9539 Liberty Road, Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: 301-898-4009 ~ Fax: 240-668-3664
Gentle, complete veterinary care for the felines in your family
Make the Tough Decision
You have always done what is best for your beloved cat. Now you are being faced with the hardest choice yet- making the decision of whether it is time to say good-bye. Please understand that euthanasia is not you giving up on your cat. It is giving your cat the gift of being at peace when their most recent days have been a struggle. Most cat owners face this difficult decision at some point.
Quality of life can seem arbitrary, making it difficult to assess. This causes many cat owners to wax and wane with their decision, which is why quality of life scales have been created over the years to help cat parents quantify their feline family member's quality of life. One of the most popular scales is the HHHHHMM scale which is an acronym for Hurt, Hunger, Hydration, Hygiene, Happiness, Mobility and More good days than bad days. There are many other quality of life scales similar to the HHHHHMM scale. Two other scales that we frequently refer to clients at our clinic are Honoring the Bond and Lap of Love . Euthanasia is a very personal decision and is never easy, but these scales can help.
Making the Appointment
Once you decide that euthanasia is the right choice for your cat, you can make an appointment with us by whichever form of communication your feel most comfortable with: phone (301-898-4009), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or our online form. Even if you are still on the fence about euthanasia and would like to discuss your concerns more thoroughly with one of our compassionate veterinarians you are welcome to make a quality of life appointment.
When you arrive at our office for your appointment come right in and we will escort you into one of our exam rooms. When settled, the technician will have you fill out information on your preferred handling of remains and sign a form consenting to euthanasia. You may also fill out this form online by clicking here.
Options for Remains
Some families prefer to bring their cats home to be buried. If you choose this option, we can provide you with a burial box at no extra fee. Other handling options include group and private cremation. We have partnered with the company, Agape, to handle all of our cremation needs. With group cremation, ashes are not returned back to you, but will be respectfully scattered across Agape's large, tranquil property. With private cremation, ashes are returned to you in an urn of your choosing with a personalized name plate. Whether you choose group or private cremation other memorial options like clay paw/nose prints or ink paw/nose prints can be ordered as well. A staff member will call when your urns and/or memorial items are returned to our office (typically within 1.5 weeks).
After all the paperwork is filled out the technician will then take your credit card for payment while you stay in the exam room with your cat. You may find all of this overwhelming- decisions on cremations, inscriptions, memorial items, and we understand. If preferred, these decisions and payment can all be completed at another time. This appointment is to focus on your family's needs. If you prefer to review our prices before you arrive at our clinic Click here.
Next, the doctor will come in to discuss your questions and concerns. The doctor may perform an exam depending on the certainty of your decision. If after speaking with the doctor you feel it is not time to say good-bye, that is fine- you will not be the first (or the last) to make this decision. Please do not feel that just because you are here for an euthanasia appointment that you have to euthanize today.
If after confirming with the doctor that it is time to euthanize, the doctor will exit the room to draw up medications. You are welcome to be present for the entire euthanasia or to leave at anytime that makes you most comfortable. When the doctor re-enters the room a sedative will be administered either subcutaneously or in the muscle to keep your cat relaxed and comfortable. The sedative may take up to 20 minutes to take full effect. Feel free to pet, snuggle or just sit with your cat while we wait. When your cat is fully relaxed, the doctor will check the vein in their back leg to see if it is large enough to inject the euthanasia solution. Sometimes the veins in the back legs may be too small and a front leg vein may be used for the injection. A technician will assist the doctor with administering the injection while you may focus on saying your last farewells. Once the injection has been administered it typically takes less than a minute for the heart to stop. You are more than welcome to take all the time you need alone afterwards. You may leave whenever you feel ready.
In-Home Euthanasia Options
Unfortunately, our office no longer is able to offer in-home euthanasia, but there are a few local mobile options listed below.
Dawn Veterinary Care
Paws at Rest
Stone Marsh Mobile Vet
Perry Integrative Veterinary Care
Phone: (301) 463-4334
Huzella Veterinary Services