Saying goodbye to a family member is never easy. Most of our pets live 12-20 years with us, and the bond that forms cannot be broken. Euthanasia (or putting a pet down) is an option available to alleviate suffering when your pet’s quality of life drops below an acceptable standard.
Choosing when to euthanize is a difficult decision that is best discussed with your family and veterinarian. Using teamwork, you can determine their quality of life and come up with a plan. Sometimes the patient needs some medical attention, and they can be happy for many more months or possibly years.
If you and the doctor decide the pet is ready for euthanasia, the process is as quick and pain-free as possible. The veterinary assistant will go over options available such as sedation before, cremation, whether or not you want to be present, etc. It can be difficult to make decisions when in an emotional environment, so it is recommended to think about these options ahead of time.
The doctor will discuss how the procedure is to be done and make sure your questions are answered before they start. If you choose to be present in the room, you can pet and love on the animal the entire time. The assistant will hold the pet’s arm while the doctor finds the vein and starts to inject the medicine, which is basically an overdose of an anesthetic type drug. The poke of the needle is the only thing the pet will feel. Once the injection is complete, the pet will be unconscious within 5-10 seconds. Shortly thereafter, the doctor will listen to their heart and let you know when they’ve peacefully passed on. The whole process is usually under one minute.
After they’ve passed away, you’re welcome to stay with the pet and say goodbyes for as long as you need. If you choose cremation, we will handle their remains with dignity, and another family-owned company handles the cremation process.
Current costs include the procedure itself ($77) and optional cremation ($42 for general and starting at $109 for special cremation, including a nice box with a nameplate for their remains). For those with room and where local laws permit, pets can be taken home for burial for no additional fee.
Euthanasia is a difficult part of veterinary medicine but allows for our pets and us to ease the transition from suffering to the next life. If you have questions, please feel free to call and talk with our staff. We hope to make the unpleasant process of euthanasia as positive as possible and concentrate on the good times you’ve had with your pet.