SERVING: Washington D.C. and surrounding suburbs in Maryland (Montgomery & Prince George’s)
- Drive Time, Home Visit Time, Sedation, Euthanasia
- Body Transport, Cremation, Ashes not returned option
- Body Transport, Cremation, Ashes returned option
- Free call: Doctors will discuss options and quote pricing
- Optional Clay Paw Print and/or Fur Clipping by request: FREE
Call Pet Loss At Home: Washington D.C. (877) 219-4811
- Have your zip code ready (for example 20003)
- Our Smart 800# connects you with a mobile veterinarian in your area
- Dr. Clare Rathjens & Dr. Harrison Foy service Washington D.C. and the surrounding suburbs within Montgomery & Prince George’s counties.
Email Pet Loss At Home Washington D.C.
How To Prepare For A Home Visit With Pet Loss At Home:
- A home visit usually lasts 60 minutes.
- Please set aside a box of Kleenex for tears, a food distraction for dogs (ice cream, chicken, ham, cheese, peanut butter), two large bath towels that can get peed on and a very large blanket or bed sheet that the vet can keep. Please arrange for 1-2 family members or friends or neighbors to help lift the dog stretcher out to the padded bed in the vet’s vehicle.
- Signature and payment are handled first. Cash or check (made out to the mobile vet’s name) are preferred. Credit card available with free processing.
- The goodbye setting can involve friends, family, neighbors, Skype, FaceTime, other pets, candles, quiet music, dim lighting, flowers, photos, telling stories, sharing fond memories, kleenex and towels/soft blankets/pillows. Most home visits take place inside the home on the floor, couch, or bed or in the yard on blankets. Meeting at a beach or park is an option.
- The most painLESS euthanasia method requires sedation first using the smallest needle possible in the most comfortable under the skin location. Don’t ever let your pet be catheterized or euthanized without sedation first. Sedation completely eliminates and avoids a painful vein failure nightmare.
- The euthanasia process works as a massive anesthesia overdose and is started with a sedative injection. Most pets hold still for this administration, some squirm a little, some vocalize from the pressure of liquid going under the skin. A food distraction can work very well here for some dogs (ice cream, chicken, ham, cheese, peanut butter) and even cats (milk, tuna). If you are worried about your pet’s sensitive personality, chronic pain overload or unstable failing medical condition, the vet can discuss that with you.
- Once your pet is unconscious and under anesthesia, then a back leg vein is used for the final overdose. Accomplishing unconscious anesthesia first guarantees that your pet will not feel or experience or know about any painful vein issue. Please be aware that open eyes and quicker breathing are normal to see at death.
- Please request a clay paw print and/or fur clipping if desired. Those keepsakes are free and optional.
- You can keep your pet’s body at home with you or the vet can take the body and arrange for cremation service. The vet’s vehicle has a large padded bed in the back and comes equipped with a stretcher. Please arrange for 2 – 4 family members or friends or neighbors to help lift the stretcher. There are two options for cremation: group/no ashes saved OR private/yes ashes saved/returned to you via personal delivery or shipping. Return usually takes 1-2 weeks. Rush cremation/return can be arranged. You can also attend/view the cremation.
- There are issues to be aware of that are out of our control when it comes to working with elderly animals that are riddled with failing body parts. Cats are often more difficult to work with by nature than dogs. When it comes to the sedative injection, many cats are reactive and not the most cooperative by nature. Using the smallest needle possible in the most comfortable under the skin location is very helpful but not a guarantee that the sedation injection with go perfectly smoothly. Because every pet we are working with is overwhelmed with old age deterioration, debilitation, failure, and often cancer, it’s not uncommon to see some more dramatic body reactions while the failing body attempts to process the sedative drugs. For example, a seizure can occur when cancer has spread to the brain, muscle tensing or tremors or twitching can occur when blood salt levels are unbalanced, and quicker breathing or vomiting can occur as well. The vet’s explanations during the home visit will help prepare you for what is going to happen. It’s very important that we manage your expectations of what is medically realistic when working with a failing pet’s painful and debilitated body. Keep in mind, we are doing everything medically available to minimize pain and maximize peace by sedating first using the smallest needle possible in the most comfortable under the skin location. Most euthanasias are relaxed, quiet, peaceful fading. Some involve more dramatic body reactions because the body is in such unstable failure from old age and cancer.
Hi Dr. Foy,
I received your kind card in the mail today. Thank you so much for helping me to ease Emma’s passing. It meant a lot to me to be able to have her die at home, and with as little suffering as possible. She gave me a very happy eight years, and made everyone she met smile.
Thank you so much for helping me today. You and your wife were so nice and sympathetic about the loss of a dear friend, a sweet, incredibly intelligent dog who helped me thru some hard times. SusanDear Dr. Foy,Just wanted to let you know we received Brandy’s remains on Thursday, July 21st. Everything was nicely packaged and the box is lovely.We are very grateful that it was you who was here with us that day. Your kindness, patience, and empathy helped make the worst day of our lives a little more bearable. Thank you.Warm Regards,Joe & Susan Kidwel