Topsham, ME

Pet End-of-Life Care

As pet owners, we share a special bond with our pets, and saying goodbye to them is one of the most difficult experiences we may face. At Androscoggin Animal Hospital in Topsham, ME, we provide compassionate and dignified end-of-life care for pets and their families.


Our pets are a big part of our family. Unfortunately, their lifespans are shorter than ours. Better medical care has helped to increase our pets’ lifespans and improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, quality-of-life decisions are still common and very difficult. We are trained to help you, and as pet parents, we have been or will be in your shoes at some point. It is not fun to talk about or think about, but the importance of properly approaching these moments cannot be overlooked or understated.

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Our veterinary team is committed to helping you preserve the quality of life of your pets for as long as possible, and we promise to help you make any necessary decisions. Please know that when it comes time to discuss your pet’s quality of life, we will do so with tenderness, respect, and compassion.

Quality of Life

How is “quality of life” defined? Generally, it means the ability to do most of the things that bring happiness and joy without pain or suffering. There is not necessarily one thing that determines whether quality of life is good or bad, and we can help you try to gauge quality. Whether it’s a senior patient who is struggling to thrive or one who is battling a terminal illness, quality of life is something we may find ourselves having to consider when caring for our beloved pet.

We can often assess and improve your pet’s quality of life by performing tests, prescribing medications or supplements, changing diets, or performing treatments; we are here to help you with that!


When we work together and determine that quality of life has diminished beyond hope for improvement, the difficult decision to consider humane euthanasia is imminent. It is one of the saddest moments for everyone involved. It is, however, a gift that allows us to avoid unnecessary suffering. Sadly, it is the price we pay for all the rewarding parts of our loving relationship with our pets. It never gets any easier to say goodbye, but unfortunately, we can’t keep them with us forever.

At Androscoggin Animal Hospital, we consider each patient’s and family’s individual needs. We promise to communicate openly and honestly with you along the way and focus on the most peaceful and stress-free experience for everyone involved. If necessary, we will use medication prior to the procedure to relieve unnecessary stress and anxiety. The procedure of euthanasia involves giving an injection of an anesthetic that causes the pet to lose consciousness before passing away. It occurs very rapidly once the injection is given. We encourage you to stay with us during the procedure, and you can be right with your pet. We also understand that sometimes it is not possible. Whether you stay or not, we will comfort everyone and mourn with you.


We promise to treat your pet with respect and dignity both during and after their life. If it helps to have an impression of a paw in clay for you to have or to have a tuft of fur, we can help. We have several options for aftercare.

  • Home Burial—We can help prepare your pet with dignity for you to bury at home.
  • Communal Cremation—A patient who is cremated communally means that the cremation will be respectfully performed, and the ashes will not be returned to you.
  • Private Cremation—A patient who is cremated privately means that after the cremation process, your pet’s ashes will be returned to you in a hardwood urn with a brass nameplate on top. The urn can be opened if so desired.

Regardless of the decision you make for your special friend, our staff and veterinarians are here to help guide and support you with respect and understanding. Our commitment to you and your family begins with our first meeting and doesn’t end with the last visit. We will also be here to help you after you have lost a family member.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to call or text us at (207) 729-4678.