Euthanasia – Saying Goodbye
It comes to a time when we have to say ‘goodbye’ to our beloved pet. This is a very difficult time and our emotions are heightened making it impossible to comprehend the situation. They have given us so many wonderful memories. Our pets are a part of the family, they bring joy and laughter to our lives and just like many things they are a huge responsibility we commit ourselves to for as many as 15 years. Pets are euthanased for a variety of reasons. For whatever that reason may be, we understand it’s a difficult process. As veterinarians and veterinary nurses we have all had to say goodbye to a beloved pet at some stage in our career so we can sympathise with your feelings.
How do I know when to Euthanase my pet?
This is never an easy decision to make and your veterinarian will always be there to support you as much as you need. Depending on the motives of your decision there are a few things that you can consider to assist with the process:
- How is there quality of life?
- Can they walk to go to the toilet or do they need assistance? Do they soil the bed?
- Are they in pain?
- Have they lost their appetite?
- Are they depressed?
- Do they find it difficult to stand from sitting?
- Have you noticed sudden behaviour changes like barking or anxiety?
- Do they look comfortable?
What matters most is your pet’s welfare. Your veterinarian will advise you whether their illness or injury is treatable or whether it may be time to say goodbye. In some cases if there are a few days spare we suggest taking your pet home for some last minute pampering and indulging.
What happens when I bring my pet in for Euthanasia?
An appointment will be booked for you with the vet to which you will have time to discuss any concerns your may have. We understand how distressing this time will be for you but in saying that it’s important to remain as calm as you can for your pets comfort. Coming to the vet can be a very stressful time for all animals and if they sense you’re scared most of the time they to will be scared too.
If you wish to hold your pet you are welcome to do so. Feel free to bring along their favourite belongings to help relax them. In some cases pet owners wish to not be present and this is absolutely fine too. It is incredibly important to us that this experience is as comfortable as it can be for you and your pet. We also ask that you do not feel ashamed or embarrassed about being upset. All of our vets and nurses understand the difficultly of the situation and would feel the same in your position.
To help reduce any stress, your pet may first be sedated with a small injection under the skin. Then, the vet will place a catheter in the vein in their front leg to allow for an easy access and help the end process be as smooth as possible. The catheter placement causes minimal discomfort and is nothing more than an injection. In some cases the veterinarian won’t use a catheter.
When you are ready to say goodbye, the vet will then inject a euthanasia solution that is a highly concentrated anaesthetic. They feel no pain or discomfort at any stage, within seconds your pet will drift off into a deep sleep and eventually their breathing will stop and lastly their heart stops beating. As your pet’s muscles begin to completely relax their bowels and bladder may release some urine or faeces, which is completely normal. Your vet will give you as much time as you need in the consultation room to say your last goodbyes.
Where does my pet go after they have been euthanased?
The vet will place your pet in the sleeping position and as for hygiene reasons they will be placed into a pet body bag. Whilst your pet is still alive consider what you would like to happen to your pet after they have gone. This can make it easier and it is less likely you will regret your decision. There is the option for you to take your pet home for burial, have them privately cremated or communal burial. If you take your pet home for burial we can provide you with a bag that decomposes to avoid burying them in towels or blankets.
Will my other pets grieve?
It is likely they will. Animals form strong relationships with each other and when one suddenly leaves it can cause reactions of stress and anxiety.
- Its important to not rush out a buy another pet, allow yourself and other pets to grieve.
- Now that one pet has gone keep your other pets in routine, don’t change their food or exercise habits.
- Avoid being over affectionate, sometimes this can cause separation anxiety.
- If you have several pets, don’t get involved in their domestic arrangements, let them work it out.
Our vets and nurses are more than willing to help you through this process. If you are unsure as to whether your pet is ready to be euthanased or you are not ready, come and speak to one of our helpful vets or nurses. We can provide you reassurance and the guidance you may need to make an informed decision.
As our companion animals become older, you may start to notice the negative effects of osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a common condition causing inflammation, swelling, pain and discomfort in joints. There are many treatment options available to help control arthritis in our pets. If you think your pet may have osteoarthritis, please speak to your veterinarian. They can examine your animal, discuss your concerns, and work with you to put together a plan to help improve and manage the problems you are seeing.
Joint problems mainly occur in dogs, but some large breads of cats may also suffer. This article explores the causes, diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis, cruciate ligament rupture, hip dysplasia and medial luxating patella in pets.
