Euthanasia Methods

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Post   » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:12 pm

I don't see too many liver sticks; the ones I have seen took a good 1-2 mins but didn't seem painful.

I wonder why it isnt done more often over heart sticks. I'm not so sure Dr R even does heart sticks.

Good point Holly. How much an animal struggles with the iso will vary. None of them like it but some wont struggle as much depending on how strong or weak. I have seen some go absolutely nuts while others look agitated but is quickly overtaken by the gas. It's hard to tell how they would react... which is why I suggest using an IM sedative. The reaction is pretty predictable; getting poked in the muscle will hurt, but it comes annd goes quickly.
Last edited by ChunkyPiggies on Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:14 pm

Sorry Chunky, I edited. Perhaps you are thinking of that 'twillight' period?


Post   » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:20 pm

AHH! We keep editing on each other. Yes, I'm not saying that a liver stick is painful (likely less so than a heart stick)... but because of the anatomy and the possibilty of the solution not hitting the liver at all, the process can take longer-- the twilight period you are referring to. :)

It is nice to be able to say goodbye... if the euthasol went IV or into the heart, the "twillight period" will take just a few seconds. Usually by the time the vet is done injecting the solution, the pet is gone.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:39 pm

Holly, thank you. I only wish I would have stayed. Hopefully he just went to sleep right away. However, everyone who saw him always said how much spirit he had even though he was so skinny. (from 3.2 lbs. to 1.8). I hope it was fast.

When I went into the treatment room and saw the box, while holding Nevy to my chest, I just froze.


Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:36 am

IP injection is not the same as a liver stick. The IP injection is just an injection into the intraperitoneal space so it is pretty painless. The solution is then absorbed from there. It is done pretty low in the tummy so as to specifically not hit any organs. This is why it takes a few minutes longer because it takes longer for the absorption, but it seems the most preferable method by far to me.

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Cindy in MI
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Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:19 am

Cindy: Oral sedatives normally wont be able to put an animal down all the way so they would still feel the poke of an IM injection, therefore, not very useful.
I am thinking that an oral sedative would make the animal loopy enough that an IM injection (and the whole experience), although quick, would still be less traumatic and painful. Plus the oral sedative would have the overall benefit of lessening the animal's overall anxiety, especially when the animal has to be taken from familiar surroundings (home) in a car (which can be stressful in itself to some animals) to the unfamiliar (vet clinic) for the whole process.

I do not know what is used for human pre-op meds, but I do know firsthand that even though they don't knock you out, some of them are good enough that they make it such that you don't care what is done to you before you are actually put under. There is a lot to be said about being made very loopy. That would be the effect I would be looking for with an oral sedative for my animals.

Maybe it wouldn't be that useful in getting them under but if there is any benefit in making it any easier for the animal, I don't see where it could hurt. As I posted earlier, the oral sedative that was given to my hammie was enough to get her to agonal breathing before they gave her the euth solution. She was already gone for all practical purposes, but the final stick just ensured that her heart was stopped.

Also, I've had two cats receive the IP injection. One of them winced and squirmed momentarily while the other didn't seem to be very bothered, although she was much sicker at the time. It does take a little bit for them to fade away but it does give you a few minutes to pet them and talk to them while they are going. It was a gentle and gradual process. I liked that I could pet them and talk to them so that it felt like I was able to love on them and comfort them along the way, that I was with them and they knew they weren't alone.


Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:18 am

Drag: Ahh, I figure it was something in that line. I imagine that a higher dose is given as well. Never seen it injected purposely into the peritoneal.. it usually just ends up there by a failed liver stick. The only downfall I see with that is that there is always the possibility of an animal recovering from the euthasol if the body is absorbing it little by little, since it really is just a strong sedative. Though the chances of that is slim, considering how compromised a sick animal is already.

Cindy: I hear you. Any drug is better than no drug. It's probably not practiced regularly because of the cost. But cost-smost! Theres more important things at hand. I believe the drug they use to induce people is propofol, which I believe can only be given IV. Telazol (which is a tiletamine and zolazepam combo), which can be given IM or IV, also has an antianxiety component (tiletamine) to it. I think propofol is prefered as an anesthetic drug over something like telazol (or any other sedative) because of how fast it leaves the body. Plus animals that are waking from telazol look pretty unhappy and miserable; though this doesnt matter for our discussion.

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Cindy in MI
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Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:44 am

But cost-smost!
I agree with your statement 1000%.

