Mountain View Veterinary Services is here with you every step of your pet’s life. We feel the end of a pet’s life may be the most important time for our team to provide the support your family and pet need. Your pet’s overall comfort is our primary concern. Our goal is to maximize comfort and minimize suffering. We will also seek to understand your goals for your pet as the caregiver during these final days. As compassionate caring professionals, we strive for timely, empathetic, and nonjudgmental communication. Our team is here to help you through this transition and make the process easier to navigate.
Hospice Care and Quality of Life:
When will I know the time is right? Our team will guide you to the best answer for you, your pet, and your situation. We will ask questions to help assess your pet’s quality of life. Generally, we recommend you as a family pick the top 3 things your pet loves. This could be as simple as eating food or treats, following a family member through a daily routine, playing ball, or evening walks. When a pet can no longer enjoy 2 of the 3 things, it may be time to carry on with the next step of the end-of-life plan.
The decision to euthanize a pet is a highly personal decision and is unique to each family we encounter. Expect intense feelings before, during, and after the euthanasia process. Please know that you are not alone, our team is here to provide answers to your questions with empathy and compassion. As much as we would all love for our pets to live forever, all the capabilities of medical science will be exhausted, and euthanasia may be the best way to end your pet’s suffering and allow him/her to pass with dignity. Your pet’s quality of life is of our utmost concern.
The process of euthanasia is often referred to as “putting to sleep” or “putting down.” The team at MVVS is here to provide a peaceful dignified passage in your pet’s final moments. During the time of bidding farewell to your pet, we want you and your family to be comfortable as well as your pet. You may bring the comforts of home. This may include a special bed or blanket, a favorite toy, or treats. A digital device to play calming music or connect digitally with loved ones that can’t be present. MVVS will provide appropriate privacy and walk you through the euthanasia steps. Special requests may be accommodated so please ask!
The euthanasia process will begin with one of our technicians get you settled in our comfort room and have you sign a consent form and discuss a plan for aftercare. An intravenous catheter (IV catheter) may be placed to allow the procedure to go smoothly and pain-free. Sedation may be used to end pain and ease any anxiety your pet may be experiencing. The sedation may take a few minutes to become fully effective. You may use these quiet moments to say goodbye. At this moment, some caregivers or family members opt to leave the room, while others continue to stay. The euthanasia injection is given in the vein via the IV catheter that was placed when you arrive. The euthanasia medication quickly provides a deep sleep and then the heart and brain function stop. Euthanasia provides a peaceful controlled way to allow your pet to pass with grace. Our team is very familiar with this experience. We are here to talk about the process and associated feelings.
Burial, Cremation, Keepsakes
After the euthanasia is complete, our veterinarian will confirm that your pet’s heart has stopped, and s/he has passed away. Please take any of your pet’s belongings with you including the collar. We recommend that you and your family discuss how you want your pet’s body handled. You may choose to take your pet home for burial following state and local ordinances. In some situations, you may need some time to make burial arrangements, we can hold a body up to 30 days for a fee. This fee is refunded when your pet’s body is picked up. A pet cemetery or cremation are other options. Mountain View Veterinary Services works with Pet Memorial Services (www.petmemorialservices.com) a cremation company with a compassionate team that follows the same standards as a human crematorium. We offer private cremation with the ashes of your pet returned to you in an urn OR a communal cremation with no ashes returned. A keepsake in the form of a lock of fur and/or an ink paw prints are available free of charge.
**If a pet passes at home, the same cremation and keepsake options are available. Call us to make arrangements.
Take time to grieve. Don’t disregard your feelings. Confide in a close family member or friend. Seek professional grief support counseling if needed. Celebrate your pet! Reminiscing on the years spent with your pet can provide comfort at this difficult time. Create a keepsake to memorialize and honor your pet. There is no need to feel alone!
References for support through the grief process are listed below: