End-of-life (EOL) care is an especially difficult time for you the pet owner and the staff and doctors at TCVH. Unless emergency circumstances dictate, all EOL appointments are scheduled through a doctor. For an EOL visit to proceed the following must apply and we will confirm with you at the time of scheduling whether you are familiar with the requirements and are prepared:
If you feel that EOL is not appropriate at TCVH based on the above information you have some options:
There are several important things that you can do to ensure this most difficult visit goes as smoothly as it possibly can. If your pet is a dog, please make sure they have had a chance to relieve themselves as they may be very uncomfortable if not. Bring a blanket or large towel with you so that they may lay on something familiar (you may elect to have them go with this item or take it home with you). If you are bringing children with you, please prepare them for the visit and ensure that they are not too noisy as this can stress the pet.
Please decide about after-care prior to the visit if possible (see below). Save a swatch of fur if desired. There are kits at hobby and craft stores with which you can make clay paw impressions (we recommend Crayola soft modeling clay – we have a limited ability to make these if requested).
Witnessing end-of-life is not for everyone and if you elect not to witness it does not mean you do not love your pet any less – it is important to do what you feel is right for you. Occasionally, we have clients who do not witness but remain at the clinic until we confirm that their pet has passed – we will act as their family during the process with the same level of care that we ourselves go through when we euthanize our own pets.
Cremation - there are two cremations options:
Burial - there are two options for this:
Home release - owners occasionally take their pets home with them. In some cases, they arrange private cremation or burial themselves. In New York State you are allowed to have your pet’s cremains interred with your remains. If you are electing to bury your pet on your property, be advised that most towns do not allow this. When burying a pet at home it is important the grave and remains be properly prepared. The remains should be wrapped in a towel or blanket and then in double plastic bags of heavy gage. The remains should be at least 3 feet below the top soil. Placing some woven wire (chicken wire) immediately above the remains can discourage wild animals from digging and getting to the remains.