News & Advice

Euthanasia – your questions answered

Aug 13, 2019 | Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Rabbit

It can be difficult to talk to your Veterinarian about euthanasia, but that doesn’t mean it should be a mystery. Euthanasia is a special privilege that allows us to end suffering in a safe, painless, and dignified manner.

Some of the quality of life issues which can contribute to reaching this decision include:

  • severe irreparable injuries
  • uncontrollable pain
  • severely decreased mobility (not being able to stand)
  • refusing food, no longer drinking
  • terminal illnesses such as cancer where symptoms cannot be controlled with palliative care.

It is never easy to make the decision to euthanize your pet, but it is up to us (the pet owner and vet) to keep the animal’s best interest at heart. We take every care to make the process as peaceful and calm as possible.

Our veterinary staff will help to guide and support you through this process.

Your vet will discuss the procedure and what to expect with you before proceeding. Sometimes your pet will be sedated first, other times not – depending on the situation. It is the pet owner’s choice whether to remain with their pet while this is being administered.

The process of euthanasia is fairly standard. Before euthanasia, you are asked if you would like to have your pet cremated or if you will take him/her home. You will be asked to sign a form stating that you understand what euthanasia is, and that you give the Veterinarian permission to euthanize your pet. At this time, if you want, you can request to pay the bill before the procedure, as it is sometimes unpleasant to be in a waiting room, paying your bill, afterwards.

You are given the option of whether or not to be in the room with your pet. Usually the veterinarian has a nurse in the room, holding the pet. You can touch and talk to your pet but, in order to inject properly, it is essential that the nurse holds your pet.

The fur on the leg is clipped, and either the Veterinarian places a catheter (taped to the leg) or simply uses a needle and syringe. The needle size is similar to what is used with a vaccination, but this time goes in the leg vein instead of under the skin. It works very fast in most animals, the body completely relaxes and sometimes releases deep reflex breaths, possibly muscle twitches and sometimes as relaxation occurs the bladder or bowels may release. The procedure is quick and painless for your pet.

Making the decision to euthanize a beloved pet can be hard. If you have any questions about euthanasia, or your pet’s quality of life, feel free to talk to one of your Anexa veterinarians. We know that this can be a difficult topic, but we’d like to make understanding euthanasia as easy as possible.

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