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  • How do I know that an end-of-life decision is appropriate for my pet?
    During a phone consultation, we will discuss your pet's condition and quality of life in detail. Your observations and concerns play a crucial role in determining whether an end-of-life decision is appropriate. Factors such as your pet's mobility, eating habits, pain level, breathing, ability to urinate and defecate, and behavior all contribute to this decision. We can also use Quality of Life tests and calendars to help assess your pet's overall well-being. It's important to consider the combination of these factors rather than relying on one aspect alone when making this difficult decision.
  • Will you come my home to assess my pet first?
    We do not. We provide phone consultations with one of our staff who will discuss your pet's current diagnosis and what concerns you are currently having. We will do our best to guide and support you based on our expertise. However, if after arriving at your home and seeing your pet, Dr Yamamoto feels your pet's quality-of-life can be meaningfully improved by certain changes, she will discuss that with you. Please be aware there will be a fee assessed for the home visit/consultation in lieu of euthanasia
  • How far in advance do I need to schedule?
    Typically, we need 24-36 hours to ensure we can give your family the time that is needed. We are closed on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Will you come to my home on your days off or after hours?
    No, we do not provide after hours services
  • What areas do you service?
    We provide services to the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas. A travel fee may be added based on your location. Please see our map to know if your home falls within our area Service area map
  • My dog bite someone/me, is there any concern with that?
    California law has a mandatory 10-day rabies quarantine period of any pet whom has bitten (regardless of the reason or vaccine status). During that time, no healthy pet can be euthanized. If your pet is medically suffering and can not wait through the 10-day period, we recommend you reach out to your primary care veterinarian for help as there are legal steps involved that our service is unable to accommodate.
  • My dog is aggressive, will you be able to come to my home?
    Whether or not we can help is on an individual basis. Please call our office to discuss your pet's specific situation and behavior
  • Should my children be present?
    It depends. If your child is older and you’ve been able to discuss your pet’s illness as well as the euthanasia process with them and they want to be present, then they should be. If they choose not to be present during the euthanasia, they can return once your pet has passed to say their final goodbyes if that will help them grieve. Children under the age of 5 do not understand the permanence of death and, in our experience, the parents of these young children are not able to fully focus on their beloved pet as they are also trying to console their young child. Dr. Yamamoto had personally chosen not to have her children present when they were younger — they would say their goodbyes before. Once they were older, she discussed the reasons a peaceful euthanasia of their beloved pet was needed and respected their decision to not be present. Every family and child is unique. You know your child best. We welcome children being present and will help guide you in speaking with them during the process if they choose to be there. We have also put together a handout that can guide you in talking with your children (ex: Avoid euphemisms like "Fluffy is going to go to sleep"), knowing how a child may grieve/react at different ages and books/websites that may help in your discussion: Children & Pet Loss
  • Should my other pets be present?
    It's important to consider your other pets' behavior and temperament when deciding whether they should be present during the euthanasia process. If they can remain calm and not disrupt the process, it can be comforting for both you and your pet to be all be together. However, if they are hyper or seeking your attention, it's best to place them in another room. You can bring them into the room after the procedure to help them understand and begin the grieving process. If your pets are not comfortable with new people or situations, it's safer for everyone if they are not present during euthanasia.
  • Do I need to prepare anything in my home before?
    No, you do not need to prepare your home for our visit. However, you can think about where you would like the procedure to take place: on their bed, favorite room or outside (weather permitting). Some families like to have photos or their pet's favorite items present or music playing--whatever you feel may bring comfort to you or your pet during this time.
  • How long are you in our home?
    Although the exact time will vary, we are typically in your home for approximately 30 minutes. The euthanasia itself is a fairly quick, peaceful process
  • Will my pet be in pain?
    We use a tiny needle to give the sedative in your pet's muscle but not unlike humans, every pet has a different sensitivity to that tiny needle prick. If your pet is eating, set aside some of his favorite treats for a distraction while we give the sedative. Overall, the process is peaceful for your beloved pet as they feel they simply drift off to sleep.
  • What does the procedure involve?
    A sedative injection is always given prior to euthanasia to allow your pet to relax and be as comfortable as possible. A temporary intravenous (IV) catheter is then placed once your pet is sedate. We use a series of three injections (through the catheter) for the euthanasia -- Propofol (anesthesia), euthanasia solution, and saline (to flush the catheter).
  • Is there any mess involved?
    While your pet is relaxing, they can sometimes release urine and/or feces. We will have pee pads with us to minimize the mess and keep them dry.
  • Who cremates my pet?
    Guardian Animal Aftercare
  • When will I receive my pet's cremains?
    We will contact you in 10-14 days to deliver their cremains and/or keepsakes back home if you are in Santa Clarita. Families outside of Santa Clarita will have their pet's cremains mailed to their home by Guardian Animal Aftercare or can pick them up from our Castaic office or Guardian.
  • How do I know these are my pet's cremains and pawprint?
    We use Guardian Animal Aftercare in Sun Valley and have entrusted them to cremate your beloved pet in accordance with your wishes. Dr. Yamamoto has had many of her personal pets cremated by them and has a good relationship with both the staff and company since 2011. From their website: your pet is lovingly placed in an individual compartment that guarantees there can be no mixing of the cremains
  • If I choose not to receive my pet's cremains, what happens?
    Your pet will be cremated with other beloved pets and their ashes will be scattered at sea by Oceans of Love off the California Coast. From their website: Our captain and crew sail off the coast of Southern California into the Pacific Ocean. When the destination is reached approximately 3 miles offshore, ashes are placed into the sea, along with fresh seasonal flowers. In keeping with nautical tradition, the yacht’s bell is rung eight times to say farewell and signify their watch is over.
  • What do the keepsakes look like?
    Although each clay or ink print is unique, here are some examples:
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