A Message from Dr. Alves
The decision to say goodbye to a pet is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. For many of us, the bond we share with a loving animal can be one of the strongest and most personal experiences of our lives. Pets are family. The friendship you share with an animal can surpass even the strongest relationships you have with (Yes, it’s true!) even people. So, when it comes time to make a decision that your loyal friend can’t make for itself, I’ve found that even the strongest of us could use some support.
When I was a vet student at the University of Illinois, I was provided with a dog whose purpose was to help me learn surgical skills. Little did I know, when that dog came to me I was meeting my best friend. He was a Rottweiler mix with a gentle calm disposition. We went through a lot together, and when I graduated from school, and left to go out into the real world, he was at my side.
We spent the next 12 years together, enjoying each other’s companionship, and over the years he began to move a little more slowly and his muzzle started turning gray. A day came when I realized that, despite my desire to keep him with me always, I needed to do what was right for my buddy. I made the hard decision, while at the same time, I celebrated the precious time I had with him.
I’ve kept that memory with me and it has become a keystone of my practice. Over the last 2 decades, I’ve seen time and time again, just how close my clients are with their animals. Your pet deserves the very best veterinary care it can get, and I start out each day with that firmly in mind. And when the best care is no longer enough, then you and your pet deserve dignity and respect.
Your time with your friend is a journey. When your pet nears the end of that journey, I can help make the road a little easier to travel.
How do I tell the family?
Family members are usually aware of the pets problem. However, it’s important to discuss the facts openly and honestly even if you have already reached a decision. Encourage family members to express their thoughts and feelings. Excluding family members from the decision making-process may complicate and extend their grieving.
What will my pet experience?
Euthanasia is achieved by giving 2 injections. The first is an anesthetic which is given usually in the scruff of the animal and takes roughly 10 minutes to take effect. This first injection will make the transition when giving the second injection smoother. The euthanasia injection is an overdose of an anesthetic which relieves pain and induces sleep Once the injection is administered, your pet will immediately go into a peaceful and irreversible deep unconsciousness. Death is quick and painless.
Saying “Goodbye” to a friend
Your pet is an important part of your life. Saying “goodbye” will be difficult, but it’s an important step in managing the natural and healthy feelings of grief, sorrow and a sense of loss.