End of Life Care and Euthanasia
Gentle euthanasia advice for pet owners
Our caring doctors and staff at San Marco Animal Hospital will guide you through end-of-life care, including euthanasia when appropriate. You can count on compassionate care and advice from our staff regarding any of your pet’s needs.
End of life care
Dogs and cats often show little evidence of discomfort. However, you can help a senior or terminal pet live out their final days more comfortably:
- Schedule a visit to San Marco Animal Hospital. Treatment options are explained and your decisions are fully supported
- Adjust their diet. Soft foods or special foods for senior pets can improve oral comfort and digestion
- Put a soft, cozy bed on the floor
- Put food and water within easy reach
- Barricade stairs
- Carry your pet outside to take care of business
- Recognize signs of suffering – panting, gasping, hiding, reluctance to eat or move, cessation in grooming, accidents, aggression, or vocalization.
Please visit our office when you suspect that your pet is in distress. Our caring doctors will talk with you about quality of life and pain management. You will never be rushed or forced into a decision to euthanize. If you and the doctor determine together that is the best option for your pet, it is handled with respect for your feelings and compassion for your pet.
Euthanasia is often first started by anesthetizing your pet so they don’t feel anything. They simply go under anesthesia like they would for a procedure. The final step is an injection of an overdose of barbiturate into a vein. It acts very quickly by stopping cardiac function and in conjunction with your pet being anesthetized, they do not feel any pain. If your pet is nervous, a mild sedative can be administered to relax your pet before they are placed under anesthesia.
You may remain with your pet throughout the euthanasia process or leave the room while one of our vet techs gently assists the doctor. We offer cremation services through a pet crematory that will pick up your pet directly from our hospital or you can take your pet home to arrange for cremation through a pet crematory of your choosing. While you can take your pet’s body home after euthanizing, you cannot legally bury them in your yard.
You can depend on San Marco Animal Hospital for gentle care and respectful treatment throughout the entire euthanasia process. Call our office at 904-516-9767 for end-of-life and euthanasia services.