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Companion Animal End of Life Care

Pet euthanasia is a difficult topic, however, a decision of love we can make for our special partners.subject to consider, but our aim is to help support and provide dignified end of life care for your animal. With this in mind, we’ve put together helpful tips and resources for when it comes time to make the decision. 


How Will You Know When the Time is Right?

We like to say that the animals themselves make this decision and it is our responsibility to listen to this. Although some euthanasia decisions are made as a result of an emergency, it is usually an elective decision based on a chronic decline in health, often associated with age. At Massie Veterinary Services, our primary concern is your animal’s overall quality of life. We have an outsider’s perspective that an owner, who sees their animal every day and may be less likely to notice gradual changes, may not have.  


Therefore, it may be prudent to consider the following questions about your animal’s overall quality of care to determine if euthanasia is the best option for your animal’s wellbeing:


  • Can your animal move freely?

  • Are they unable to keep weight?

  • Are they suffering from chronic disease?

  • Are they suddenly being reclusive/hiding or being more social than before?

  • Do they seem happy or are they lethargic and depressed?


If you had less than satisfactory answers to these answers, it may be time to consider euthanasia or a quality of life appointment. We cannot make the decision for you, but we are more than willing to help you discuss your concerns and options when you call or text our practice at 541-636-1191.


Here’s what one of our clients has to say about our in home end of life care:


“I called on Dr. Massie for an in-home euthanasia for our senior dog, who was incredibly important and special to us. I wanted his last moments to be in the peace and warmth of his home, not a stressful trip to the vet’s office. Dr. Massie took the time to explain the process, as well as let us know he would be stepping outside after administering the sedative and then again after the final medication in order to allow us as much time with our boy as we needed to say goodbye. We never once felt rushed through the process and that was such a gift. Dr. Massie was kind, compassionate, and gentle for our boy and for us, and I will forever be grateful to him for making the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do a little bit easier.” – Jen Allen.


Most people choose to have their animal euthanized at home or in their yard so that they are in familiar surroundings and relaxed. 


Some owners find watching the euthanasia of their animal helps provide closure for them, while others prefer to remember their animal as they were and find watching distressing. There is no right or wrong answer on whether you should be present for the event; Dr. Massie will make sure that your animal’s last moments will be peaceful. However, we will require you or someone on your behalf to sign a consent form. 


Animals grieve just like people do and often their behavior will change for a short period following their pal’s euthanasia.To help with this, it can be beneficial to let the other animals see their euthanized companion and let them sniff them until they stop showing an interest. This can stop the companion from calling for their partner. 


In any case, it is important to consider what you will do and plan ahead so you are able to cope with any eventuality. We urge you to remember that your loved one depends on you to make rational, informed decisions, often in difficult circumstances, and that you must ensure that the animals’s welfare is always put first.


What Can You Expect After the Procedure?


Cremation/Body Care


We partner with Forever Friends in Phoenix, Oregon and PurrFet Paws Pet Crematory in Yreka, California, for the cremation of your small animal friends.


Bereavement and Support Services


Please feel free to ask us any question, no matter how trivial you think it might be, at any stage during this difficult process. We want to make sure you are as fully informed as possible about every aspect of euthanasia and feel empowered to begin your healing journey post-operation.


If you are currently struggling with a recent bereavement, then there are bereavement services which are available for help, support and guidance, including: 


California:  PETCLOUD - 1-833-PET-1234


Oregon: Dove Lewis - (503) 228-7281


Online Resources: Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB)


Everyone deals with the loss of their pet in different ways. There is no timescale to deal with grief and these are just some of the excellent support networks available if you feel you would like more support. Sharing your grief, talking about your animal, and remembering the many wonderful times you shared may help enormously.

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