What is animal companion Euthanasia?
We always fear losing our pets that mean so much to us. Nevertheless, that time inevitably does come. Euthanasia is a personal option that pet owners choose as a means to allow their pets to transition in a way that is gentle and peaceful. Euthanasia means giving your companion an overdose of an anesthetic. The drug will first cause sleepiness as if “being put under” for surgery. Once they are asleep, it causes the heart and lungs to stop, because it is an overdose. The doctor will listen with a stethoscope to make sure the heart has stopped.
What can I expect?
The procedure is a series of two injections. First will be an injectable sedative, that will allow your companion to drift into a calm, relaxed, pain-free anesthetic plane The desired effect can take 5-20 minutes to occur. Once your pet is in the desired state of sleep, the second medication is then administered intravenously. There are several veins that are best used, because of their size and location. We tend to use the vessel in the back leg so that we are not in your way of being with your companion. Sometimes however, we may need to make another choice as some veins may no longer usable because of damage that may have been caused by chemotherapy, multiple catheter placements or poor blood pressure. This second injection takes effect very quickly, and is what will stop the heart. Though during this time your companion is asleep, there can be involuntary movements or noises. Sometimes a final sound is made, they may take a final deep breath, lose their bowels or urine, shake their head or their whiskers may twitch. Many cats’ and dogs’ eyes remain open even if the eyelids are held closed. This is only a potential list; therefore, some, all or none of these can occur. Because each euthanasia is unique, we cannot predict everything that may happen. The service we offer attempts to provide you and your companion as much peace and comfort during this time of transition.
Does it hurt my companion?
The euthanasia itself does not hurt. If you have ever been anesthetized for surgery, it is very similar except that we are giving an overdose and prior to this we give an injectable sedative either in the muscle or under the skin like a vaccine to relieve tension, anxiety and/or pain. Depending on their sensitivity, some companions feel the pinch of the initial needle,, sometimes the sedation drug can sting temporarily and some pets with a central nervous system disease (ie. brain tumor, disorientation, etc) can be more vocal initially. We do our best by using small and new needles, fast acting drugs and compassion.
How will I know it's time?
You and your family will be the best to judge when it is time to euthanize your companion. Everyone has a different thought on quality of life and this can help you decide. For some, it will be when their companion stops eating, wagging their tail or purring and for others it may be when a terminal diagnosis is made. Another way to decide may be when he/she no longer does the things they always did like not eating their favorite food or, climb into bed or wanting to go for walks. Again, this is a unique time for your family and not everyone thinks the same, so please talk it over.
Can other pets be present during the service?
This is a big transition for them too. We welcome allowing the other companions in your home to remain present during our visit. We have found that even high energy dogs who want to steal our attention, will often settle on their own after a few minutes, and give us the space we need to proceed. That being said, the decision is up to you, and if you feel that the presence of your other pets will distract you, or bring you stress, they can be kept in another space during our visit.
What is cremation?
Cremation is an age-old, traditional, clean and rapid method of reducing a loved one’s remains: The pet is gently laid on the hearth of the crematory, the door is shut until the cremation is complete and the remains are then gathered with care. Cremation of an average-sized pet takes about two hours. Remains from individual cremations are placed in an urn chosen by the owner. An official certificate of cremation is enclosed. If the companion is over 120 pounds, we may call the crematory (FinalGift) to help. Most importantly, we take extra care to return ashes personally and not through the mail.
What is communal verses private cremation?
At the reputable animal crematory (www.finalgift.com) that we will be using, an individual, or sometimes known as a special cremation, is where your companion will be cremated individually and the ashes of only your pet will be returned to you. In the urn of your choosing. A communal or group cremation is where several pets may be cremated together and all the ashes are scattered at the crematory’s family farm. If cremation service is chosen, transport of the body will be taken care of Final Journey LLC, unless the body weighs more than 120#.
How do I schedule?
Our service is available 7 days a week. The time we are available varies based on our other appointments, and hospital schedules. We do offer evening appointments. We recommend giving us 24 hours notice to be able to get out to you. We certainly understand that this is a very difficult event to schedule, and we make our best effort to serve as many families as we can. We are not an designed as an emergency service, but will certainly come same-day if we are available, however we cannot guarantee our availability in that situation. There are times throughout the year that our office may close due to personal or professional obligations. We will leave notice of this on our website, and phone message. Please contact us at 203-645-5570, or through our Contact page here: CONTACT US
Paperwork and Payment?
There are forms to fill out so this service can best fulfill your requests. You can download the form HERE, or we will bring them with us. Payment will be accepted in the form of cash, check, and credit card payments (Visa, M/C, Discover, Amex). At this time, we do not accept Care Credit. Both paperwork and payment transactions will be processed prior to the procedure.
What is your travel area?
Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Guilford, Hamden, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newtown, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Plantsville, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Seymour, Southbury, Southington, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, Watertown, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, Wolcott, Woodbridge, Woodbury. ** towns outside of our listed service area are subject to additional fees, and limited availability.