End of life care

Our pets are cherished members of our families. We can develop a very close bond with them. When they are well they provide welcome companionship but when they come to the end of their life it can be very hard to part with them. We probably all wish they would pass on in their sleep but sometimes we might have to contemplate euthanasia. Hopefully, this decision will come after a long and happy life together but sometimes we need to deal with this in a younger pet. Your pets’ quality of life is paramount. In some cases in is very obvious what needs to be done but in others it can be difficult to make that decision when we know the quality of life is ebbing away. We can help you make this difficult decision when we see you and your pet.

The euthanasia procedure

Once a decision has been made you may wish to consider where you would like the euthanasia procedure to take place. This can be performed at any of our surgeries. We always try to find a quieter time so it can be carried out with dignity and respect. Alternatively you may wish to consider a home visit, though we may need a little notice to enable us to do this. Before having the procedure carried out, think about anyone in your family who may wish to say goodbye to them and who may wish to be present at the time. We always try to make the procedure as smooth as possible for your pet. Some pets need a little sedation first. Once the injection is made into the vein in the leg, it works very quickly and they literally go to sleep before fading away and everything stopping. They are then at peace.

Cremation or burial

This is your choice. Not everyone has the space or wants to bury their beloved pet.
If you chose to have your pet cremated we can arrange either a cremation with other pets or an individual cremation. This service is provided by Pet Cremation Services of Irvine. If you chose an individual cremation your pet’s ashes can be returned to you in a receptacle to scatter or in a casket or urn. They have a quite a few options to choose from. You can have a look at their website to help you decide. We have brochures and prices at the surgeries.

Memories and Memorials

We all have happy memories of our pets. We probably all have lots of photos. Sometimes it is nice to have a lock of hair as a keepsake. We can clip some for you if you so wish. You may want to put a photo or plaque on your pet’s casket if you are having the ashes returned to you. You could think about planting a tree or shrub in your pet’s memory too.

What about you and your family

We all grieve when we lose a pet. It can be difficult to reconcile those conflicting emotions. Everyone’s experience is as different and unique as the pet that has departed this world. However, you are not alone. Your family can help, when you talk about it. We can help. There is also lots of information at this website -compassionunderstood.com. If you wish to speak to someone, the Pet Bereavement Support line can help you, telephone no. 0800 096 6606.

A poem

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this – the last battle – can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We’ve been so close – we two – these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.

Anon