Euthanasia Appointments Amid COVID Concerns

Saying goodbye to a pet is hard, but COVID-19 has made it more challenging. Many veterinary hospitals are moving to telemedicine and curbside services. Curbside service means that pet parents are meeting veterinary staff outside of the clinic. The pet parent will stay in their car and let a staff member escort their pet inside for their exams, diagnostics, and treatments. When the appointment is complete, a staff member will bring the pet back to the owner's car. 
 
Euthanasia, however, is a unique circumstance in which many pet parents are not willing to say goodbye from their car. Many clinics are finding themselves having to balance their safety and the best interests of the pet's family.  
 
Most veterinary hospitals are making an exception to the curbside service when it comes to euthanasia. Many, however, are putting rules into place; for example, when it comes to euthanasia, pet hospitals are limiting the number of family members present for euthanasia.
 
To ensure safety for everyone, the hospitals are cleaning thoroughly between euthanasia appointments. 
 
This exception to the rule still leaves some pet parents uneasy. What if another client in the hospital is a carrier of COVID-19? What if a staff member is sick?
 
What can you do if an in-clinic appointment for euthanasia is not an option for you or your family? Below is a list of ideas for euthanasia that allow you to be safe AND present while your pet is put to sleep. 
 
  • Ask your veterinary hospital if they are comfortable delivering a sedative to your pet in the car. The injection of a sedative allows you to say your goodbyes while your pet peacefully falls asleep. When your pet is sleeping soundly, the veterinary staff can carefully carry your pet inside where they receive the final injection. 
 
  • Call an in-home euthanasia service. These services can tailor their service to your needs while mitigating risk for all people involved. In-home euthanasias can be done outside in your front or back yard. The veterinarian can administer a sedative and walk away, allowing you to return to your pet's side while maintaining distance from the veterinarian. The veterinarian may also place an IV catheter and an extension set, allowing any injections to be given at the 6-foot distance currently recommended. 
 
There is no one answer. Every case is going to require special attention. The most important thing every client and veterinary team must remember is that transparent and concise communication is necessary. Tell your veterinary team your concerns. Openly listen when they share their concerns. Together you can come up with the best plan of action for your pet. 
 
Check out sandiegoneighborhoodvet.com for more information and resources regarding this pandemic. 
 
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