With summer approaching, we decided it was a good time to alert our pet owners to the risk of heat stroke. Unlike people, most animals can’t sweat and have to lose excess heat through evaporation by panting. This makes it difficult for them to cool down and puts them at greater risk of heat stress on hot days and when doing strenuous exercise.
Urinary incontinence in dogs can be very confronting and frustrating for dog owners. There are many causes ranging from physical problems resulting from injuries or illness to neurological problems, birth defects or old age.
Dogs and cats can suffer stomach and bowel problems ranging from diseases such as pancreatitis, to the ingestion of foreign objects and the build up of hair resulting in hair balls. Read about causes, symptoms and treatments for stomach and bowel issues.
All animals and pets are at risk from poisons, toxins and venoms in and around our homes. Some of these substances may be naturally occurring, and may be non toxic to humans. Find out which plants, foods and other substances put our pets at risk.
Just like humans, dental disease can affect our much loved pets so regular check ups are important in maintaining your pet’s gleaming white smile. Our teams at North Nowra and Jervis Bay will check your pet’s teeth and determine any treatments necessary.
Pets can have many types of lumps and bumps, some of which are harmless and some more dangerous, even cancerous. As it is difficult to determine the cause of a lump without proper diagnosis we highly recommend you have your vet examine your pet.
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Understanding that some couples who have kids and grandkids, treat their animals like people. Having well trained staff, who get to know us quickly, and who are always so nice, helpful and efficient. They do great follow up calls to monitor their patients, and if they say they will call back, they actually do call back. They love animals and are very involved with their work.
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I have always been a client of North Nowra Vets. Their care and compassion is so heartfelt. They care for my cats as if they were their own. Always available for emergency after hours calls. I also use the cattery when we go away and have never had a cat ignore me afterwards. We will remain a loyal customer at North Nowra Vets because they care.
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These vets, Cathy and Quentin and their team, I cannot speak more highly of their knowledge and care, it is wonderful and you never leave you pet for surgery wondering. They all have a true love of animals. My best respect to all who are part of this team. Well done.
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We have always found Kathy, Quentin and staff very pleasant and helpful. Visits are never rushed and our dog's checkups are very thorough. The options for treatment are clearly explained so the best choice can be made. Our dog has the intelligence and strong will that his breed is known for but he is always very happy even excited to go to the North Nowra Veterinary Hospital and that surely is a strong a recommendation as any.
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From a client's perspective, or 'owner of your patient', you have many years brought the "whole package" together in relation to you practice. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly which is great for both human and animal. I have for many years been referring friends, neighbours, acquaintances and clients from our own business to you knowing that they will receive professional care and excellent diagnosis.
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It's not easy to say specifically which one thing makes for your customer service, as it's all about the little things you get right, such as keeping staff for long periods of time, so we see familiar faces and hear familiar voices on the phone. The fact that a number of people want to stay sends a powerful message that it's a good place to work.
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A lot of people ask me why I go out of my way to go to your clinic. It's because you have always given the best possible care, the centre is always fresh looking and a smile always available. At first I felt a bit apprehensive seeing someone other than Cathy or Quentin. But each and every time my distress has been eased with the knowledge and support given by all the team. I have always received 110%.
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I am pretty impresses when whoever is on the counter manages to call up Xena's details as I'm walking through the door so that by the time I reach the counter it's all up on the screen waiting for whatever has to be done. It's great and really efficient!! Thanks for the hassle free service and a happy place to walk into!
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Upon arrival I was very nervous as this was my first time taking my dog to Jervis Bay Vets. I had recently moved away from a hospital I was unhappy with. I could not recommend the Veterinary Clinic enough, the team are like a family and the veterinarian spent quality time with pet addressing the concerns I had. I am very happy.
"The vets took every precaution"
Thankyou to the vets and staff that saved my beautiful dobermann bitch "Sophie", I am a dog breeder and was very impressed with the communication between the vets, they were thorough, caring and professional, with a complicated medical condition (VWD). The vets took every precaution. I would recommend their services, your dog is in great hands here.
Our Great Dane has anxiety issues, for which she is being medicated. These medicines worked quite well for a time, but her anxiety started to increase, so we gave acupuncture a go. The difference was noticeable after the first treatment, and she continued to improve. After a few treatments she plateaued, and has been without treatment for a few months now, and still going well – she is much happier and calmer. I highly recommend giving it a go in Kristy's very talented hands.
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Every time we visit the vets they always go above and beyond for us. I always feel like they put in so much time for us. They also know how to handle one big wriggly great dane!
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I am so glad I finally found a vet that really understands my anxious dog! All the nurses and vets are always gentle with my dog! Thank you!