I will do whatever I can to make it as easy, painless and anxiety-free as I can for my beloved animals. I may not be able to save them or fix them but I can try to help their end be as comfortable and peaceful as possible.

And after spending hundreds or even into the thousands of dollars for diagnosis and treatment, a few more dollars isn't going to make a financial difference to me but it may make a difference to the animal.

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It started with Louie...

Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:16 am

amy - I'm sure he went quick, just like Holly said. I try not to think about their passing and I quickly think of something else as soon as those awful memories come in my head. Just think of the good times amy. You owe it to yourself to think of good things - not the bad.

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Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:15 pm

Does a sedative used for IM injection actually cause the animal to go to sleep, like with anaesthesia, or just become groggy and unaware? Would they still be aware enough to feel any pain, or would they just be out of it so much that there is no way for them to feel an injection in the heart?

Also, regarding gas and the "box" I was assuming most vets that used that method would start with the box and then switch to the mask after the animal is asleep.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:54 pm

CP, since you must be a vet tech, which vet do you work for - and does he/she treat guinea pigs? I'm asking because it would be good to know of one closer to me than Long Beach.

At the moment, if I have to have an animal pts - and it's not a Monday or Tuesday - I don't have one close to me, so it would be good to find one nearer to me than Long Beach.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:33 pm

Thank you Serena, that helps alot. I put a picture of him fat and healthy on my sun visor, but still I seem to be stuck on how he died. I'm going to do what you do - think of a fun memory as soon as I think of the bad one.

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Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:51 pm

Cindy in MI you voiced my sentiments exactly.

When we had to put our Sammy to sleep it was horrible and I still feel like I betrayed him years later for not being able to ease his pain prior to the injection.


Post   » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:41 pm

Mum: The clinic I work at does not see GPs. The vets I use (and the ONLY ONES I USE) are Dr R (which you know) and Dr Dawson in Altadena. Dr D has spayed my pigs and done growth removals. She is the most skilled vet in that area. I am VERY familar with the abilities of the vets in that area so if you have a question, PLEASE email me. I am more than happy to discuss at a more appropriate place.

BTW: I work in the South Bay. They have FABULOUS cat/dog vets, if you ever needed one and want to drive all the way to the beach ;)

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GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:56 pm

I felt so bad about Einy's heart stick, although it was hard to tell how much he felt, since he was seizing pretty constantly.

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Post   » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:40 pm

I'm so glad the vet did the IM sedation first with Twizzler's eutanization. He was so calm, he just went to sleep in my arms. The vet took him into the other room for the cardiac stick, I asked him to because I couldn't stand to watch, then brought Twizzler back into the room where he drifted off peacefully in my arms. If I ever have to do it again, I'd definitely go with the IM sedation first.

I see what you mean now, when you talk about agonal breathing. It's kind of creepy to watch, but helped that the vet was there to tell me what was going on.

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Post   » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:12 pm

I didn't even know there was a thread about this subject. I'm glad it has been "bumped".

With Quilt not doing fantastic, I know I will be facing this issue (hopefully not soon, but you never know). My overriding concern was how it was to be done. I contacted a few people here on GL and they explained how it should be done. When I discussed it with Quilt's doctor, her methods match those proposed by the GL people I talked with.

I'm posting this in hopes that it will also help others facing this. I told her that I didn't want him to be scared or nervous during that last car ride. She gave me some "ace" (I guess it's the same thing I have for my horse) for calming. When we get there, he'll be sedated just as they do prepping for surgery. Once he's "out", the mask goes on and it's done. She said that she doesn't like to do the mask first as many pigs are terrified of it.

That agonal breathing sounds like what hospice told us to expect from both my mom and dad right before they passed.

It's such a huge help to know what to expect.


Post   » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:48 am

I'm glad it is still helpful :)


Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:16 am

Last night, the vet put Wembly into this clear little dome thing which gave off gas. Once he was asleep, she took him out and put the little mask on him and then gave him the injection. It all happened so quick that I barely had a moment to process the info.

All night and all day I keep picturing him trying to move around in the dome before he fell asleep. I was sad thinking he might be uncomfortable but before I knew it, he was out.


Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:35 am

It depends on which gas the vet uses. Sevo is much much much faster than iso. I still personally wouldn't chose to go the gas route. It smells bad and in some patients, causes a lot of panic and fear. But I am glad it wasn't the case for you. Every animal responds differently.

I've seen hamsters panic and struggle in an iso box, turned on full blast, for over 5 minutes.

Sorry for your loss.

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