vein. After the cannula has been placed you will be able to hold and comfort your pet.

The euthanasia injection is an overdose of an anaesthetic medication. We encourage you to talk to and stroke your pet as they peacefully drift off to sleep and pass away. Sometimes, afterwards, as your pet relaxes the bladder and bowels may empty and there may be occasional muscle twitches.

After the injection the vet will check for a heartbeat using a stethoscope, they may check for an eye reflex. They will confirm to you that your pet has passed away.

If you wish, we can make a paw print stamp of your pet's paw and clip off a lock of fur for you to take away with you.

OPTIONS AFTERWARDS - burial or cremation?

If you wish to take your pet home to bury them, you will need to ensure that there is a deep grave (at least 1.25m) which is free from water sources. We can arrange for your pet to be buried at a local pet cemetery.

We can arrange for your pet to be cremated at Surrey pet cemetery If you would like communal cremation your pet will be cremated with other pets and their ashes scattered in the Remembrance Garden at the cemetery, which is open to the public to be visited.

If you would prefer to have your pet's ashes returned to you, we can arrange for them to be cremated individually. There are many options for how ashes are returned - from simple containers to more elaborate urns.

Coping with bereavement

We all suffer pain when we lose a beloved companion. There is no wrong or right way to feel when your pet dies, all you can do is what feels right for you.

It is normal to feel a mix of emotions, including shock, disbelief, numbness, anger, pain, sadness, guilt and grief. You may meet with people who will not understand the extent to which you are affected by the loss of your pet. You may find that it helps to speak to someone who has experienced the loss of a beloved pet.

Resources:

Pet Bereavement Support Service

Ralph Site 

British Association for Counselling and Psycotherapy

Dawn Murray, Living with Pet Bereavement

Samaritans

Book for children: Missing My Pet by Alex Lambert, aged 6