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penrithabby

The euthanasia process

18 posts in this topic

Hello,

I wanted to ask experienced people about euthanasia, my dogs time is approaching and this is my first time dealing with this. I don't expect it to be this week but definitively this year at some point.I want everything to be as easy for her as possible.

I have seen two different options whilst researching, sedation first and then the final needle, or just the needle.

I asked my local vet what they did and he said they don’t bother with the sedation first. I was quite shocked at this but I realize I don’t really know what I am talking about as far as medical things go.

I would love to get peoples opinion on this. My dog is 16 kilos if that makes any difference one way or the other.

I also saw some vets online that seem to just do home euthanasia, would it be better to have one of these vets come over instead of my local? Thanks for reading.

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Hi, and welcome to the forum, sorry it's not under better circumstances.

Most vets have their own way of doing it, I'm sure you can ask for sedation first if you're wanting that, or if you're dog is nervous.

For my old boy, I wanted him to go as peacefully as possible at home. 

The local vets were able to come out (lovely lady vet and a nurse) and they sat and talked with me a bit (and my other dog was on her bed in the same room, as they wanted her to be able to sniff him etc once he'd passed) . 

They didn't need to sedate, as he was quite old and his time had come... I had my dog snuggled on my lap, holding him and telling him what a good boy he was.  They slipped the needle in while I was feeding him a piece of chicken, once he finished that he fell asleep.  And I burst into tears, the nurse had tears in her eyes and so did the vet.  They wrapped him in a nice warm blanket and took him ever so gently with them. 

  It was a good ending to a long, well loved, life. Now I've got tears again remembering it. 
So I hope that helps somewhat, that was just my experience.  I would never take my dog to the vets, I would always do it at home, where they feel safe. (not bagging others, that's just me)

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All I would say is NEVER leave it too late . 
the final thing we do for our dogs is to send them off BEFORE they are suffering / stop 'living' life . Remember ...we do this for our dog, NOT for us .  I may choose to end a dog's life earlier than some - that is what I consider  , think about, and choose .  :) 
It is very hard when you have no experience , when you know your companion will leave you , and especially when you will be choosing a time and place . We've pretty much all been there. 

I have seen/helped  people send many dogs off without sedation , it was fine . Some situations  would perhaps suit it ...

sorry you are having to now come to this point in the journey :(
 

Edited by persephone
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Thank you do much for your lovely replies and for telling me about your experiences. I really appreciate them and it does help with my decision making.

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Boronia   

When I said goodbye to my Saffy she wasn't given sedation beforehand, she was there in my arms then she wasn't, it was so gentle.

I was so grateful to the vet who talked to her all the time.

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Thanks penrithabby for starting this post .... my Kelpie is 13 now and starting to show her age, and it’s been on my mind a lot lately how I will go about it.... she definitely shows me everyday that she is still a crazy puppy so she has a ways to go before that happens but it’s always great to plan these things.

I will start enquiring soon who does this service around where I live.

 

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I prefer sedation first. Not everyone does and that's ok too it's just my preference. I get a little time to say a calm goodbye and they seem calmer too (obviously, but I've had dogs who get distressed at the vet). 

At home is a nice option to have, I've only had one dog euthanised at home and she was so ready it was very peaceful. Music, flowers, candles, the sunshine on her through the window. She was very tired and required no sedation. And we got to cry at home. 

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1 hour ago, Powerlegs said:

I prefer sedation first. Not everyone does and that's ok too it's just my preference. I get a little time to say a calm goodbye and they seem calmer too (obviously, but I've had dogs who get distressed at the vet). 

At home is a nice option to have, I've only had one dog euthanised at home and she was so ready it was very peaceful. Music, flowers, candles, the sunshine on her through the window. She was very tired and required no sedation. And we got to cry at home. 

awww..where's the 'love' button again ?  :hug:

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Maddy   

My personal experience with sedation is that I've only ever once had it offered by a younger vet, who didn't seem very confident about the whole thing. Besides that, it's always been without sedation (with one other exception) and that's worked for us. We have larger dogs and I did request it once and probably wouldn't do it again. The dog didn't handle the sedation well but that's an individual thing so things might be different for your dog.

For my last two oldies- where we had the luxury of time to plan things for them to go together- we had it done at home and I'd definitely recommend that route if possible. We set up blankets outside in the sun, cooked them a huge greasy breakfast and had tubs of chocolate Rolo pudding so that they could enjoy their final moments with a forbidden treat. It was still incredibly painful to say goodbye but it was a gentle, quiet passing- somewhere they felt safe and happy, with full tummies and the people who loved them. We had as much time as we needed to sit with them (in the best setting I could have wanted for that) and overall, although it was hard, I can look back on that day with good memories. 

