A final gift of love for your faithful friend
Hospice Consultation Visits
After Care Options
First, let me say that I'm sorry you are in this situation. To have a good pet as part of your family is truly a gift. The decisions surrounding the final care of your beloved pet are often not easy, especially when determining whether you could or should hold on a little while longer, or say your final farewell. I hope to be a help in answering any questions regarding end of life care as well as guide you through the final arrangements of laying your pet to rest.
Recognizing suffering in patients that cannot speak to us can be quite a challenge. Sometimes the evidence is overt:
pets that no longer eat
can’t walk comfortably or at all
are continually vocalizing
changes in personality
have increased seizure episodes
uncharacteristic hiding or clinginess
On the other hand, more subtle changes in our pets can be simply the slowing down process of old age or the response to chronic pain or illness. One way to try to clarify the significance of this is to ask some questions:
What are the things my pet loves (or loved) that they are are no longer enjoying?
Are there things they hate (or used to be extremely irritated by), but now, no longer seem to care?
If you can identify 5-10 things that used to be big deals to your beloved friend and now they don’t care to engage in those activities, then they may be suffering more than they are letting on. Our pets can be more stoic than we humans when they are suffering from chronic illness.
Some conditions can be managed through proper medicine and care in order to give us a little more quality time with our beloved pet. In this case, scheduling a Home Hospice Visit may be preferred before deciding to euthanize. As a Veterinarian, my mission is to help guide you through making the best decisions for your pet.
If you have decided to euthanize your pet at home, you've already chosen to alleviate much of your pet's anxiety and discomfort by having them in a favorite setting surrounded by familiar smells, toys and blankets, and beloved people. "At home" could also be outside, or at a favorite nearby park.
Clinically, euthanasia is a two-step process. We do not have to be in a hurry for any of it. As few or as many family members or friends as you would like can be near your pet in their final moments.
Once your pet is in or near the determined spot, your pet will receive some medicine as if they are going to sleep for a teeth cleaning or for surgery. This normally takes 5 to 10 minutes for them to slowly get tired and to lay down to sleep. After this they will not be aware of their surroundings or care about feeling any needle pokes.
A second medicine will be administered in a vein or internal organ that will relax the nervous system, heart and lungs to the point that there is no more activity. This medicine takes a few seconds to a few minutes to fully take affect.
Cremation Options: There are many options available. Your pet's ashes may be returned to you to keep in a beautiful, wooden urn or to spread in a meaningful place, or their ashes may be spread by the crematorium in memorial gardens that are professionally maintained. There are also several options for keepsakes from paw prints (ink or clay), to unique pieces of art to display or jewelry to be worn.
*Even if your pet has passed away on his own, we can help you with aftercare options.
Burial: In most municipalities in the Indianapolis area it is legal to lay a pet to rest on your property if you have an appropriate place.
Prices: Although prices are subject to change and are variable, depending on the size of your pet, distance of travel and aftercare options chosen, generally our prices of service are between $275 and $650 for a single pet. See Services & Fees below.
About Dr. Tim Paul
From the time Tim was a small boy, he loved animals and wanted to take care of them. He was the boy who brought home snakes and toads, and helped any injured animals he came across. At 9 years old he presented the classic "What I want to be when I grow up" paper to his 3rd grade teacher- A Veterinarian, of course! It hangs framed in his office, right next to his diploma from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, from which he graduated in 2004. Although Dr. Paul loves dogs and cats, he is especially fond of exotic animals, which can require special considerations in their care.
After his internship in emergency and critical care Dr. Paul honed his skills as a surgeon, developing a special interest toward pain management for post-surgical and chronically ill patients. He has served as a Medical Director, a Relief Doctor, an expert witness in criminal cases, and as a college professor to veterinary technician students. Besides providing the best care for people's beloved pets, he is also especially compassionate toward their humans, who are often tasked with making difficult decisions regarding their care.
Services & Fees
Initial phone consultation: No charge. I am happy to spend some time with you on that 1st phone call to answer any questions about next steps.
In Home Hospice Visit: $250
There may be additional charges for any medicines and travel outside of our regular 30 minute (15-20 mile) service radius or on weekends. This visit would include a physical examination of your pet, a review of recent medical records and lab work, current medications and the development of a personalized care plan for your pet in their natural environment.
In Home Euthanasia: $275 - $310, depending on the size of your pet.
This could be inside or outside of your home, or at another location with special meaning to your pet. An additional travel fee may be applied for areas outside of our regular 30 minute (15-20 mile) service radius or on weekends.
Private cremation: $190 - $250, (depending on the size of your pet.)
Communal cremation: $110 - $130
During our initial phone consultation, I can give you an exact price for your situation and aftercare wishes.