Whether they be furry, feathered or scaled, the relationship you develop with your pet is one of love and companionship. When it’s time to say goodbye, preparing for the inevitable can be heartbreaking, but knowing what to expect during this already difficult time may help to ease the pain.
In some instances, even once the heart has stopped, you may see some movement from the pet as the muscles relax. As muscles relax, the animals may leak urine or their bowels may empty. Other involuntary contractions may occur, such as the animal appearing to gasp or move. This is strictly a muscle reflex as the body stops functioning.
The biggest myth is that eyes close at death. In "Marley & Me", when he is euthanized , it shows his eyes closing as he dies. A pet's eyelids usually remain open at death, as it requires muscle contraction to close them.
An animal's body begins the process of rigor mortis, the stiffening of the joints, within 10 minutes to three hours after death and can last as long as 72 hours.
: The temperature that the body is in will affect this process. Ideally, the cooler the better. The buildup of gases and the breakdown of skin are slowed the cooler the body is kept.
Saying goodbye to your precious pet can be extremely difficult, Having knowledge about this process can help you better deal with the final moments.