Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine,Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy, Food Therapy, In-Home Euthanasia and Cremation Services
WHAT TO EXPECT
The word euthanasia comes from Greek and means “good death.” This is the final gift to your loved one. You gave them the best life you could and now you can help them pass painlessly with honour.
AT HOME EUTHANASIA SERVICES INCLUDE:
•A discussion with you about your concerns, thoughts, or questions surrounding euthanasia.
•Sedation to help ease any discomfort.
•Euthanasia, the final gift.
•Transportation for cremation, if elected.
•Notification to your family veterinarian of your pet’s passing; a professional courtesy so they can update their records.
First the paper work is taken care of so we can all focus on your pet. We will go over any questions or concerns you may still have.
The actual procedure is quite simple and peaceful: except under emergent circumstances a sedation injection is given to ensure your pet is comfortable. It is given in the muscle and can sting for a second or two. Once you and your pet are ready, the final euthanasia medication is given, into a vein. It works very rapidly, only seconds in most cases. The veterinarian will then confirm that your pet has passed on.
After taking the time you need with your friend you can let us know when you are ready for us to prepare to transport your pet if appropriate. Pets are gently and respectfully swaddled (see photo below) and placed on a stretcher to transport them to the car. If you are burying your pet at home we will quietly leave after the process is complete so you can grieve privately. If you need help to move your pet we are happy to do so.
Information on how and when your pet’s crematory remains will be ready to come home will be discussed by the doctor. It generally takes about 2 weeks.
HOW WILL I KNOW THE RIGHT TIME?
It depends on the pet and the disease they are dealing with but you know your pet best. Since you see them everyday and have seen the changes they have gone through you are best able to see specific changes that indicate the time is right such as:
•No longer interested in food or water
•Accidents in the house or unable to go to the bathroom without falling down
•No longer greeting you when you come home
•Lack of grooming
•No longer wags his/her tail or holds it down constantly
•Isolates themselves from the people or other pets in the home, particularly in places they usually do not go
•Decreased interest in playing
•Unable to stand or walk on their own
•Change in attitude (depression, agression, confusion)
•Fewer “good” days than bad. Try the Grey Muzzle App to track this more easily.
Most importantly ask-What was their favourite thing to do? What defined them?
Are they still able to do that, even if it’s to a lesser degree? Would I want to live like that?
Our Quality of Life Assessment can help guide you if you are still unsure. See Services.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
Ideally, it is best to try to contact us a few days in advance so that arrangements can be made that suit everyone’s schedule. Of course this is not always possible and many of our calls come with less than 24-48 hours notice. We do our very best to be there when needed and can usually accommodate short-notice appointments. Please call 705-749-4609 to book an appointment. We cannot answer messages from this site.
WHAT TO EXPECT WITH A PEACEFUL PASSING?
Every animal is different and it can depend on your pet’s circumstances. We can discuss this with you in whatever detail you feel comfortable with by calling 705-749-4609.
HOW CAN I BE SURE I GET MY PET’S ASHES BACK?
We use Gateway Pet Memorial, Canada’s first accredited pet aftercare provider, founded over 20 years ago. They treat your pet with the same respect as we do. Your pet goes from the hands of the veterinarian to the hands of the crematorium. There are strict identification procedures in place to ensure that your pet’s ashes are theirs alone. Visit them at http://www.gatewaypetmemorial.com
WILL EUTHANASIA ‘HURT’?
No, euthanasia does not hurt. The medication used is an overdose of anesthesia and your pet will not feel any discomfort other than the prick of the needle.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The whole appointment is typically between 30-60 minutes. The first injection is a heavy sedative that will allow your pet to relax and get very comfortable. It takes 5-15 minutes to take effect. The final injection is very fast acting and takes about 30-60 seconds. If aftercare is elected, we will then take the pet with us and arrange for the cremation process.
CAN I BURY MY PET AT HOME?
Most cities do not allow for burial within city limits. Check with your city/township for specific regulations. Where allowed, if you choose to bury your pet at home it is recommended to place a large stone over the grave.
SHOULD OTHER PETS BE PRESENT?
