FAQ

We have a lot of information available in our FAQ so just click the section you’re interested in to find out more.

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Vaccinations

  1. Why should I attend a veterinary surgeon to have my animal vaccinated?
  2. At what age can primary course vaccination be carried out?
  3. When is the second course of the primary vaccinations due?
  4. What diseases is my dog vaccinated against?
  5. What diseases is my cat vaccinated against?
  6. What diseases is my rabbit vaccinated against?
  7. Why does my pet need to have booster vaccinations?
  8. Does my pet need booster vaccinations every year?
  9. Will my pet be ill after its vaccinations?
  10. Can I catch FIV from my cat?

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Neutering

  1. At what age can I have my female cat/dog spayed?
  2. At what age can I have my male cat/dog neutered?
  3. Can I have my cat spayed while it is in season?
  4. Can I have my dog spayed while it is in season?
  5. What does a spay involve?
  6. Is it the same as a woman having a hysterectomy?
  7. What does castration involve? Are the testicles actually removed?
  8. Is that the same as vasectomy?
  9. Do I need to have my rabbit neutered?
  10. Is having my animal neutered safe?
  11. Will their personality change after they are neutered?
  12. Will they gain weight after they are neutered?

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Parasites

  1. How do I tell if my pet has worms?
  2. What are the options for treating worms? How frequently?
  3. Which one is best for me and my pet?
  4. Why do I need to keep treating my pet for worms?
  5. How do I tell if my pet has fleas?
  6. What are the options for treating fleas on my pet? How frequently?
  7. Which options is best for me and my pet?
  8. What are the options for treating fleas in my house?
  9. Can fleas transfer from my dog to my cat and vice versa?
  10. How do I tell if my pet has sarcoptic mange mites?
  11. What are the options for treatment of Sarcoptic mange mites?
  12. Which one is best for me and my pet?
  13. Can you show me how to administer various treatments? E.g. Frontline, Aerosol spray for environment, Washes, tablets etc.
  14. Can I catch fleas from my pet?
  15. Can I catch worms from my pet?
  16. Can I catch sarcoptic mange from my pet?
  17. Can I catch ringworm infection from my pet?
  18. Is there a worm under the skin in ringworm?

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Nutrition

  1. What should I feed my dog?
  2. How often should I feed my dog?
  3. What should I feed my cat?
  4. How often should I feed my cat?
  5. What should I feed my rabbit?
  6. How often should I feed my puppy/kitten?
  7. Does my cat need to drink milk?
  8. Why is my pet overweight?

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Administration of other medicines

  1. How do I give my cat tablets?
  2. How do I give my dog tablets?
  3. How do I give my pet eye/ear drops?

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Other Services

  1. What do you advise about dog training classes – are they useful?
  2. Can you recommend one to me?
  3. Can you recommend a grooming parlour or a boarding kennel/cattery to me?
  4. What is involved in having my animal microchipped?

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Euthanasia

  1. How can I have my animal ‘put to sleep’?
  2. What arrangements can be made for you pet after euthanasia?
  3. Will my animal feel anything during the euthanasia?

 

Vaccinations

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1. Why should I attend a veterinary surgeon to have my animal vaccinated?
The veterinarian will give your animal a full health check prior to vaccination to ensure they are fit and healthy enough for vaccination. In puppies and kittens the vet will thoroughly examine your new pet to ensure there are no health problems present. They will listen to their heart and lungs, examine their mouth, ears and eyes and ensure your pet is the correct weight for its age. This is also a good opportunity to chat to the vet about feeding, microchipping, insurance, toilet-training etc.

