Helping you prepare
for pet euthanasia

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When it’s time to say Goodbye - Knowing when the time is right

Sadly, our pets have much shorter lives than us. So if we have pets in our lives, at some point we may have to make a tough decision and act in their best interests concerning the end of their life.

Pets can’t tell us how they are feeling or if they are in pain. So it’s up to us to monitor them and check for any changes or signs that their quality of life is deteriorating. These might include your pet becoming quiet or withdrawn, avoiding contact or refusing to go outside. Some pets go off their food, drink less (or sometimes more) and their toilet habits may change too.

Illnesses and injuries can affect your pet’s wellbeing, so it’s important to discuss options with our team to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering. It’s heart breaking if a beloved pet has to be put to sleep, but euthanasia offers a peaceful and painless end to our pet’s life.

It helps to plan and be prepared. It’s important to talk it through and be guided by your vet. This is a tough subject, but one that our team deal with every day, so don’t be afraid to ask them any questions our team can give you all the guidance you need to help you make a decision about euthanasia.

Where will it take place and should I be there?

Euthanasia can be carried out in the practice or at home. Let us know a few days in advance if you’d like a home visit. If you are coming to the practice, you may prefer to book an appointment at a quieter time of day.

Some people want to accompany their pet during euthanasia, while others find it too difficult and prefer to say goodbye before or afterwards. It’s a very personal decision. Just let the vet or nurse know what you want to do.

Before the appointment

Before you arrive, think about afterwards. You may want a small keepsake of your pet such as their collar or name tag, a paw print, or a small tuft of their fur. Some people choose to take the body home to bury in the garden or a pet cemetery. Others prefer cremation, which we can organise for you. Cremation can be done individually or communally. If you choose individual cremation, your pet’s ashes will be returned to you.

It’s a personal choice and you can discuss your options before the procedure goes ahead. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the different options, costs, services and standard of care you can expect.

Try to make your pet as comfortable as possible beforehand. If travelling to the practice, it can be helpful to bring their bed or favourite toy.

At the appointment

When you come into the practice, we will try and show you straight through to the consultation room, avoiding a long wait in reception.

The room will be made as comfortable as possible for your pet.

Once you’ve signed the forms and settled any financial details, you will then be left to spend as much time as you need with your pet to say goodbye. When you’re ready, an intravenous catheter may be placed into your pet’s front leg. This can be done out of sight or in the same room – just let your vet know your preference.

Sometimes, especially if your pet is very old or frail, or if they have had a sedative, the vet may have difficulty in locating a vein and may instead need to inject into another area of the body.

If your pet is a smaller animal, such as a hamster or rabbit, your vet may give them anaesthetic gas first so that they are asleep for the injection. These pets have smaller blood vessels and the injection may also be given into another area of the body.

You will then be made aware that your pet is about to be given an euthanasia injection.

Feel free to hold your pet and comfort them during this time.

What to expect afterwards?

Your pet will lose consciousness within seconds and won’t be aware of anything. Then their breathing and heart will stop, which can take 20 to 40 seconds. Your pet’s eyes will probably remain open, their muscles may twitch and they may gasp, but rest assured they have passed away and won’t feel a thing. The nurse will come in to remove the catheter and they can either leave or stay with you after this is done. Take as much time as you need with your pet. You won’t be rushed or disturbed and the rooms are completely private.

What happens next?

Feel free to ask for anything you need. People often ask for their pet’s name tag or a snippet of hair to take home with them.

If you decide on a cremation, there are different options for you:

  • Scatter box: This biodegradable scatter tube is simple yet ideal to scatter your pet’s ashes in their favourite place.Casket: This is an elegantly handcrafted beech casket with a brass nameplate.

  • Keepsake box: You can place a photo on the lid of this wooden casket to remember your pet. The ashes are held in elegant handmade paper inside the casket.

  • Urn: This beautiful brass urn can be chosen in various finishes and comes complete with a velvet presentation box.

Whatever your decision, it’s best to plan in advance. Please ask our team for prices.

We will call you when your pet’s ashes are ready. There’s no need to rush this, you will be able to collect them whenever you feel prepared.

You could also remember your pet in a special way by planting flowers or a shrub, making a special photo album, or by creating a lasting memorial online.
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Support for you

The death of a pet or euthanasia can bring about mixed and raw emotions. Your pet has been a special friend and member of the family. Some people experience intense grief, similar to a human loss. Often people describe feelings of guilt or numbness over their loss and this is normal and understandable. For others, there is a sense of calm and relief. Sharing your feelings and experience with others before and after euthanasia can be helpful.

Support line

The Pet Bereavement Support Service provided by the charity Blue Cross, is a confidential telephone and email support line service that offers emotional support and information for all ages.

To make contact call 0800 096 6606
The support line is open everyday from 8.30am – 8.30pm
(Some mobile networks may charge)

Email support
The email support line service provides support for people who prefer to write about how they are feeling.

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Contact Us
Baillieston Veterinary Clinic
1 Maxwell St
G69 6ED
0141 378 6293
Glasgow vets
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