When it’s time to say goodbye

We form such a special bond with our pets and it’s true to say that many of us spend more time with them than our families or fellow humans.

Understandably, we all start to worry when our pets are unwell or showing signs of ageing and people often say they are anxious about making that decision at the right time.

If your pet hasn’t seen a vet for a while…

First of all, if your pet hasn’t seen a vet for a while we would urge you to pick up the ‘phone to have a chat about it and to come and see us.

If your pet is changing, there may well be something we can do to help. This may involve some tests such as a blood or urine sample, sometimes imaging such as x-ray or ultrasound (which is not invasive but may require a little sedation) or recommendation of some medication or lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise which can really make a big difference.  We are fortunate to be able to manage many diseases associated with older age really well these days, and this results in better quality of life for your pet.

If your pets condition and quality of life is deteriorating

If however, your pets condition and quality of life is deteriorating you may wish to prepare for the next stage, or end of life care.

We are always on hand to give you advice which may be medication tweaks or lifestyle adjustments – tools to make things easier for you and your pet.

A common question is ‘how do I know when it’s time?’ Every pet and owner bond and lifestyle is different so there is no simple answer. We would suggest you consider what things are really important for your pet to be able to do: getting outside and going for a walk, enthusiasm for food, accompanying their owners to work, playing in the garden, with the horses.

Has anything changed? Do they acknowledge your presence the same in a morning or after work? Are they involved in whatever you are doing or are they keeping to themselves? Are their interactions with other pets and visitors the same or altered? Are you spending a lot of time worrying that they are uncomfortable, not quite themselves?  All of these questions could apply to most of our pets, cats, dogs or small pets.

Do pick up the ‘phone; we understand what you may be feeling and a chat or consultation can be very re-assuring.

If the time has come…

If the time has come, and your pet is moving from being content to one who is unable to do the things they would like to do or experiencing pain then we have the ability to prevent suffering for them.

You can make an appointment to come to the clinic or we can come to your home.

Whenever possible we recommend you plan for this, so you can be with the right people and in the right environment, and so that you can prepare too.

What will happen?

We will first give your pet a sedative injection under the skin and place a little cannula in a blood vessel, usually a leg. We will give an overdose of anaesthetic which is not painful and your pets breathing will start to slow as they relax and slip away.

How do I decide what to do next

If you wish you may bury your pet at home, if this is possible, or we can take care of them at our practice.

Communal cremation
Our crematorium, Pet Cremation Services, have a little garden of remembrance where a proportion of all ashes are scattered.

Individual cremation
Individual cremations offer a range of little caskets, scatter tubes and porcelain urns for you to choose from.

Click here to view the options available and our fees for these options.


We have to be up-front about this as an individual cremation incurs a significant cost and many people like to have everything paid for at the time so they do not have to worry about this later.

Can I send my pet to be cremated with any items

If you wish to, collars, favourite toys and a special bed can go with your pet to the crematorium

Should we involve the family?

We suggest that as many family members who wish to be involved should be – including involving children in the journey.  However hard it is, sadly, bereavement is one of life’s experiences that we have to learn, and they often want to talk about it. They may also have some thoughts about how they would like to remember their friend and may have a lot

We can refer you to the following websites for guidance:


You are not alone….

Finally, you are not alone.

You have experienced a bereavement and the emotions you are experiencing are valid. We have a different relationship with our pets to fellow humans but a really special one and sometimes it is difficult to say that to other people.

The following organisations may be useful if you or a family member are struggling.

  • A
  • B

As we have the privilege of being an extended part of your family and you a part of the Station House family, we understand what you are going through and want you to know you will be in our thoughts at this sad time.

Joint Measurement Board Appointments

We offer Joint Measurement Board appointments at Station House Vets.

What is the Joint Measuring Board?

The Joint Measurement Board was established in 1934 to run a national scheme for the Measurement of the height of horses and ponies for the purpose of description and classification of horses and ponies for show and competition.

Visit their website to find out more : www.thejmbonline.co.uk

How do I book a measurement appointment?

First of all you need to have applied and paid for the  measurement on the Joint Measurement Board website.

Visit www.thejmbonline.co.uk  to read the guide, the rules and the FAQ’s on the JMB website. You can then create an account to start your application process for an appointment.

Once you’ve applied to the JMB and paid them for your measurement, you can give us a call to organise the appointment – 01653 618303.

Please note we have one vet, Clare, who is able to do the measurements so availability of appointments are around her diary, but we will try and accommodate you as much as possible.

What information will I need to give you at Station House Vets?

When you call up to make the appointment you will need to confirm to us that you have applied and paid for the measurement via the JMB website.

We will need to register your name and the animal’s details and then we can go ahead and book your appointment.

What will I need to bring with me to the measuring appointment?

You will need to bring the right horse(s) and their corresponding passports.

Please ensure before you come that you have selected Station House Vets as the correct measurer on the JMB website, so that you have been allocated to us; otherwise we will not be able to proceed.

PLEASE NOTE: Your horse(s) must be presented with no shoes and adequately trimmed feet.

What else is required for the JMB measurement?

Your horse needs to be relaxed and able to stand still.

Your horse should be able to place its front feet in line and its hind feet no more than 15cm (6 inches) out of line with each other.  Training your horse to do this in advance will help at the appointment.

What happens during the measurement appointment?

On arrival at Station House Vets (via the Equine entrance), please go to our Small Animal Reception and let the team know you have arrived.

Our team will direct you to our stable block and advise you when to unload your horse.

Clare will identify your horse via the passport and microchip number and ensure they are correct.

Clare will then perform the measurement and record all the details on the form, which will be updated online on the JMB website later.

You will need to sign to confirm the JMB Rules have been observed and that you witnessed the height recorded.

What does the JMB measuring pad look like?