Euthanasia Methods

Post Reply
User avatar

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:19 pm

I think I said I brought an xray. I didn't have any of my own so I printed an xray from the site. Here are some on the site that show the heart:

It helps to know exactly where it is if you are unfamiliar with guinea pig anatomy.

User avatar
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:22 pm

Lynx - How do you get copies of the x-rays? I thought I'd take a picture of Roo's with my digital camera (once they were held up to the light to view them).

User avatar

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:04 pm

I am not sure what the best method is. For this purpose I do think a side view works best though. Since it's a digital camera, you can do some experimenting and report back.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:21 pm

Ask your vet if they can make copies... mine does.

User avatar
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:02 pm

I usually bring my xrays home and tape them to a window to photograph. It works quite well:

Melody R

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:13 pm

Whenever possible, I have stayed with most of my pets during their final moments. The dogs passed peacefully, but the cat was a nightmare I will never forget (different vet).

After being still spry at age 22, one day Misty just went limp and I knew it was time. The vet started off shaving her leg for an IV - she jumped up like she had a 10th life and screamed the whole time. Then he gave her light sedation before "the" shot. When she seemed asleep he gave her "the" shot (don't know what it was) -- she started gasping and screaming and gasping some more, over and over. I was horrified and begged him to give her more and end her misery NOW. Same thing! It took three shots of the euthanasia stuff to finally put her to sleep. In between horrible gasping and choking sounds I will never forget, and yes he checked and her heart was still beating. One of the worse experiences of my life. What was he afraid of -- OVERdosing her?????

Get on your bike.

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:20 pm

I really tried hard to read this but ever since my dog did not go peacefully, I am not able to. He was also not healthy so it wasn't the case of someone trying to rid of their old pet since it messes the furniture.

I Love Lucy

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:37 pm

Oh, that awful Melody. Unfortunately, some animals do have such reactions to the euthanasia drug, although it's rare. Normally, sedation given prior prevents any such reaction. (But I've only experienced euthanasias with heavy sedation-- i.e., Propofol, which knocks them out completely.) I'm so sorry you had to experience that. It sounds like they should have used heavier sedation.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:57 pm

Our local vet uses sedation via injection first. She has always been such a caring, supportive person throughout the sad experience, and so gentle with the pigs (my husband and I opted to be present both times; it was very quick and peaceful). I wouldn't want anybody else to do it.

User avatar
It started with Louie...

Post   » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:23 pm

This is hard to read because it brings back awful memories and feelings.

Louie was injected with some drug that made him really out of it in the end. I held him for a long time and then they came in to do the "heart stick". He squeeked briefly and then that was it. But I will always remember that last horrible squeek.

Chewie's death on the other hand was so peaceful. He died in my arms while the first drug was in his system for a while. He became so relaxed, took one final breath and that was it. The vet came in to give him the heart stick but I was so glad to say to her that he left on his own accord.

I did see my little Huey die before I could take him into the vet after I brought him home from surgery. He seized and struggled and cried a horrible sound again and again. All I could do was pet him and talk to him. It was only about a minute and I knew I was too late to bring him in. That was one of the worst things I ever witnessed and I felt so sorry for him. I would have rather had him go with a heart stick. Poor sweetie.

User avatar
amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:12 am

I've had a bad feeling about the iso since it makes me think their last thoughts are ones of fear. I feel guilty thinking Nevy's last feelings were fear and confusion. I didn't educate myself beforehand to know what the options were.

I think an injection of some sedative is better, and I would ask for it "next time :("

Serena, wasn't it Torb Louie had that sedated him so well? I'm sorry if this makes you sad, it never really goes away. But your story of how you said goodbye to Louie makes me wish I had done it that way.


Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:29 am

Sorry for bringing up such a horrible topic. I hesitated for a long time regarding discussing this with pig people, esp since many of us take on old and/or frail animals.

Euthanasia is suppose to be a great thing to do for our beloved pets to help end their suffering.

Awhle back... I think CA was having their few death sentence be carried out in a looong time, I read an article talking about the debate about the "3 part cocktail" that they usually give as lethal injection and how some people didnt feel that it was humane. They ended up giving a sedative to induce sleep, follwoed by an "overdose of barbituates", which is what I had seen done at the marine mammal center and my current place of employment. So if it is "approved" for people, you know its most likely the best way to go.

BTW, "the shot" is an unmistakable pink solution. It's a barbitual overdose (fancy way of saying... way too much sedation that it stops the heart and brain).

