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#7361 - 02/22/10 05:22 PM Sedation prior to Euthansia
Shilohsmom Online   content
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Its a hard topic but I think its better to put some thought into this now rather than later when it might be too late.

Most people assume that their Vets will do the right thing when it comes to putting our animals to sleep, but this isn't always the case. Some of you may not be aware of this, but in many areas it is not required that the Vets sedate the animal prior to euthanising it. The results can horrific and cause even more pain for grieving pet owners.

Please have this conversation with your Vet NOW and have your file noted that you REQUIRE SEDATION BEFORE EUTHANSIA. This way there can be no misunderstandings and you will not have to remember this during what will be one of the hardest moments of your life.
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#7365 - 02/22/10 05:29 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Shilohsmom]
Castlemaid Offline
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I have not heard nor known it was common practice to sedate before euthanasia, but my old spaniel mix went peacefully without complications, without sedation.

I never really thought about it, but I guess if your dog gets anxious at the vet's, and anxious around strangers and close quarter handling, then the prior sedation would make a big difference in the dog just slipping away peacefully vs. fighting against it.
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#7372 - 02/22/10 05:45 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Castlemaid]
Shilohsmom Online   content
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I'm thankful your old spaniel mix was able to go peacefully without sedation, I know others have as well. I also know of the horror that can happen when it doesn't.

Many of you might remember Millie on the other boards and her final moments. I know my beloved Ebony fought euthansia with everything she had for some 7 mins before she gave in. This scene left Anne (her owner) with nightmares for weeks following it.
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#7377 - 02/22/10 05:53 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Castlemaid]
3K9Mom Offline
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Even when my dog was euthanized at home, my vet prescribed Ace (which my dog had historically tolerated extremely well), for a pre-euthanasia sedative. When the vet and her tech arrived, Zamboni was soooo relaxed and happy, I'm sure she wasn't even aware of what happened after that.

I have a note in all of my dog's charts (including at specialists' offices) that my dogs must be sedated before euthanasia, unless the situation obviously preempts that. It's a kindness. Things can go wrong during an euthanasia procedure, which makes it more difficult. Our dogs can get stressed simply because we're so stressed. The extra sedative keeps it from being more difficult than it needs to be.

I've had both my dogs sedated, and it was the best thing I've ever done each time. I said goodbye early before the sedatives took hold, then I had enough time to hold them as they just slipped away peacefully.

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#7566 - 02/22/10 10:19 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Shilohsmom]
Dinahmyte Offline
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Where I work we place a catheter prior to euthanasia but do not sedate most animals. If they are very stressed or if we are unable to handle them, then sedation can be used. I've not witnessed any problems with our procedure.
I personally am VERY AGAINST sedation for my pets. While I don't want any complications, it is hard for me to see them sedate. I feel I would not be saying goodbye to my pet, but the body of them. I want them mentally and physically with me til the end. In the best situation, this decision will never need to be made, and they will all pass peacefully in their sleep. (in my dreams anyway)
I do think you have every right to explain your wishes to your veterinarian beforehand, and they will work with you for whatever you are comfortable with.
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#7568 - 02/22/10 10:23 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Dinahmyte]
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I have seen it go horribly wrong without sedation so now, I always drug them first.
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#7571 - 02/22/10 10:27 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Dinahmyte]
Chris Wild Offline
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I've had to euthanize many of my pets over the years, dogs, cats, and others, and have never sedated an animal prior to euthanasia. Every last one has gone peacefully and easily within seconds of the injection. I've never even heard of such a thing. What is the purpose? It seems multiple injections would just prolong the situation, add additional discomfort and stress, and as Dianna said, in those final moments I'd feel my pet was already half gone when I had to say goodbye.
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#7597 - 02/22/10 10:42 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Chris Wild]
SLEACHY Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
...What is the purpose? It seems multiple injections would just prolong the situation, add additional discomfort and stress, and as Dianna said, in those final moments I'd feel my pet was already half gone when I had to say goodbye.

