pet euthanasia at home

Pet Euthanasia at Home

Reasons to consider euthanasia

There are many reasons why euthanasia may have to be considered for a pet. These include medical and surgical conditions, cancer, organ failure and loss of mental faculties.

There may be one overwhelming factor such as chronic pain that cannot be alleviated, or breathing that is constantly laboured.

However the exact pathology is not important. What it all boils down to is an assessment of quality of life, or lack of it.

How to assess quality of life

I think there are three basic pillars to gauge the quality of life for a pet:

  1. Mobility
    Can your pet get around fairly easily? Can a dog enjoy at least a short walk?
  2. Interaction with you
    Does your pet greet you when you get up? Do they enjoy petting?
  3. Appetite
    Does your dog or cat still enjoy food to a reasonable level?

If you cannot really say yes to all three, then you have to question if quality of life is adequate.

What happens during euthanaisa at home

The vet will visit your home for up to an hour, or as long as is required.

While you stay and comfort your pet, a powerful sedative is given by injection under the skin, which involves little or no pain.

Within 10 to 20 minutes your pet will be asleep. While the sedative is working you can remain close, while complete relaxation is achieved.

When ready the vet will administer the final injection of barbiturate.

The way it will be injected will depend on different factors and can be through a catheter in a vein in a leg, or injected into a part of the body.

The important point is the sedative means the pet will not feel anything. Even if there is a difficulty, for example, with poor blood pressure.

The time to slip away will vary with the place the injection is given and the pet’s circulation.

Go to After Care