End of Life Care

Providing you and your pet with all the support you need to give your pet exceptional end of life care.

Here at Copthorne we are all pet owners too and know how hard it is to say goodbye to our four-legged friends.

We aim to do everything we can to make this difficult time as smooth and peaceful as possible for everyone involved.

There are several different options for when the time comes and we would encourage owners to have a think about their preferences beforehand. If you would like to give us a call to discuss things or perhaps pop in for an end of life consult with one of our veterinary nurses, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

However, we do appreciate that it can be very upsetting to talk about in person, so in this section we have listed a few things for you to consider in your own time.

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During Covid2021-03-10T05:54:51+00:00

Unfortunately, we have been forced to operate differently with covid restrictions, as we are unable to allow any clients to enter the practice, however, we have worked hard to come up with acceptable alternatives for this difficult time for owners.

We have a private enclosed garden behind the practice which we can use for these appointments, with a summer house to use with doors open if the weather is bad, so you can be with your pet for the last injection if you wish. In this instance we would need to bring them into the practice and ask you to wait outside, while we place a catheter in the vein and attach a long line to it – we can then carry them back out to you in the garden and give the injection via the long injection line at a safe distance from you.

Another alternative is for us to give a sedative injection in the car or garden with you so they fall asleep gradually over 5 – 10 mins or so – we will leave you with them for this time until they are completely unconscious and only then would come back to carry them into the practice for their final injection.

Finally, some people feel they would rather say their goodbyes while their pet is awake and rather not be there for the end – if this is the case we always make sure they have a nurse reassuring them until they are gone.

Can I stay with them?2019-12-14T19:07:05+00:00

Some people feel very strongly that they wish to stay by their side until the end, whereas others may feel that they either can’t stay or would rather say their goodbyes and leave.

It is a good idea to discuss which family members wish to be present, as well as who would like to say their goodbyes beforehand. The vet may decide to give your animal some sedation before the last injection so staying until they have fallen asleep maybe a good halfway point for those who are unsure.

There is no right or wrong and rest assured that one of our lovely nurses will stay with them should you wish to leave.

Where will it happen?2019-12-14T19:05:49+00:00

Many people bring their pets into the surgery for euthanasia but if you feel you or your pet would be happier at home, please do get in touch and we will do our best to arrange a house visit.

Due to the nature of the veterinary practice, this is usually something we can only offer late morning or early afternoon and unfortunately cannot make house calls on weekends but we will try to find a time that works for everyone.

What happens?2019-12-14T19:08:50+00:00

As already mentioned, the vet may opt to give the patient a sedative first. This may depend on how poorly the patient is and can take about 10 minutes to take effect. This is followed by an overdose of anaesthetic injected into the vein, which acts very rapidly.

What happens afterwards?2019-12-14T19:09:43+00:00

After passing away, you can either take your pet home for burial or we can arrange a cremation for you, either with or without the ashes returned to you. If you choose to have your pet’s ashes returned this takes about 10 – 14 days and we will give you a call as soon as they are with us.

If there is anything you would like to keep like a collar or pet tag, or perhaps a few locks of hair or a paw print then please let us know.

Be assured that, even after passing away, your pet is treated with the same care and respect as all our patients.


Register your pet with us today.

You can rest assured we always have your pet’s best interests in mind.


  Call us today 01743 360614

Monday to Friday: 9am-7pm | Saturday: 9am-3pm | Sunday: Closed

Please note our hours may vary due to COVID-19.

2019-12-14T19:19:17+00:00December 14th, 2019|Tags: |
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