What to Expect when you have to Say Goodbye

What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia, a Greek word that literally means “good death,” is performed to end a pet’s terminal illness and painful suffering. Many pet parents ask the difficult question . . . “Am I keeping my pet alive for me, or do I really think he/she is going to be okay?” This is the controversial debate we confront when we love and are loved by these wonderful creatures. To make such delicate medical decisions, pet parents need to reach deep into their hearts and understand what is truly best for their beloved animal companion.

NSV-rainbow1BIn critical veterinary situations, pet parents needing to visit an emergency hospital (such as NorthStar VETS) will discuss options with the emergency doctor and/or specialist. Based on the severity of the case, a NorthStar VETS professional will help the pet parent consider the pet’s future quality of life.

What to Expect During This Difficult Process
Should the decision be made to euthanize a pet, please know that NorthStar VETS treats all cases as compassionately as possible. On most occasions, the pet and extended family members are directed to our “family room” — a private, quiet and relaxing environment. This thoughtfully-designed suite was created to silence the sounds, commotions and overhead pages of a busy animal hospital.

The euthanasia process begins when an emergency doctor or veterinary technician takes the pet to a treatment area and places an IV catheter, allowing easy access for medication administration. The pet is then returned to the family for an open-ended visitation with their loved ones. Once the family is comfortable, a simple phone call to the front desk moves this peaceful process forward. Arrangements for the pet’s “after care” are discussed with a NorthStar VETS Client Service Representative. Final preferences and details are determined by the family’s wishes and are executed with the utmost care, dignity and grace.

Euthanasia is oftentimes a conflicting subject, but making informed decisions can help reduce pet-parent remorse and guilt. To assist families through difficult transitions, NorthStar VETS offers a complimentary pet loss service. Certified bereavement counselor, Ann Rooney, helps grief-stricken pet parents cope with the passing of their cherished family member.

For more information on NorthStar VETS pet loss support and bereavement service, please visit the Pet Loss and Bereavement service page at northstarvets.com.

Ann RooneyAnn Rooney
For over 16 years, Ann Rooney has worked in the veterinary field comforting pet parents in times of crisis. Certified by the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement in 2016, Ann has committed her career to supporting the emotional needs of clients who have lost their trusted animal companion. By working with veterinarians, connecting with various pet cemeteries, and even experiencing her own pet loss, Ann is a terrific resource for helping clients navigate the difficult part of mourning a pet.

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