Time To Say Goodbye
Losing a pet is one of the hardest and most painful experiences you will ever go through. Thinking about losing our beloved pet is never easy. No matter how well prepared we think we are it is always a distressing time, and we mourn the death of our pets just as we do a human friend or family member. Here at Broad Lane Vets we are all pet owners ourselves and really do understand how hard this time is. We hope to support you through the process so that you feel comfortable with the decisions you make.
There are many conditions that, although they may not be able to be cured, can be controlled to give a good quality of life. Do consider the advice of our veterinary team as it is an invaluable resource to help you make your decision. Ultimately, the choice to let your pet go must be made by you. This decision is always difficult but can be seen as the final loving gesture to stop the suffering of your beloved pet.
At the euthanasia consultation, you will be asked to sign a “Euthanasia Consent Form” which gives us permission to perform the euthanasia. You will be given the option to settle payment before the procedure so you do not have to do this when feeling emotional afterwards.
Often we may recommend taking your pet away for just a few short minutes to place a catheter (soft intravenous cannula). This then means that your pet will feel absolutely no pain when it comes to the euthanasia injection and they will just drift off peacefully. They often pass away within a very short time. People often ask what to expect during this time. As they fall asleep, our pets may take a deep breath, gasp and/or pass urine and faeces when they relax, and occasionally there may be some muscle spasms a few moments after death has occurred. This is quite normal and should not be confused with signs of life. The pet is totally unaware of any of these occurrences. All they are aware of is gradually drifting off to sleep. It is quite normal for your pet's eyes to remain open.
You are more than welcome to stay with them for this procedure but if you feel you cannot then our team members are very understanding. Your pet will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
What happens to my pet afterwards?
Lots of people tell us they find it useful to browse the options before the time comes, so that they have an idea of what they wish to do before the emotion of the day overwhelms them. Take a look at www.pcsonline.org.uk.
Just like us, pets can be cremated or buried. You may wish to bury your pet at home. Many pet owners decide to have their loved one cremated. With this there are 2 main options:
- Group cremation (mass) – where several pets are cremated together; this means that you will not get any ashes back. A proportion of the ashes are then scattered in a memorial garden by the crematorium
- Individual (private) cremation – your pet is cremated on his/her own, similar to a human crematorium. The ashes are returned to you either in a wooden casket, a cardboard scatter-box, a china urn or other receptacle. Perhaps you would like to scatter the ashes in your garden, on a favourite walk or keep them to bury.
We routinely use the services of a reputable pet cremation company (PCS) based in Northampton, but you can arrange collection from an alternative company should you choose.
If you would prefer a home visit, we are able to offer this service in our Animal Ambulance.
Many people like their ‘final goodbye’ to be in their home environment. Be aware this will be a more costly option than coming along to the surgery, and can only be performed at certain times, around our appointments and operations. Visits are usually undertaken during the daytime. You must call us in advance should you wish to arrange a home visit for your pet.
How do I help my children understand what has happened
Depending on the age of your child, a pet may have been a best friend, a playmate, a confidante, a protector, and even a sibling. Children grieve for a lost pet but they can find it difficult to explain how they feel. Grief is an individual experience and that this is also the case as far as children are concerned. Communication is key to helping children deal with pet loss. For useful help and advice take a look at www.theralphsite.com or www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-support
Where can I find more support?
Feelings of loss and helplessness are perfectly normal following euthanasia and there is no 'right' way to grieve. Grief is a natural part of loss. There are a number of organisations that can help you talk through your feelings or connect with other owners going through the same thing. Here are a few suggestions:-