By coming to your home, you and your pet can be in a familiar and loving place in his or her final moments. Saying goodbye to your long time friend should be a private and personal moment shared in the comfort of home. Our goal is to make your pet feel as peaceful and as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process. For many, there is a special spot on the couch or a favorite corner that their pet is the most happy. If you have a cat or small dog, the procedure can often be done with your pet in your lap. Euthanasia can also take place outdoors in the yard or under a favorite tree. You are welcome to express your religious or spiritual beliefs freely. Last Wishes can accommodate almost any request.
This is the most difficult question we are asked. The answer varies depending on the pet and the disease. Because our pets cannot clearly express to us their level of pain, it can sometimes be difficult to know when to help them move on. This decision is very individual, and best determined by your and your family. Sometimes, they need relief more than we may realize. When we choose euthanasia, we do so because our pet’s poor quality of life cannot be overlooked any longer or even before obvious suffering begins. The following is a list of changes you may notice in your companion at home:
- Dramatic changes in appetite or drinking
- Loss of interest in activities that once brought joy to them
- Confusion, mental distress, increased vocalization, depression, aggression
- Unable to stand on their own, falling down stairs, collapse
- Becoming urinary and/or fecal incontinent (accidents in the house), or the inability to go to the bathroom without falling down
- Having fewer “good” days
- No longer greeting you at the door
- Lack of grooming (cats and some dogs)
- Isolating themselves in the home or the back yard
- Chronic or acute pain – animals rarely cry out in pain, rather, they shift their weight, pant more, appear unsettled, lick joints, and more.
- Breathing becoming more of an effort
Your regular veterinarian and the doctors at Last Wishes are available to help answer any questions you may have regarding your pet’s condition. Consultations can be done either over the phone or in your home. Here are a couple of links you can click on that will help you assess pain in your companion. They are pain-scoring scales to help you determine the level of pain your pet may be experiencing. A common saying in veterinary medicine is “I would rather help my friend a month too early versus an hour too late.”
This is best answered by those who know your beloved pet. Many people choose a support group of family and close friends to be with. Witnessing a change from life to death is a powerful experience, and often helps begin the healing process. If children are present, we will explain the procedure in a way they will understand. Other pets can be present, as long as everyone is comfortable.
The articles found online at the Veterinary Wisdom® Resource Center: Kids and Grief help you teach your children how to express grief in emotionally healthy ways.
Ideally, you will want to schedule 24-48 hours in advance to ensure your preferred day is available. We do understand that emergencies may arise and emergency/same day appointments may be requested. We will do our very best to accommodate your needs; however, an additional fee may apply.
It is good news when your pet’s health improves, giving you extra time to spend with them. If you need to cancel your appointment for this or any other reason, please give us at least two hour’s notice so that we may schedule another family in need if necessary.