End of Life
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
At All Creatures we consider end-of-life care one of the most important "services" we provide. When we decide to take an animal into our lives we make a commitment and a compact with that new member of our family. We pledge to house, feed and care for that pet in a humane and loving way and to provide veterinary care to keep him healthy and as free from pain and discomfort as possible. And, as time goes by and our beloved pet grows old and reaches the end of life, we also pledge to help to make the final days and minutes of that life as painless and stress free as possible.
As the guardian and steward of your pet, it now falls upon you to make the final decision. You have always made decisions in your pet's best interest, and now this end of life decision must be made in that same spirit. Your pet has always looked to you for love and care, and now looks to you for comfort and help as life ebbs and ends, trusting in you now as always.
If you decide Euthanasia (from the Greek "good death") is best, please know that you are not "killing" your pet. Rather, you are lovingly and gently helping him step over the threshold that separates "Being" from "Unbeing"; you are preventing needless suffering and allowing him to end his life gently, with peace and dignity, in the presence of those he loves.
Depending on the situation, your pet's condition, your preferences, and the attending veterinarian's preferences, your pet may be sedated before euthanasia, may have an intravenous catheter placed, or may be shaved over the injection site. You have the option to be present, or you may elect not to be present when the actual euthanasia is performed.
If there is anything you want or don't want done in preparation for euthanasia, please tell us - we are here to help you in the final moments of your pet's life.
How It's Done
Though there are many different techniques of performing euthanasia, all culminate in the slow, gentle intravenous injection of a drug that is used only for this purpose. Usually the active ingredient is Sodium Pentobarbital, a drug that is also used in anesthesia, but used here in a massively high dose that causes almost immediate cessation of brain and cardiac function. The drug's action is so rapid that most patients slide gently and almost instantaneously into unconsciousness with death often occuring before the injection is completed. The doctor will then do a final examination and auscult your pet's heart to be sure that he is dead.
You may elect to take your pet's remains home for burial, or you may chose among several options that Abby Glen, the Pet Cemetery we use offers. Most people select a "simple cremation" where your pet is cremated with other pets at the cemetary and the ashes are burried by the cemetary in an unmarked area. Another option is a "private cremation" where your pet is cremated individually and the ashes are returned to you. The last option is to have your pet buried in a pet cemetary with a formal burial plot and marker. Please feel free to discuss these options with our staff.