Here at Folly Gardens Vets we treat every patient and their family with the compassion and dignity they deserve, and as though your pet is one of our own. After all, we are likely to have known you and your pet for a long time. We will provide you as much support as you need to help you make the decision, we will also be there for you after the loss of your pet.
How will I know it is the right time?
Owners often ask ‘When is the right time to make this difficult decision?’ We believe you and your family know every detail on your pet and how they are behaving at home, perhaps they are becoming withdrawn, not wanting to be touched, refusing to go outside, or not eating or drinking. Our vets can also explain to you what your pet is experiencing from a clinical perspective, for example, if there is pain or suffering. One of the kindest things we can decide to do, as pet owners, is to make this difficult decision at the best time for your pet. We are here to help you and support you.
What is euthanasia?
Euthanasia is defined as the peaceful, humane ending of a life to relieve suffering. It is stress and pain free and normally involves an injection of both sedative and anaesthetic into a prepared leg vein.
What is involved?
An appointment is booked in for euthanasia; this can be at any one of our clinic locations, with a vet of your choice. We can also come to your home at a pre-arranged time. Please note a home visit will require a little more planning, we will always send a vet and a nurse.
The vet will insert a cannula into your pet’s front leg. At this stage a mild sedative is given to help relax your pet.
After a few minutes and when everyone is ready the vet will administer the anaesthetic, your pet will calmly drift away, and after a short time their heart will stop beating.
Your vet will support you throughout the whole process and will take time to explain any end of life signs. You and your pet will be in good hands.
Do I have to stay with my pet during euthanasia?
Although many of our clients choose to stay with their pet it is not a requirement that you do so. We do understand that not all clients can contemplate this. In these circumstances, a vet and nurse will be with your pet, to comfort and reassure them.
How do explain death of a pet to my children?
With young children, a very poorly pet and planned euthanasia can be challenging.
Explanations such as ‘Put to sleep’ can be counter productive and may scare your child, especially at bed-time. Folly recommends using accurate explanations, an example as follows:
‘I’m sorry, Sooty has died, he was in pain and very poorly, we will miss him very much, he had a very happy life with us and we are grateful to have has so much fun/cuddles with him. Shall we talk about Sooty, it's OK to feel sad’.
What happens afterwards?
After you have said goodbye to your pet, you may either take them home for burial in your garden or we can arrange for cremation. There are two cremation options available to you.
A standard cremation means your pet is cremated with other pets, a token of ashes are scattered in a memorial garden, located in the grounds of Pet Cremation Services.
An individual cremation means your pet is sent for cremation, your pets ashes are returned to you, via the clinic. You are able to choose a container for the ashes, this allows you to keep or scatter the ashes in a place of your choosing, should this be important to you.
Who do Folly Gardens Vets use for cremation?
We use a company called Pet Cremation Service; all of our ashes are handled by a local, family run pet crematorium in Stroud.
Container choices can be discussed with you at the right time.
What is grief?
Grief affects everyone differently, the loss of a pet may be deeply personal and private, and you may experience unexpected emotions and feelings. Others may not understand the significance of losing a pet. The loss of a pet may also trigger memories of previous losses; the grieving process can be a lonely experience. If you are affected by this, Folly Gardens Vets can put you in touch with supportive organisations such as the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Service. It is also important to reach out to understanding friends or family.
Please don’t forget your other pets, a dog will miss their companion and look for them to return. Do as much as you can to walk, play and spend time together. Be careful to introduce any new dog very carefully.
However, take care not to introduce a new cat as cats rarely bond well, being solitary animals.
Pheromones can also have a calming effect.