End of Life Care
Compassionate Care for Those Facing End-of-Life Decisions
At Odyssey Veterinary Care, we are committed to caring for our patients throughout every stage of their life, even as they near the end of their journey. As pet owners and lovers ourselves, we understand the strong bond between people and their canine and feline family members and recognize how difficult it is to face losing them.
After all treatment options have been exhausted, it’s important to assess your beloved animal companion’s quality of life. Keeping him or her as comfortable and pain-free for as long as possible is our priority.
At some point, you may have to face the tough question of whether or not to have your pet humanely euthanized. Our staff is prepared to guide you through the process with all the compassion and respect that you and your pet deserve.
Q: When Should You Consider Euthanasia
A: The only thing harder than having a sick pet is wrestling with the decision of whether or not the time has come to humanely euthanize your pet. Your veterinarians will keep you informed of your furry friend’s current condition, treatment options, and overall prognosis. They can help you formulate a plan and evaluate your pet’s day-to-day quality of life. For example, you may decide to seriously consider euthanasia when your pet refuses to eat or drink for a certain period of time, is in pain or immobile despite medication, has difficulty urinating/defecating normally, or can no longer enjoy the things that used to make him or her happy. By defining a “decision point” in advance, you can place boundaries on the amount of suffering your pet could endure.
AAHA offers a helpful article and quality of life assessment, How can I make my pet’s last day special?, for pet owners facing that difficult and emotional decision
Pet Cremation and Memorial Service
For cremation and after-care service, Odyssey Veterinary Care works with Memorial Pet Services, located in Middleton. Together Odyssey and Memorial Pet are committed to providing every pet with a gentle and dignified farewell.
Q: After I Have Decided to Euthanize my Pet, What Other Arrangements Need to be Made?
A: One of the most important decisions for you to make is how you would like your pet’s remains to be handled. We recommend cremation as this is the safest way to take care of the body after euthanasia. We will arrange for him or her to be picked up by Memorial Pet Services. If you are interested in receiving your pet’s cremains, you can select the private or partitioned cremation option. Within a week, your pet’s cremains will be returned to Odyssey Veterinary Care for you to pick up at your earliest convenience. You can also select a specialty urn or cremation package from the Memorial Pet website. Clay paw prints, ink paw prints and ink nose prints are another option for memorializing your beloved family member. For pet owners who prefer not to receive their pet’s cremains, we offer group cremation as a more economical option. When the time comes, the Odyssey staff will be happy to assist you with scheduling, pricing, and any other questions you may have.
Memorial Pet Services is also available to assist Odyssey Veterinary Care clients during the pre-planning stages, throughout the cremation process, and even during the healing process with pet loss support groups.
Please visit the Memorial Pet Services website to learn more about:
- Cremation options, including private, partitioned, and group cremation
- Clay paw prints
- Urns and other specialty memorial items
- Memorial services and priority return options
- Pet loss support groups
Support For Pet Owners During Their Time of Loss
No one is ever completely prepared for the loss of a beloved animal companion. It feels like the loss of a family member because in most cases it truly is. The staff at Odyssey Veterinary Care understands how difficult this time can be because we have experienced it ourselves. We feel that sharing with others who can relate to your grief can be a powerful first step in the healing journey. Please use the following resources to share your experience with fellow animal lovers and those who are also dealing with the loss of a furry family member.
Pet Loss Support Groups
Memorial Pet Services offers pet loss support groups to aid in healing after the loss of a beloved companion.
If you would prefer to be with your animal in your home at the time of euthanasia, we recommend Journey’s Home Pet Euthanasia Services.
Explore Our Complete List of Veterinary Services in Fitchburg, WI
- Stem Cell Therapy
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- Pet Care
- Urgent Care
- Laser Surgery
- Intensive Care
- Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment
- Dental X-Rays
- Pain Management
- Spay & Neuter
- Wellness Exams
- Dental Care
- In-House Laboratory
- Senior Pet Care