It is common to be curious or anxious about what will happen before and during the euthanasia of a beloved pet. The information below is a guideline for what our doctor will strive to do once arriving at your chosen location. All situations are unique and variations to the information may occur.
The doctor will arrive, perform a brief assessment of the patient, and confirm the owners desire for euthanasia to be performed. It is important that all parties who wish to be in attendance are present at the scheduled time. While our doctor will be prepared to spend as much time as needed for the procedure, we do not schedule time to delay for tardy persons.
Emotions are often overwhelming after the procedure. We prefer to do all paperwork and payment prior to the procedure so that those in attendance can focus completely on the beloved pet during and after the procedure. We will confirm your choice about the care of your pet's remains verbally and in a written form.
Once the procedure begins, it will proceed to the euthanasia of the pet. You should choose a location that can be cleaned as pets sometimes vomit, urinate or defecate. Your pet first will receive a heavy sedative that will take some minutes to become fully effective. The time it will take to be fully effective varies depending on a variety of factors such as pain, anxiety, dehydration, obesity, etc. If your pet has been experiencing nausea or seizures, the sedation may (rarely) trigger vomiting or a seizure. Occasionally the doctor will need to repeat the sedative to achieve the necessary level of sedation. The sedative will sometimes cause a brief stinging sensation. We will do our best to minimize any discomfort and to comfort your pet during this period. Very occasionally, the sedation will be the only injection needed for the euthanasia. This is more common in felines than canines but can happen in both species.
Once your pet is fully sedated, the doctor will administer a final injection of euthanasia solution. This injection is most often administered intravenously but may be given directly into an organ if the patient’s veins are too compromised to allow access. The patient will be deeply asleep and will not feel this injection, but sometimes involuntary muscle contractions can occur, even while sedated. The doctor will confirm that the pet’s heart has stopped beating. Involuntary muscle contractions, especially by the diaphragm (the breathing muscle) can be present (even after the heart has stopped) for a brief period.
After the goodbyes have been completed, and if you have chosen to have your pet's remains transported to the funeral home, the doctor will wrap the remains. It the pet weighs over 40 pounds, we will provide a stretcher and will need assistance to remove the remains to the vehicle.
Your pet will be delivered to Harper-Ridgeview Funeral Home in Port Angeles. The funeral home will contact you to discuss services and will charge separately for all services performed at their facility. The funeral home will arrange the return of your pet’s ashes if private cremation is elected.
Trails West Veterinary only provides transport of your pet’s remains to funeral home and is not responsible for any additional aftercare for your pet.