For many people the anticipatory grief and fear that they may feel as they watch their beloved pet in decline can be overwhelming. How we let our friends pass can impact massively on the feelings that follow as we continue to grieve. We always strive for a good death and the comfort that can bring.
With current restrictions in place under the pandemic our role has become even more important to us and we will work to honour the human-animal bond at this important time.
We will take referrals from your registered veterinary practice for a scheduled at home euthanasia appointment when you and your veterinary surgeon have decided the time has come to let your pet pass.
If your pet is not currently receiving veterinary care we will request we visit for an end-of-life consultation ahead of the euthanasia visit to assess quality of life. Please follow this link thehousevet.co.uk/quality-of-life-assessment-tools/ for resources that we hope will be of help.
Why referral? We want to be sure that the decision to euthanase your companion has been fully informed and all treatment options considered. We know that oftentimes there are many reasons that contribute to that decision, not all of them medical, but we want that conversation to be had ahead of the euthanasia consult when emotions may be running high. The decision to euthanase will always be yours to make but we can respectfully decline to carry out the euthanasia procedure if we feel it is not appropriate and the decision not fully informed. We can assess the many factors involved. We do not lean towards treating regardless but, if your pet has not been under veterinary care, we want you to be fully aware of all options for end of life care so we all can be certain that the decision is correct for all concerned, with the least regrets to follow. On the rare occasions we may respectfully decline to carry out the procedure we will advise and direct you to appropriate ongoing veterinary care.
Why scheduled? For years in practice I struggled to understand my owners who pre-booked euthanasia appointments in advance. Why would you do that? Isn’t that being really hard on yourself? But I have come to learn that the best passing will be one that is made on a ‘better’ day. Our companions often have a rather beautiful swansong-we see a flicker before the flame goes out. The least comforting euthanasia consult is one performed as an emergency, when there has been a sudden decline. We want to pre-empt this. We are not stealing good days, rather we are stealing a lot of bad days by pre-planning. Having said that crises do happen and we will do our best to help you in an emergency (in such circumstances it may be possible that only myself will attend and there may be some change to ability to provide aftercare for larger pets).
Our local hospital practice has very kindly offered to provide emergency cover for when we are not available. This will only be relevant if you do not already have a primary care vet. But as a busy hospital practice they will not be able to offer a home visit service so please be aware of this.