Many people do not realize that hospice care is available for their beloved pets. At Coastal Valley Veterinary Services we offer hospice consult appointments, which is essentially an extended appointment that includes a thorough physical exam of your pet, as well as ample time to discuss quality of life concerns and how to make the final decision for euthanasia. Hospice care including adequate pain control and good nursing care can often extend the number of days you are able to enjoy the company of your beloved pet, and allow him or her to enjoy more days of freedom from pain and discomfort.
Our goal is to make this as peaceful and gentle as possible for everyone involved. To that end, Dr. Hall will explain everything at the beginning of the appointment, and encourage questions at any point in the process. An at-home euthanasia appointment usually lasts from 45 min to an hour from start to finish; we will begin just by introducing ourselves and evaluating your pet to determine what dose of sedative to administer. We always start with a sedative injection that is given with a small needle under the skin, and includes a medication to ease anxiety (similar to Valium) as well as a pain reliever in case there is any discomfort. This combination will induce a very calm sleep-like state, after which there is no pain felt; the final injection does not hurt, but it does have to go into a vein and the process of finding and injecting into a vein can be uncomfortable itself, and so that is why a sedative injection is always given first. The final injection works by interrupting brain activity, which produces complete unconsciousness and cessation of heart function; this usually happens within a minute after the injection is given. Dr. Hall will listen for heart sounds after giving the final injection to ensure there are no sounds before death is pronounced. After that, you will be given time to say goodbye, and if you have other pets we also encourage you to allow them to say goodbye, especially if there were any close relationships. Remains can be left with you for eventual burial on your own property (please check your local town ordinances for any restrictions) or we can take your pet to the crematory with whom we contract for pet cremations, Trials End in Westbrook. Cremation can be done as a communal cremation where your pet would be cremated with other pets, with ashes spread in the tranquil woodlands surrounding Trails End, or as a private cremation where your pet would be cremated individually and ashes would be returned to you in a beautiful wooden urn.
Scheduling an Appointment
A hospice or at-home euthanasia appointment can be scheduled a few days to weeks in advance, and emergency appointments may also available with an emergency fee of $150. On weekends that Dr. Hall is not on-call, at-home euthanasia calls are covered by Green Valley Veterinary Services using a very similar procedure to the one adopted by CVVS. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
♥ ♥ Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge ♥ ♥