In-Home Veterinary Hospice and End of Life Care for your petComfort Care | Hospice Care | Pet Euthanasia
One of the most difficult decisions we make as pet owners is deciding when to say goodbye. Our Paws at Home team does our best to help make this time of transition go as smoothly as possible for your family.
Your pet stays at home where they are most comfortable while receiving end of life care with Dr. Kristin Spear and Paws at Home, Inc.
We also offer to facilitate cremation where you may choose to have your pet’s ashes returned to you.
Comfort and Hospice Care
Many times when a pet is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or is declining due to age, the owner is unsure how to best care for them.
Dr. Kristin can offer suggestions on how to keep them the most comfortable. After an exam, she can also prescribe medications to help deal with symptoms such as pain, inflammation, loss of appetite, vomiting, etc.
When is it time to say goodbye?
This decision is one of the most difficult you’ll have to make. While we are unable to answer that question for you, we are available for questions and guidance through this time.
The Quality of Life survey will soon be available here and may be helpful when trying to make this decision
Euthanasia – What to expect
The euthanasia of a beloved pet is a solemn time for everyone involved. This is a difficult topic to discuss, but it may be less of a strain if you have prepared in advance for the euthanasia process and you know what to expect. It is also important to plan ahead since we do not offer on-call or emergency euthanasia services.
- After answering any questions the family might have, Dr. Kristin will ask the owner to sign an Authorization for Euthanasia or consent form. It will ask :
- Whether you would like us to assist in cremation services, or if you prefer to care for the remains.
- Whether you would like us to notify another veterinarian or veterinary clinic of your pet’s passing, so they are aware of your family’s loss.
- A sedative will be administered to make your friend as comfortable as possible.
- Once your pet is comfortable and peaceful, another injection is given to complete the euthanasia. Dr. Kristin will insure that your pet’s heart and breathing have stopped before she leaves.
- Dr. Kristin will offer to take a digital picture of your pet’s nose and paw print. These images can be used later to memorialize your pet with an individualized keepsake.
- If elected, we will then transport your pet for cremation services at the Quincy Humane Society. Cremation costs for your pet’s ashes returned to you is $180 or for cremation without ashes returned is $80.
If you elect for cremation, Dr. Kristin will transport your pet after the appointment. If you would like the ashes returned to you, Dr. Kristin will return the ashes to you when they are ready (typically within 5 business days).
Cremation costs for your pet’s ashes returned to you is $180 or for cremation without ashes returned is $80.
Remembering Your Pet
Just like a person’s fingerprint, cats and dogs’ nose prints and paw prints are each unique. Many of our clients have chosen to memorialize their pets with a unique nose or paw print piece of jewelry. To learn more about Paw Prints, Urns and Keepsakes please click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
My pet has good days and bad days and I’m not sure if now is the time to say goodbye. What should I do?
Sometimes it is hard to have perspective and to recognize suffering in our pet.
We can feel very conflicted and even guilty about choosing euthanasia. In these situations we recommend setting up an appointment for an exam.
Dr. Kristin can examine your pet, discuss your goals and needs, answer questions and give recommendations on a plan for hospice or palliative care or home euthanasia.
How do I make an appointment?
If you are a new client, please register here. Then, please give us a call (217-279-4500) or email (email@example.com) to arrange a time for Dr. Kristin to come to your home for an initial assessment or home euthanasia.
Do I need to be a current client of Paws at Home in order to receive euthanasia services?
No. We offer home euthanasia services to anyone that needs loving and professional veterinary care.
We do need registration information about you and your pet ahead of time, so we can prepare and schedule an appointment for your family.
Paws at Home does NOT offer home euthanasia as an emergency service.
How much does in-home euthanasia cost?
This varies based on your location. If you are located in Quincy, your housecall fee is $30 and the home euthanasia veterinary services are $200. If you live outside of Quincy please contact us with your address and we can provide you with your housecall fee including mileage, but the home euthanasia veterinary services are still $200. Cremation services are available for additional charges.
How long does a euthanasia appointment take?
The whole appointment is typically between 30-60 minutes. The first injection is a sedative that will allow your pet to relax and get very comfortable. The euthanasia injection, simply an overdosage of anesthesia, is generally fast acting and takes just a few minutes.
If you elected to cremate, we will professionally transport your pet’s remains to the Quincy Humane Society for cremation.
How much notice do you need?
The more notice you can give us, the better chance we have of working around your schedule and ours. Remember that we want to make the process as peaceful as possible.
Just like birth, death is difficult to predict. We try our best to accommodate your pet’s needs as much as we can, but we are NOT able to provide emergency euthanasias.
What do I need to prepare?
There is nothing specific we need from you to prepare for this appointment. We will handle everything.
Should my other pets be there?
We recognize the benefit of your other pets being able to say goodbye also.
The euthanasia process can be difficult with the other pets present, so we usually recommend to let them say goodbye once the euthanasia procedure is complete and Dr. Kristin has removed her equipment.
Will my other pets grieve?
Like humans, pets grieve too, but they grieve in their own way. Home euthanasia allows housemates to instinctively “know” what has happened. Animals seem to understand this circle of life better than humans do. You may see a temporary change in the other pets’ appetites, demeanors, or normal routines.
They can even pick up on our emotions, so don’t be surprised if they are more attentive.
Should my children be there?
This is a very personal decision that you as a parent must make and the choices vary widely depending on the age and maturity of the child.
We do not recommend young children be present as this can be very upsetting for them. Please discuss with our staff when discussing the home euthanasia.
We absolutely recommend letting your child say goodbye, instead of coming home to an empty house. Some parents have elected to have children at home but in a different room for the actual procedure. This ensured the child was removed from the parent’s emotions (usually harder to deal with than the actual loss of the pet), but were allowed to come say goodbye before the pet was removed from the home.
What can I expect from the grieving process?
Everyone experiences grief differently, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Sharing memories and remembering the good times you had together will help ease the sadness. By focusing on giving them peace, you can also bring peace to your hurting hearts. You may wish to plant a tree or plant as a lasting memory of your pet.
All new clients will need to fill out our Client and Pet registration forms.