Apologies for the slightly incoherent post and any grammatical or spelling errors I'm not catching. The CP is a little drunk and my fingers arent very coordinated at the moment.


Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:39 am

Oh and just to be clear... many of you are refering to "injection" this and that.

Please note that there are three types of injection and each has very different effects; plus different drugs can only be given certain ways.

IV= intravenous
Injection is injected directly into the bloodstream. Euthasol (the pink soln used for euthanasia) is given IV. In the case of guinea pigs, its nearly impossible to push that thick liquid thru such tiny veins, even on the healthiest of pigs, which is why euthasol is given thru a cardiac stick usually.

IM= intramuscular
Injection into the muscle.

SQ= subcutaneous
Injection under the skin put above the muscle.

User avatar
Cindy in MI
Supporter in '05

Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:03 am

He seized and struggled and cried a horrible sound again and again. All I could do was pet him and talk to him. It was only about a minute and I knew I was too late to bring him in.
I know it's probably of little consolation but I do believe that when they are that close, especially after something that looks like seizure activity, that the part of their brain that causes them to be aware is no longer functioning. I think at that point it is the more primitive brain function that we see but that the animal is no longer aware of what is going on because the higher brain function has ceased. I've seen this with a several cats and two guinea pigs over the years. I know it is an awful thing to watch and those memories will always haunt me. But I take comfort that the animal isn't aware at that point.

User avatar
Fossil Barb

Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:02 am

I will always be thankful for Dr. J when I took Rodney in to be euthanized. He took us into an exam room and while I held him he gently gave him the IM sedative and then he went out and I held him while he went to sleep. When Dr. J came back in and did the heart stick I don't think my precious little piglet felt anything.

I read the page in GL on euthanasia and discussed it with Dr. J and he thought it made sense.

CP thanks for bringing it up for those who will face the difficult decision. I will always be glad that Rod passed gently. He and Dr. J had bonded so I don't think he was frightened after so many trips with Dr. J feeding him Parsley and grass.

User avatar
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:05 pm

Doom had an IV put in his leg. They gave him a sedative and let me say goodbye. Then when it was time to give him the other shot, they didn't even have to prick him. They put the needle in the IV and after a few seconds, his heart stopped. No struggling and I was holding him when he died. I would love for any pets I have euthanized in the future to have that.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:08 pm

All of my pigs have passed here at home. Elvis' experience was very much like your Huey's, Serina, and it was extremely difficult to experience. Like Cindy said, in the back of my mind, I sort of knew he probably was out of it, but it didn't make it any easier. The most difficult part was I called so many places and not one would put him down. It was a weekend and the middle of the night. Awful.

My cats all have had some sort of injection prior to the pink stuff. None seemed to notice at all. My beloved Godfrey was at UC Davis. I had an appointment with the oncologist to discuss chemo, but his cancer had spread. They were wonderful. Let me take him outside (his favorite) where he purred in the grass for about an hour. When I was ready, the doctor came outside and gave him the sedative. Very peaceful for us both.

For our last old girl, we had a vet come to the house. It wasn't too expensive and I'd highly recommend it. One of the nicest parts was the other cats were in the room and with us all. We were together as a family.

I wouldn't do iso first. I've seen them struggle with it and it's quite upsetting (to me, in particular). And I think it's extremely important to discuss this topic.


Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:24 pm

Salana- Its wonderful that you have a vet (or tech) that is capable of placing a cath, esp in a pig. But that is a rare ability to have. The last vet hospital I worked at put cathethers in every single animal for euthanasia and I have seen animals get poked so so so many times just to get that thing in. I remember one cat in particular whom was struggling with the techs and he got nearly every single one of this veins blown out before someone finally got it in.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:07 pm

As for the lethal injection in humans. I saw a report on PBS's Now ( If I recall correctly it may have been another news source) is that the drug used in humans is out of favor in the vetrinary community and has been for years.

This may be a case of Veterinary medicine ahead of human medicine.

User avatar
Piggie Power

Post   » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:23 pm

What a heartwrenching topic, but ever so familiar to all pet owners. I have never had the guts to stay in the room with my cat and dog when they had to be put down. I am a coward. I have a much beloved cat and I wonder what I will do when his time comes? He is like a child to me. I feel with this guy, there is no way I can leave him alone to die. I just hope he hangs on. He has been ill for much of his life. He is a FLUTD cat and has had the PU surgery (which is the last resort last May). I have spent at least $5,000 on him. It seems like when it comes to my pets, I have a black cloud hanging over my head.

Post Reply
143 posts