What is euthanasia?

Euthanasia is a term derived from Greek that means 'good sleep.' It's a sensitive subject that we strive to handle with the utmost care and compassion.

Dr. Larry Nieman
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care

Euthanasia is primarily performed to relieve an animal's suffering. We aim to make this process as painless and comfortable as possible for both the pet and its owners.

How soon should I bring my dog in to see a veterinarian if I need to have it euthanized?

You should consult with your veterinarian as soon as you notice that your pet is suffering, particularly if it's immobile or refusing to eat.

What are some options for euthanasia for my dog?

Veterinarians are the only licensed professionals who can perform euthanasia. It's crucial to have this procedure done by a trained professional to ensure your pet's well being.

How should I bring up the topic of euthanasia with my veterinarian?

It's quite straightforward. Veterinarians are trained to handle this sensitive discussion, and there are professional guidelines in place to aid this process. Feel free to discuss your concerns with your vet whenever you're ready.

What are some possible health conditions where euthanasia would be the best option for my dog?

Euthanasia is considered when your dog is immobile or has lost appetite, among other signs of suffering. Each case is unique and the decision ultimately lies with the pet owner and the vet.

Will any veterinarian put my dog to sleep?

Yes, veterinarians are equipped to perform this procedure. If for some reason your vet cannot, they will be able to refer you to a colleague who can.

Are there other options besides euthanasia for my dog?

While some pet owners prefer to let their pet pass naturally at home, in most cases, the owners eventually call a vet to assist with euthanasia to relieve the pet's suffering.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (913) 423-8375, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Dog Euthanasia - FAQs

Dr. Larry Nieman
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care

What will happen during a euthanasia appointment in a veterinary hospital?

Usually the pet's admitted pretty much like usual, and many veterinarians have a special room in their hospital where they provide this service. Once the pet is admitted, there are usually releases to be signed, and most veterinarians collect payment prior because it's so difficult at the end. They'll prepare you and your pet for the process.

What will happen during at-home euthanasia?

At home, in our practice, we come into your home, we do the releases and all that, take care of the paperwork, and then we give your dog an injection, usually in his back leg, which causes profound sedation and unconsciousness in about 5 to 10 minutes. Once that occurs, we prep an intravenous injection, usually in the front leg, and give an intravenous injection that just takes a minute or two.

What will happen after my dog is euthanized at home?

Once your dog is pronounced as gone, then we put the dog on a stretcher, and he's carried outside to our van, and we transport the body to the mortuary where the cremations are done.

Will a veterinarian be the one euthanizing my dog?

Absolutely. Veterinarians are the only professionals here in America that are licensed to perform euthanasia, with the exception of some veterinary technicians in animal shelters and large facilities, but they're all overseen by a veterinarian.

Will my dog know that they're being put to sleep?

Not really. Dogs have a keen sense of what's going on, and they usually understand that it's the end. But once we give the first injection, they become semi-to-nonconscious, and so they don't really know what's happening at the time it happens.

Do you recommend I stay with my dog during the euthanasia procedure?

This is the course that most people take, but you absolutely have the option to not be present during the euthanasia process. It's up to you and what is best for you. We want to make this as easy as possible.

Should my kids or pets come to be with our dog during the euthanasia?

That depends on your needs. If it's best for your children, then they can be there. Your other pets, they automatically know what's going on because they have a special sense, and sometimes pets grieve, and sometimes they just act like they don't know what's going on.

How long will it take to euthanize my dog?

Once they become sedated and we give the intravenous injection, it only takes about one to two minutes before the heart stops.

Will my dog be in pain when it is euthanized?

Not in our practice because of the injection that we give prior. They can't feel anything.

Why did my dog move or gasp or tear after it was euthanized?

What you're describing is called agonal motions. These are an unpredictable aspect of euthanasia, and it's just the body's muscles and nerves firing at the same time. It's a contraction that the pet is not conscious of.

Is there anything I should do before I put my dog to sleep?

Just make a comfortable place for them, or make arrangements at the veterinarian's office. They'll tell you exactly how they go about the process.

