Saying goodbye to your pet

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We love our pets. All of us become attached to our animal companions, even within a day or two of owning them, and especially after a lifetime of shared friendship.

We know that many owners are reluctant to approach their vet with an ageing or infirm pet because they fear that the vet may insist on euthanising their pet.

We would like to reassure you that our role is to discuss the condition of your pet, the medical problems that may be involved and any relevant details of the home situation, and then find the best way forward. Treatment of older patients has advanced greatly in recent years and we will always offer this if we think it is in your pet's interest.

You can also rely on us to be honest with you if we really feel euthanasia is the best option. Remember: our job is to advise; the decision over how we proceed will always be yours.

If, after looking at all the circumstances, euthanasia does seem to be the right course, here are some points you may want to consider:

  • You can ask for a home visit. We are happy to come to your home provided this can be arranged during the normal working day. Please remember though that good lighting and a docile patient will reduce the risk of difficulties with the procedure. Our home visit fee is dependant on where you live.
  • If you prefer to come to the practice (and particularly in urgent cases, or with patients that may resent handling) please ring to speak to a receptionist and book an appointment.  It is helpful if you tell the receptionist that you may be having your pet euthanased - that way we can ensure you are given a longer appointment and can give you advise about your arrival.  
  • Don't worry about being upset. Everyone at the practice has their own pets – we know what it's like.
  • For most pets an intravenous injection will be given, in some cases an intravenous catheter will be secured in the vein to help administer the injection smoothly.  In some instances a sedative may be necessary to calm your pet before the euthanasia.  
  • In almost all cases the euthanasia injection will bring unconsciousness in less than half a minute and with a minimum of pain and distress. It really is like going to sleep. 
  • We are happy for you to stay with your pet if you can, but completely understand if this is too difficult for you. A nurse will always be there to help.
  • Taking your pet home to be buried is a good solution for many owners, and is perfectly legitimate. Equally, we can arrange for cremation, with your pet's ashes returned if you so wish.
  • We understand that losing a much-loved companion can be a very painful experience. We promise to do our best to help you through your loss.
For further information please ring 01376 325511.

The following website links will take you to pet bereavement help pages:

Cats Protection: Coping with the loss of a cat click here
RSPCA: Pet Bereavement click here 
Blue Cross: Bereavement Support click here

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