Dr. Edwina LeMay
Why choose in-home Euthanasia?
Euthanasia can be a very stressful experience for both the pet and the family, but can be that much more stressful in the clinic setting. Many pets get very anxious during the trip to the vet’s office or have a negative association with visits there. Mobility of the animal is also a factor, such as a large dog that can no longer stand or an elderly family that can no longer lift the pet for transport. The family is also made to grieve in public, which can be very upsetting for all. At home, your family is able to grieve more freely and take comfort in each other. Euthanasia is a very personal experience, and people approach it with different expectations. Every pet is unique and your family can decide how their final moments should be.
Common reasons to be at home:
Less stress for the pet
Privacy during the appointment
The presence of other pets
Choice of location
Home burial convenience
Privacy afterwards, on your terms
How will I know it’s the right time?
Look for changes in your companion:
Dramatic change in appetite or drinking
No longer interested in playing
Unable to stand on their own
Having fewer “good” days
Determining the quality of life for your pet is very individual and best determined by you and your family. I can help answer any questions you may have regarding your pet’s present condition. I am available for consults, either over the phone or in your home. You know your beloved pet better than anyone and together, you can decide when the time is right.
How do we prepare?
I will answer any questions and discuss your particular situation on a phone consultation prior to my visit. You know your pet best and what makes him most comfortable. He may particularly love a spot in the yard in the sun or his favorite fluffy bed. Treats and lots of love are a wonderful way to spend their last day. A nice piece of music or aromatherapy (like lavender) can make for a serene and relaxing environment for everyone present. Consider who you may want present including pets, children, or extended family.
What can we expect?
I will arrive at our scheduled time and greet your pet (or pets) and make friends with yummy “cookies” that I bring. Once they are comfortable with my presence then we will complete the paperwork (just a short consent form and assurance the pet has not bitten anyone in the past 10 days) and receive payment. When you and your family are ready, I will give a sedative injection to help the pet relax and go into a deep sleep which takes 5-15 minutes. Once your pet is in a deep sleep, I will administer the final intravenous injection which quickly stops your pets heart within a minute or two. You can expect that your pet may relieve their bladder or bowels as the body relaxes. Another thing to consider is the very thin and frail pets often have fragile veins, just like an elderly person. This can make my job challenging. The sedative injection under the skin will help relieve any pain and anxiety, but the final injection into a vein may be challenging in some cases due to their fragility. In this instance (and very rarely), there may be a need for an alternate route for the second injection. Be assured that any pain or anxiety is relieved from the sedative.
What should I tell my children?
This can be especially difficult for children, particularly if their friend has been with them the entirety of their lives. Learning about the cycle of life and death is a very valuable lesson that everyone has to experience at some point. Only you know when it is the best time to teach that lesson to your children. Allowing them to grieve and providing them lots of support is key. Euthanasia provides a wonderful opportunity for us to teach our children lessons of compassion, love and strength. Encouraging them to celebrate the lovely life that their animal friend experienced can be a helpful way to deal with the sadness. Planting a garden or tree dedicated to their pet, drawing pictures or collecting photos of their pet to create a special album or writing a letter to their pet are beautiful activities that children may enjoy. “Jasper’s Day” by Marjorie Blaine Parker, “Goodbye Mousie” by Robie Harris and “Saying Goodbye to Lulu” by Corinne Demas are a few books helpful for children that may be coping with the loss of a pet.
How much is all this going to cost?
My fees are based on the pets size, my supplies and time, travel distance, and options for after-care such as cremation. Some people think that all I do is give a shot, and the fee for the service shouldn’t cost anymore than the drug I give. What I also do is calm the pet and family, provide sedation to relieve pain and anxiety, euthanize with expert technique, offer a keepsake or book, prepare the body, and provide for transportation to the crematory. Clients also have unlimited time on the phone with me for consultation and help with the decision making process. You have enough to deal with during this difficult time. Let me make the experience as stress-free as possible and bring you some peace of mind.