The decision to euthanize is never an easy one. Euthanasia literally means to give a "good death" and Dr. Hellert believes this to be the "hardest act, and the greatest gift" you have to give your pet. And it is OK. It is OK to be sad. It is OK to mourn. And it is OK to say good-bye.
If you need help deciding if now is the right time: Our team will be happy to discuss hospice care, pain control options, and quality of life concerns. You can make a telehealth appointment with our doctors and together we will come up with a plan that is best for your family.
If now is the right time: Our team offers the gift of euthanasia from the comfort or your pet's home. We work with S&S Cremation of Centralia, IA to offer cremation, paw prints, urns, and personalized name plates. Or you may prefer to bury your pet in a special spot you have already picked out.
For more information please call: (563) 583-8387
No. Every pet is treated like they are our very own. Sedation is provided and while some pets do react briefly to the sedation injection (a needle poke no different than a vaccine or blood draw) that is the last "pain" they will feel. After the sedation takes effect the euthanasia is performed via IV (intravenous) injection. The process is peaceful and as stress free as possible.
We get asked this often and the answer can be different for us to answer. After all - you know you pet better than anyone. One of the best ways we have found to help owners is with a quality of life discussion, charting, or calendar depending on owner preference. Essentially if the bad days, or hours, outnumber the good: it is time.
The key qualities of your pets life to monitor are:
1) Natural functions: appetite, drinking, urination defecation habits, and ability to get up and walk
2) Mental Health: Changes in regular behavior, stress or anxiety, confusion, and depression or excessive tiredness
3) Health: Difficulty breathing, pacing/restless, significant weight loss, pain including difficulty getting up
4) Social behavior: Changes in how much/often the pet wants to be with others, changes in aggression/stress
While we schedule an hour for each pet; the time for the actual euthanasia can be less than 10 minutes from the start of sedation. Ultimately the time taken is up to the family and time is always given for owners to say their good-byes, get snuggles, and of course feed all those treats their friend could never have before- even chocolate!
Of course! We welcome all members of the family to be as involved as they want to be. We will occasionally suggest that a more rambunctious family member be held so as not to stress the pet being euthanized but all are welcome.
Our team works closely with S&S cremation of Centralia, IA. Through S&S; cremation services, paw prints, urns, and engraved plates are offered. Our team will transport the remains back to our office and to S&S for cremation if desired. Remains are generally available within 1 week and our team will call as soon as they arrive back at our office for you to pick up. You can also choose not to have ashes returned and S&S will spread them on a wildflower meadow in the beautiful eastern Iowa hills.
Some owners choose to bury their pet on their property. The options are completely up to you.
Our veterinarians and technicians use fear free techniques to help your pet feel comfortable. Sometimes a pet can be so scared that they just can't be safely handled. If that is the case, your veterinary team will discuss oral sedatives before we arrive. Our goal is to keep you, your pet, and our team safe and provide as stress-free an experience as possible for all involved. If you think your pet would benefit from oral sedation please let our staff know when you call our office and we can work with you!
An owner or owners representative (over 18) with written permission must be present during the euthanasia. If this isn't possible we will reschedule to a more suitable time.
All emergencies will be handled at PetMed Animal Health Center. Our address is: 2400 Gateway Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003
Ph: (563) 583-8387
We will do our best to accommodate your in-home requests; however due to scheduling it is not always possible to care for your pet in a timely manner at home. Pets and clients we haven't met before will be referred to Blue Pearl Emergency Clinic in Cedar Rapids for after hours emergency euthanasia.