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I think my pet is dead, how can I be sure?

It can be very upsetting in this situation and you obviously need to be sure that your pet has passed away. If your pet has died there will no longer be any breathing or any other movement. (Although immediately after death there can be some muscle tremors and gasping movements which people can find very distressing to witness). The pupils of the eyes will be dilated and will not react to light but the eyes will probably be open. The gums and mucus membranes will look bluish or pale. After some time the body will cool and stiffen (rigor mortis).

If you are in any doubt about whether your pet is dead or not, then take the body to the veterinary surgery where the vet or nurse will check for you and discuss what further steps you should take.

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All Rights Reserved | Content is provided for information only. All content on is protected by copyright and therefore may not be copied without specific written permission from the author. Disclaimer: The content of this website is based upon the opinions of Samantha Coe, unless otherwise stated. Individual articles, extracts, and any links to external sites are based upon the opinions of the respective author(s), who may retain copyright. The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified veterinary professional and is not intended as medical advice. The purpose of this site is the sharing of knowledge and information - Samantha Coe encourages you to make informed healthcare decisions for animals in your care based upon your research and in consultation with your vet.