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Hamster Euthanasia

(3 Posts)
bellaboo13 Wed 03-Aug-16 18:11:40

It is always a difficult process when it comes to having to make the decision to have a pet euthanised, and that process can very much be influenced by how it is approached by the vet. This is about my experience with my elderly hamster. Companion Care have a policy when it comes to euthanasia that stipulates they will put your pet through a full examination and charge you a consultation fee, regardless of how ill, how old, or what species your pet is.

From past experience a veterinary practice has given me the opportunity to contact them in advance and state I have an elderly hamster who has reached their life capacity, they have treated my hamster and myself with compassion and allow them to be euthanised peacefully and without any further distress - this is not the case with Companion Care. On this day the vet saw fit to put my hamster through a full examination, whereby she was separated from myself - even though I asked to be with her - and proceeded to do a full physical examination. Adhering to their policy was a futile exercise, however, for the conclusion was as that practiced by other veterinary surgeries - that indeed, nothing could be done. I would assume the vet's experience told her this as soon as she saw my hamster, it did not need over ten minutes of her going through a full examination to ascertain this. Please do not misconstrue what I am saying, I fully appreciate that a pet having a consultation is of paramount importance “under certain circumstances”, but there needs to be a logical approach to this, when a vet knows before an examination that she cannot do anything for your hamster, whatever the circumstance may be, then to take a blanket approach is wrong. This will only be addressed if more people refuse to find this acceptable, with one person they tell you to go elsewhere, but when more come forward they start to listen ...

You may believe that Companion Care charging £50 is totally acceptable, and it would have been if the vet believed an examination could save her. They stated to me that I was paying for the expertise and years of training involved, which I understand and fully appreciate, but in the same stance that training should have provided my hamster with a less traumatic way to leave this world, which she was not granted. I have to say it is and it isn't about the money. Vets will often use a guardian’s love for their pet to charge whatever they like, based on the fact that if you are a responsible guardian you will pay whatever they choose to charge you. I will only say regardless of whether you agree with me or not, check the policies of the veterinary practice you provide for your pet. Money does not equate love, you are not being cheap by wanting a fair price. When you know the best thing - yet the most heart-breaking thing you can do is to let your animal friend go peacefully, don't allow them to go through any more distress than they need to in the name of "policies".

According to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Companion Care Ltd are not an RCVS Accredited Practice or a Small Animal General Practice. I wish I had known this, I want people to be aware of what can happen, I am not saying the vets are not experienced, I thought they were very nice, the receptionist was very compassionate, but I do feel they are typical of being part of a corporate chain who need to look more closely at what is the most humane path to follow rather than sticking rigidly to their policies.

superram Wed 03-Aug-16 18:13:31

I think you need to raise this directly with them and in future use the local vet that you speak of. Sorry for your loss.

bellaboo13 Wed 03-Aug-16 18:41:14

Thanks superram, I did contact them and they basically said too bad, that is how we do things, go elsewhere. Their approach was typically corporate in the manner they responded. I did not realise how much a local vet differed, it was quite an eye opener for me.

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