In older pets the annual vaccination visit again provides the opportunity for a full physical examination of your pet to ensure they are in good health. It will allow you to raise any concerns or questions regarding your pet’s health and behaviour with the veterinarian. Regular check-ups will allow early detection of any problem or disease.
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2. At what age can primary course vaccination be carried out?
Primary vaccinations are usually given between 8 and 10 weeks old in both puppies and kittens. Prior to their first vaccination and for 7-10 days following their 2nd vaccination, young puppies and kittens must be kept away from other non-vaccinated animals. Parvo virus vaccination may be given as early as 6 weeks in at-risk pups, but 2 further vaccinations will generally be necessary, due to interference by maternal antibodies.
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3. When is the second course of the primary vaccinations due?
2-3 weeks after the first vaccine has been given. In some situations we would recommend a 3rd booster injection at 16 weeks.
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4. What diseases is my dog vaccinated against?
Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Canine Leptospirosis (both canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae), Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper virus, Canine Parainfluenza virus and Canine coronavirus are vaccinated against in the standard vaccination protocol at our Hospital.

Kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica) is vaccinated against if dogs are going to kennels. Rabies vaccination is also available if you intend to travel with your pet.
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5. What diseases is my cat vaccinated against?
Feline Infectious enteritis, Feline Chlamydia, Feline Herpesvirus and Feline Calcivirus and Feline Leukaemia virus are included in our standard vaccination protocol. If a cat hasn’t been vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia virus before, a blood test to test for the disease is recommended prior to vaccination.
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6. What diseases is my rabbit vaccinated against?
Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic disease. These vaccinations must be given separately.
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7. Why does my pet need to have booster vaccinations?
The immunity given by the Primary vaccination course is not life-long. The immune system needs a ‘reminder’ of the disease in order to maintain immunity. Booster vaccinations guarantee a high immunity against infectious diseases which your dog or cat will be exposed to. In dogs the immunity against most diseases is thought to last 2-3 years. However immunity to Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease which is spread through rat’s urine, only lasts one year, hence the requirement for an annual booster against it. Leptospirosis causes a very serious disease in dogs and in Humans (Weil’s disease). We consider it very important to vaccinate your dog against this disease every year. The other diseases are vaccinated against every 2-3 years.

It is recommended that cats get booster vaccinations every year.

It is recommended that rabbits get vaccinated against Myxomatosis twice-yearly and against VHD annually.
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8. Does my pet need booster vaccinations every year?
Yes (as for q 7). Your cat or dog’s immune system needs boosted once a year to give your pet optimum protection against infectious diseases (hence the term ‘booster’).
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9. Will my pet be ill after its vaccinations?
No, most animals are not affected at all. A very few may be a little quieter for the rest of the day. Vaccine reactions are rare and mild. Serious adverse reactions are extremely rare, the benefits of vaccination far out weigh these risks.
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10. Can I catch FIV from my cat?
No. FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus; it is species specific so only cats can contract it.

Neutering

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1. At what age can I have my female cat/dog spayed?
From 6 months old.
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2. At what age can I have my male cat/dog neutered?
From 6 months old.
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3. Can I have my cat spayed while it is in season?
It is preferable not to. Often it is unavoidable as they don’t show as much physical signs of being in oestrus as dogs. Usually there are few problems with this.
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4. Can I have my dog spayed while it is in season?
No. You must wait at least 8 weeks after her season has finished. There is usually a 6 month gap between heats. There is an increased blood supply to the area while they are in heat/season making the surgery far more risky with a higher risk of internal bleeding. It is not recommended.
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5. What does a spay involve?
A spay involves a general anaesthetic, an incision into the abdomen and removal of both ovaries and uterus. Recovery and rest time after spay will be 10-14 days or until stitches are removed.
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6.Is it the same as a woman having a hysterectomy?
No. A hysterectomy involves removal of the womb/uterus and not the ovaries.
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7. What does castration involve? Are the testicles actually removed?
Castration involves a general anaesthetic and removal of both testicles. Recovery and rest time after castration will be 10-14 days or until stitches are removed.
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8. Is that the same as vasectomy?
No a vasectomy does not involve removal of the testicles. Instead the vas deferens (the snip) is removed. This prevents the dog from being fertile but he will still show normal male sexual behaviour and show an interest in female dogs.
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9. Do I need to have my rabbit neutered?
It is strongly recommended. Neutered rabbits live longer than un-neutered rabbits. Female rabbits very commonly get uterine cancer and neutering will remove that risk. Neutering will also reduce conflicts and aggression in male rabbits and make them a calmer pet.
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10. Is having my animal neutered safe?
We use the safest form of anaesthetics available and monitor all patients continuously during their surgery and in recovery. All anaesthetics can carry a small risk.

