what to expect
Most importantly, these visits are not rushed and there will be plenty of time to discuss the arrangements in advance over the phone or by message and again during the visit, should you require. Additionally, a full consultation can be arranged to discuss your pet’s symptoms and health in depth, if required, before making your decision. The whole visit can be tailored to meet the needs of you and your pet, with the aim of keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum for everyone. You can choose to be present for the whole procedure, or decide you only want to be present during some parts, or not at all. Whatever you feel comfortable with, just let me know.
On the day of your euthanasia appointment, we will do our best to arrive within the pre-arranged time slot. If you have a mobile phone, we will text you to let you know we are on our way. You will be able to settle your pet on their own bed, with a favourite blanket or toy, in a place where you and your pet feel most comfortable, either in the house or in the garden. You will be asked to sign a consent form for the euthanasia (you can print this and sign beforehand if you would prefer).
When the time is right, I will inject a sedative under the skin. Your pet may react a little to this injection, but after this your pet will relax and drift off to sleep. At this point, I will ask you to give us space to clip a little fur on your pet’s leg and insert an intravenous catheter into the vein. Once this is in place a saline solution will be injected to confirm placement – occasionally we may need to replace the catheter if it is not in position. Your pet will be relaxed and undisturbed by this. You will then be able to gather around your pet to hold, stroke or cuddle your companion. When you are ready, I will give a second injection of anaesthetic through the catheter and your pet will peacefully pass away.
They may take a deep breath or make small movements, but that is perfectly normal. We will then check your pet’s heart has stopped to confirm your pet has passed away. The eyes usually remain open, unless they were naturally closed prior to the final injection. They may also pass urine so it is useful to settle them on old towels or some of your pet’s bedding that you don’t mind being soiled.
Afterwards, we will remove the catheter and we can leave you alone with your pet or stay with you, whatever you choose.
Your wishes regarding burial at home or cremation will have been discussed and decided on in advance. If you choose cremation, we work closely with Wharfedale Pet Cremations. In our view, they offer the best pet cremation service in the area; Kathryn will arrange to collect your pet from your home and return the ashes within 48 hours, if you wish. Again, you will be able to deal directly with Kathryn to make your own personal arrangements.
Please note, The Visiting Vet offers personal home euthanasia which is generally pre-arranged and planned in advance. However, whilst we may be able to provide a same day service for an additional surcharge, in an emergency when your pet is severely injured or becomes rapidly unwell it may be necessary to take your pet to an emergency appointment with a different vet. In such unfortunate cases, we can refer you for emergency care with Bishopton Veterinary Practice, if required.
During the pandemic we are following all recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of you and your pets:
We will wear PPE and a mask and we kindly request that you wear a mask also.
Social distancing will be observed at all times – you may need to give the vet some space whilst the sedative is administered and the catheter placed, but after this has been done you will be able to hold and attend to your pet as you wish.
If the weather permits and outside space is available, saying goodbye in a garden is preferable as it is both safe and peaceful.
Thank you for your understanding.