I think its extremely unfair for a pet to spend their last few moments with total strangers. "Drop off euths" always rubs me the wrong way... sorry to sound harsh... though I do understand. A few days ago, someone dropped off a 21 yr old cat to be put down. Yup, 21. Her father died the same day two years ago so we understood how she couldnt deal with another death but still, we felt bad for the cat.
- You are my sunshine
So, thanks for this. I think to have an IM sedative before the actual heart stick is a gentle and humane way to go.
- Piggie Power
Poor thing took more than half and hour to die. Haunts me forever.
catz- The whole process (usually) isnt as bad as yu may think it is. A lot of times, it brings peace to the owners to see their beloved pets drift away so peacefully. I have assisted in many many euths and it is very rare to see anything go wrong, esp in cats and dogs. Almost always, they drift away within seconds (like 5 to 10).
- You can quote me
If you don't have access to someone who can place a cath, is there no other way to deliver the pink fluid than via a heart or liver stick? Even fully sedated, that is a horrible image in my mind.
The truth about placing cathether is that it is there for the sake of the VET. It makes the process easier for vets, esp those who cant hit a vein (and there are many, simply because the techs do all the vein poking). Its a dreaded thing for a vet to be in front of a hysterical owner and a weak, near death patient with no blood pressure and stand there poking around, praying for a vein. If a cathether is there already, all they have to do is pump the solution in. It is simple and headache free, for both the vet and the owner (who doesnt have to watch their animal get poked and poked).
For a weak, small animal, its pretty easy to fully sedate them from a simple IM injection and I personally dont think they feel very much. I've seen a hamster, a rat and a bunny go this way and none of them even flinched. If a vein isnt an option, I think a heart stick while sedated is the best way to go.
Most vets dont do a liver stick because of the chance of missing it. You can draw blood back to verify that you hit a heart. With the liver, that doesnt work. A lot of times, heart and liver sticks become semi-"SQ". The solution ends up in the peural or peritoneal cavity, which is why sometimes it takes longers for an animal to die. I dont think its painful... just not the usual 5 to 10 seconds.
- Get on your bike.
Regarding the cathether, my dog squeeled and cried and struggled for a good 5-10 seconds while the sedative was going in. The pink juice came after and he was still crying I think. It was just awful and I couldn't wait for it to be over. It was my understanding in talking with someone else that the cathether was probably not in correctly and the medicine leaked and stung him.
I'm very sorry you went thru something like that.
BTW, I hope this wasnt Dr R that did that. Vets just dont do cathether and vein stuff much but if a cathether was kinked or not in, you can usually feel and/or see it. Not to mention the correct way of making an IV injection is to pull back for a flash first to ensure that you are in the vein.
I know exactly what you mean. Dying isnt pretty. They gasp and twitch and struggle, sometiems for hours. Its so awful. It makes me wish that euthanasia was an option for humans. I dont think I would ever want to "die naturally". Nature can be mean.
But cheyne-stoking and agonal breathing, eye hemmorhages and seeing a loved one blue... sorry to be frank... is AWFUL. I really wish it was legal for humans also. I think in Oregon it still is, last I heard. When I go to the rainbow bridge (forget heaven :)) and I'm dying, someone better Digoxin bolus me or shoot a cc of insulin in my belly button (the way most "angels of mercy" do it). or just let my morphine gtt run wide open!!!!
(Or when I am older, but in good health, let me get hit by a truck, knocked into the other world, but still maintain brain function so I can be divided up and be a donor!)
Speaking of nightmares.. the other night, I had a dream that I temporarily died and I was having a little chat with god. And the only "secret to life" he was willing to spill to me was that I have intestinal worms and that I should look into that. *sigh* I think I havebeen reading one too many fecal floats.
Kindly insert "stem" after brain in my last post! Just enough to keep me clinically alive and oxygenated! :)
There had been times when an animal goes agonal but the owner wants us to revive. I can not tell you how many times that happens with my patients. I understand not being able to let go of a loved one... but I just feel like we are torturing someone when we have to run an hour long code on a near brain dead patient. (although it is pretty cool when the family decides to allow organ donation and we have a clinically dead patient with a heart beat (external pacing) and breathing (vent-ed). To keep organs viable til the transplant team arrives) It is an amazing and tearful flurry of activity as all the helicopters come in!
Do you use a scale like Glasgow coma or pain reflexes or just the cranial nerve tests? Another random ?... do animals get "dolls eyes?" It's mean, but I love showing the new grads dolls eyes for the first time! [/u]
We had a cat go agonal, then die. The owner insist on us trying to keep it alive. He was 40 mins away and wanted to see his cat alive. We must have stuck the cat with epinephrine three times, did CPR four times. After 30 minutes of this, the cat was braindead (no eye reflex) and just 5 minutes before the owner got there, we declared the cat dead. The poor thing only had a ventricular twitch from the epi rather than real heart beats (he was on an ECG).