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#15224 - 03/06/10 11:55 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 8782
Loc: Wisconsin
Likes: 267
bjdimock, this is pretty harsh for people who are discussing the pros and cons of a procedure that none of us really want to have to do with our dogs.

A little kindness and understanding would go a lot farther than the bitching yada yada I just read. No one is perfect, people, Vets, Drs, owners all make mistakes.

Verbally slapping someone around for expressing their feeling on a terrible incident they went through is pretty rude, uncaring, thoughtless.

There are much nicer ways to make a point.

Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11

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#15503 - 03/06/10 10:32 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
Skywalkerlady Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Are you seriously aruing that screaming and kicking is better that sedating the animal? You have no way of knowing for sure that the animal is not feeling it. And intentionally chosing to do it this way, sorry, I do not get it and very strongly disagree. Luckily, this is not how my vets do it and I would never chose one who does it in this way. I would take my business elsewhere.

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#15591 - 03/07/10 04:32 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Skywalkerlady]
middleofnowhere Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 2738
Likes: 185
That is not what I read the post (2 back) to say.
What it said to me is that 1. sometimes the body reacts although the dog is not aware of it (and that that is not necessarily the vet's fault) 2. the poster wants to be present regardless of how the procedure goes - they feel that relationship with their dog regardless of how rough it might be on the humans involved.

I have similar feelings. If I chose to euthanize an animal, I need to be there. I am not saying it is right or wrong for someone to chose differently. I am saying that is what I want to do - how I want it to be.

I have no idea how that post was some how considered "harsh."

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#15592 - 03/07/10 05:55 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: middleofnowhere]
MaxaLisa Offline

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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19487
Loc: Northern CA
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Originally Posted By: middleofnowhere
That is not what I read the post (2 back) to say.
What it said to me is that 1. sometimes the body reacts although the dog is not aware of it (and that that is not necessarily the vet's fault)

I think that's a pretty grand assumption that the dog is not aware of these reactions. I don't think that's something that we can be completely confident in knowing - we are learning all the time about "consciousness" and I think we sometimes make assumptions that make us conscious folks feel better. It actually sounds like one of those things that are told to us for years, that just might not be true. Much like the vets that told us for years that "dogs don't feel pain", when in reality, they are just more stoic about it. When the poster mentioned she heard her dog scream and that she knew her dog was not aware of what it was doing, I think that too is an assumption, and not something that we can know with assurance.

Regarding whether the vet botched the euthanasia or not, I think we can let the description speak for itself. Last time I had blood shooting from my vein was when a really bad technician was trying to take blood from me....

And perhaps I read the last statement wrong, but I didn't read it as only stating that the poster wanted to be there no matter what. I read it that she wanted the dog to be aware and present so that she could say goodbye in those final moments, without her dog being first sedated, so that the goodbye was one made in full consciousness. Perhaps I read that wrong. If I read that correctly, my thought was, that that goodbye then is more for the human than the dog.
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

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#15594 - 03/07/10 07:08 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
kutzro357 Offline

Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 229
Loc: Pocono`s, Pa
Likes: 1
I don`t know what cocktail my vet uses but I`ve had a couple dogs euthanized and it was the same every time. I sat on the table with their head in my hand or lap. The vet starts the IV and very slowly and calmly the respiration and heart slow and stop. Nothing dramatic. I gently close their eyes and hold them.
"If I only had three words of advice, they would be, Tell the Truth. If got three more words, I'd add, all the time."
ó Randy Pausch

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#15647 - 03/07/10 11:34 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: kutzro357]
Skywalkerlady Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
I wonder what is the advantage of using a coctail that will make the animal thrash and scream during those last moments as opposed to a coctail that will allow death to be peaceful? It is the right of the owner to chose the thrashing and screaming solution, but I doubt that it is what most pet owners want.
While the owner might want to see the dog aware and awake, I wonder whether the dog would chose the same. Unfortunately they can not express their wishes. It is important that pet owners be educated that there are choices and explained the alternatives.

I would chose sedation (or fading away in sleep) as opposed to being fully conscious of the moment of my own death (with screaming and thrashing around, regardless whether it is conscoious or not) and I would make the same choice for my dog.

Being present for the euthanisia is a different issue from sedation, I would always want to be there for my pet. Some people don't, and it is everyone's choice.

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#15795 - 03/07/10 04:59 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
doubletrouble Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 41
Loc: Arizona
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My comment was not meant to be a blame game - simply information of what I went through that I thought might help someone else.

I took Cody in, not knowing that type of thing could happen - regardless, there is no way I would not have wanted to be there...all the more so because of what did happen. The vet was neither new nor young but I understand she was human. I still would not have felt comfortable going back to her.

I'm sorry - it sounds like you went through an experience even more upsetting than mine.
Mom to Rambo
RIP Cody & Belle

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#16193 - 03/08/10 04:15 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
Shilohsmom Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1726
Likes: 160
Originally Posted By: bjdimock
Originally Posted By: doubletrouble
Unfortunately, our first dog was the victim of a botched euthansia. Our regular vet wasn't there that day and the vet that was there was someone we hadn't seen before. She wasn't a new vet, just new to the practice. Due to unusual circumstances, we chose not to wait the few days until our regular vet returned (big mistake).