Can my dog have food or water before they're euthanized?

Sure. That's fine. In fact, some of our clients give special things to their pets prior to the process.

How emotional will it be when my dog is put to sleep?

That pretty much depends on you. We are able to comfort most people with the reality that they're doing the best thing for their pet, which is what they've always done for that pet's entire life. It just depends on you and your family.

Will I have to walk through the lobby after my dog is euthanized?

In a veterinary hospital, that is a possibility, but oftentimes, they have a rear exit where you can leave without going through the front office.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (913) 423-8375, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Dog Euthanasia - FAQs 2

Dr. Larry Nieman
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care

What happens after my dog is euthanized?

Once the veterinarian pronounces your dog as deceased, then the body is going to need to be taken care of. Most of us use mortuaries in the Kansas City area. Cremation is pretty much the usual, but people do bury their pets at home or on their farm or their ranch or wherever it's comfortable for them.

Will I regret putting my dog to sleep?

Part of the process that we go through with people when we provide this service is to try and make you as comfortable with the fact that you've done the right thing for your dog by the time we leave. Hopefully, you won't regret it because it means good sleep and it makes things much more simple for the dog who's trusted you for all of his life.

What will happen to my dog's body after it's euthanized?

If you bury them at home, it'll be a typical burial. If you have the veterinarian take care of the body, it will usually be cremated. You can have the cremains returned to you, or you can have the cremains scattered, usually in an actuary at the mortuary.

When do I pick out the cremation options before euthanizing my dog?

That will be before the service is provided.

How do they prepare my dog for the cremation?

Usually, they're picked up by the mortuary at the hospital or delivered by the veterinarian to the mortuary, where they are kept in a cold space until the cremation is ready to be done.

What types of urns are used for the dog ashes?

There's all kinds of urns that are available. Usually, the veterinarian will have you contact the mortuary to discuss what kind of urn you might want.

How long until I get my dog's ashes after they are cremated?

In our practice, we tell people seven to ten business days, but oftentimes it's really quicker than that.

Are there pet cemeteries?

Yes, there are pet cemeteries. We have a really nice one here in Kansas City, and they're always happy to discuss with you that option.

What if I don't want my dog's body or ashes? What happens to them?

At the mortuary we use, they have what's called an ashuary, and it's an age-old way of returning the remains to the soil. I think that's a pretty common practice.

How do I talk to my kids about our dog's health?

My experience with my own children and others is to just tell the truth. We always tell people that they should go over the Rainbow Bridge poem with their kids because it's really helpful oftentimes.

Are there grief support options?

Yes, all you have to do is just google pet grief and you'll find all kinds of support groups.

Will my other animals know my dog died?

Of course, they know what's going on as soon as we walk in the door. Some pets grieve after the loss of a housemate, but others show no emotion at all.

What things can I do to honor my dog's life?

There are all kinds of places where you can make donations to help people and their pets, and they commonly have an honorarium that you can support in the name of your pet. I really appreciate you listening to me today. I hope this helped you with some questions that you might have about this difficult subject.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (913) 423-8375, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Dog Euthanasia - FAQs 3

Dr. Larry Nieman
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care

Are there different options for euthanizing my dog?

Not really. The only people who are licensed to provide euthanasia are veterinarians. There are some large facilities where veterinary technicians are able to provide euthanasia, but only under the auspices of a licensed veterinarian. We use drugs that are controlled by the government, and so you have to have an appropriate license in order to perform euthanasia.

Where can I take my dog if it needs to be euthanized?

You should take your dog to your veterinarian. All veterinarians are educated and learn the proper techniques for euthanasia in dogs and cats, and those procedures are outlined and monitored by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Can I have my dog euthanized at home?

Yes. Most mobile veterinarians provide in-home euthanasia as a service, and if you cross this subject with your regular veterinarian, there's a chance that they might come to your home to provide the service themselves.

Are there other places where a veterinarian will euthanize a dog other than at home or in a hospital?

In emergency clinics and in large rescue facilities, sometimes euthanasia is needed and so it will be performed there, and there are humane societies that provide that service for patients that they've placed in the care of other people.