When you have seen fear or confusion in their eyes and you witness an animal fight death with every last living cell in their body, you lean towards sedation first. It might take 2 shots, yes, but the animal only feels the discomfort of the first. I say my goodbyes before sedation and I hold them all the way thru the second shot.
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#7655 - 02/22/10 11:31 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: SLEACHY]
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I have the Vet sedate first. While the sedation is taking effect I talk to them I pet them I tell them how very much I love them and that I will be with them. All they need to do is relax.

When we put our horse Pixie down, her leg joints were shot, but her heart and mind where still young. The Vet was very worried that she would fight it, so we had a nice long talk and decided to tranquilize her to the point she was just about ready to go down. This horse never laid down to do any thing but a quick roll, she never stayed laying down and that is what did her leg joints in. So we knew she would fight the laying down.

One of the reason's my Vet was so concerned was the day before a friend asked her to put her dog down, well it went really really bad and it shook my Vet up pretty bad. She had never had one go bad.

I will do any thing and every thing I can to prevent my animals from leaving this world in a fighting fear. The sedation shot doesn't cost much.

Val
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#7668 - 02/22/10 11:43 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
Chris Wild Offline
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Interesting. I don't think I have ever before heard of a euthanasia going badly. Animals being stressed under the circumstances and a sedative being a good idea for that reason I can certainly see, but the idea of the actual euthanasia backfiring is new to me.
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#7688 - 02/22/10 11:55 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Chris Wild]
Jane Jean Offline
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Quote:
When you have seen fear or confusion in their eyes and you witness an animal fight death with every last living cell in their body, you lean towards sedation first. It might take 2 shots, yes, but the animal only feels the discomfort of the first. I say my goodbyes before sedation and I hold them all the way thru the second shot

My SIL had the same experience with her Bonnie.
She was very upset that her dog had to leave with fear. And that was the lasting impression she had when Bonnie went to the bridge, fear and confusion in her eyes, instead of peaceful relaxation of a sedative...And she fought it, took a very long time to take her last breath.
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#7689 - 02/22/10 11:56 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Chris Wild]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
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Chris it can happen an is more frequent than we think.

I think part of the problem is with very old or very sick dogs the veins just aren't that good. So with the sedation shot the vet will be able to tell how quickly it works. Veins can blow if the final shot is pushed to fast, but if the circulation is so poor that it just slowly trickles to the heart there are problems there also.

I think everyone needs to do what is comfortable for them.

I also think people need to be informed on the procedure and what happens if there is a problem. If the dog is old or sick or a combination of the two and the procedure goes bad there is only one solution that will help the poor animal go and that is the "Heart Stick". There will be a whole debate starting about this statement, but when every thing is going wrong the dog needs to be let go as quickly as possible.

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

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#7697 - 02/23/10 12:09 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
SLEACHY Offline
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Re: the heart stick...
To get certified for euthanasia, I had to do intravenous, intracardiac, and intraperitoneal injections.
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#7719 - 02/23/10 12:21 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: SLEACHY]
SLEACHY Offline
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Quote:
...but when every thing is going wrong the dog needs to be let go as quickly as possible.

