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The Hardest Decision

Published on December 22, 2016

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When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

As pet owners, we all face the possibility of having to make the heartbreaking decision to put a beloved companion to sleep. This decision often comes after a pet has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, such as cancer, or after having lived with a painful, stressful, or debilitating condition, such as osteoarthritis. In the end, we must make this incredibly difficult choice so that our furry friends are not made to suffer needlessly.

As a veterinarian, I understand that the idea of putting a pet to sleep is fraught with not only sorrow and guilt but also anxiety over the procedure itself. To help with this, I have outlined what you, as an owner, can expect during the euthanasia process at Pender Veterinary Centre:

  1. You will be given the option to be present during the procedure so that you can be with your pet during his or her final moments. The procedure is very peaceful, and most owners choose to be present.
  2. The medication used in pet euthanasia does not cause pain or stress. It is a barbiturate that first depresses the central nervous system, which then leads to suppression of respiratory and cardiac functions. Within a few seconds of receiving the medication, a pet becomes unconscious, and therefore free of pain and stress, before his or her breathing and heartbeat stop.
  3. You will be afforded the privacy that you and your pet need before, during, and after the procedure.
  4. We may place an intravenous catheter to allow administration of the medications without restraint, thus reducing stress.
  5. The presiding veterinarian may administer a sedative in order to prevent/reduce your pet’s stress during the procedure.
  6. You will be asked about your wishes for the handling of your pet’s remains. We offer individual cremation with return of ashes, cremation without return of ashes, or the option to take your pet home for burial.
  7. If you prefer to have your pet put to sleep in your home, we offer house call appointments on an individual basis.

The staff at Pender Veterinary Centre will always be available to support you before, during, and after the passing of your pet. We will do everything we can to ease the process so that your final moments with your pet are as peaceful and stress-free as they should be.

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Article by: Dr. Padte

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