24 Hours: 01989 564687 reception@vinetreevets.co.uk

When the time comes to say goodbye………………

You and your pet share a very special and loving bond.  Your pet is a family member, a loyal faithful companion and your best friend.  The vets, nurses and receptionists at Vine Tree Veterinary surgery are here to help and support you.


Euthanasia is the correct term for a peaceful and painless end to your pet’s life preventing suffering and pain. Sometimes the phrase “put to sleep” or “put down” is used.  This procedure is ALWAYS carried out by a vet.

You may need to think about where you want this to take place.  It may be at the surgery at an arranged quieter time or even at your home.  You will be asked to sign a consent form giving your permission for euthanasia.  The vet will explain what will happen and ask you whether you would like to have your pet cremated.  And if you would like their ashes returned to you.  Or will you be taking them home for burial.

What happens to my pet after they have been put to sleep?

You and your family will need to decide what you would like to do with your pet after they have been put to sleep.  There are several options to think about.

  • Home burial is where you will be able to take your pet home to bury, in a special place in your garden.
  • Communal cremation is where your pet will be taken to a pet crematorium and cremated with other pets.
  • Private cremation, your pet will be cremated on their own and their ashes can be returned to you to scatter them on their favourite walk or beach. You could decide to have the ashes scattered in the garden of remembrance. You will also be able to keep your pets ashes in a ornate case of your choice.
  • The cremation services are provided by Summerleaze Pet Crematorium.
Click here to view the services provided by Summerleaze Pet Crematorium Click here to view the choice of caskets

Should I be there?

This is a very personal and individual decision.

If you wish to be with your pet as they are “put to sleep” that is fine, you may stay with them as they pass away.

If you think it may be too difficult for you, that is fine, your pet will be treated with kindness, care and dignity.

What can I expect?

Euthanasia is carried out by a veterinary surgeon, assisted by a nurse.

  • A sedative may be given to help them relax.
  • A patch of fur is clipped usually from the front leg (sometimes it is difficult to locate a vein due to poor circulation so this may be done on more than one leg).
  • If the injection cannot be given in the leg it may be given in another area of the body.
  • The injection is given by the vet.
  • Your pet will soon lose consciousness.
  • Their muscles may twitch involuntary.
  • They make take several deep breaths.
  • Their eyes will probably remain open.
  • They may leak “wee and poo”
  • If your pet is a small animal such as a rabbit they will be given anaesthetic gas first so that they are asleep before the injection is given

It is important to remember that your pet will lose consciousness and will not be aware of this, these are all normal reactions after death.   The vet will make sure that the euthanasia has been completed and check that their heart has stopped beating with a stethoscope.

How can I remember my pet?

There are many ways that you will be able to remember your pet we have listed a few ideas.

  • Plant a shrub or Rose in a pot or their favourite place in the garden.
  • Memory box, collect things that remind you of your pet. Pictures and their favourite toy.
  • A small swatch of their fur.  We can provide you with a memory card with their fur attached to it.

Are you having trouble letting go?

Letting go of your pet can be very hard on you and your family. Remember the staff at the surgery will always have time to sit down and talk things through with you.  Or if you would prefer the blue cross has a dedicated bereavement help line where you will be able to get professional help and advice.

Click here for help with the loss of your pet



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