agreed

(tried to add that to my last post but for some reason, I am slow tonight!)
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#7784 - 02/23/10 01:38 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: SLEACHY]
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I think it is up to a persons own comfort level with the procedure, the pets state of mind at the time, and a persons ability to accept natural ways of passing.
I have witnessed more euthanasia's that I would like to count, including my own dear friends.
As a tech, I choose not to sedate. This can cause blood pressure to drop dramatically, making it harder for the vet to find a usable vein. Because of the decrease in blood pressure, it takes longer for the solution to do what it needs to do, and I get a creepy feeling when that happens.
This is my own personal feeling.
I am used to agonal breathing. I loose sick patients sometimes. When they are at that stage, Their soul has already flown. We can work hard until the last breath, but what we work on is a shell.
I can see how this could cause upset in someone who doesn't expect it.
Before we start with a euthanasia, we try to explain that even when we pronounce the pet as passed, owners may see gasps of breath. This is the physical body shutting down.
Because the solution is actually an overdose of anesthesia (pentobarbital) some pets can go through an "excitement" stage. Pentobarbital isn't used often anymore in anesthesia, but it was known to cause agitation before the animal was sedate. The thrashing that resulted was an unconscious animal who's nerves were triggered by the action of pento. There are some euthanasia solutions out there that seem to cause this reaction, but I haven't seen them used here (in Ct) in a few years.
My own dog wouldn't go quickly. I attribute it more to her personality, and it is a precious memory. I was glad to be holding her when she let go of the pain that Lupus had caused her.
At the last moment she wagged her tail, licked my arm, and was the girl that I loved.
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#9287 - 02/24/10 11:04 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
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The euthanasia solution that stops the heart, causes a heart attack, is very hard on an unsedated animal. I have heard of euthanasia going very badly. I will always chose sedation, there is no need for the animal to suffer.

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#9307 - 02/24/10 11:25 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Skywalkerlady]
Heidi W Offline
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I always thought, it was one iv line that included the drug to make them sleep and then the drug to stop the heart, am I wrong?
This is a hard thing to think about but good to be discussed.
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#9324 - 02/24/10 11:37 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Heidi W]
bjdimock Offline
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Euthanasia solution in animals is one drug. It causes unconsciousness, then respiratory failure, then it stops the heart. This generally happens very quickly.
Again, there are different solutions available, and some can cause an excited stage in the animal.
It is horrible to watch. (My own went this way.) Animals are generally unaware that they are passing through this stage however.
(During a surgery of my own, I also expirenced this stage first hand.) I woke up to the most horrendous screaming, and I wished that the nurses would go and sedate the person next to me. In a VERY detached thought process, I realized that I was screaming, but I couldn't stop. I felt no panic or uncomfort at the time, but I did wonder why I was screaming. smile )
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Pack members.. Alpha Ilan,Fenna,FGD momma,Sika(needed 2 help me)Gwen(pitX)
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7 cool cats!
3 beloved equines
and of course Mr. Frodo

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#9340 - 02/24/10 11:46 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
Heidi W Offline
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thanks for the explanation.
this made me cry Quote: At the last moment she wagged her tail, licked my arm, and was the girl that I loved
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Heidi and her furkids,
Bella GSD 3 yrs old
Bo GSD 2 Yrs old
Daisy JRT 6 yrs old,
RIP My beloved GSDs Tarsha, Keisha, Kasey
and Patches my Cocker Spaniel.

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#12495 - 03/01/10 05:04 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Heidi W]
GSDTrain Offline
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Originally Posted By: Heidi W
thanks for the explanation.
this made me cry Quote: At the last moment she wagged her tail, licked my arm, and was the girl that I loved


that quote brought tears to my eyes as well
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#12525 - 03/01/10 06:31 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: GSDTrain]
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I prefer to have them asleep first. My vets inserted an IV catheter first. I am not sure whether the collapsing of the veins is a problem after the catheter is already in. I want to see them leave as comfortably as possible. Even though they probably don't feel the thrashing around, there is no way for me to know it for sure. They cannot say it if it hurts them and I feel that it is my responsibility to make the last moment as easy for them as possible. I have heard of dogs fighting it, and people said it was terrible and the dogs did feel it. I think there must be a reason that they sedate people for the lethal injection as well. My dogs were always sedated and left easily. We said our farewells long before and at the vet everything was about their comfort. One cat did not go well. the cat got the urge to vomit during the pre-sedation and it was obvious that he was very uncomfortable. It was an IM injection, not IV. I have not seen this happen with IV.

