Where do I begin?
You have either received a terminal diagnosis or you recognize that your pet’s health and well being are declining, and so you are preparing for the inevitable end of life decsions.
Your first consideration is whether you want to allow your pet to pass “naturally-without assistance” or whether you want to arrange for a euthanasia procedure.
Most pets do not pass naturally in their sleep—the alternative that most families hope will occur. Instead, they most probably will die due to dehydration caused by the lack of fluid intake. If your pet is not drinking, this may be the type of natural death you are choosing. Symptoms of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry nose, weakness, skin stays “tented” after pinching it in and gums are dry. Talk to your vet about this decision so that you understand what you are choosing. The inability to breathe may also result in your pet passing at home. Some seizures can be the cause of an in-home natural passing.
The other alternative is to choose to euthanize your pet. This can be done either at your veterinarian’s office or in your home. In the Pittsburgh area, there are a number of vets who can come to your home to perform this service. If you are planning a euthanasia at your vet’s office, you should call me as soon as you know the date and time of the euthanasia to make arrangements for receiving your pet’s remains.
If you have had a long and valuable relationship with your veterinarian, having the euthanasia procedure performed by your vet may be a comforting choice. Talk to your vet about how this could be arranged in their office. CCPC can then receive your pet from your vet’s office.
Another choice that you can make is to select a mobile veterinarian who will come to your home to administer the euthanasia drugs. If you have a pet with mobility issues or a pet who has never been easy to take to the vet’s office, this choice may be a good one for your family. You can choose the location (a favorite room in your home or a special place in your yard) for the procedure to take place. This option also prevents you from having to drive home after you put your pet down. Since this is a highly emotional time, choosing in-home euthanasia gives you the privacy you may want when the end comes. CCPC can come to your home to receive your pet.
If you are facing a euthanasia decision in the middle of the night, here are several 24 hour emergency services:
VCA Castle Shannon
Your second consideration is how to deal with the body. If you are on this website, you have probably decided to pursue pet cremation services.
If you have decided to have your pet pass at home Click here
If you have decided to have your pet pass at the veterinarian’s office Click here
Or if you are ready to make arrangements with CCPC, or have any other questions about end of life issues, please call 412-220-7800.