We often hear questions about what to expect during a home euthanasia appointment. After several years of working with pets and families at home, we have a good idea of what works best to bring comfort to the pet and people who are present. Here is what you can expect in general. Within this framework, we welcome special arrangements such as prayer, silence, music or poetry or anything that brings you comfort.
After arriving, our doctors will enjoy meeting your pet and spending a few minutes discussing their condition. We administer a small sedative injection to help relieve pain and discomfort, as well as to relax and help your pet sleep. This simple injection is administered under the skin over the shoulders, for example. After about 10-15 minutes, when your pet is comfortable and in a relaxed and sleepy state, we administer the second injection into a vein to stop the heart and brain activity. This will occur within just a minute or so. As far as we are able to tell, your pet is not aware of any discomfort with this second injection, as they would be very sleepy and unaware of what is happening. Following this medication, the doctor will very carefully listen for heart sounds with a stethoscope to confirm that your pet has passed away. We will be happy to make a paw print impression in clay if you wish to have one. All together we plan 45-60 minutes for the appointment.
Any room in the home is fine. We often see pets who are most comfortable on their bed or on the sofa. The floor is also fine. Our doctors are comfortable working virtually anywhere there is space to work with the pet. It is wonderful to be outside when the weather cooperates.
Our doctors bring everything needed to keep the area clean and dry. There is no need to prepare anything special in your home.
We are experienced and comfortable working with elderly pets and those who may be experiencing dehydration. Our doctors are comfortable administering medications under these circumstances and are equipped to handle situations that occasionally arise where a vein is difficult to access.
Your pet can follow a regular routine for eating and drinking on the day of the appointment. They can also take any medications as needed for pain, for example. We suggest light meals and recommend avoiding a heavy meal or a large number of treats just prior to the appointment, to help avoid any possibility of upset stomach after the sedative is administered.
We take great care in making sure your pet is handled with care and dignity after death. If our doctor is arranging cremation services, your pet will be comfortably transported in a blanket with the possible additional use of a bin or stretcher for added security in the vehicle. For pets over 40 pounds, our doctor will need assistance from one other person to help carry your pet to their vehicle.