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major question - euthanasia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Cornelius, NC USA

    major question - euthanasia

    I am not sure which other category would be more appropriate for this question. But, this past weekend, my kitty went to kitty heaven. My vet(s) are sort of a "tag team" (same office), where if one is not available, the other cares for the pet. My first/original vet called me a few days before I made the actual decision, explained the process, that my kitty would be given a sedative, then "The Medicine". He said he would be out of the office over the weekend but the other vet would be in.

    The vet who performed the procedure on Saturday was, in fact, the other vet. The procedure was, they put a little IV cath in his little leg, gave him a saline flush, then gave him The Medicine. There was no sedative beforehand. When she first gave him The Medicine, he had a slight "fight or flight" survival response, which I read about - I was holding him the whole time and he tried to reach up to my neck to climb up for protection (i had him wrapped in a blanket and was holding him to my chest).

    I thought of this while it was going on, and while she explained the procedure, but didn't ask about the difference and/or why she did it that way. Did I wrongly trust her? I should have demanded that she use the sedative, and I am now feeling a horrendous sense of guilt that I hurt my kitty and didn't give him the easiest passage to the rainbow bridge. Because isn't there more pain when you have a heart attack (when his little heart stopped?) So essentially I caused him more pain?

    Please, I need some advice on this. Should I bring this up or ask her? Or should I just let it go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    South Wales, UK
    Hiya - I'm so sorry to hear about your cat, it's never easy no matter what.

    I'm not sure if you're in the USA and I know things could be different here in the UK, but from my experience you have to actually say to the vet when you're there in front of that you want to a sedative - some always give it as standard practice, some don't. That said, the vet you spoke to should have passed on to the other vet that they'd already talked to you about a sedative. There are also two different types of sedative - one that sends them calmly off to sleep and one that paralyses them but leaves there brain fully functioning and awake - not good. So you do have to be careful and be clear about what you want.

    However, your kitty would not have experienced any pain and you being beside him would have been the biggest comfort. I had a dog that had the sedative and so was very sleepy and almost completely out of it when the last injection was given, but he still fought it.

    You did the very best you could for your boy and he is now at peace and free from all pain. X

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    In the past, my pets never received a sedative before euthanization. But, I have to say, that they never flinched with a fight or flight reaction, just slowly relaxed in my arms until it was over. Now, last year I had to put down my girl and the vet actually asked us if we wanted to give her a sedative first. I was never even aware of that, but since he asked, we said yes. She got the sedative, and 2 euthanazia shots afterwards, since there were so many strong drugs in her system from years of epilepsy, the shot didn't take effect initially.

    You need to just let this go, he's resting peacefully now. You can't judge the extent of any pain at the time, who knows, it may have just been another feeling that caused the reaction. Like Goldfinch said, you did your best for your baby, and you should not be having any guilt feelings about this now. It's not always healthy to overthink these things.

    In my case, I talked with my husband afterwards, and we both agree that now that we know about the sedative shot, we will insist on it in the future. Your little one is at peace now at the bridge, you should feel the same. (((hugs)))

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    All of my animals received a sedative before they received the euthanasia shot. I just think it is more humane that way. Actually, I don't remember asking the vet before hand to give a sedative. That is interesting in the UK you have to tell the vet that you would like that for your animal.

  5. #5
    Usually the sedative shot is standard practice, at least where I live. I've never had to ask for it for my pets, It's always been offered. The source of pain in your cat was probably an instinctive reaction, not a measure of pain. Either way, don't worry about it, you did what was best for your cat. If you feel uncomfortable about it, you can talk to your normal vet, and insist upon it if there is a next time. The most comforting thing for the cat is having you there, holding him/her and making them feel loved.

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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