The most common form of euthanasia for most animals is through direct injection of an intravenously given barbiturate drug called pentobarbitone. In effect, the veterinarian is giving the animal an overdose of veterinary anesthetic.
As soon as the drug enters the animal’s blood stream, it acts immediately to suppress heart and brain functions, resulting in instant loss of consciousness and pain sensation, basically putting the animal into a deep sleep.
At the same time, the heart also stops beating, so the animal passes from a deep sleep into death without regaining consciousness or feeling any pain.
Properly administered, euthanasia is painless and swift.
How will I know when it’s time to euthanize my pet?
Making the decision to let your pet go is a personal and very difficult decision. There are no clear cut answers, but you can follow a few general guidelines.
- Talk with your vet to be sure you have the best possible understanding of your pet’s current health condition and most likely prognosis.
- If possible, develop a plan in advance so you will be better prepared if your pet’s condition worsens. Ideally, you should make note of your pet’s “normal” behavior, habits, etc. while he is still more or less healthy. You are then in a better position to observe if any of these behaviors change at some point. Drastic changes in behavior, for example, not eating, not playing, etc. can signal a downturn in your pet’s condition.
- Be aware of any actions or behaviors that may signal your pet is in pain. Talk with your vet about any changes you observe. Pain control is of the utmost importance. If your pet is in constant pain that cannot be significantly reduced or relieved through medical intervention, then it may be time to let him go.
Quality of Life
- If your pet can no longer do many of the things he used to enjoy doing, due to physical problems and/or pain, his quality of life is less than ideal. For instance, he may not be able to walk, go up steps, may become incontinent, or lack appetite due to disease or some other condition. If quality of life cannot be significantly improved through medicine or other modifications to diet, environment, etc., it may be time to let him go.
In the end, it is your personal decision when it is time to say good-bye to your pet. Work in partnership with your vet to assure that your pet’s remaining time with you is the best it can be, and know that you have done all you could do when the time does arrive for you to say good-bye.
Some veterinarians will come to your home to perform euthanasia if you request this service. They may also work in partnership with their local pet cremation provider to provide this service as a way to make things easier for both the pet and the owner. There is usually an additional fee for this service.
No. Only a licensed veterinarian can perform medical euthanasia.
Yes. Many pet crematories offer consultations or have information available on their websites for pet parents who wish to make sure their pet is handled with dignity and respect when the time comes. Your veterinarian may also provide helpful information.
Yes. Many pet crematories offer consultations or have information available on their websites for pet parents who wish to make sure their pet is handled with dignity and respect when the time comes.
The cost of a pet cremation depends on factors such as the size of the pet, the weight, whether you choose individual or group cremation, and your location.
The average cost of a pet cremation runs between $50 to $150, depending on several factors such as the size of the pet, the weight, whether you choose individual or group cremation, and your location.
The cost for cremating a pet depends basically on two factors: (1) whether you choose individual (private) cremation or communal (mass) cremation, and (2) the size of the pet.
A private cremation means no other pets will be cremated at the same time as your deceased pet. A communal (mass) cremation means other deceased pets will be cremated at the same time as your pet.
The cost of an individual pet cremation can range from about $150 to $300, depending on the size of the pet. The cost of a mass (communal) cremation is usually based on the weight of the deceased pet, and can range from $50 to $150.
Ask a Question
Use the form below to ask a question