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#12778 - 03/02/10 10:35 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Skywalkerlady]
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I was thinking about this. The sight of my dog thrashing around while being euthanized would haunt me forever.

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#13128 - 03/02/10 08:22 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Skywalkerlady]
3K9Mom Offline
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My vets' policy is to sedate and even pre-sedate if the owner wants. The sedation is an injection, and as I noted earlier, I gave my dog an Acepromazine (in a wad of brownies laugh ) before the vet showed up.

That's how strongly my vets feel about sedation. I guess it depends on what you want. But even at the ER where one of my dogs was euthanized after she collapsed due to CHF, they sedated first. If they weren't inclined to, I would have insisted on it.

If nothing else, I think this thread should make every owner discuss this topic AT LENGTH with your vet. Then, be sure that it's charted in your pets' charts. AND wherever you keep all of your pets' medical records (and emergency info, like whom to call in an emergency), write down exactly what you want. When you walk into an emergency room, you should bring that information (every time). Things can happen very quickly in an emergency clinic and sometimes, decisions get made while you're stunned and in a fog. If you have information written down, you can hand the piece of paper to the vet.

(Along these sorts of lines, the DVD, 911! - BE PREPARED! EMERGENCIES AND THE EMERGENCY ROOM http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DN306 discusses a lot of the issues that dog owners don't even realize can arise until they're in the emergency clinic and their brains are flooded with information faster than they can absorb them. I think this DVD is worth watching a couple times so that you can think through what your plans would be under different scenarios and WRITING THEM DOWN. Highly recommended.)

Ok. Sorry for the threadjack. Back to the topic at hand.

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#13140 - 03/02/10 08:38 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Skywalkerlady]
Shilohsmom Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Skywalkerlady
I was thinking about this. The sight of my dog thrashing around while being euthanized would haunt me forever.


I feel the same way. Unfortunately my good friend Anne will remember our beloved Ebony this way and its just not right! People need to be aware of their options. In my opinion there is just no reason whatsoever to take this chance.
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and never to be forgotten, Shiloh
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#13142 - 03/02/10 08:39 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: 3K9Mom]
Shilohsmom Online   content
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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
My vets' policy is to sedate and even pre-sedate if the owner wants. The sedation is an injection, and as I noted earlier, I gave my dog an Acepromazine (in a wad of brownies laugh ) before the vet showed up.

That's how strongly my vets feel about sedation. I guess it depends on what you want. But even at the ER where one of my dogs was euthanized after she collapsed due to CHF, they sedated first. If they weren't inclined to, I would have insisted on it.

If nothing else, I think this thread should make every owner discuss this topic AT LENGTH with your vet. Then, be sure that it's charted in your pets' charts. AND wherever you keep all of your pets' medical records (and emergency info, like whom to call in an emergency), write down exactly what you want. When you walk into an emergency room, you should bring that information (every time). Things can happen very quickly in an emergency clinic and sometimes, decisions get made while you're stunned and in a fog. If you have information written down, you can hand the piece of paper to the vet.

(Along these sorts of lines, the DVD, 911! - BE PREPARED! EMERGENCIES AND THE EMERGENCY ROOM http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DN306 discusses a lot of the issues that dog owners don't even realize can arise until they're in the emergency clinic and their brains are flooded with information faster than they can absorb them. I think this DVD is worth watching a couple times so that you can think through what your plans would be under different scenarios and WRITING THEM DOWN. Highly recommended.)

Ok. Sorry for the threadjack. Back to the topic at hand.


