End-of-Life Care—When it Is Time to Say Goodbye


Pets get old, become ill, and have injuries that require special care to keep them comfortable. When you realize that your pet is getting close to the end of his or her life, it is understandably an emotionally difficult time. We know first hand how you are feeling and work with you, doing everything possible to keep you and your pet together.

Understanding What Needs to Be Done

Any time a pet is ill with a chronic disease, we want to help you understand all the options available. There may be medications or special treatments that will extend your pet’s life. Your veterinarian will discuss all treatments and teach you how to care for your pet at home.

It is a good idea to discuss any limits you have in regards to end-of-life care with the vet before it becomes an issue. Having a plan in place will make things easier for you at a time when you may not be emotionally ready to make decisions.

Choosing Euthanasia

When the suffering is severe, it often reaches a point where it is kinder to put a pet to sleep than to keep giving treatment. We know it is not an easy decision to euthanize a beloved pet.

We provide a comfort room where you can spend time with him or her, talking, crying, sharing, and just being together without interruptions. The comfort room is not a cold, clinical setting. Instead, it is decorated like a home, with a couch and fireplace, so that you and your pet are as comfortable as possible.

You can choose to be there right up to the very end, or to leave the room once you have said your goodbye. The choice is up to you.

If you are not capable of being there, or feel your upset presence would make it harder on your pet, we still perform the procedure in the comfort room. No pet will be put down in a cold, sterile room. We will take extra time with your pet, making him or her comfortable. We understand your pet may be scared and confused and will work to put him or her at ease.

Final Arrangements

Once your pet has passed, you have options for the remains. We do offer cremation, if that is what you prefer. You can choose to take your pet home or to a pet cemetery for burial. This can be done if you choose cremation too.

If you have no place to bury your pet, and the idea of having ashes in the house is not appealing, we can take care of the remains for you. We always treat the remains with respect.

Taking care of an ill or aged pet is not easy. It takes time, commitment, and money. We want to help you do everything you can for your pet. When it comes time to say goodbye, we can help with that too. Each of us at Knoxville Veterinary Clinic knows how it feels.

It would be wonderful if pets lived as long as humans, but it doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately, you may have to say goodbye to many pets over the course of your lifetime. We are here to help you with each one, because we know it never gets easier and each pet is just as loved as the others before it and the ones that will come after.