Euthanasia Of Pets And What To Expect

Has your dog fallen ill and the vet said he may not be able to help anymore?
Or maybe you are just looking for answers regarding the whole process.

This article has your best interests at heart.

Pet in heaven

For those who don’t know about Euthanasia, I will take you through the basics and any other relevant information.

Euthanasia is a painless procedure where your dog is laid to rest with the help of a veterinarian in some unavoidable circumstances.

Although euthanasia may be a hard decision, it’s totally humane especially if you need to put that aging or suffering pet to sleep.

When it comes to ending your pet’s life, it's natural to feel devastated as we can share quite strong bonds with our furry friends.
But that’s understandable since typically, all life on earth is built to fear death and struggle to keep on living. 

But, when the situation is inevitable; for instance, terminal illness or aging this might be the only choice.
It’s a moment that every dog owner dreads as we all wish our dogs could live forever.

However, you will agree with me that watching our favorite doggy suffer at most times is even more painful.

How Do You Know If Your Pet Needs Euthanasia?

Generally, anyone will say that the time is right when the bad days outnumber the good ones. But, we can’t surely know this.
And that is why; there a few guidelines that should help you to know the best action to take for a terminally ill or injured pet. 

In most cases, its necessary as a pet owner to understand how your pet feels about her death or life process.
This is because in some cases, a pet may be willing to keep fighting on and get better.

And that is why the best thing to do in such instances is to show affection, compassion and support them through that hard period. 

Also, its common to find terminally ill pets still wanting to try harder, and this makes it hard for you to know when to let them rest peacefully.
Therefore, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself in order to evaluate the quality of the life of your pet. 

This is supposed to help you know whether or not the time is right to perform the euthanasia procedure on her.
Also, you may need to talk to your veterinarian so that they can guide you through this whole process.

Euthanasia of Pet Dog

Below are some of the signs of your pet’s attitude and behavior that may indicate that she is suffering and is no longer having a good quality of life;

•If the veterinarian has determined that the pet is experiencing chronic pain that may not be controlled by any type of medication.

 •If your pet has suddenly changed her eating habits and must be forced to have a meal

•If the pet has generally body weakness to an extent she can’t stand on her own feet. She might be falling down every time she tries to stand

•If the pet has lost interest in what was her favorite activities in the past.
For instance, playing and evening walks in the park. Also, you may notice that the pet no longer enjoys petting and cuddling from the family members and friends

•If the pet is incontinent to an extent where she soils herself every time

•If she is having constant diarrhea that may be leading to significant weight loss or even dehydration

•If the pet is having bad coughs, cold or trouble breathing well

Reasons Why Veterinarians Use Euthanasia

The euthanasia procedure is majorly meant to relieve the suffering pets from pain. This process involves ending the life of a pet especially if there is no hope of recovering from the illness.

The decision to take this procedure may be tough but with the right advice from your vet doctor, it gets easier.
Especially when you realize it is an entirely painless procedure.

Although the vet may give you and your family the right advice and what’s best for your pet, the decision to perform euthanasia depends on you the pet owner solely.

Have your pet in mind and go for what’s best for her. And when you have made the decision, familiarize yourself with the things to expect before, during as well as after the procedure. 

Euthanasia of Pet

What to Do Before the Euthanasia

After making the hard decision to euthanize your pet, you need to decide who you would like to be present during the entire procedure.

It can be quite hard to watch your pet be put to sleep but the presence of you, as well as other family members during the procedure, may bring comfort and peace to the pet in her final moments. 

Also, before starting on the euthanasia of your pet, ensure that you ask your veterinarian questions regarding the whole procedure.

Find out if there is an option to perform it at home.
If the house calls option is not available, he may as well recommend an authentic mobile vet who will perform the procedure on your pet. 

There will likely be a consent form that you will have to sign before the procedure starts. Therefore, remember to ask your vet about how he will perform the entire procedure.

At this stage, you can also make plans about the aftercare of your pet.

Make sure you also notify the vet about this in due time. 

There are some veterinary hospitals that have partnerships with companies and often arrange individual cremation services or even home memorials.

Pet rest in peace euthanasia

All in all, in most cases there is also an option for communal burials and cremation. In such a case, the company is supposed to pick up the remains of your dog from the veterinary hospital to the memorial area.

If you need to handle your pet’s aftercare with your family members, you can carry your pet’s remains home.
However, you need to be very careful when choosing the venue for the euthanasia procedure. 

In most cases, don’t let it happen at home since children may get upset about losing a beloved pet. They might also end up associating your home with death which may be quite scary for them growing up in such an environment. 

