Euthanasia Procedure

Euthanasia is very humane and virtually painless. First, you will be asked to sign a paper - an "authorization for euthanasia". You will be given a number of options: you may be present (with the pet) during the euthanasia; you may be absent for the procedure but wish to see your pet after euthanasia; or you may want to say goodbye to your pet prior to euthanasia and leave. Remember, this is a purely personal decision, so whatever you feel most comfortable with. Once you have decided upon your involvement in the euthanasia process, you will need to decide what you would like to have done with you pet's remains.

There are 3 options:

  1. Private cremation- Your pet is cremated separately and only your pet's ashes are returned to the clinic for pick up. You have the option of a scatterbox if you with to scatter the ashes, or if you wish to keep them: a wooden urn with brass name plate or we have several pet specific urns that you may view at the clinic. To see pictures of all urn options click  HERE.
  2. Communal cremation- Your pet is cremated with other pets and their ashes are spread over the orchard at the crematorium in Oyama.
  3. Personal disposal- Your pet is returned to you for burial or other arrangements. There is obviously no charge for this option.


The following is a description of a typical euthanasia procedure. If you do not wish to read about this procedure, please stop reading now.

Euthanasia is usually performed by a veterinarian. The most typical procedure involves an intravenous injection of a barbiturate anesthetic given at a high concentration (overdose). In general, the euthanasia is rapid, usually within seconds, and very peaceful. Your pet will just go to sleep. On rare occasions there may be a brief vocalization or cry as consciousness is lost; this is not pain although you may misinterpreted it as such.

Within seconds of starting the injection the anesthetic overdose will cause the heart to slow and then stop, and any circulation in the body will cease. As the heart stops and the blood pressure decreases, the unconscious animal will stop breathing, circulation to the brain will cease and your pet will die peacefully.

Once your pet has died, you might observe involuntary muscle contractions or respiratory gasps about one or two minutes after the loss of consciousness and circulation. Again this is not evidence of pain or consciousness, but instead, it represents a physiologic response that occurs whenever the brain is deprived of circulation. The unconscious animal may also lose bladder or bowel control. Also, the eyes will not close which can be disturbing to people who are not prepared for this.

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