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Vet goes to homes to gently euthanize pets
Dr. Paul Sessa has established a light-hearted atmosphere in his animal hospital with a sizeable support staff. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Families in Ripon, Manteca, Salida and throughout the northern San Joaquin Valley have had Dr. Paul Sessa come to their homes to gently euthanize their pets when there was no hope they would survive an illness or a tragedy.

The Salida vet, located just across the river from Ripon, said his families make advance appointments to put their pets down at home, enabling him to work their pets into his weekly schedule when it is not an emergency situation for their pet. It takes several hours of preparation to carry out the euthanasia in a home setting with the added service of taking the body of the animal.

Sessa has done hundreds of the end-of-life procedures and says it is much easier on the family compared with putting a pet down in the clinic. He added that it has to be done in the most professional way with the families gathered around their four-legged friends.

The veternarian graduated from UC Davis in 1984 and worked in an emergency clinic in Stockton before he began offering house calls and opening his own practice. Sessa will have practiced a total of 30 years come next year.

He has one veterinary tech, Cameron Henke, working at his hospital. Henke is in the process of applying to Davis, with aspirations of becoming a veterinarian.

The veterinary hospital in Salida was established in 1997. It is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and specializes in treating cats, dogs and pocket pets.

Sessa’s animal hospital is one of the few to have a surgical laser that provides the same benefits of a bloodless incision to pets that human patients have enjoyed for the past 30 years. He explained that the thousands of dollars in cost to purchase the Aesculight Surgical Laser is all too often prohibitive for many practices.

When using the surgical laser, only an intense beam of solar light touches the tissue resulting in less pain and swelling, and a smaller risk of infection and discomfort after surgery, according to the manufacturer.

“Our mission is to provide you and your pets with service of the highest quality, keeping in mind, keeping your companions healthy and giving you peace of mind,” Sessa said. “We believe that it is through communicating with you, the pet owner, so we can both work together to give your pet a happy and healthy home environment. Pets are an important part of all our lives, and we want nothing more than to ensure that your friends remain with you for a long, long time.”