In order to minimize this risk, your vet will give your pet a full health check prior to surgery to ensure they are fit and healthy to undergo an anaesthetic. You can also opt to have a pre-anaesthetic blood test to further check your animal’s health and organ function. This does not eliminate the risk but can highlight any issues prior to surgery.
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11. Will their personality change after they are neutered?
You should not see any change in personality. Male dogs with aggressive tendencies that are caused by male hormones may become a little calmer.
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12. Will they gain weight after they are neutered?
Their metabolism will slow down (by approx 10%). The primary cause of weight gain in our pets is under exercising and excessive calorie intake.

Parasites

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1. How do I tell if my pet has worms?
You may suspect your pet to have worms if they have a swollen belly, are constantly hungry but are losing weight. They may have a poor coat and you may notice fleas. Occasionally a severe worm infestation will cause vomiting and diarrhoea. You may notice “rice grains” in their faeces-these are tape-worms or you may see long spaghetti-like tubes, these are roundworms. A faecal sample maybe examined for worm eggs. In some cases no clinical signs will be seen so regular worming is very important.
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2. What are the options for treating worms? How frequently?
Worm puppies & kittens every 2 weeks from 4 weeks of age until 12 weeks old, then every month until 6 months old, then once every 3 months. Tablets, liquid preparations and topical spot-on treatments are available. The dose required is weight based so it is important to know your pet’s weight before you get the tablets. You can weigh your animal free of charge at our hospital as often as you like. You can get worm treatments from the vets or certain chemists. Supermarket preparations may not be effective against all types of worms.
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3. Which one is best for me and my pet?
It depends on the life-stage of your pet and if there are endo/ectoparasites evident. It is important that the product meets the needs of your pet and is easy to administer. Some topical treatments do not treat all worms (e.g. tapeworms) therefore it may be advised to rotate oral treatments with spot on treatments. Ask for advice from your vet or vet nurse.
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4. Why do I need to keep treating my pet for worms?
Your pet will pick up worms from the environment. Puppies/ Kittens are almost all born with worms obtained from their parents. Therefore regular treatment is required to prevent infection/treat burdens. Also some worms can be contracted by humans so regular preventative treatment is best.
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5. How do I tell if my pet has fleas?
Some pets will scratch continuously when they have fleas, while others may not notice. You may also see some flea dirt on their coat – looks like black pepper. Look through their coat from the lower back up and you may see flea dirt or actual fleas crawling through the hair. Owners also commonly notice fleas while washing their pet as fleas don’t like water! In some dogs even a small number of fleas will cause an allergic skin condition known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis which causes itching and hot-spots on the skin.
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6. What are the options for treating fleas on my pet? How frequently?
There are a wide variety of topical spot-on treatments available (Stronghold, Advantage, Advocate, Promeris, Practic) which make flea treatment quite easy. These usually kill fleas and prevent re-infestation for 4-6 weeks after treatment. Sprays (e.g. Frontline) can also be used but gloves must be worn when using and spray in a well ventilated area.
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7. Which options is best for me and my pet?
Speak to your vet or vet nurse about options.
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8. What are the options for treating fleas in my house?
Unfortunately this can be a persistent problem unless repetitive treatments are carried out. Once a flea problem is noticed on a pet, they have already reproduced and are living in the environment. 75% of the flea life cycle is spent off the pet and in their environment (house), especially in well heated furnished areas. Aerosol sprays e.g. Acclaim or Indorex are used for killing fleas in the house, available over the counter at our hospital. Also destroy any bedding or boil wash as applicable and hoover everywhere, paying particular attention to any dark warm places (e.g. under long curtains, in sofas etc). Freezing more delicate garments will also be effective.
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9. Can fleas transfer from my dog to my cat and vice versa?
Yes. The most common flea on the dog is the cat flea!
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10. How do I tell if my pet has sarcoptic mange mites?
Sarcoptic mange is also known as scabies or mange. It is a mange mite which can live in the layers of your dog’s skin. Your dog will be severely itchy especially on their ears, elbows, belly and legs. You may see hair loss, often appearing first at the elbows and face. Due to self-trauma, bacterial infections often occur causing a yellow-brown crust to develop over the skin. To diagnose this condition a vet or vet nurse will take a skin-scrape and may see the mange mite under a microscope.
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11. What are the options for treatment of Sarcoptic mange mites?
Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious to other pets and to humans (causes “scabies” in people). You must isolate your dog from other pets. You should wear gloves when dealing with your dog. The most common treatment for sarcoptic mange is weekly washes with “Aludex”-a special medicated shampoo. This treatment is usually continued for 4-6 weeks until there are no mites present in your dog’s skin.
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12. Which one is best for me and my pet?
Your vet will advise you.
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13. Can you show me how to administer various treatments? E.g. Frontline, Aerosol spray for environment, Washes, tablets etc.
Yes. A vet or vet nurse will show you how to use these products.
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14. Can I catch fleas from my pet?
They won’t live on humans but you can get bitten
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15. Can I catch worms from my pet?
Yes. Always wash your hands after handling your pet. Children are especially vulnerable and should be taught to wash their hands after playing with their dog and cat. Poor hygiene practice occasionally allows the roundworm, toxocara canis, to infect children. This can cause blindness or sight dysfunction called ‘visceral larval migrans’. Therefore regular worming of your pet will protect both your pet and your family.
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16. Can I catch sarcoptic mange from my pet?
Yes, it is highly contagious to people.
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17. Can I catch ringworm infection from my pet?
Yes
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18. Is there a worm under the skin in ringworm?
No it is a fungal infection, similar to athlete’s foot in people, it appears on the skin as a raised, red, circular lesion.

