When is the right time to consider euthanasia?
The decision for when is the right time to consider euthanasia is the most difficult one to make. Since animals cannot speak and instinctually behave differently than us, Dr. Christina recommends basing this decision on your pet’s quality of life. Quality of life often compromises your pet’s ability to do their favorite activities, and the ability to perform normal everyday functions.
Below are some questions to help you assess your pet's quality of life:
- Has your pet lost a lot of body weight?
- Is your pet eating and drinking? Does your pet require hand feeding?
- Is your pet able to go to the bathroom comfortably?
- Does your pet still show interest in doing all the activities he or she typically enjoys?
- Have you noticed behavioral changes in your pet?
- Is your pet having difficulty standing and moving? Is your pet immobile for periods of time?
- Is your pet having more bad days than good days? When the number of bad days outnumbers good days, quality of life is often compromised.
Many of our beloved pets suffering with severe pain and chronic disease will continue to wag their tail, eat & drink, and greet us. Animals are amazing creatures with remarkable perseverance and love. However, your pet may be suffering in silence and sometimes they need relief more than what we realize.
Assessing quality of life can be a very helpful resource. See our page with quality of life assessment.
What should I expect during the euthanasia process?
Respect, gentleness & compassion for you and your pet are the foremost priority.
Typically the process begins with a sedative & pain injection, which takes ~10 minutes to reach full effect. This ensures us your pet will not be in any pain or discomfort from this point forward & many pets are in a deep sleep. Once you and your pet are ready, the euthanasia injection is given directly into the bloodstream. The euthanasia injection is an overdose of an anesthesia. This causes your pet to gently fall asleep, without feeling any pain.
What happens to my pet’s body after they have passed?
If you have chosen cremation, Dr. Christina will transport your pet to the crematorium in her vehicle:
- If you elected private cremation, your pet will be individually cremated and will rest in a temporary urn. Dr. Christina will personally return your pet’s ashes to your home (typically within 7-10 days)
- If you elected group cremation, your pet will be cremated with other pets & the ashes will be respectfully scattered by the crematorium