The loss of a much loved pet is the loss of a member of your family.
It's always a time for many decisions:
The anticipation of a death and the burden of grief afterwards can be numbing, but these decisions must be addressed. We'll try here to help with some basic information.
DO I HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION TO EUTHANIZE?
Death usually comes with great difficulty... after a lengthy illness, often with pain and debilitation. Your pet may experience a wide array of signs - weight loss, breathing difficulty, nausea, pain, mobility problems, bleeding, and many others. Each illness is different as it progresses. A "natural death" is often cruel and painful.
Once the reality of the impending death can be accepted, we believe the decision to euthanize relieves your pet of the final suffering that accompanies many diseases. Your pet has no way to understand their illness. They just feel its effects. The decision to euthanize can be your final gift of peace to your pet.
WHAT IS EUTHANASIA?
Euthanasia is the deliberate decision to end a life in order to relieve suffering. In our veterinary setting, we usually give an initial sedative injection to allow our patient to slowly relax and to relieve any anxiety. In a few minutes, the final injection is given. This is an intravenous injection of a rapidly acting drug that quickly and painless stops the heart.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY PET'S REMAINS?
In the Nashville area, you have several choices regarding the disposition of your pet's remains.
WHY AM I SO SAD?
Grief can be overwhelming and numbing. We all travel the same path when we have lost anything very precious. It may help to know the common emotions that most of us experience with that kind of loss:
It is normal to feel grief and it's important to allow yourself a period of mourning. Memorializing your pet can help - create a page on your web site, make a photo album, frame an especially favorite picture to hang on your wall.
If the sadness seems too difficult, consider talking to The Pet Loss Support Hotline. Call (916) 752-4200. This caring service is funded by donations. They do not charge a fee to call them. The long distance call will, however, be billed to your own phone.
There are many very good books to help you understand your feelings of loss. Here are a few of them:
This page last updated 10/02/2011