Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the humane termination of an animal’s life. It can be a very painful decision for an owner to make. Your vet will be able to help and guide you during this difficult time.

At Beechwood Animal Hospital, euthanasia may be considered in the following situations :

1. Your pet has reached old age, and his or her quality of life is poor and cannot be adequately improved with veterinary intervention.

2. Your pet is suffering from a medical or surgical disease that seriously impacts on his or her quality of life and cannot be treated (either because of finances or the constraints of medicine), and makes the pet unsuitable for re-homing.

3. Your pet has developed an unacceptable behaviour problem, which is not responding to behaviour modification therapy.  Referral to a veterinary behavioural therapist would be strongly advised before euthanasia.

4. By order of the federal government, humane society, municipal by-law officers, or police. These orders are usually in response to serious or repeated aggression from an animal, but can also be in response to unacceptable human actions (physical abuse, overcrowding, hoarding, puppy mills), and rarely, in disease outbreak situations.

We do not euthanize healthy pets for the sake of convenience or because of reasonably manageable behavioural problems.

 

Procedure:

We take euthanasia seriously at Beechwood Animal Hospital. We recommend that the pet owner be with the pet for its last moments.. However, pets can be left with us to carry out the procedure without the owner’s presence, if desired.

1. The pet is given an anti-anxiety sedative or injectable anaesthetic agent (cats mostly).

2. The decision needs to be made to either request a private cremation, where you get the pet’s ashes back, or to have a group cremation with no ash return.  There is an opportunity to elect an autopsy as well before cremation. This helps answer any remaining questions regarding the pet’s condition and may prevent future issues with subsequent pets. This may also help develop doctor knowledge and confidence if you permit this.

2. An intravenous catheter is placed in a vein for ease of administration of the final injection

3. The pet (on blankets/ towels) and owner are put back together in a quiet room where they can take their time adjusting to saying good-bye.

4. The veterinarian comes in and explains the procedure and the potential reactions* that occasionally occur after the injection of the euthanasia solution. The veterinarian will stay after the injection until she or he has confirmed the pet has passed away and until all your concerns are addressed.

5. The veterinarian leaves the room in order for the owner to take whatever time is needed privately with his/ her pet to have the final good bye.  The owner can leave whenever she or he feels ready.  The pet’s body is then gently removed and handled with respect as we prepare it for cremation.

 

 

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