The death of our pets is an event that all pet owners fear.
All our staff are trained to help you deal with your loss. Please feel free to contact any member of staff you feel at ease with. It often helps to talk things over with someone who has helped care for your pet. Most of us have also lost much loved pets and know from first hand experience how hard it is to cope with the huge gap that bereavement leaves.
We euthanase or "put to sleep" pets because they are in pain that we cannot adequately control or because their quality of life has deteriorated beyond an acceptable level. The decision is never easy. In certain cases where treatment is perhaps not viable and your pet's condition is deteriorating, the decision is quite clear, knowing we can prevent suffering.
Other situations may be less black and white and good days are mixed with bad. Often it helps to talk to friends, family and staff at our clinic. As pet owners ourselves we appreciate how difficult this time can be.
Some pets do die quietly and painlessly at home. However, many need veterinary intervention when quality of life deteriorates.
Acute pain is obvious from whining or yelping but chronic pain may be difficult to detect. Signs include lethargy, loss of appetite, reluctance to exercise and a dull demeanour.
Any pet that has no appetite and is disinterested in food or drink has a reduced quality of life.
Most pets respond when we come home from work or enter a room. If you pet doesn't respond to you or greet you, it could indicate a serious illness.
Our pets prefer to be clean. Cats especially are fastidious groomers. Matted coats or soiling of coat or bedding indicate a serious situation.
Change of behaviour
Small pets such as rats, guinea pigs and birds may appear hinched or 'fluffed up', or may be active at unusual times if they are feeling ill.
A large dose of anaesthetic is given that leads to unconsciousness within a few seconds. The procedure is quick and painless.
The anaesthetic may be given by injection or by inhalation (the kindest way for small pets such as birds and guinea pigs, rats etc.)
In many cases we may administer a sedative before the procedure so the pet is quickly unaware of its surroundings and comfortably sleepy.
Consciousness is lost in seconds and although you may see some reflex actions (sighing, urinating, defacating) please be assured that your pet is unaware of anything.
You can decide to stay with your pet or say goodbye and leave him or her at the practice, in which case we shall conduct the procedure immediately.
If you wish to stay we can help you choose an appointment at a quiet time, so you do not have any waiting and can go straight into a private consulting room.
If it is impossible to attend the surgery, we can arrange a visit at home. The vet will bring a nurse to assist. It is best to plan this in advance and we shall try and accommodate your wishes as much as staffing levels and clinic commitments allow. Home visits are obviously more expensive and the visit cost is in addition to the euthanasia fee.
Burial at home
Many people choose to bury their pets at home. Remember the size and depth of the grave must be sufficient to accommodate your pet without the risk of disturbance from wild animals or future property owners. We can provide biodegradable bags in which to wrap your pet to permit normal decomposition.
For wild animals and for pets whose owners wish it, then council burial may be the preferred option. All pets and wild animals are treated with respect and are kept separate from public areas.
We are fortunate in Townsville to have the services of Pet Heaven, a privately owned Pet Cemetary and Crematorium. The cemetary at Bluewater on the Northern Beaches was created in 2003 with the assistance of Dick and Robyn Murray, the founders of the clinic. We are proud of our association with Pet Heaven and the majority of our clients choose to have their pet cremated individually.