COVID 19 UPDATE – Things continue to progress and we are slowly getting to a position to allow clients into the practice.  Please note however that in order to maintain social distancing we are allowing just 4 clients/visitors into the building, at any one time.  When numbers are reached, you may be offered a pager/buzzer as an alternative and asked to wait outside.  Face coverings are requested and if you do not have your own, they can be purchased from us.  Do let us know if you suffer from any conditions that makes you exempt from wearing one.

We kindly request only one member of the family attends, where possible and aim to get for us at the correct time for your appointment to avoid ongoing delays.

We are currently open MONDAY to FRIDAY 8am to 6pm and SATURDAYS 9am to 1pm and we continue to provide 24/7 emergency care.

Please DO NOT turn up at the practice unannounced, you MUST phone first and DO NOT COME TO THE SURGERY IF YOU ARE DEMONSTRATING CLINICAL SIGNS OF COVID-19! Thank you once again for your patience.

Here at Orchard Vets we know that having to say goodbye to your beloved pet is a very emotional and difficult time. We strive to help you through this sad and heart-breaking decision with the gentlest and kindest approach possible. We will work together with you to help you make the most humane and loving decision for your pet. We can arrange for a vet to visit your home or we can make an appointment for you to come into the practice. We will ensure to find a quiet time for this appointment and we will often take you straight into a room with your pet.

We also have a notice in our main reception area that explains to our clients that if the candle is lit then someone is saying goodbye to their pet and to be respectful of this by keeping voices low.

What should you expect?

Euthanasia is also known as “putting a pet to sleep” and will help your pet pass away with as little pain and distress as possible.

The vet may give your pet a mild sedative first to relax them if they are distressed or upset. One of our nurses will assist the vet with this procedure, so please do not worry if you do not want to be in the room when this is being done.

The vet will then administer a high dose of anaesthetic, which will put your pet into a deep and permanent sleep. It doesn’t take long for your pet to gently slip away. The vet will then listen to your pet’s heart to confirm that it has stopped. The vet and nurse will usually leave the room at this point and allow you to have some privacy with your pet, if wanted.

Be aware that your pet’s body may release urine, faeces, and possibly other bodily fluids upon death. This occurs due to the relaxation of all muscles. Know that your pet’s eyes will remain open. Sometimes, there are muscle spasms or sounds as the air and energy leave your pet’s body which can last as long as a minute. It is simply part of the process that occurs after death.

Following on from your pet passing away you may wish to take a lock of hair as a keepsake. Don’t be afraid to ask the vet to do this for you – it’s a very common request. You may also wish to take away your pet’s collar with you if you are leaving your pet with us for cremation.
Do not feel obliged to stay with your pet after they have passed. Some people prefer to leave as soon as possible, and that’s entirely normal too. Our vets will show you out through the side door so you do not have to leave through our main reception area.

What happens after saying goodbye to your pet?

You have a number of choices with regards to what happens after your pet has been put to sleep, and again this is a decision that you may wish to make as a family.

You can take your pet home after the procedure and bury them yourselves or we can arrange for them to be cremated at a pet cemetery.

We can also arrange for your pet to be cremated with return of their ashes for you to keep or scatter in a favourite place.

We have a memory tree in our main waiting area where we encourage clients to write a little something about their beloved pets and these little stars stay hanging on our tree for a while and are then placed in our memory book to keep them safe.

Sharing your loss with people who understand

Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) provides free and confidential emotional support and information for anyone who is affected by the loss or anticipated loss of a pet. You can contact their support line on 0800 096 6606 or other via their website https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-and-pet-loss. They also provide some useful literature available here; https://www.bluecross.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/Coping%20with%20Loss.pdf