2934 Chapel Valley Road
Fitchburg, WI 53711

(608) 288–7838
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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 HealthyPet.com offers a helpful article, Pet Euthanasia: The Last Stage of Care for Beloved Pets, for pet owners facing that difficult and emotional decision.

Pet Cremation and Memorial Services

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. If you have a burial spot selected, you can elect to bring your pet’s remains home. If you prefer that your pet’s remains be cremated, 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 in a velvet bag within a paw-print tin 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 are another low cost 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 memorial wall
Paying tribute to a beloved animal companion is a wonderful way to honor the memory of the love and friendship that you shared. We invite you to share photos, videos, and memories of your departed friend with others on your own personalized pet memorial wall. Remembrance is an important part of the grieving process and creating a memorial (for yourself or a friend who has experienced a loss) is a great way to recognize how truly unique and special your critter was.
Light a candle
We encourage you to visit this page where you can light a virtual candle in memory of your deceased pet.
Pet loss library
Facing the physical decline or loss of a beloved pet is never easy. In this section, you’ll find information about end-of-life care and coping with your feelings of sadness and grief.
Pet loss support groups
Memorial Pet Services offers pet loss support groups to aid in healing after the loss of a beloved companion.
Pet End-of-Life Care
Veterinary Services
Pet Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment
Veterinary Cardiology
Pet Dental Care
Pet Dermatology & Allergy Testing
Digital Dental X-rays
Diagnostics & Digital X-Ray
Pet End-of-Life Care
Holistic Medicine
Veterinary Intensive Care
Veterinary Laboratory
Laser Surgery
Light a Candle
Pet Loss Library
Pet Pain Management
Pet Pharmacy
Veterinary Surgery
Veterinary Ultrasound
Veterinary Urgent Care
Pet Wellness

Odyssey goes above and beyond my expectations, and truly cares about my dog. We will always come back to Odyssey and highly recommend it to anyone who asks!
— Meagan

Dr. Bruss is great—he is very kind and caring. He called us several times to explain our options and didn’t pressure us to make a particular decision.
— Anne

My dog sees Dr. Stokes for his vet care and she is the best vet ever. She understands my dog’s unique needs and I highly recommend them!
— Debra

No matter which vet we've seen, they’ve always been loving and compassionate whether we were there just for yearly vaccinations or for something a bit more serious.
— Melanie

I am in love with all of the staff at this facility. If I could, I would want to be treated there, but sadly, they only take the four legged types...
— Terri

Wouldn’t go anywhere else! I feel surrounded by people that love animals as much as I do. Wouldn’t change a thing.
— Powder78

Services are very reasonably priced and we've never felt like we had any unnecessary procedures or products pushed on us. we really feel that we can trust Dr. Bruss and Odyssey Veterinary Care with our cats’ health.
— Onion Girl

Dr. stokes has seen our family through kitten to senior cat, puppy and loss of dog, new puppy and everything in the middle! We think the care our animals get here is top notch!
— Courtney

Great people, great care! You've all made such a difference in my life and Abby's too. Thanks Odyssey Staff!
— June

When they prescribed my dog eye drops for an infection, they gave me the instructions and then called me within a 48 hour period to ask me how the medication was going and if I had any questions.
— Debra

They are very friendly and very thorough. The dog loves them, and she’s shy, so that’s a good thing. We have always had a lot of confidence in what they have told us.
— Sandra

They happily accommodate our special request to see our big dogs in their fenced back yard, since our 100-pound German Shepherd gets nervous in a small examination room.
— Peter

We bring our dog to Odyssey Vet Clinic and will continue to do so as long as we live in this area. They are the best vets we’ve ever had.
— David

They are very friendly, and they always remind you of when your appointments are. They are the top veterinary hospital in Madison. They are very good.
— Sandy