Euthanasia by ACA, Carly McDonald

Euthanasia. It is never an easy topic to bring up and yet it is one of the most common sources of questions for owners.  The purpose of this blog is to help make a difficult time in any pet owners life just a little bit more comfortable.  Here is a list of some of the most common questions we receive:

How do I know when it is time?

With this question please remember that we can only offer you suggestions; you know your pet best. What I often tell owners is to do one of two things. The first is to start a calendar.  The goal of the calendar is to mark the good days versus the bad days. It is also helpful to mark any new symptoms or any symptoms that are increasing in severity.  This will allow owners to determine when the bad days start to outweigh the good.

Secondly, I normally ask owners what are their pet’s top five favourite things to do. Can they still do 3 out of 5 of these things? That is still pretty good with an aging animal! Can they do 1 out of 5 of those things? Those numbers may not be as good but again, it depends on the animal’s personality, age and any other health concerns.

Should I stay or leave for the procedure?

It is a personal choice whether or not you would like to stay for the procedure. If you are uncomfortable with the procedure, you can always ask us ANY question. We do our very best to make the process as smooth as possible for both owner and pet.

Is it painful?

No, it is not painful. The material used to perform the euthanasia was historically used for anesthesia. Therefore, upon being injected, the animal appears as though they simply fell asleep. If you would like more information, please contact the clinic at 519-759-3031

What happens to my animal once it has been euthanized?

There are three options for the remains of our beloved pets. They can be individually cremated upon which their ashes will be returned to you in an urn of your choice. They can also be communally cremated. Communal cremation means that their ashes are not returned to you.  The third option is that if you live outside of city boundaries, you may take your pet home for burial. The cost varies depending on what option you choose. You may also choose to have hair clippings collected and either an ink or clay paw-print done. If you would like more information or a website for more details, please contact the animal clinic at 519-759-3031.

What happens the day of the procedure?

Upon arriving at the clinic, you will be brought into an exam room.  A staff member will come in to greet you and your animal and they will go over the paperwork. A doctor can also come in at this time for discussion if you are second-guessing your decision. Once euthanasia has been decided, the animal is taken to the treatment area so that a catheter can be placed. The purpose of the catheter is to ensure the vein remains open during the procedure. The catheter therefore helps to ensure that the procedure goes as smoothly as possible. The catheter is required for euthanasia. When your animal is in the treatment area, no medications are injected besides a sterile saline solution. The saline solution is basically water with different electrolytes present. The saline will have no effect on your pet. Your pet will return to the exam room just as he/she left with the exception of the catheter.  The reason as to why saline solution is injected is to ensure that the catheter is properly placed.  At this point you are welcome to spend time with your pet before the doctor comes in to administer the injection.  After the injection is administered you are able to say your final goodbyes and spend as much time as needed before leaving the clinic.  We are always here to assist you in this difficult time.

If you at any time have questions regarding euthanasia, any one of our staff members would be happy to help you. We can be reached at 519-759-3031 or at