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#24525 - 03/26/10 01:01 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: vio79]
ddcha Offline
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Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Tn
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When we finally accepted the fact that Baron would not recover from his illness, I came here and read all of the posts concerning euthanasia. I had never heard of a botched one but then again we had never had to go thru this with any of our other dogs. It terrified me to read that there was a possibility that he would not pass peacefully. I went in to talk to our vet and she assured me that even with her coming to our house, that she would insert a catheter in his leg and do the sedation first.
On "the day" we called her to come and since his front legs were so swollen from the mass in his chest, she placed the catheter in his back leg and took her time lovingly shaving his leg and talking to him. He only looked back once when she started the shaver to see what the noise was. When the sedative went in he layed his head down on his paws and sighed as if to say " thank more pain" We stroked his head and told him how much we loved him and when the cocktail went in he never even flinched.
I watched his breaths get slower and slower and he was gone. After so much suffering it was such a relief knowing he was not hurting anymore . I can say that Yes I will always do sedation. I am not strong enough to think that it might go wrong.

Bella Wolf 2008
Gia Wolf 2010

"Waiting at the bridge"
Kaiser Wolf 1989-1997
Knesha Wolf 1994-2007
Baron Wolf 1997-2010 Our once in a lifetime heartdog

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#25951 - 03/30/10 05:45 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: ddcha]
laevsk Offline

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 344
Loc: Alaska
Likes: 66
I worked for a vet for several years (some time ago now). I helped with hundreds of euthanasias. And then, of course, I've had to have some of my own euthanized over the years.

With the vet I worked for, we never used pre-sedation. I can only remember one animal fighting the euthanasia, and that was a large young (less than a year old) dog whose owner chose to have it put down because it had had a seizure and he "couldn't have a sick dog" (I remember that vividly - I hadn't worked there very long, and the guy wanted the collar back so he could go get another dog). When the euthanasia solution started into the vein, the dog jerked back and the needle slipped. Some of the solution went outside of the vein and the dog started fighting. The solution used then would sting quite a bit if it went outside of the vein (not sure if that still happens with newer solutions). This dog had received maybe half of the solution and it took quite a while of him fighting before the solution slowed him down enough to give him the rest. It was really hard to watch, I will admit.

But after that, I helped hold animals for euthanasia for years, no sedation used, and never saw another one fight. They would just go limp. Sometimes there was a bit of twitching or an occasional gasp, but that was it. I'm not sure why so many people are seeing so many animals fight the euthanasia solution. All of the animals I had euthanized back then just went limp and that was it. I was able to hold them and tell them "I love you so much!" as they slipped away.

The last two animals I've had euthanized, both since my previous vet left the state, have been sedated prior to the actual euthanasia. I didn't get asked - it evidently is just their procedure. I find it to be very drawn out and painful for me, emotionally. You go in, sign all the papers, go into the room and wait for the vet (you're already upset and crying, knowing what's going to happen) .. the vet comes in, gives the sedative (a shot to the back of the neck, like a vaccination, is what they do here) .. the vet leaves, you sit there as your dog goes to sleep .. then you wait and wait while your dog lays there asleep .. it's useless to talk to the dog then as it won't hear anything, so you're basically sitting there feeling terrible and knowing that you can't even say goodbye or "I love you" anymore .. it's a very lost feeling, very painful for me ... the vet finally comes in, with a tech, and they give the euthanasia solution into a vein .. then the vet checks to make sure the dog is dead, and leaves. The whole procedure takes SO MUCH longer than the way it used to be. I really find it makes it much more difficult for me.

On the other hand, if I had reason to believe that my animal wouldn't be able to take the euthanasia solution properly (bad veins, whatever) than I could see doing the sedation first, for the sake of the animal. Her discomfort should always take precedence over my pain. But I think of all the animals I've had put down with the old vet - several dogs, a cat, a horse - and it was quicker and easier without the sedation. The animal only had one needle and we were done. That's the way I prefer, but evidently the vet I worked for was really good at euthanasia, unlike many of the vets that you guys are describing. I'm not maligning vets at all, just surprised to see so many posts describing animals that have "bad" euthanasias. I honestly have only seen that one, and I have held hundreds of animals for direct euthanasia over the years.

I think it's a personal opinion and whether you choose sedation or not, it's YOUR right one way or the other. We each have to choose what's right for ourselves and for our animals.

Melanie, Khana and Tazer
Melanie & the girls in Alaska
Khana-Service Dog Extraordinaire (Chow)
Tazer-Monster Puppy, All Grown Up (GSD)
-And always in my heart:
Trick & Dawson (GSDs)-Kylee & Dora (Chows)-Lady (Aussie)
-20+ years of love and laughter, 35+ titles earned

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#31766 - 04/13/10 08:37 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: laevsk]
vio79 Offline

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 253
Loc: Massachusetts
Likes: 0
Originally Posted By: laevsk

When the euthanasia solution started into the vein, the dog jerked back and the needle slipped. Some of the solution went outside of the vein and the dog started fighting. The solution used then would sting quite a bit if it went outside of the vein (not sure if that still happens with newer solutions). This dog had received maybe half of the solution and it took quite a while of him fighting before the solution slowed him down enough to give him the rest. It was really hard to watch, I will admit.