In our experience the other pets know that their companion has passed without having to see or smell them. It is fine for them to say good-bye as long as they are not disruptive to their sick friend. If needed, other pets can be placed in another room, then allowed to come see their friend after they have passed. Sometimes, other pets in the house will appear to ignore their friend. Rest assured, they have taken in the situation and understand despite their lack of reaction. You can console each other in the time that follows.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS I CAN HONOUR MY FRIEND?
Honouring your friend is an important part of both the grieving and healing process. You have already been honouring your pet by giving him/her the best quality of life you could and that is what is most important. Here are some ideas as you near the end of your time together:
HOW DO ANIMALS SHOW THEIR PAIN?
Recent research suggests that when animals are dealing with pain it effects them in a different way than it effects us. Humans have anxiety towards pain while animals do not. Initially they will alter how they move and continue enjoying life as best they can. As things progress, they may limp or be slow to get up. These are cues that all good pet owners will be in-tune with and should be addressed with pain medication if applicable.
HOW DOES THE EUTHANASIA DRUG WORK?
The euthanasia solution stops all brain function. The heart and lungs will slowly stop working. The important part is that the brain is shut off first so the pet does not “experience” anything.
WHY SHOULD I EUTHANIZE MY PET? IS “DYING NATURALLY” A BETTER OPTION?
Many of us hope our loved ones will pass peacefully in their sleep. Sadly this rarely happens. Most diseases will not ‘instantly’ take the life of your pet. Arthritis and kidney disease are common ailments that our pets suffer from and both of these diseases can lead to a long and painful end of life process. Humans are heavily medicated with narcotics to prevent the suffering that can occur with a natural death. Unfortunately our pets do not receive the same degree of pain management. When appropriate, euthanasia can help your pet pass before they experience too much discomfort from a disease they cannot recover from. They deserve to die with dignity and honour.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF “IN-HOME” EUTHANASIA OVER TAKING MY PET TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THIS PROCEDURE?
Saying goodbye to your pet at home has a number of benefits for both the pet and the family.
•Your pet will be in their own surroundings, which means less anxiety.
•Your pet will be in their favourite location with common smells they are accustomed to. This helps them to feel safe and secure.
•Reduced pain and stress for pets that are difficult to move.
•Other household pets can be present allowing them to heal from the loss of their friend faster.
•For families that wish to bury their pet, in-home service removes any difficult transportation issues.
•The family can be left in peace afterwards to grieve for their friend.
AM I ABLE TO STAY WITH MY PET DURING THE EUTHANASIA PROCEDURE?
Yes, you are welcome to stay for as much of the procedure as you are comfortable with. Some people elect to be present for the entire procedure while others only want to be present for just the sedation. It is your personal decision.
ARE THERE PREPARATIONS NEEDED BEFORE AN IN-HOME EUTHANASIA?
We try to take care of the preparations for you so you can just focus on spoiling your loved one until their final moment. We will quietly play music that has been shown to relax specifically dogs or cats. If you have your own special music you would prefer to play just let us know.
We spray ourselves and the blankets with a pheromone that spray that makes your pet feel safe and secure. We also use a spray with Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy and other remedies and essential oils to add to their peace of mind. If there are any allergy concerns please speak to us before hand and we will omit this part of our process.
Sometimes when your pet becomes relaxed they can void. If you are concerned about this we can place a pad under the blanket.
You can prepare their favourite spot for the process to take place but try not to get attached to it, sometimes your furry family member has other ideas. It should be quiet, soft lighting and enough room to accommodate 2 team members and loved ones.
ON-LINE INTAKE FORM
We know it can be challenging to voice your decision let alone answer a multitude of questions. However there are things we need to know to make sure we proceed in the best way possible. If it is easier you can print off the intake form and fill it out with all of the loved ones involved. Once we have received the form (even partially filled out gives us a place to start) we will be in touch to finalize decisions. We are always happy to hear from you to go over the information and explain options by phone.
Ontario Pet Loss Support
Offers compassionate understanding and support to people struggling with the death of a beloved companion animal through phone support, meetings and Facebook.
Offers support to grieving pet owners including an on-line Pet Loss Candle Ceremony and healing poetry.
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
Professional trained volunteers in pet bereavement counselling.
OVC Pet Trust
On-line grief/bereavement resources including “Helping Children With the Loss of a Pet”
Veterinary Wisdom Pet Parents
“Resource Centre” has end-of-life decision making and grief support, however pop-ups selling clay paw print kits can be distracting during such a challenging time.