During the euthanasia, the one very important thing is paying the bills in advance.
This is a disheartening time and the last thing you’d want during such a time is waiting at the lobby for hours in long queues after you have lost your loved furry friend. 

Before the vet gets his hands down on the procedure, make sure you take your time to say goodbye to your pet.

You can hug her or talk to her while expressing affection and love.
Let her know that she will be in your mind and heart even after she proceeds to her next life. Y

ou can also let your family members do the same.
This is a critical time of the procedure. Choose your last words wisely!

What Happens During the Euthanasia?

Euthanasia in most of the household pets like cats and dogs involves an injection.

The injection holds some pharmaceutical agents that are meant to stop the heart quickly and painlessly.
The solution in most cases can be made up of pentobarbital although other vets use phenytoin at other times. 

The euthanasia solution can be purple, pink or have a blue tint and somehow thick in its viscosity. The most effective way that the vets use to administer this intravenous injection to the pets is by injecting the solution directly into their veins.

Euthanasia of Dog

If the injection is administered to the body cavity, it will work at the end of the day, but often not fast enough. 

During the euthanasia, your vet may recommend that a catheter is placed on your dog. This helps him to get a quick and fast access to the pet’s vein. More to that it helps ensure that the injection is fast and painless.

Also, the catheter guarantees you that there will be less or no complications during the injection. In most instances, the vet administers a sedative to the pat before giving her the actual euthanasia. 

This allows your pet to be relaxed and sleepy before the vet takes the next big step. When the euthanasia solution is administered to the dog’s veins, it travels fast throughout the pet’s body.

In a matter of seconds, your pet gets unconscious painlessly.
At this point, the pet’s heartbeat may slow down and breathing stops in the next couple of seconds. 

Afterwards, there is the cardiac arrest which eventually leads to death. On normal cases, the peaceful; death of your pet occurs precisely 30 seconds to one minute after the vet administers the euthanasia solution.

When she passes on, the pet may not close her eyes fully.

To most people, this might be a quite disturbing site but it’s quite normal. In other cases, the pet may pee or defecate or even twitch during her last breath. This can be quite startling but it’s a normal thing that happens as part of the process. But the best part is that your pet is not in pain. 

What Comes After Your Pet is Put to Rest?

After the Vet has administered the euthanizing solution, he will listen to your dog’s heartbeat in order to confirm her death. This will make sure that she has passed on.

The vet may step out of the room and give you some time with your pet for a few moments. This is an emotional moment and the staff will provide you with privacy and tissues.

You are allowed to stay with your pet for as long as you are comfortable. This is because the veterinary hospital is a safe environment and everyone around there fully understands what you might be going through.

They understand that it’s not easy losing a loved one.

If you have made the payments for the entire procedure and aftercare arrangements, you can leave for the memorial at your own convenience.

Due to the sudden relaxation of muscles after the death of the pet, you shouldn’t be surprised if she releases bodily fluids.

Also, as the air and energy leave your dog’s body, you might experience certain strange sounds. Most people may mistake this for the pet still being alive but it’s just part of the process that occurs after she has passed on.

In memory of pet

Grieving and Memorial

The grieving process may be very diverse in most people. There is never the right or wrong way to express your grief, therefore, you should feel free. At this moment, you can remember the good times that you spent with your pet.

Don’t feel regretful for letting your pet be put to rest.

She would be thankful that you saved her from all the suffering.

You can do something special that will make you always remember your beloved pet. You can make a paw print of your dog for instance and attach it to her photo.

Or in other cases, you may plant a tree which will be in memory of her. Also, it’s not unusual to see others keep a few of the pet’s fur a physical remembrance of their favorite doggy.

Pet Memorial

If you feel depressed and you need to express what you feel, you can write a story, a poem or even a tribute in its memory.
This will help you to say goodbye to your furry friend in a heartfelt way!

Also, if you need bereavement support after the death of your pet you can contact the bereavement companies in your location.

Or you can read the pet loss support information online and you will feel much better.

Always remember that putting your pet to sleep through euthanasia is the last step in her lifetime.

Therefore, you should make sure that throughout the entire process she is treated compassionately and with dignity in her final moments.

Make a memorable last goodbye for her, and she will rest knowing you she meant the world to you.

Pet euthanasia


Useful links:

ASPCA  - End of Life Care

Pets WebMD - What happens When You Put Your Pet to Sleep

Got Questions - What Does the Bible Say about Animal/Pet Euthanasia?

Blue Cross - Time to Say Goodbye to Your Dog

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