The Process of Euthanasia
This was a tough article for me to write. It brought back so many memories (most were not pleasant) of the last moments that I spent with my dog Midnight. But it is a topic that I had to revisit when I was chatting with a friend online who is now facing the same issue that I had to. Euthanizing your pet when the time comes.
For a pet owner the last thing that they want to do is to have to put down their beloved pet. For the most part you hope that your pet will quietly, and comfortably, pass away at home either beside you or in your arms at a ripe old age. However, this is often not the case.
Most pet owners are faced with euthanizing their pets because the animal is suffering. Whether it be from old age or disease.
A suffering pet for most of us is a sight that we do not want to see. This article is intended to help with the process. Especially for those who are faced with this for the first time in their lives.
When the time comes, whether by word from the Veterinarian or because the animal can no longer eat or get around, the grief you will feel will seem unbearable. It is not the end.
The process of euthanasia is a multi-step process. The first step always being the hardest. Making the decision to euthanize. With this come a flood of emotions. Sometimes these emotions get in the way of making that decision. It is at this time that you must think of the animal's quality of life and ask yourself if you would want to spend your last days in the same condition.
Once you have decided to go ahead with the procedure you will most likely take your pet to the Veterinarian to do the procedure.
At this point the person who will prepare the animal will describe the procedure that will be undertaken. You will also be given, if offered, options on what to do with the remains. Do you cremate, go through a burial at a pet cemetery, or let the Veterinary clinic handle the remains.
Prior to the actual last steps you will be led to a treatment room to spend some time alone with your pet. Now is your time to say your farewells and comfort the animal. This is a necessary process as it will help you to accept the final step of the process.
About twenty minutes before a Veterinary assistant will come into the room to place a catheter into the animal's foreleg. They will shave a small patch of hair to see the artery clearly. They may also administer a sedative to the animal at this time to help the animal to relax and prevent any spasms when they administer the drug to stop the heart. The only purpose of the catheter is to make it easier to administer the drugs that will be used.
In the last step the Veterinarian will enter to do the procedure. If no sedative was administered when the catheter was inserted the Veterinarian will do so now. You will also be told that upon death the eyes will not close they will stay open. Now the Veterinarian will probably inject some saline into the catheter to make the blood run smoother. If not he or she will connect a large syringe filled with anesthetic to the catheter and inject to complete contents into the animal. When the injection is complete the animal will be deceased.
When the process is complete you will be allowed to stay with your pet until you are ready to leave. This is usually when the biggest flood of emotions will fill you. I suggest that you talk to your pet. Talk about all the good times that you had together. And remember that you will again one day be reunited with your companion and friend. Reunited at the Rainbow Bridge.
Below I've added some videos of pet owners having their pets euthanized to help show you the process and that we all react differently to it. I was very hard hit by the emotions. Today I have her ashes beside my bed and I do talk to her. I know she is near and watching over me waiting for me to return to her. She is still the love of my life.
If you find it in you, please watch these videos. I'll admit that they are not easy to watch but they will help you to understand the process and the emotions that you will feel. Also feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts about this post.
As a final thought on the matter I recently found this image online while doing a Google search for another article. I hope that it gives some comfort in your time of need.