Frequently Asked Questions
The drug given is a lot like the drugs used for anesthesia. They work in the brain to suppress neurons from firing. The dose we use is much higher than that used for anesthesia. The suppression happens to all parts of the brain simultaneously. From the standpoint of the pet, it would likely feel like going under anesthesia. It is a rapid loss of consciousness. Shortly thereafter the neurons in charge of keeping the heart beating stop firing and the pet passes away. Unfortunately there are times when pets gasp, move or even cry out. This is always uncomfortable to watch but it is important to remember that your pet is unaware of anything past the first few moments following the injection. There is no pain involved. The gasping responses and the like are due to spinal and peripheral neurons firing. This will pass within a few minutes. At the same time, control of the bladder and colon are lost so your pet may urinate or have a bowel movement. These events are normal and expected at the time of death and we will deal with them so as to give you and your pet as much dignity as possible in the final moments.
We can usually help out same day. If you can give us a call earlier in the morning, there is a better chance we will be able to get on the schedule for that day. If you can give us a day or two notice, it will give us best opportunity to schedule a block that works best for you. You are also welcome to schedule out as far in advance as you like. Locations with extended drive time may have restricted time frames during the week. Give us a call and we can go over the details.
The fee for our service can be found at our Square Register Site
My pet is very old and debilitated. Last time I was at the veterinarian with him they had a real hard time with his veins. What if you can’t get a catheter placed?
There are times when catheter placement can be extremely difficult. There are two ways euthanasia solution can be administered in those situations. It can be given in the abdominal cavity (intra-peritoneal injection) where it will be absorbed into the bloodstream and have its effect. Alternatively it can be given directly into the heart (intra-cardiac injection). In both of these situations the potential for patient pain and discomfort is higher. Therefore higher doses of sedation are necessary. There is always a humane way to perform euthanasia.
Unfortunately Federal Law requires that Dr. Carter be the only one to handle the controlled substance. You are welcome to hold your pet throughout the procedure except during catheter placement. Care must also be taken during the euthanasia procedure itself so that no one is inadvertently bitten. Reflex actions following euthanasia administration have caused injuries in the past.
If you are uncertain if your pet should be euthanized, we advise you to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. We believe the vet clinic has the best resources, including diagnostic equipment, that is required to make an educated assessment of the health of a pet. Dr. Carter has also put together a video and a written blog on Humane Decision for Pet Euthanasia, that you can view on our Road to Home Blog page. There is a quality of life score chart at the end of the written blog (click the title of video for drop down written blog), that many people find useful. We can also discuss with you over the phone, if you have concerns.
If your pet doesn't see a vet routinely, we will only euthanize pets that are at the end of their life (old age), and we may require a veterinarian recommendation. We do not euthanize for behavior (i.e biting, or eliminating in the house), which does not mean that these pets shouldn't be euthanized, but that it needs to be done in coordination with routine veterinary care at your local clinic. We also do not euthanize pets that are treatable. If you can not afford treatment, we recommend working with your veterinarian on the best course of action.
There are a number of options for the cremation or burial of your pet that we can discuss with you when you call to make an appointment. Private cremation will have your pet placed in a crematorium by itself, with no other pets, and the remains will be collected and returned to you. We have a courtesy transport to Rainbow Bridge for their private cremation services. General cremation is where your pet will be placed in a crematorium with other pets, and you will not have the option of getting your pet's remains back. The cremains are spread on rural property. We will also transport as a courtesy for the general cremation. You are also welcome to make your own arrangements for aftercare, if you have some property you would like to bury on, or you would like to use one of the other cremation outfits in town, you just have to make your own arrangements for transportation. We want you to be comfortable, and have options, for your aftercare decision. Road to Home will focus on providing your pet with the most humane euthanasia service.
Payment is collected when we arrive at your home if payment hasn't already been made at our Square Register Site. Our service and the general cremation can be paid for on the Square Site, any arrangements for private cremation will have to be made and paid for through that business. Acceptable forms of payment include cash or credit card. Checks are not accepted.
At Road to Home we take this aspect of your pets care very seriously. We have toured the locations that we work closely with, met the owners/operators and discussed this very question with them, and had them run through the process with us to make sure that we could be absolutely confident in this aspect of your pets care. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we can address them as best we can so that you can be comfortable in the level of care that your pet is receiving.
We require a minimum of 24hr notice to cancel an appointment. If an appointment is cancelled within 24hrs of original appointment, the full service fee will be charged.
We try to service an area roughly 40 minutes from 72nd and Dodge in Omaha (excluding Iowa at this time). Locations more than 30 minutes from 72nd and Dodge may have restricted days and blocks (see scheduling an appointment FAQ above, with Lincoln as an example). These locations will also be subject to an altered block with a wider time range (i.e. 10am-3pm), and may incur an additional travel fee (due to an hour or more drive round trip).