The term Euthanasia is derived from the Greek "eu" meaning good or well and "thanatos" meaning death - this term literally translates to mean 'good death'. It is contradictory to believe that losing a loved one can be a good thing.
At Southfort Veterinary Clinic we recognize that it is never easy to say goodbye to a beloved family - but we do try our best to make it as easy a transition on our clients and, even more so, our patients as we can.
Before we can perform any type of procedure we are legally required to have performed an examination on the pet within the last year at minimum. Our doctor will speak with you about your concerns, assess the pet to determine the best way to proceed and then explain to you how the procedure will take place
After the initial examination our clients have the choice to either stay with their pet in their final moments or say their goodbyes and leave their pet with us for the procedure. The animal is usually given a sedative to relax them and then they are taken to the back treatment area to have an IV catheter placed. The pet is then returned to their family for final goodbyes. There is no time limit - the room is yours for as long as you need.
When you are ready, the veterinarian will come and deliver an overdose of anesthetic which first puts the pet to sleep and then stops the heart. The animal never feels any pain and is relaxed throughout the procedure.
While the passing is peaceful for the pet, it may be hard on you and your family - especially if you don't know what to expect. As the body relaxes all of the muscles relax. Because of this, it is not uncommon for the animal to lose control of their bladder and bowel. Muscle tension is also required to keep the eyelids closed, so your pets eyes will remain open even after they have passed. There is also a condition called agonal breathing, in which the animal appears to take a few deep breathes after they have passed. This is less common, but is a normal reaction and can be confusing if you are unaware of it.
After the procedure you are able to take your pet home for burial or have them cremated. We offer communal cremation which is when your pet is cremated with others and then scattered collectively. Alternatively, many people prefer to take their pets cremains home with them.
We have partnered with Animal Cremation Services to provide you and your family with options to memorialize your pet. To learn more about cremation or the different urns available, please follow the embedded link to their official website.