Nutrition

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1. What should I feed my dog?
A dry complete food designed for their life-stage or medical condition to give your dog optimum health now and for the future. For further information please ask at reception. We will be happy to advise you on this.
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2. How often should I feed my dog?
Twice daily is best – it adds interest to another part of the day for your dog and also splits his meal in two, therefore discouraging gorging. Read the guidelines on the packet of food to see how much you should give at each meal.
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3. What should I feed my cat?
Complete dry food for your cat’s life-stage or medical condition to give your cat optimum health now and for the future. For further information please ask at reception.
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4. How often should I feed my cat?
Twice daily is sufficient. Most cats can be fed ad lib unless an obesity problem exists.
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5. What should I feed my rabbit?
There are lots of misconceptions in relation to feeding a rabbit. It must be understood that rabbits live on grass in the wild. They need a high fibre diet for both the wearing of their teeth and their digestive system. Pet rabbits require ad lib hay or grass. It is essential that they always have hay or grass to nibble on throughout the day. This can be supplemented with a bowl of green, leafy vegetables. A limited amount of concentrated pellets may also be fed, but it is not essential. Pelleted forms are preferable to the “muesli” type food that is commonly available.
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6. How often should I feed my puppy/kitten?
At 6-8weeks = 4 meals/day, 10 weeks = 3 meals/day, 5-6 months onwards = 2 meals/day.
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7. Does my cat need to drink milk?
No. The enzyme lactase is less efficient in cats post-weaning, therefore they can’t digest milk efficiently. It is often the cause of diarrhoea in weaned animals.
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8. Why is my pet overweight?
Essentially your dog/cat is consuming more calories than he/she is burning off daily. This may be occurring for a number of reasons. You may be overfeeding or feeding the incorrect diet for its life-stage (e.g. feeding a geriatric pet an adult pet food). Your pet may be getting insufficient exercise and may be getting lots of treats from different family members or neighbours. We will review your pet’s eating and exercise regime to determine where the problem is occurring and can then advise accordingly.

