Hospice Care, Euthanasia & Cremation Services
“We pride ourselves on care & compassion”
Dr. Terri Parrott
Dr. Devon Duffy
Dr. Jamie Nenezian
Emergency Care Clinic
Open 24 Hours Friday thru Monday
Dr. Parrott & the staff of St. Charles Veterinary Hospital pride ourselves on our care & compassion for all pets, especially for those in their final stages of life. As pets age and are diagnosed with chronic or terminal illness it is extremely important to make sure that they are the most comfortable that we can possibly make them. Dr. Parrott will do everything to provide pain management and supportive care to assure that your pet is provided with the highest level of medical care during his or her final days of life.
Euthanasia can be a difficult decision for pet owners, however it can be the final act of love to help your companion who may be suffering needlessly. We can schedule euthanasia ahead of time for owners who are sure of their decision and want to set a specific date and time. You may also find that your pet may let you know with a sudden decline in health and we will ALWAYS work with you to make it convenient for you to come into our hospital when the time is right for you. Dr. Parrott also offers home euthanasia which is more expensive, however some pet owners prefer this service. This is based on Dr. Parrott’s availability and is typically only offered after normal business hours to established clients of our practice.
At St. Charles Veterinary Hospital we strive to provide the utmost in after life care for your beloved pet. In this stressful time you can rest assured that your pet will be treated with the highest respect. We offer both Private Cremation (where you get your pet’s ashes back) as well as General Cremation (where your you do not receive your pet’s ashes back). Private Cremations range in price from $150 – $300, and our General Cremation price is $83.
In addition to the urns that come standard with the price of a Private Cremation we also offer specialty urns, Pet Paw Prints cast in clay, Keepsake Urns, as well as Moretti Glass Beads (hand blown beads with your pet’s ashes inside). For more information regarding our Cremation services you may ask any of our staff.
MORE ON COPING WITH PET LOSS
The death of a beloved pet is one of the most painful moments a pet owner must face. Whether it comes unexpectedly, or after the course of a long illness, it leaves you with confused and anguished emotions and difficult decisions. The topics below will assist you with some of the emotions and decisions.
When Is It Time To Euthanize My Pet?
Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet’s physical condition. However, you are the best judge of the day-to-day quality of your pet’s life. Evaluate your pet’s health honestly and unselfishly with your veterinarian. Nothing we can tell you will make this decision an easy one. However, it is often the final act of love that you can make on their behalf.
Should I Stay During Euthanasia?
Many people feel this is the ultimate comfort they can offer their pet; they don’t want him or her to be scared and alone at this time. They are also able to see that their pet passed peacefully and without pain, and that it was truly gone. For many, not witnessing the death (and not seeing the body) makes it more difficult to accept that the pet is really gone. However, this can be traumatic, and you must ask yourself honestly whether you will be able to handle it.
What Should I Do Next?
When a pet dies, you must choose how to handle its remains. Cremation costs will vary depending on whether you choose a private cremation, where you would get the ashes back in an urn, or a communal cremation where you would not receive the ashes at all. Private cremation allows you to handle your pet’s remains in a variety of ways: keep them in a decorative urn, bury them, or maybe scatter them in a favorite place.
I Hurt So Much! Am I Over-Reacting?
Intense grief over the loss of a pet is completely normal and natural. Every pet owner who considers a pet a beloved friend and companion, a true family member, goes through what you are experiencing now. You are not being overly sentimental, weak, crazy, or foolish to grieve. You may have spent many years with this animal. During this time they were a constant part of your life, always ready to give you love, comfort and companionship. Pets provide unconditional, non-judgemental love. So don’t be surprised if you feel devastated by the loss of such a powerful relationship, no matter how long or brief it was.
Why Are My Other Pets Acting Strangely?
Just as you react to the loss of a family member, your other pets are bound to notice the absence of their companion and friend. Pets observe every change in the household; the absence of a family member, rearrangement of furniture, or a new object. Certainly they’re going to realize that someone is missing. You may need to give surviving pets extra attention and love to help them through this period. You may also find that this will help you through your own sorrow more quickly than you ever expected.
What Should I Tell My Children?
Honesty is important. Accept your children’s grief as you accept your own. Discuss the loss of your pet with the whole family, giving everyone a chance to work through their emotions and pain together.
Should I Get A New Pet Right Away?
For most people, the answer is no. Generally, one needs time to work through their grief and loss. Some find bringing in a new pet is comforting. A new pet will never be a replacement, but should be acquired to be loved and accepted for its own qualities. Select a pet you will be able to build another long loving relationship with… because this is what a new pet is all about.
What Can I Do About My Feelings?
The most important step you can take is to be honest with yourself about what you are feeling. Don’t deny that you are feeling pain, guilt or anger. Only by looking at these emotions and coming to terms with them can you begin to work through them. You have a right to grieve. An animal you love has died. You are going to feel alone and bereaved. It is only natural. Locking away your grief doesn’t make it go away. Express it. Cry, scream, pound the floor, talk it out – do whatever helps you the most. Reminisce about the good times with your pet and the pleasure of their company. This will help you understand what they meant to you and clarify the significance of your loss. Many people find it helpful to express their memories and feelings in stories, poems or letters to their departed pet. Other techniques that may be helpful in your grieving process include: re-arranging your schedule to fill in the times you once spent with your pet, removing things from sight (though some find that keeping the pet’s things in view is helpful instead), preparing some form of memorial such as a photo collage, and talking to others about your loss.
Who Can I Talk To?
It is important to find someone understanding to talk with. If your family or friends love pets, they will understand what you are going through. Do not hide your feelings from them in a misguided attempt to appear strong or calm. If your friends and family do not see your need for comfort, they will not be able to provide the support you need.
How Do I Cope With Losing My Pet?
One of the most difficult and important parts of grief and loss is seeking to understand what has happened and that what you are feeling is all right. Your sense of loss may encompass your life and that is all right. You have the right to grieve and you should take as much time as you need. Grief and mourning aren’t something that should be “gotten over” or “healed” as soon as possible. It isn’t to be rushed. Instead of trying to “get over it,” we must find ways to “get through it”; and that can take a while. For some people the death of their pet can affect them even more than the death of a relative or friend. This loss is great and can be compared to the loss of a close friend, child, playmate or sibling: ever faithful, patient, welcoming. They love us unconditionally and are steadfast friends and companions. When a pet dies, we expect that our pain will be acknowledged, even shared by our relatives, friends and colleagues. Though the bond between you and your pet is as valuable as any of your human relationships, the importance of your loss may not be understood by other people.
The process of grieving for a pet is no different than mourning the death on a human being. Seek validation for your pain from people who will understand you. Although your loss and grief are fresh, know that your life was and will continue to be brighter because of the time that you shared with your pet. People are often unprepared for grief, since tragedy can strike so suddenly. You can expect to go through the stages of grief which are: Shock/Disbelief, Guilt, Denial, Anger and Depression. These are natural stages of grief, but can leave you powerless to cope with your feelings. The most important step you can take is to be honest about your feelings. Don’t deny your pain or your feelings of anger and guilt. Only by examining and coming to terms with your feelings can you begin to heal. It is important to focus on positive memories of your pet. Remembering the good times that you shared with your pet can help counteract the grief that accompanies the loss. Some ways to cope with your grief may include placing a memorial stone or maker in your yard (these can move with you from one residence to another), write in a journal, written or photo tribute, or obtain a special urn for your pet’s ashes. Whatever you do, don’t lock away your grief. Express it and do what helps you the most. Reminiscing about your pet will help you understand how much your pet really meant to you!