Euthanasia is the hardest part of pet ownership but the majority of times, it is the best thing we can do for them at the end of their lives. We allow them the dignity of not suffering from a terminal disease or extreme pain. Some owners choose to be with their pets, while others feel compelled to not be present for the procedure. Here at Centennial Animal Hospital, we have a designated room available for these procedures allowing the client privacy.
What is pet euthanasia and how do I know when it’s the right time?
Animal euthanasia is the act of “putting an animal to sleep” or providing a humane death. There is no single rule that can be followed for when it is time to help your best friend “cross the rainbow bridge.” When making that tough decision, here are some quality of life issues to consider: can no longer walk, can only walk to eat, drink or eliminate, cannot get up without help, is extremely stiff, not eating or drinking, losing weight and body mass, does not play anymore, reduced interest in family members, urinates or defecates on self, has elimination accidents more often, shows aggression, no longer wants to be petted or rubbed, or only shows affection when laying down.
Can I say goodbye to my pet in the comfort of our home?
More and more people are learning about the beautiful option of in-home euthanasia for their pets. The comfort of home is what it’s all about. The many benefits of in-home euthanasia:
- The presence of family and friends
- Allowing your pet to rest at home / no upsetting car ride
- The presence of other pets
- Grieving in private
- The ability to set a calming atmosphere i.e. candles, music, pictures, etc
- Location selection if very personalized / inside or outside
- Religious freedoms
- Home burial convenience
- Privacy afterward, on your terms
Please call our hospital at 204-269-8162 if you wish to discuss a house call/euthanasia.
What drug is used?
A sedative is administered via injection by one of our veterinarians to reduce anxiety and provide relaxation. A veterinarian or technician will then place an IV (intravenous) catheter which ensures access to a vein for the injection. The euthanasia medication most vets use is pentobarbital, a barbituate anesthetic. In large doses, it quickly and painlessly renders the pet unconscious, shutting down the heart and brain functions almost instantly. When your pet passes, their eyes may not fully close. They may urinate or defecate as muscles relax. You may see them twitch or take a final breath. This can be startling, but it’s a normal part of the process. Your pet isn’t in pain. The use of a sedative makes this step less likely.
What’s the cost of euthanasia?
Please call our hospital at 204-269-8162 to discuss the associated fees for euthanasia and cremation options.
Does the clinic also provide bereavement counselling?
We do not have bereavement counselors on staff, however, the Winnipeg Humane Society has a Pet Loss Support hot-line at 204-988-8804 and holds Pet Loss Support Group sessions.
It’s never easy to experience the death of a pet.
When you have to make a decision to have your pet euthanized, other emotions become entangled with your feelings of loss. Once your pet is gone, you may think the experience is behind you, but unfortunately, it’s not.
There will be an empty place in your household and in your life for a while, and for the first part of that “while” the void may seem huge. Even though there are ways to fill the void, the loss you’ve experienced isn’t something you can simply ignore by assuming your world will adjust itself. Instead, you must deal with it, just as you would deal with the loss of any good friend. You can’t expect yourself to think of your pet as a friend and, yet, dismiss those feelings as disposable because this friend happened to be an animal. It’s not silly to miss your pet, and it’s not overly sentimental to grieve for him. Nevertheless, he was a pet not a person, and that makes it more complicated to sort out exactly what it is you’re supposed to do and feel.
Because their natural lifespans are shorter than ours, we usually outlive our pets. Nevertheless, the life you shared together cannot simply be erased. Don’t deny yourself the thoughts, memories and feelings that your pet’s life deserves. You may decide to fill the empty place in your home and heart with another pet, but you’ll never replace the special bond you held with the one you’ve lost.