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End of Life Care
End of Life Care
You love and care for your pet wholeheartedly. But sadly, pets do not live as long as humans do. If it’s old age or sickness, you may have to make a hard choice someday. Many pets do not pass on their own in their sleep like we hope they would.
You, as the owner, must make that choice. Your pet and your veterinarian will help you with that choice, but you are the one that has to make that decision in the end. Your pet helps you by letting you know it’s time when their bad days outweigh their good days. They are no longer themselves: they don’t greet you, they don’t eat, they don’t get up, or they don’t have that sparkly in their eyes. Your veterinarian helps you by letting you know medically what’s wrong with your pet and that you have done all you can do, so that you are able to make an informed decision. Your veterinarian will support your decision if that is the best thing for your pet.
It is not easy to prepare for loss, but making key decisions before your pet dies often makes coping easier. Things to think about: do you want to do something special with your pet before they pass, who else may want to say good-bye, where do you hope to say good-bye, or what do you want to do with your pet’s body? Considering these things before hand may help with the grieving process and help other family members.
Euthanasia is the practice of humane death in order to relieve pain and suffering. Every veterinary team performs euthanasia in a slightly different way. Here at Northwoods Veterinary Clinic, we start by giving your pet an injection of sedation medication. This makes your pet sleepy and relaxed, and eventually unconscious. It takes 5-10 minutes. At this point, your pet is unaware of what is going on and will not feel anything. Then the veterinarian gives a final injection of an overdose of anesthetic agent. It normally works very quickly. At this point, we let you spend as much time as you need with your pet.
You can take your pet home for burial, if you so choose. We do have the supplies to get them ready for at-home burial, so you do not have to worry about it. Or we have cremation services available through Forever Friends out of Green Bay. With cremation there are 3 different options: Group cremation- no ashes will be returned, Individual cremation- your pet is cremated with other pets in identified individual marked trays and ashes are returned to Northwoods, or Private cremation- your pet is cremated by themselves and ashes returned to Northwoods.
One of the common questions is cost. The cost of euthanasia is not only for the medications or supplies; it is for the emotional toll that goes along with the euthanasia process. The euthanasia process is definitely hard on you as an owner, but it is also hard for your veterinarian and staff members. We might not see your pet every day, but we still become attached to those furry faces. Even if this is our first meeting, the grief you are suffering we know all too well and we feel for your family. You as an owner may have gone through the euthanasia process 1, 2, 3 or more times, but the staff has seen so many more, and it does not get easier; many in our profession suffer greatly from the emotional toll euthanasia causes.
Also, most pet owners know the grief that goes along with this difficult decision, but sadly there are people that elect euthanasia out of convenience for their lifestyle; their pet no longer fits their situation. We do not support convenience euthanasia.