Make the process less scary by knowing the steps...
1. The Doctor Arrives At Your Home
When the Doctor arrives you will complete some minor paperwork and then help decide the best location to make your pet most comfortable, such as a place by the fire, a cozy couch, or under the apple tree in your yard. Please encourage all who desire to be there to come, even if they only stay for part of the visit. Have a large blanket or towel spread out for your pet to lie down on, this blanket can leave with your pet if desired. If there are other items you would like to send with your pet, such as a favorite toy or letter, Dr. Amanda will place them with your pet as well. It is helpful to have some of your pet's favorite foods nearby to hand feed at visit, there are no diet restrictions during or before your appointment.
2. The Euthanasia
First your pet will be given a sedative, injected gently under the skin. There can be a brief sting as it is an anesthetic agent, however, this will provide pain relief and calm them into a relaxed sleepy state. Around 5-10 minutes later they will drift into a sleep state. The Doctor will then give an overdose of intravenous anesthetic agent which will slow the breath and heartbeat down until it fully stops, all within a minute or two. There are a few other physical things that might occur such as muscle movement, a few short deep breathes, and the eyes remaining slightly open. Dr. Amanda will walk you patiently through the whole process as it occurs.
3. Considerations For The Moment
During the Euthanasia, some families play music, sing a special song, or just quietly send out prayers. Fresh flowers or lavender drapes around your pet provides beauty for their transition. Ultimately, only you know your pet and what things they may want. Candles, music, or just whispering "good dog" all can bring love and peace to your pet and the people who love them. After the passing, Dr. Amanda can also give you a fur clipping or make a clay paw print as a keepsake before she leaves.
4. Upon Leaving
If you are having a cremation service, Dr. Amanda will hand carry your pet in the blanket, or may ask for some assistance with a stretcher if your pet is larger (please let Dr. Amanda know if you cannot physically provide aid as she can bring a hired technician for a small fee for extra large dogs). You may choose to carry your pet to the car yourself if desired. Ashes can be mailed, picked up at Integrative Veterinary Service, or hand delivered upon arrangement. The home visit is typically under an hour and almost always ends with a hug. We expect the tears, so just let them go. This is what we do, we are here for you and your loved ones.
If you have any questions or concerns, we are happy to talk with you beforehand. Dr. Amanda a practicing veterinarian and can't always pick up the phone immediately, but usually can get back to you within a few hours. Please note appointments are based upon availability, and are only performed 8 am - 8pm. If you have an emergency or overnight need and she is not immediately reachable, please contact Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists at 414-540-6710.