Saying Goodbye

Euthanasia

The decision to say goodbye to a much loved companion for which the quality of life has deteriorated is a very difficult one to make. It takes a lot of courage and as an owner is our last responsibility to a pet that has given us love and companionship.

Please feel free to give us a call at the surgery to discuss your options or ask any questions at all. We are a small team with lots of experience in helping our clients say goodbye to their pets as kindly as possible. As pet owners ourselves, we also understand the feelings of distress, guilt and grief at such a difficult time. We will always do our best to be professional, caring and accommodating of your wishes wherever possible.

At Corner House Vets we offer the following:

Home Euthanasia

Some people prefer us to visit them at home so that they can say goodbye to their pet in a familiar environment. This is no problem at all and we can offer home visits with a vet and a nurse during surgery hours. We can also arrange for burial or cremation if you wish.

Euthanasia at the Surgery

Where possible, we try to organise euthanasia appointments for times when we know that the surgery is likely to be quiet. This is so that we can spend as much time as is needed with you and your pet, and the waiting room will not be busy. Where possible we use a private room, so you can wait quietly with your pet beforehand at what can be a very difficult time.

Some people come on their own and some bring the family to say goodbye, others prefer to say goodbye to their pet and leave before the euthanasia has taken place. Please be assured that there is no right or wrong way – everybody is different and we all cope with the loss of a companion in our own way.

The Procedure

Below we’ll explain what happens when an animal is put to sleep.

For cats and dogs, a small amount of fur is clipped from the front leg (this can be done by hand with small scissors if the noise of the clippers upsets the animal). They are then given an anaesthetic injection into the vein – this is an overdose of anaesthetic that sends them quietly to sleep and then stops the heart, it takes just a few seconds and is completely painless. Occasionally some pets may be agitated or distressed, in which case before we begin we can give them a sedative to help calm them down. It takes a little longer (up to 10 minutes), but makes the procedure much less stressful for that particular animal. This is very rarely needed, but is something we will happily discuss with you.

If you have had your pet put to sleep at the surgery, you can stay with them for as long as you wish. Some quiet time to say goodbye to a much loved companion can be very comforting.

What Happens to My Pet Next?

Burial

We can arrange to have your pet buried at a local Pet Cemetary, or alternatively you can take him home for burial. There are few laws or rules regarding home pet burial, as long as you own the property and it has a domestic rather than commercial use, you can bury your pet at home. Try to wrap your pet in something biodegradable like a towel or blanket and remember to make sure that the grave is at least 3-4 feet deep. Planting a small tree or scattering wildflower seeds over the area is a nice way to remember your pet, and can also help children to focus on something positive during the grieving process.

Cremation

We use the services of Meadow Wood Pet Cemetery and Crematorium. They are caring and professional and have looked after our animals for many years. We trust them to treat your animals with dignity and respect.

Meadow Wood will collect your pets body from us and return the ashes to the surgery. Alternatively you can take your pet directly to the crematorium during working hours.

They offer both communal and individual/special cremations and can have the ashes stored in a variety of pouches or decorative urns, depending on your requirements. You are very welcome to come in and look at one of the brochures we have in the surgery, and discuss any questions with a member of the reception team.