Administration of other medicines


1. How do I give my cat tablets?
It can be given in a small piece of meat. Alternatively you can open the cat’s mouth and pop it in. A vet or vet nurse can demonstrate this technique to you.

Place one hand over crown of cats head. Gently raise the head back. Tablet is in other hand between thumb and index finger – use middle finger of this to open the cat’s mouth and quickly place the tablet as far back in the cat’s mouth as possible. Then close the cat’s mouth and hold the head back gently rubbing the front of the throat to encourage swallowing. Pill introducers are available at reception to aid this. Administering a tablet directly into your cats mouth is very difficult if you are not experienced doing this and could lead to a nasty bite- so if you have not done it before it would not be recommended.

2. How do I give my dog tablets?
Dogs will usually take a tablet in a small piece of meat or dog food. Alternatively you can open the dog’s mouth and drop in the tablet. This is similar to the cat – first hand is placed over the dog’s muzzle.

3. How do I give my pet eye/ear drops?
Restraint is very important, so it would be ideal to get help to do this. A vet or vet nurse will demonstrate how you apply eye/ear drops.

Eye= Clean lids with moist cotton wool. Use thumb and forefinger to part lids. Approach from side and apply ointment/drops to pink tissue around the eye. Allow your pet to blink next and this will spread the drops over the eye.

Ear = Ensure ear is clean first. Hold back ear flap so you can see into ear canal. Steady your hand with the drops in it on the dog/cats head. Apply drops to centre of visible ear canal. Do not try to put drops into deeper parts of ear canal. Replace ear flap and massage the drops gently around the ear. Some dogs may find this very uncomfortable-ensure you do this carefully to avoid being bitten.

Other Services

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1. What do you advise about dog training classes – are they useful?
Absolutely 100% useful. They will make for a happier dog and a happier you (and a happier vet nurse!!) It is best to start as you mean to go on, have your dog trained at a young age and this will greatly help prevent any behavioural problems in the future.
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2. Can you recommend one to me?
We can provide contact numbers. Just get in contact with us.
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3. Can you recommend a grooming parlour or a boarding kennel/cattery to me?
Please contact the clinic for recommendations.
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4. What is involved in having my animal microchipped?
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted using a needle painlessly under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip contains a unique number. You then register this number with the database, giving your name, contact number and address. We can help you with this. If your dog is lost this microchip can be scanned. All pounds/rescue centres and vets have scanners which will be able to read the number. They can then retrieve your details from the database and get in touch with you to let you know where your pet is. It is important to ensure microchip number is registered or else it is no use in locating your pet.

Euthanasia

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1. How can I have my animal ‘put to sleep’?
We provide a euthanasia service which means your pet will be humanely put to sleep by a veterinarian via an intravenous injection (injection into the vein). It is a painless process. The aim is for euthanasia to be carried out with minimum stress to both pet and client. You can stay with your pet throughout the whole procedure or if you do not wish to be present you can leave your pet with us to look after.
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2. What arrangements can be made for you pet after euthanasia?
There are three options available. We provide a general cremation service. There is also an option for private cremation where owners will have their pet’s ashes returned to them. Alternatively you may wish to take your pet home with you.
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3. Will my animal feel anything during the euthanasia?
Euthanasia is aimed to be as stress free as possible to the animal. Administering the injection is a pain free process. A nurse will place an i/v catheter beforehand to minimise any discomfort. The euthanasia itself is just a high dose of an anaesthetic, so once given the injection; your pet will gently drift off to sleep.