Courageous conversations: body care

Owners of pets that die while under a veterinarian‘s care are usually concerned about the postmortem disposition of the pet‘s body.6 The veterinarian should initiate a candid discussion of how the pet‘s body will be handled and ask if the client has any questions or concerns. A client education handout is available as a part of these guidelines. For example, the veterinarian should disclose whether the body will be refrigerated or frozen and discuss cremation and burial options. A necropsy should be offered and the findings entered into the patient‘s medical record.