When is it time to say goodbye?An at-home euthanasia is a service that the Burlington Veterinary Center provides upon request to existing clients of the Burlington Veterinary Center.
Deciding when to say goodbye to a beloved pet is a personal decision that often requires the help of your veterinarian. Sometimes the decision may be obvious to you but often times, it is very challenging. The doctors of the Burlington Veterinary Center can offer compassionate insight into your pet’s quality of life at home as well as objective means of assessing it yourself. Sometimes your pet may have ailments affecting his or quality of life that are caused by treatable disease while other conditions may be less amenable to therapy. If you are considering euthanasia but feel unsure, Dr. Esherick and Dr. Trevino can discuss your pet’s quality of life at home during an appointment and help determine if we can improve your pet’s well -being with our interventions. In addition to a full physical examination the doctors will be interested to hear about your pet’s appetite as well as their ability and enthusiasm to engage in the activities that they typically enjoy.
What is euthanasia?
The word “euthanasia” comes from the Greek language to literally mean “good death”. Euthanasia is the process of humanely ending life without pain or suffering. At the Burlington Veterinary Center euthanasia serves as a means to intervene with our patients who are experiencing pain and suffering that we are unable to manage within reasonable measures of intervention. In veterinary medicine, euthanasia is typically performed with an intravenous injection, administering an overdose of IV anesthesia.
How do I say goodbye to my friend?
The Burlington Veterinary Center realizes the immense weight of the decision to say goodbye to your companion and we handle euthanasia with great sensitivity and compassion. Though you may feel alone and scared during this process, many of our staff and doctors have been through this difficult process with our own pets and can empathize with the mixture of emotions you may feel. We will walk you through each step.
The BVC takes measures to offer a greater level of privacy and intimacy during a euthanasia. First, when possible we try to schedule appointments when we have more time to spend with you and your pet. You can call to schedule a euthanasia and we will work to make a time that works best for you and the practice. Sometimes this means planning around the availability of other family members who may want to be present. There are many circumstances when we this may be a more urgent decision and we will accommodate you and your pet as needed.
When you arrive for a euthanasia we will have you call the office from the parking lot so a technician can assist you into the hospital with your pet. When available we will use a room downstairs that offers a more private, home-like setting.
Once in the office, it is your time to focus on yourself and your pet. We will present a very simple consent form and review basic aftercare options. Many owners elect to be present during the process while others may choose to leave. Do not hesitate to ask your technician or doctor questions you may have about the process. You may leave at any time though many people find that the euthanasia process is rather peaceful and offers closure.
Depending on the condition of your pet, the doctor may recommend sedating him or her. Sedation offers pain relief and can relax a pet if they are up and about or anxious. We strive to make their final moments to be as calm and pain-free as possible.
You will have the opportunity to be with your pet alone prior to euthanasia if you desire. If your pet is sedated, the doctor will typically let your pet become sedate alone with you after a single intramuscular injection.
When you are ready, the doctor and technician will return to administer an intravenous injection. The doctor will ensure that your pet has passed. You may elect to spend time to grieve alone with your pet afterwards or you may elect to leave right away.
While the decision to euthanize and the process of euthanasia is often one of the most difficult parts of owning a pet, the doctors and staff at the Burlington Veterinary Center are here to serve as part of your support system. We can help you determine when it may time to say good bye, and we will be there with you to ensure a painless, peaceful departure for your pet.