Frequently Asked Questions
The drug given is a lot like the drugs used for anesthesia. They work in the brain to suppress neurons from firing. The dose we use is much higher than that used for anesthesia. The suppression happens to all parts of the brain simultaneously. From the standpoint of the pet, it would likely feel like going under anesthesia. It is a rapid loss of consciousness. Shortly thereafter the neurons in charge of keeping the heart beating stop firing and the pet passes away. Unfortunately there are times when pets gasp, move or even cry out. This is always uncomfortable to watch but it is important to remember that your pet is unaware of anything past the first few moments following the injection. There is no pain involved. The gasping responses and the like are due to spinal and peripheral neurons firing. This will pass within a few minutes. At the same time, control of the bladder and colon are lost so your pet may urinate or have a bowel movement. These events are normal and expected at the time of death and we will deal with them so as to give you and your pet as much dignity as possible in the final moments.
My pet is very old and debilitated. Last time I was at the veterinarian with him they had a real hard time with his veins. What if you can’t get a catheter placed?
There are times when catheter placement can be extremely difficult. There are two ways euthanasia solution can be administered in those situations. It can be given in the abdominal cavity (intra-peritoneal injection) where it will be absorbed into the bloodstream and have its effect. Alternatively it can be given directly into the heart (intra-cardiac injection). In both of these situations the potential for patient pain and discomfort is higher. Therefore higher doses of sedation are necessary. There is always a humane way to perform euthanasia.
Unfortunately Federal Law requires that Dr. Carter be the only one to handle the controlled substance. You are welcome to hold your pet throughout the procedure except during catheter placement. Care must also be taken during the euthanasia procedure itself so that no one is inadvertently bitten. Reflex actions following euthanasia administration have caused injuries in the past.
The best first step would be to visit your veterinarian and discuss it with him or her after an examination has been performed. If you have done this and are still undecided at the time of our visit then Dr. Carter can discuss this further with you. The standard Road to Home fee applies.
There are a number of options for the cremation or burial of your pet that we can discuss with you when you call to make an appointment. Options include general cremation where your pet will be placed in a crematorium with other pets and you will not have the option of getting your pets remains back. Private cremation will have your pet placed in a crematorium by itself, with no other pets, and the remains will be collected and returned to you in an urn of your choice.
Payment is collected when we arrive at your home if payment hasn't already been made at our Square Register Site. Our service and the general cremation can be paid for on the Square Site, any arrangments for private cremation will have to be made and paid for through that business. Acceptable forms of payment include cash or credit card. Checks are not accepted.
At Road to Home we take this aspect of your pets care very seriously. We have toured the locations that we work closely with, met the owners/operators and discussed this very question with them, and had them run through the process with us to make sure that we could be absolutely confident in this aspect of your pets care. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we can address them as best we can so that you can be comfortable in the level of care that your pet is receiving.