This is exactly what happened with my dog at Tufts.
Shadow's Mom

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#34991 - 04/22/10 05:20 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: vio79]
Spirit Haus Offline

Registered: 04/22/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Middletown, OH
Likes: 0
I might be facing euthanizing Kaiser at some point in the not too distant future and I will have him sedated first. I have worked in a vet's office and helped with euthanasia and I have euthanized animals myself when I worked in a shelter. Every once in awhile I would see an animal go into that excitement phase ans it is scary if you don't know about it. I have had animals fight it, I have gone outside the vein myself. I have had to poke a vein multiple times to be able to deliver the solution. It just seems to be so much easier on the animal if they are sedated first, but that is just my feeling and what I would prefer to do for my own.

Blackthorn's Onyx ~ Nyxie
Plus: Kaiser, Spirit, Kara, Diego and Nico
Skin kids Bianca and Connor

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#35109 - 04/22/10 10:20 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Spirit Haus]
PositiveDog Online   coffee
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 4920
Loc: Ohio
Likes: 136
Michelle, I am sad to hear this about Kaiser. When I saw you here on the board, he is the first one I thought of.

I hope Kaiser has many more great times with you, and I am sure he knows how loved and dear he is to you.

To all of you facing these decisions, I have been where you are and I know how you feel. hugging

With approval of my friends:

SamCat, 03/2011

Seiko, Solo, Sophie, Skye and Buddy - bridge dogs who taught me so much

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#47844 - 05/31/10 01:28 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: PositiveDog]
mjbgsd Offline

Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 2367
Likes: 13
All of this is making me cry... I finally got the guts to read this read but I can't help but cry my eyes out.
Akbar RN CGC 8

Cody RIP 2003-2012

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#60552 - 07/03/10 08:03 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: mjbgsd]
ozzyandsandi Offline

Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 1285
Likes: 71
Our vet used sedation with Sandi. She slipped right to sleep, after she vomitted - I did feed her summer sausage and ice cream sandwiches (it was her last day on earth, what else would I do?)
Then there was nothing when the final needle went in. It made it easier on us and I hope her. The vet said he expected it with an older dog like her. It really did seem peaceful and as hard as it was, I was glad it was done that way.
Patti loved by Ozzy (proud to be a Heinz 57) and Dolly (weighs more than most people, St. Bernard)...
Sandi's waiting at the Bridge

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#63018 - 07/10/10 02:48 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Chris Wild]
eyedog Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 24
Loc: massachusetts
Likes: 0
i also have had horrible experience with dog also fought the euthanasia and kept struggling to the point i wanted to scream "stop it". he finally passed. it was a horrible experience. in the past couple of years i insist upon sedation prior to euthanasia. it takes alot of stress out of a horrible time and i know in my case with my beloved cole and freidal both have literally gone to sleep with their eyes on the one that loved them the most on this earth. in cole's case he was such a "soft" dog i knew he would scream and carry on when the injection was given so by sedating him we got that out of the way so the last several minutes of his life he was comfortable and eating dog biscuits until he gently fell asleep. then my vet did the euthanasia. such a peaceful and non stressful way to say goodbye to someone you love so very much.freidal sadly had gone blind those last few hours and was unable to move her body. so by sedating her she was comfortable and i just layed on the floor with her while the sedative took hold. she just got that dreamy look of love in her eyes looking at me. for me it was less stressful to do the sedation prior to the euthanasia and in my cole and freidal's cases i feel made their passing so much more comfortable and less stressful.just my humble opinion and experiences.

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#304481 - 12/30/13 12:10 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: eyedog]
JoeD Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 6
Loc: SE WI
Likes: 1
I think it makes sense to sedate in some way prior to euthanasia.

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#337350 - 11/29/15 06:00 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: JoeD]
Jasper&Loki Offline

Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 223
Likes: 8
At the clinic I work at we will sedate if the pet is aggressive or we anticipate an unpleasant reaction/event. We do ask the client prior to.

The other day we had a Bengal that experienced a stroke, it's neck was severely bent, after give Propofol the entire body relaxed to a normal state. I let the clients know the kitty would feel more normal, they were so happy to be able to see this prior to, seemed more peaceful.

My Cat Ares was euthanized in Colorado, the vet didn't use a catheter or anything, it was awful and I will forever remember how unpleasant I let Ares go. The town I lived in was a small ranching town, gosh the ranchers shoot their Border Collies if they are injured, so what should I have expected frown

I learned a lot in my lifetime with many of the professions I have worked. I can say in the veterinary field, every case is so very different, there is no playbook.

I am just happy to learn and help others in letting their best friends go, but it's just a really sad part of the job.

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