How does one know when it is time? Are there less painful methods?
We hope to minimize pain and ease the passing of our beloved old or terminally ill pets as the end of their life approaches. Although one may not truly know how close is death, one looks at quality of life to help make this decision. When the good days are few and the bad days are many, you may know that it is indeed time. The decision to euthanize a pet is a very personal one that only you can make. Sometimes your vet can help you know if the time has come.
We hope to keep our pets from suffering. When you have made the decision, accept that it is from your love and concern for your pet. A few vets, for an extra fee, will be willing to come to your home. In most cases you may need to bring your guinea pig to the veterinary clinic.
"I prefer to be comfortable at home. Many vets will do house calls for euthanasia for special requests (and an extra charge).
My recent preference is to sedate with oral (or SQ if too ill) narcotics, like torb, and then do IP/IC injections of the euthanasia solution. It depends on how conscious the animal is at the time. If they are very well sedated, IC (into the heart), is the fastest. IP (into the peritoneum or abdominal cavity) is a bit slower, but well tolerated if the animal is more conscious. I try to minimize the stress to the animal. I have found that using gas anesthesia in many cases can excite or be uncomfortable for the animal if they are in a very aware state and it is unavailable usually for home euthanasias.
Once the cavy is sedate, they can peacefully pass away in your arms.
In any case, the decision and process are both extremely difficult and heart-wrenching." (Josephine's comments from this THREAD.)