Have you sceen that Video? You'd recommend it?
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Rosa

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

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#13230 - 03/02/10 10:33 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Shilohsmom]
DenaliFofali Offline
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Wow, I'm trying to read this thread and inform myself for the future. I'm crying just thinking about it. For those that have been through this... You are incredibly brave and strong.
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#14142 - 03/04/10 05:20 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: DenaliFofali]
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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.
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#14657 - 03/05/10 12:56 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: doubletrouble]
Mary Jane Online   content
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I don't want to start a controversy, but when we put our standard Schnauzer to sleep a few years ago, with sedation prior to the lethal injection, all I could think is what a peaceful way to leave this earth. Because I have had many older relatives die after long illnesses, I really thought that the procedure at the vet's office was infinitely more humane than what many people suffer through. Paige was literally surrounded by family and the last thing she saw before relaxing into sleep was her favorite person looking into her eyes.

Mary Jane

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#14785 - 03/05/10 04:17 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Mary Jane]
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I agree Mary Jane, absolutely. Sometimes there is no humane human alternatives to suffering.
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#15130 - 03/06/10 02:57 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: doubletrouble]
bjdimock Offline
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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???
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#15224 - 03/06/10 11:55 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
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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.

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#15503 - 03/06/10 10:32 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
Skywalkerlady Offline
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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 Online   content
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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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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.
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#15594 - 03/07/10 07:08 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
kutzro357 Offline
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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.
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#15647 - 03/07/10 11:34 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: kutzro357]
Skywalkerlady Offline
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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
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bjdmock...

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.
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#16193 - 03/08/10 04:15 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: bjdimock]
Shilohsmom Online   content
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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.
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#17698 - 03/10/10 11:03 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Shilohsmom]
Hawklore Offline
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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.

PS:

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)
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#24482 - 03/26/10 10:52 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Hawklore]
vio79 Offline
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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!
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#24525 - 03/26/10 01:01 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: vio79]
ddcha Offline
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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 you..no 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.
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#25951 - 03/30/10 05:45 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: ddcha]
laevsk Offline
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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
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#31766 - 04/13/10 08:37 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: laevsk]
vio79 Offline
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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.
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#34991 - 04/22/10 05:20 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: vio79]
Spirit Haus Offline
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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.
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#35109 - 04/22/10 10:20 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Spirit Haus]
PositiveDog Online   coffee
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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
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#47844 - 05/31/10 01:28 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: PositiveDog]
mjbgsd Offline
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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.
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#60552 - 07/03/10 08:03 AM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: mjbgsd]
ozzyandsandi Offline
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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.
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#63018 - 07/10/10 02:48 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Chris Wild]
eyedog Offline
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i also have had horrible experience with euthanasia.my 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
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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
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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.

Top Likes: 0 
#337352 - 11/29/15 07:44 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Jasper&Loki]
Selzer Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 1296
Loc: NE Ohio
Likes: 69
Most of the critters I have been present with when undergoing the procedure slipped peacefully away. So much so, that I encouraged my sister to come when we put Kitty down. Uhg! She was wasted when they finally diagnosed her with diabetes, and we still tried the insulin, but Kitty got worse.

Anyway, it was hard to get it into the vein, and then she wasn't dying. And she wasn't dying. They ended up having to stick her again. It was pretty awful.

On the whole though, and I am always there with them, telling them what a good dog they were, and so on, it has been just fine without a separate sedation.
_________________________
Jenna, Babs & Heidi
Odessa, Lassie & Mufasa
Milla & Ninja
Joy, Dolly, Bear, Karma & Cujo II
Hepzibah

Top Likes: 0 
#337353 - 11/29/15 11:30 PM Re: Sedation prior to Euthansia [Re: Selzer]
Islandgsds Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1939
Loc: Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Ca...
Likes: 72
I always ask that all my pets have a shot of sedative first in case they have to be put down. In fact it is written right on their file cover. I dont think I could handle a painful death on top of the heartache of loosing them in the first place.
_________________________
Sandra
Loki 8/23/08,& Augie, bday-11/13 Gday-3/14,
Larka 1/4/06-8/16/17 Palla, 7/16/06-6/10/16 you were the tree that gave me shelter, the rock that gave me strength, for ever in my heart, until my journey has run its length. I will always love you.

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