Can I let my dog die naturally at home?

Yes. That's an option for everyone, every time. However, the suffering in the end can be really long-lived. So that's why most of us end up having a veterinarian euthanize our pets.

What are the risks of putting my dog down myself?

Death can come in a number of different ways, but none of them are safe, nor are they humane that can be provided by a layperson. It needs to be done by a veterinarian.

Will a veterinarian refuse to euthanize my dog?

Yes. Veterinarians are not obligated to provide every service available, but it is a subject that your veterinarian will be more than happy to talk to you about, and so if you're thinking about euthanasia, please contact your regular veterinarian.

Are there same-day euthanasia services?

Yes. In fact, most of the in-home euthanasias that we do, people are at their wit's end when they call us. Many times they've let it go too long, and so we provide same-day euthanasia whenever it's possible.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (913) 423-8375, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Dog Euthanasia - FAQs 4

Dr. Larry Nieman
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care

When is the right time to euthanize my dog?

Deciding when is the right time to euthanize your dog is probably one of the most difficult questions. There isn't a definitive test. There are quizzes available online that can help you objectify when it's time to euthanize. However, when your dog becomes immobile, refuses to eat, can't get outside, or is obviously suffering in pain, that's a solid indication that it's time to consider euthanasia.

Are seizures a sign that my dog should be euthanized?

No, not necessarily. Many seizure conditions are treatable. If your dog experiences seizures, you should consult your regular veterinarian. They will conduct some tests, take a history, and determine if it's appropriate to treat your dog or not.

Is there a guide or quiz that helps determine if it is the right time to euthanize my dog?

Yes, such guides and quizzes are available on the Internet. However, you typically have a longstanding relationship with your pet. You will often intuitively know when it's time to consider euthanasia.

What are some signs that my dog should be euthanized?

If your dog refuses to eat for more than a day or two, is unable to get up and go outside, falls down frequently, tries to get into hazardous places in the home, or is obviously in pain, it may be time to consider euthanasia.

After the diagnosis of a terminal health condition, should I start to consider euthanasia for my dog?

Yes, upon diagnosis of a terminal illness, it's time to discuss with your veterinarian about when you should consider euthanasia.

Is there a certain age for my dog when I should start to prepare for euthanasia?

There's no specific age to start preparing for euthanasia. Some dogs live vigorously beyond 20 years of age. In our practice, we consider dogs aged eight years or older as geriatric. At this age, we recommend basic laboratory tests, urine tests, and x-rays to detect any potential health issues that can be treated to extend their lives.

Is behavior a reason for euthanasia?

In some cases, severe aggression or marked fear and anxiety may warrant euthanasia. However, most of these conditions can be treated. Speak to your veterinarian about any behavioral issues. Especially in cases of aggression towards children, euthanasia might have to be considered.

Are there other options besides euthanasia for my dog?

The only other option besides euthanasia is a natural death at home.

Is a day of the week better for euthanizing my dog?

No, there isn't a specific day better for euthanizing your dog. If you're scheduling the euthanasia, make sure it's during your veterinarian's office hours.

Is there a time of day that is better for euthanizing my dog?

There isn't a specific time of day that's better for euthanasia. It's whatever works best for you, your family, and your dog. Your dog has trusted you all these years, and will trust you with this decision as well.

Will a veterinarian tell me when I should euthanize my dog?

A veterinarian might guide you, but there's no definitive test to tell you when the time is right for euthanasia. Sometimes, laboratory tests can indicate late-stage illness, but the final decision is ultimately yours.

What will happen if I choose not to euthanize my dog?

Choosing not to euthanize your dog is always an option. However, death is inevitable and unpredictable. The progression depends on the individual pet and their condition.

Is it cruel not to euthanize a dog?

If your dog is suffering and you choose not to euthanize, some might consider that cruel. However, as a veterinarian with many years of experience, I believe the relationship between you and your dog is personal. If you make that choice, it's not inherently cruel from my perspective.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (913) 423-8375, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

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