We are committed to caring for your pet – while maintaining the highest level of safety for our Associates and pet owners. Face coverings/masks are required at all of our U.S. hospitals. We thank you for your continued patience and support. Learn more about our COVID-19 response and guidelines.

Euthanasia Services

Our staff will help you cope with euthanasia and end of life decisions. Unfortunately, there comes a time in the life of all pets when the possibility of a recovery to a comfortable existence is highly unlikely. Caretakers of an animal must at this time consider all possibilities to relieve the pet's suffering.

One option is the palliation of symptoms. Proper nursing care is critical when patients cannot care for themselves. Providing proper nutrition, hydration, warmth, and skin care provide comfort. Pain, nausea, digestive irregularities, respiratory congestion, and movement limitations should be medically addressed. When proper care is provided, the final days of life can provide solace to the caretakers.

Often medical intervention may not provide a level of comfort acceptable to the animal's caretakers. Euthanasia is often considered in these circumstances to hasten the pet's death. The decision to euthanize a beloved pet is among the most difficult choices a pet owner ever has to make. Consultation with a veterinarian will help owners determine whether euthanasia is appropriate and when that might occur.

In a quiet and comfortable environment, your cat is given an injection under the skin of a strong sedative. This can be done while the patient is sitting in your lap, while you are holding your cat, or with your cat in his or her bed or carrier – in other words, it is done wherever is best for you and for your cat, and requires minimal to no restraint. The sedative is also an analgesic, so it helps to alleviate any pain that your cat may be experiencing as well. Once the sedative has taken effect after several minutes and your kitty is unconscious, an anesthetic overdose is then given through your kitty’s vein.

Our goal is to make this emotional and difficult time for you and your cat as seamless as stress-free as possible – which means no IV catheter is placed and no discomfort is perceived by the patient. The veterinarian will always insure that the heart, pulses and breathing have stopped. Pet owners are free to be present or not depending on their preference. Prior to euthanasia, pet owners should decide how the pet's body will be cared for. This reduces the emotional stress at the time of the procedure. Our hospitals provide a range of respectful options, from burial to private cremation.

Prior to euthanasia, you will be asked to make a decision regarding disposition of your cat’s body. Through consultation with the veterinarian and the hospital staff, the last days of a pet's life can be comfortable and can reflect the care and love that the pet has experienced throughout its entire life. 

cat with veterinarian and otoscope

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