I now work at a hospital that also does this (cats and dogs) but in previous veterinary settings, vets just went straight to the pink juice.
So I was thinking that guinea pigs (and any other small animals), of all patients, should most definately always get sedated prior to a vet trying to poke its liver or heart with a big needle. I was told that going for the heart is quite painful and I imagine the liver isnt much better.
I have no idea what other vets do out there. Maybe the first few places I worked at were just cheap and didnt want to spare the few fractions of a mL of telazol. Its sort of a morbid topic but should you ever have to make that kind of vet trip, be it cat, dog or guinea pig, I hihgly recommend an IM sedation. Pet falls asleep within 5-10 mins. I have rarely seen animals not go under easily... this is usually with animals that are still pretty healthy (but is old, ugly and has no bladder control, usually).
Personally, I think they should all be done this way. Sorry for the random post but I had been wanting to share this thought with piggy owners for awhile.
- I Love Lucy
I don't think any animal should have to suffer through a cardiac stick or injection into the liver without sedation.
The reason I suggest an IM injection of a sedative as oppose to an IV one is that its not always easy to stick the vein of a sick animal. Plus some of them move. Ive seen some animals get stuck multiple times, trying to hit the vein. If they are sedated... even if the IV inj doesnt go super smoothly, at least the animal doesnt know you are poking it multiple times. Its pretty difficult to mess up an IM injection.
the reason I made this post is because I have seen, from different vets, direct cardiac sticks without any other pain preventer or sedation.
- I Love Lucy
Good point on the bit about hitting a vein. We often place catheters for the sake of the owners and depending on what vet is doing it, but I like your idea a lot more, I think. The animal need only feel one needle stick that way.
- Who's your Branni?
My dog and cat vet does the sedation first and then the euth stuff.
I am thankful for the sedation, both for them, and my last minutes of memory (and guilt!)
- Cavies 'n Cobwebs
- I GAVE, dammit!
I have one question though - as so many of our animals are sedated using Iso for surgery, why is it different in this case? Do our guinea pigs struggle agains the Iso when they're going in for surgery?
I've asked my vets to gas down first with Iso and then to do the needlestick. If your method is more humane then I'll ask my vet to use this method instead.
I never realized Diprivan (propofol) could be used for gp's too. It's a beautiful thing in my vent patients. Thank you for the advice. I fortunately have not had to have anyone PTS as of yet. Everyone so far has passed at home.
I can't imagine how painful a cardiac stick is... and the risk of missing would be great.
I know of co-workers who have OD'd thier pets with IM insulin or a sedative at home. That way they did not have to spend thier last moments in the vet office.
- For all Wonkys & Winkys
I do know that my vet said that they are very careful to make sure that the animal is completley out before the heart injection, because she said that it is a very painful injection to get. She said that it burns when being injected.
Iso smells awful and even cats and dogs struggle if you mask them with it fully awake.
The animal is scared as it is... and suddenly someone is holding their head against some smelly weirdness.
I have mixed feelings about the cathether. In all honestly, it is placed there for the sake of the vet and owner more so than for the animal. its so that once the owner is ready, all the vet has to do is to push the euthasol soln thru rather than struggle with a vein. Some vets can't find a vein if their life depended on it. I personally think a cathether placement is more stress than is needed. I believe in as little interaction if the animal as possible.
An IM injection does pinch, but when compared to nothing or gassing, I think it's worth is because 1) the pet never has to leave sight of the owner (and vice versa) and 2) the pain is over in a second. A sedative given SQ will take a bit too long to come into effect.
Well if you think about it... its a beating heart with a needle in it. Its really the only way to put all that solution into the pig's blood stream.
- Supporter in '14
Anyway, I think I have had three guinea pigs heart sticked. I think the second time the vet missed it and had to do it again. I regretted causing any additional pain. The last time I had taken along an xray of a guinea pig at my large animal friend's request. She counted down the ribs to find the best place. It was very very quick.
This is such a hard subject to talk about because it is mixed with the pain of loss. None of us want to cause our pets any additional pain or fear at the end of their lives.
- Cindy in MI
- Supporter in '05
Why not do this and what med would work best?
With a hamster I had to have pts, once we got to the vet's, I requested oral sedation first. The poor little hammie was so sick that just that almost pushed her over the edge. She was agonal breathing just with the oral sedation. Then they gave her the euth solution. For her, it was probably about as least traumatic as possible.
- I GAVE, dammit!
I'm certain that my dog/cat vet would come to our home to do it - but I'm also sure she's never put down a guinea pig - so this information will be helpful for the both of us.
- Wheekness for Pigs
I understand where people are coming from and wanting to spare their pet any pain. It is also a draining experience to have to make that decision to help your pet pass. There have been some suggestions about carrying out euthanasia of a pet on one's own. I mentioned in some other thread that I have a friend who is an anesthesiologist and he is often approached about doing euthanasia for pets. You really have to know what you are doing in order to prevent putting your pet through a lot of additional suffering. He flatly refuses to help people with this because animals are so different from humans and their responses to drugs and procedures can be vastly different from their human counterparts. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to personally botch an attempt to euthanize your pet and put them through undue suffering.
If you are ever in a position where your pet is to be euthanized, I think it makes sense to share your concerns with the vet. Make it clear that you don't want your pet to experience any fright and perhaps together, you can come up with a solution that gives both you and your pet some peace.