I had never had to put a dog down but I was with a friend when her dog was PTS so I thought I knew what to expect. I still don't know exactly what the vet did wrong - only that as I was holding him, she inserted the needle several times then started apologizing and suddenly there was blood squirting all over the walls and me and the vet tech I knew pretty well came running in and meanwhile I'm sobbing and holding on to Cody who wasn't struggling but I'll never forget him looking at me -it was just horrible!! I honestly don't remember all that was said and done after that -but I do remember being told that unfortunately that can happen and I was too upset to argue, I just wanted him to be at peace. She left the practice soon after - I didn't go back until she did.

When Belle went to the bridge, it was quick and peaceful and it was at the hands of a vet who knew what she was doing. The only pain was ours at losing her.

OK, stop it with the blame game........
Everyone is willing to slam vets for "Botched" euthanasia's.
Why do you think that human doctors won't even broach that field????
They don't want to touch that with a 10 foot pole.
They aren't getting involved in our views of acceptable euthanasia for pets versus acceptable euthanasia of humans.
I bet if euthanasia was readily available to humans, then,you would find that people also don't always die peacefully, sedate or not.
Sometimes they would just slip away... sometimes, their nerves would react, and sometimes, their central nervous system would kick in, and even though they were long gone, their body would gasp for 20 minutes. ( Want to go there with me??)
As for the vets who can't find the veins....
It is much harder to hit a vein on a down, sick animal than it is on an active one.
Perhaps the vet you had try to do it was young, and realized that she couldn't do this part of the job. Forgive her.
The many tears I have cried with my clients only strengthen my bond with them, and help them to know that someone else feels the passing.
My best friend, and boss, couldn't hit the vein on my girl, and she too, looked into my eyes while that was happening and you know what I saw? (I heard I'm sorry too)
My pain ridden girl, trying to figure out who I was, and trying to trust me, because she never moved once.
I remember my heart leaving before she did, because I couldn't show her that I would let her down.
I remember her screaming once the injection was in, and knowing that she didn't know that she was doing it.
I remember the kicks, and Wendy telling me she was holding on to the end...
And then I remember only peace, when Katchia just let go, and loved me one last time.
She loved me until the end, and in the end, I got to see her one last time.
I wouldn't trade that moment ever.
If that is what comes with my decision over my pack, then I'm there till the end, no matter what it brings.
What right do I have to let that moment pass???

I couldn't believe what I read here. I kept comming back and re-reading it but still could not believe it. Please tell us some heartless person got ahold of your sign in and posted this and you had nothing to do with it.

I'm appaulded at the suggestion that a person should find some type of bonding moment with the Vet if the Vet doesn't have the experience they need to put my pet to sleep peacefully. The Vets can cry all they want but if they can't handle it then they need to get out of the profession or at least refuse this 'service'. I can guarantee few things in this world but I can guarantee you that a Vet crying over something like this would in no way lessen my pain or create any type of bonding experience.

To everyone else reading this thread I encourage you to keep reading, do your reseach and have this discussion with your Vet. As pet owners we will all face this time but it might be a little easier if you know what to expect in the end.

Proud Mom to Eli and Kodiak
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh and Shoshi
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!

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#17698 - 03/10/10 11:03 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Shilohsmom]
Hawklore Offline

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 78
Loc: IN, USA
Likes: 0
For a well minded veterinarian, Euthanasia is nearly as hard on them as it is on the owner.

The Vet must live with the fact they are taking a life, whether it is for the better or not.

The vet I worked for, many many times, came out of a room, closed the door, and leaned his head up against the door frame, touched the wall, and walked away, head hung.

The best way to prevent 'botched' euthanasia's is to request an I.V. Catheter be placed. It gives the veterinarian a direct like to the blood supply, and will prevent the multiple needle sticks happening in front of you.

No one can control how a dog reacts to the cocktail of medicines being given.

I've never had a violent euthanasia. The worst thing that's happened is we've had to inject 3x as much solution, than what was required.

We felt horrible, because the dog is so near death, but unable to continue into it.

Use an I.V. catheter for all Euthanasias, and 90% of these problems won't happen.


Bodily functions cease, the moment the heart does. Muscles relax, stool is passed, urine is released.

Nerves fire, they aren't because the brain is sending the signal, their fired because the brain releases all chemicals.

The chemical that causes the nerves to twitch, and muscle movement, is sodium based, and highly produced.

Most nerve twitching I have noticed is in the form of how our dogs dream. They run in their sleep. This is little twitches of the paws, eyes, ears, and rarely a leg.

Edited by Hawklore (03/10/10 11:09 PM)

Lend a shoulder, thank a Veteran.

Loving parent of Quiescence(Kwai).
Formerly WW2Reenactor

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#24482 - 03/26/10 10:52 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Hawklore]
vio79 Offline

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 253
Loc: Massachusetts
Likes: 0
After reading through this, I have to add my $.02, though it's probably worth less than that...

When I was growing up, my family had two lab mixes, brother and sister. We had them for 14 and 15 years, since I'd been 7.

The male had a congenital heart defect, so he ended up at Tufts for the last couple weeks of his life. They euthanized him there and botched it. It was so bad, I had to leave the room (even at 22, I couldn't handle it). One reason why Tufts leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The female died a year later, and our vet euthanized her in our home. She went very peacefully without an issue.

Both cases, no sedation. One was awful, one was good, if you can even say that.

Anyway, I think I would opt for sedation first, so there is a smaller chance the dog may experience any discomfort. Like people said in this thread, you just don't know what they're feeling or going through at the time, and I'd want to make it as easy as possible, both for them and for my own conscience!
Shadow's Mom

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