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Foley Veterinary Hospital
Christopher A. Ainsworth, DVM
Providing Quality Pet Care
Call: (251) 943-5152

Euthanasia

Losing a pet is a delicate situation, and we understand the difficulty in having to make that final decision. Our veterinarian is skilled in assessing pain management and do not recommend euthanasia casually. We also make certain that the process of putting your pet to sleep is carried out in a humane manner.

When being euthanized, pet owners are welcome to be in the room as their pet passes, and if they prefer, a pet can be sedated prior to administering euthanasia. The final injection is a chemical that mimics an overdose of anesthesia, allowing your pet to fall into an eternal sleep. As it enters the bloodstream, the chemical targets the brain and heart, first preventing nerves from sensing pain, then gradually stopping the heart from beating.

While the decision to euthanize is heart-wrenching, it is important for a pet owner to consider the pet’s suffering before their own. In circumstances where putting your pet to sleep offers them relief from physical anguish, ending misery can be the best decision you can make for your pet.

Common reasons for euthanasia: 

  • Illness that would cause suffering if the pet were kept alive.
  • Inability to afford involved medical procedures. 
  • Organ damage that cannot be repaired. 
  • Rabies. 
  • Terminal illness such as cancer.
  • Untreatable behavioral issues

What happens after euthanasia?

After putting your pet to sleep, you can decide to take your pet home with you, have your pet cremated, or you can opt to leave your pet with the veterinarian for communal cremation. Because saying goodbye is difficult, we recommend having after death plans arranged prior to your visit for euthanasia. No matter what you decide to do, don’t feel pressured to choose one option or another; choose the option that is best for you and your family. Some pet owners feel that an urn with their pet’s remains helps the grieving process. Others think leaving the pet with the vet is easier for them emotionally. Because your pet has peacefully passed, it is now your decision to do what is best for you.

The bereavement process is different for every pet owner. Some only take a couple days for mourning while others take months. It is completely normal to mourn the loss of your pet, and you should never feel obligated to put a time limit on what is the “right” amount of time.

If you have any questions about the process of putting a pet to sleep, or want to schedule an appointment to see if it would be beneficial for your pet’s condition, contact our office at your convenience.