Dr. Kristin and her veterinary technician will arrive at your home as close to the scheduled appointment time as possible. A phone should be kept nearby in case an unforeseen circumstance should arise where you would need to be contacted regarding your scheduled appointment.
There is a little paperwork to take care of prior to moving forward with the euthanasia including the pet owner signing a form authorizing euthanasia of their pet and also declaring that the pet has not bitten a person or animal in the last 10 days as required by state law.
Dr. Kristin will first administer a combination of a sedative and pain medication just underneath the skin of the pet. Once the pet is deeply sedated (usually takes 5 to 10 minutes), an intravenous catheter is then placed in the pet’s leg vein. The purpose of placing an IV catheter is to have venous access that is well-secured so that when the family is ready the euthanasia solution may be given into the already secured IV catheter. Alternatively, the euthanasia drug may be given into the belly of the pet if placing an IV catheter in not possible.
The euthanasia solution is a concentrated barbiturate solution. The first effect of the euthanasia solution is complete loss of consciousness; within several seconds, the rest of the body’s functions will gently slow down and stop. This is similar to passing away in your sleep as there is no stress, pain or awareness.
After Dr. Kristin has verified the pet has passed with her stethoscope, the family may choose to spend more time with their pet. At this time, a complimentary paw print impression can be made as well. If the family has elected private or group cremation, Dr. Kristin will wrap the pet in a blanket for transport.
I often get asked during appointments, “What made you start doing this for pets in the home?” And every time I get asked this question, my very first in-home euthanasia while working at a corporate veterinary hospital comes to mind, helping a Springer named Simon.
I will never forget Simon and his loving family. I grew close to them after two years of palliative care visits for managing infection/pain for an inoperable oral tumor; length of time credited with palliative radiation treatments at the U of MN. When the time came to say goodbye, I planned to make an exam room as comfortable as possible but the owner said emphatically, “I’d like you to come to my home”. A bit taken aback, my voice and heart said yes.
My technician and I left their home with an aha-moment that the worst day was actually more bearable for Simon’s owners by being able to say goodbye at home. Simon was surrounded by family and was laying comfortably on his enormous dog bed. This experience brought to light what I then thought was a needed service for all pet owners; the option to say goodbye at home. Then Private Pet Passing was founded in 2011 to make this special service more accessible.
My services now include in-home veterinary care for senior or mature pets to minimize stress for both pet and the owner. These include Quality of Life Consults and Senior or Mature Pet Care Visits which focus on help with chronic disease management and palliative/comfort pain reduction thereby maintaining the best quality of life possible for our beloved pets.
Dr. Kristin attended the University of MN College of Veterinary Medicine and completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2004. In 2005, Dr. Kristin completed a small animal medicine and surgical internship at a large referral hospital in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Kristin then decided to move back to Minnesota where her family resides. Since being back in Minnesota, she has worked in private practice for several years. In the fall of 2011, Dr. Kristin founded Private Pet Passing to give owners the option of euthanasia in the privacy and comfort of their home.
Catie has been with Private Pet Passing since 2021. She earned her B.A. in Biology from St. Catherine University in 2013 with a study focus in Veterinary Medicine and has been a veterinary technician for 10+ years. She has worked in General Practice, Internal Medicine, and Exotic Medicine but her passion lies in Palliative/Hospice Care for older pets. When not at work with us, Catie plays an active role in the animal rescue community and is busy raising her 2 sons.