What Happens During Pet Euthanasia?

January 25th 2019

Euthanasia is a painless way of ending suffering for an animal that is at the end of its life.

The word "euthanasia" comes from the Greek language, in which "eu" means "well, good" and "thanatos" means "death". It means we intentionally intervene and end a life in a peaceful manner to prevent further undue suffering and pain.

How do I decide if my pet needs to be euthanized?

Making a decision to euthanize a pet is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make.

We are there to help you. We offer an examination and/or consultation if needed to assist you in making the best decision for your pet. We can’t make the decision for you, but we will always offer you an objective and honest opinion as to the quality of life your pet is experiencing.

There is a scale to keep track of your pet’s quality of life and help you judge if there is a decline. You can also track your pets “good” and “bad” days. As a rule if there are more bad than good days, your pet should be seen and examined. We use your information with our quality of life evaluation to determine the best course of action, whether it be the pursuit of palliative care or the decision to euthanize humanely.

What is used to euthanize an animal?

The process starts with an initial sedation and pain relief given by injection to ensure that the animal is fully unaware and pain free prior to the actual euthanasia injection. Next, the actual euthanasia injection, a barbiturate overdose, is given intravenously.

Euthanasia is a peaceful and painless option that allows you to say your goodbyes to your pet when they are nearing the end of their life or are suffering.

What happens with my pet after they are euthanized?

You have three options after your pet is euthanized.
The first option is you can make your own arrangements for your pet’s remains.
The question often comes up if you can bury your pet in your own yard. It depends on the jurisdiction. In Calgary it is illegal to do so. So it would have to be outside of the city limits.
Alternatively, we can help you make arrangements for your pet.

We have two options. The first is we can arrange for a general cremation, which means your pet will be cremated with other pets. We will transport your pet to the crematorium. Alternatively, you can request to have a private cremation done, just for your pet, and the ashes will be returned to you in a scatter bag or an urn of your choice. Again, we will arrange transport to and from the crematorium.

We carry a variety of urns, paw prints or other keepsakes to help honour and cherish the memories of your pet.

How much does euthanasia and cremation cost?

The cost of euthanasia and cremation depends on your veterinarian and which services you require and where the euthanasia is performed.
We are unable to share our prices online due to Alberta Veterinary Medical Association regulations. We are able to email you our prices if you sign up for our pet registry.
If you have any questions about euthanasia call our Calgary clinic at (403) 615-8016 to make an appointment with a veterinarian.

We have more information about euthanasia and your pet in these blogs:
My Pet Has a Terminal Disease – What Do I Do Now?
Pet Euthanasia at Home – What to Consider
Pet Euthansia – How to Decide and Cope
Grieving a Pet

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