SOFT LANDING VETERINARY CENTER
The Process of Euthanasia
When you arrive at our facility, you and your pet will be taken to a private room where you have time to settle in and say goodbye. We will answer any questions that you might have. When you are ready, we will give your pet a heavy sedative that takes approximately 10-15 minutes for full effect. This allows for a nicer, more gradual transition and you have additional time to love on them. Many times, for kitties, this sedative will result in the actual euthanasia. If it does not, while they are completely anesthetized and cannot feel anything, we will give an additional injection intravenously that will result in euthanasia fairly quickly. Most dogs will only be heavily sedated, at which time we will administer the intravenous injection. After a moment we will listen for a heart beat and confirm their passing. At this point, you are welcome to stay, if you like, for an additional fair well. If you are taking your pet to bury at home, when you are ready, we'll help you to the car.
If you have any special requests, please inquire and we'll do our best to accommodate.
Natural Death versus Euthanasia
Most terminal diseases will not take a pet’s life quickly, but will instead lead to prolonged suffering. While suffering can not be completely avoided for any living being it is the responsibility of veterinarians and pet owners to carefully assess whether or not a pet’s condition and quality of life can be improved to acceptable levels, and if not, to help them pass in a humane way.
To a limited extent humans can be talked and counseled through end of life discomfort and experiences. This is not possible with pets in the same way. Additionally, many people would find it more difficult to watch their pets go through a “natural death" than to be with loved ones at similar times. At a deep level it is generally understood that letting animals suffer needlessly is wrong.
Unlike most humans, dogs and cats, and other companion animals, live in the present moment without intellectual preoccupation with the past or future. If they have an intractable, painful, deteriorating condition, and a very poor quality of life, they are not served by neglect, denial, or extensive medical intervention. They should not be prevented from a dignified, peaceful, painless death because of our own fears and selfishness. If we have the means and understanding to help them, at the right time, then we should do so.
On Grief & Guilt
It is normal to experience grief after the loss of a pet and this should not be restrained or suppressed. At Soft Landing we strive to give you the time and space to say goodbye in a healthy, natural way. Another common feeling, especially when considering pet euthanasia, is guilt. Guilt serves neither you or your pet. It is important to understand that releasing your pet from intractable suffering is not a bad thing, and it does not make you a bad person. Just the opposite. It is an act of courageous kindness, also called love.