 

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tdierikx   

I've never had sedation first... and all cases have been very quick and painless and done with dignity. I have had to assist with a few types of animals, not just dogs, and in all cases the process has been dignified and very quick.

 

The first time I had to give one of my dogs their wings, I was a little shocked at just how fast it happens once the solution is injected... so be prepared for that by making sure you are fully ready and have said your goodbyes, given last cuddles, etc, OK?

 

I would recommend sedation first if your dog has a heart problem that means it's circulation is poor... the process can take longer under those circumstances and that may be a bit distressing to all involved.

 

Don't forget that it's hard on the vet too... they don't like this part of their job any more than we do. I've found that they really appreciate us making the whole process as calm as possible. I tend to save the distressing part of ME falling apart and sobbing uncontrollably until I'm alone...

 

T.

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It really depends on the circumstances. I’ve had animals of my own PTS and held countless others without sedation and it’s been very peaceful. My Burmese girl was a different story as she’d been very ill and had become sensitised to having needles. I gave her a sedative injection at home and whilst it really knocked her it was still not enough and just holding her vein up caused great distress. I insisted on IM sedation and then PTS once she was completely under via the heart. Sounds horrible but it wasn’t. With a 4 week pup who struggled - we sedated him with gas and then PTS similarly. Every case is different. 

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I've found that the dogs are much easier to handle so haven't required sedation.  However, I have used sedation with some of my cats that were stressed so difficult to handle.  

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We have had to make the decision on 3 of our animals. 1 cat and 2 dogs. None were sedated first and all done with the same vet. Puss, who was 18 and never been to the vet for anything other than desexing was just given the final injection. I think she was so sick she didn’t care. Wasn’t stressed or fussing at all. She passed very quickly and peacefully. Both our dogs, were just given the one injection too. We weren’t offered any sedation for them but I knew they could be if I wanted it but I figured one less needle while they were sick. Neither dog was stressed or anxious. They knew where they were and I believe they knew help was on its way. Our male dog had cancer and was very sick. He didn’t move all day. We waited for the kids to come home from school and my OH home from work so we could all be with him. As we turned into the vets driveway my boy stood up and had the biggest goofiest grin on his face. My OH and I looked at each other and wondered if we were doing the right thing. He passed very quickly with us all there for him. Our little girl, who passed last year, also acknowledged where she was. She had cancer too and was in a bad way, but she loved visiting the “Dr Man “ and as we got near she let out a tiny yap, as if to say, ‘ I know where we are’. She too passed very quickly. Peacefully with my OH and myself talking to her the whole time. We knew it could have happened at our home but we made the decision not too as I just don’t think I could have handled it. Being at the vets, yes we were upset but somehow you hold it together until you get back home. Then you fall apart. Either way it’s tough and each to their own. 

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Sometimes with older or stressed cats , & baby puppies we would do the lethal injection into the abdominal cavity ..over some minutes a sleepy body would just curl up in a cosy bed .....

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Tassie   

Sorry that you're getting to this stage, but it's so good that you're thinking and preparing ahead.   

My dear old agility girl was PTS last year  .. about 12 months ago, now I think about it.   She had lymphoma, so I had the luxury of being able to make the appointment with "our" vet, who'd cared for since she was 8 weeks old.   I personally didn't feel comfortable about having the procedure at home, but my vet is willing to come out to the car, which saves carrying a sick dog into the surgery, and having to be where other people are.   I should add, my dogs love the car.  Kirra had a bed in the back of the SUV, and I just sat there with her (my other dog watching).  The vet didn't use sedation in her case, as she was pretty far gone .. so a gentle clip to get the vein .. and then she actually did lift her head when the needle went in, but quickly settled again, and passed very quickly.  When my lovely vet had checked that she had gone, we talked about her for a little while, then he carried her inside ... tears all round.  I had already arranged for her to be cremated.

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Teebs   

I’ve also never had sedation  first 

 

i let my old old girl go two Monday’s ago, she was unable to walk so we were sitting on the floor of the vets (they did ask if I wanted to move elsewhere but she was comfy and wasn’t in pain, so I left her) they gave her the needle as I held her head in my hands and she was gone in seconds 

 

I’ve had 3 dogs put to sleep and they all went the same way, peacefully in my arms 

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juice   

I had no idea heart problems means it takes longer , it would explain why Ozz took so long and it did upset me . The vet didn’t mention it . All my others went very quickly , bear in mind they sometimes move or make a noise after , my daughter freaked out with our Dally as he made a noise after and it scared her . It’s just air I think . 

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