In Home Euthanasia & End of Life
It is never easy to make the final decision to say good-bye to a beloved friend, and this is one of the hardest aspects of veterinary medicine. When we choose to bring an animal into our homes and share our lives, we take on all the responsibility of their care in return for their lifetime of love and companionship. As our friends age, we make educated decisions at every turn to help them be comfortable and happy. At the end of their life, we face the most difficult decision. Many people express “I wish they would just pass in their sleep...” because facing the weight of making the decision to end their animal’s life is unimaginable. However, that decision can be the ultimate act of friendship, loving your animal so much that you choose, when circumstances warrant, to help them pass free of pain and suffering, after a lifetime full of wonderful living.
The decision to help your animal pass also brings the choice of how you want to help them pass. We have the choice to give our friends the most peaceful passing, right in the comfort of home, anywhere (inside or out) you may feel that that provides the most comfort and serenity for your pet. You have the option to make one of the most difficult events we go through with a beloved animal less stressful and personalized to make it as gentle and memorable of a passing as possible. Our goal is to give your pet the most peaceful and compassionate parting, full of dignity and respect, so that the very end of their life can be as graceful and honored as the rest.
Consults to discuss quality of life and personal concerns are always available. If you are unsure about what your options are and how your pet is feeling, please reach out and we can talk through what may be best for you and your family. We can go over considerations for your family and our services to support you, including a Quality of Life consult to help support you through the hardest decision for you and your family.
What to expect during the euthanasia process:
We will review the details of the visit during our initial conversation and want to ensure that you know what to expect during the entire process. Slow, gentle steps ensuring your pets comfort will start with an initial administration of anesthetic medications to relax your friend. Most animals do not notice this brief step and within a few minutes are feeling mild sedation effects. You may choose to have this take place outside, on a favorite bed, or on your lap.
As you are sitting together, your pet will continue to a place of good anesthesia, generally taking 10 or 15 minutes, aware only of your love and presence. The final injection is gently administered once your friend is experiencing a deep plane of anesthesia and will not have any pain or distress during this entire process.
The pace at which our visits move is set to what you need, taking as much or as little time as necessary during the entire visit. It is important that you have the space and time for this to be as personalized, meaningful and sacred as you want for you, your family and your beloved animal.
Once the doctor arrives, she will spend time in person with you again reviewing details and will answer any questions or concerns as needed.
We can help you with individual aftercare arrangements and we can discuss this in detail to suit your specific needs. We work closely with local pet crematoriums to provide private cremation services with ashes placed in a wooden urn. If you would like to have help with cremation but prefer not to have ashes returned, we can also help you with communal cremation and combined pet ashes are returned to us and Dr. Bennett takes them to her family's farm in Elkton, KY. We can also discuss home burial options with you as well.
Palliated (Natural) Death:
If your beliefs do not align with the choice for euthanasia, we can discuss the option for assisted palliated death for your beloved friend. Without having the proper support, an animal may suffer unduly while their family struggles to care for them. We will review what to expect during this process, if this is the right option for you and your pet and how we will work to give your animal specific supported comfort to ease, not hasten, their transistion into death.