What should I expect when the veterinarian arrives?

   The veterinarian's objective is to allow you and your family members as much privacy as possible during this difficult time. Upon entering your home or property, the veterinarian will take care to act as gently and compassionately as possible.

We have taken the time below to describe each step in the euthanasia process, so that you can be emotionally prepared for what will take place.

   First, the veterinarian will administer a sedative into the thigh muscles of your animal. This will cause your pet to relax over the next five minutes. Once your animal is sleepy, he will clip a small patch of hair from the forearm of your animal, place a tourniquet, and place an intravenous catheter. When the owner is ready, the euthanasia solution will be administered through the intravenous catheter. Typically, your pet will fall asleep in less than fifteen seconds. The veterinarian will listen to make sure your pet's heart has stopped. One important thing to realize is that breathing is the deepest reflex and your animal can take a reflexive breath up to five to ten minutes later.

   If you are burying your pet on your property, the veterinarian will leave as soon as he confirms the passing away to ensure your privacy. If the veterinarian is taking your animal away for burial or cremation, the veterinarian will give the family several minutes to say goodbye. When animals pass away, they usually lose their bladder and/or bowel control within several minutes. For this reason, your animal will be placed inside a black plastic bag for transport. Then, the veterinarian will load your pet into his car to transport to the designated destination.