Newtown Veterinary Clinic

PH: 03 5221 5333

121 West Fyans Street, Newtown, Victoria

After Hours : 03 5222 2139

When your pet is old and sick


old dog

What do you do when your pet is old and is sick, or has been severely injured?
It is an intensely personal decision to euthanize a beloved pet due to injury or disease.  People often wonder, ‘How will I know if it is time?’

Our advice, after discussing medical issues is that once there are more bad days than good days it is time.  As an owner you know your animal.  You know a good day from a bad one.

What happens when an animal is euthanized?

At our clinic the following is done.
Any stressed or nervous animals are given a sedative to help them relax.  Of the utmost importance to us is that your animal does not get upset with the procedure or suffer.

The choice is very personal as to whether the owner wants to stay for the procedure.  Some prefer to say good-bye and leave, some stay throughout and some come back to say good-bye after the animal has died. There is no right or wrong.  It is your choice and you must do what feels right for you.

The euthanasia drug is an overdose of an anaesthetic that stops the heart and breathing muscles.  It is administered into the vein.  Your pet is asleep before the heart stops.

It is painless and very fast.

Be aware

  • The eyes do not close
  • Sometimes due to nerves and muscles firing, an animal may vocalize or gasp for breath.  The animal is not aware of this, but it is often distressing for owners.
  • Often the bladder and or bowels are released.


Euthanasia for your beloved pet  is a very hard decision to make.  Please feel free to discuss this issue with one of the clinic staff at anytime.  We cannot make the decision for you, but can help steer you towards the decision that is best when your pet is old or sick.


Private cremation is available on request.  Some people like to get their pet’s ashes back in a nice wooden box or urn with a polished plaque.  Please visit the clinic and ask for a brochure if you are interested in this service.


Further information

Further information is available for you in an easy to read brochure available from the Clinic Reception.


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