At-home euthanasia?

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 2:55 pm

Has anyone done this before? I have never put a pet to sleep, ever. But we are looking toward letting our ill piggie go, possibly next week.

Does anyone have any experience in having it done at home? I am going to consult the vet Tuesday to see if there are some recommendations for providers in my area, but I have only seen this vet once since we moved to another state. So obviously I am lacking a long-term relationship like I had with our previous vet.

It's a hard time all around right now.

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 2:58 pm

With a guinea pig, unless the vet gives them a drug ahead of time to sedate it, it's really more stressful for the pig.

When I euthed CP, I first had him sleeping under the influence of isoflurane (gas anesthesia). I didn't even want to give him an injection of a sedative that could potentially sting. I figured he had been through enough. So, with him sound asleep, I gave the euthanasia solution directly into his heart. It was quick, I didn't have to fight to find a vein, and he never felt a thing.

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GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 3:00 pm

Some vets will come to your home to euthanize your pet. Some will at least let you take them out of the office into the sunshine, on the grass, to die in your arms. There was a thread recently about it, but I don't know if people ever agreed on a humane method of home euthanization.

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Etta Mae
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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:09 pm

mel has a good point. It would be pretty traumatic for all involved if you had to think he went feeling pain.

mel- there's pretty much no other way besides heart or stomach, is there?

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:12 pm

I'm certain that if I wanted, someone would have either held him or used a leg vein if I wanted to do it that way (either way, he would have been asleep). However, I wanted to be with him, totally by myself, when he passed. It was harder than hell, but I would do it that way over and over and over again, simply because of the fact that I knew that he didn't feel any part of it.

I personally don't like doing the abdomen (stomach) route. Using the heart is so much faster, and is easy to hit.

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 6:41 pm

I didn't really know exactly how it was done. It sounds quite horrible.

I am reconsidering the at-home visit unless they can somehow bring the gas to the house. He has been poked and prodded too much for his short life and I don't either want him to even feel the sting of another needle.

I guess I will talk with the vet Tuesday and see what can be done. I don't want him to feel any pain. :(

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 7:01 pm

I'm sorry you're faced with this.

Personally, I think it depends on how your pet reacts to going to the vet's office. All of my pets hate going there, so in my mind, a small poke or stick at home would be far less stressful than being put in a carrier, going in the car and being in strange and uncomfortable surroundings at the end.

On the other hand, in many cases, your pet is too far gone to really notice his/her surroundings. For my 18 year old cat, she really was so out of it, where she was didn't really matter.

For my pig, Cookie, she was alert up until the very end. The thought of putting her in the car and having her last hours spent away from her beloved home was too much.

It really is a judgement call. I'm so sorry you have to think about this at all.

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 7:21 pm

Thanks for your kind words. My piggie is very social and outgoing in nature, though I haven't seen as much of that as he has felt so ill. I don't think it bothers him too much to go anywhere, though he is extra excited when he gets home. As soon as he's in the house he nearly jumps out of my arms with glee.

We will have to see what options we have. If we do have to go into the office, my husband can drive us and I can hold him. He loves to be cuddled, so at least that would be of comfort to him.

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:04 pm

CP rode in my lap to the clinic. A very long half hour drive for me. He usually rode happily in a basket. He didn't care where he was going, as long as there was a box to hide in, and veggies to eat.

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Post   » Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:21 pm

At the animal hospital that I go to, both vets give owners the option of staying with the animal if they want to. If it were requested by an owner, the vets would put the animal under first with isoflurane.

With the guinea pigs that I have had to have put down during the past year, I have remained with them as the vet gave them the shot in the abdomen. (I would hold the animal the entire time) That way, my piggy is with her momma and does not have to go into another scary room with strangers.

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Post   » Sun Oct 19, 2003 4:09 am

My mom gave permission over the phone for the vet to put Jasper down. I am still angry because I knew that he was going to have to be put to sleep, but I wanted to be there for him. I was his mom for a very short amount of time, and I wanted to hold him when he passed, even though he wasnt aware of where he was in the end. I really like my vet, he is probably the best cavy vet in town, but I was very angry when I found out that he let my mom give permission, with me not finding out until 2 days later, and I had to call and check on his status, only to be told he was gone. If I ever have to do that again, I will find a way to do it at home.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sun Oct 19, 2003 5:46 am

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.

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Post   » Sun Oct 19, 2003 9:44 am

The vet came to our home to euthanize our dog. There was an additional charge as Josephine said. Cinder was always terrified of the vet clinic, so I didn't want that to be her last experience. My boys were with me and it was really hard for the three of us, but better for Cinder.

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Post   » Sun Oct 19, 2003 10:40 am

When I had to have Lilly put to sleep we went to the clinic. None of the vets would have ever been able to come here during a busy morning weekday. She was really suffering at that point and I couldn't wait any longer. They gave her iso and then I watched as Dr. Fisher struggled to find a vein big enough in her leg. She ended up with both front legs shaved. At least she was asleep for it all. I wish now I'd have just said put it in her heart but I was crying and not quite with it.

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Post   » Sun Oct 19, 2003 2:38 pm

what hard decisions. I got the name of one vet who may be able to come here. We are on the fence. Our piggie keeps going up and down, I would have said yesterday could be the day, then this morning he's wheeking and chipper. I never knew it would be this hard.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with me, it is very helpful.


Post   » Sun Oct 19, 2003 11:12 pm

My vet gave Inky gas and then an injection, but I don't know where since I chose to let the vet do it in another room. I wanted my last memory of him to be him looking at me and not just laying there. I would not have done this but for the fact that Inky was very comfortable with the vet, did not fight him at all, and "knew" him from the intensive care he'd been personally given for a whole day. Plus, the vet is a wonderful, warm, tender-hearted man whom I like and admire very much.

This is what was right for me but other people choose to be with their pet, if possible, and that's great, too. I held my doggie and that was right that time. You'll know in your heart what is the decision for you. I hope the new vet allows you to do whatever you want.

BUT - I REALLY hope your piggie gets better and maybe this whole discussion will be for naught!

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Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 7:03 am

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.
Our Wilma was put to sleep early morning 9.10.2003. She was ill, and started to get worse late on previous evening. She would have lived maybe a day or two, but that would have been really uncomfortable for her.

I asked the vet about the gas, but she said the same as above, that she has noticed that animals dislike the smell of gas. Since Wilma was alvays wery sensitibe with her nose (like when she got parsley, she always backed up couple of times before she got used to the smell and then startd to eat).

She was sedated, she fell aseep in my arms really peacefully. When she didn't react anymore, the vet did the "heart thing" (sry my english, what is correct wording?) and she was gone. We both (me and Mikko) were there all the time and that helps a lot in our grief. We know how she went and she didn't have to be alone or with strangers etc. Just one quick shot to hind leg and she could sleep.


Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:15 pm

We had a dog put down once at home. However we lived on a ranch and the vet ONLY did house calls because he mostly saw horses and other large animals. Every other animal has been at the vets office, but my mom has always stayed with them the whole time. Because of being away at school I was only there for the one that got done at home. I think if I had to have a dog put down I would want it done at home just because mine hate going to the vet.

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Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:34 pm

When I recently had a pig euthanized, the vet used gas first. It sounded so comforting--the guinea pig goes to sleep first, then he gives the injection. However, in actuality it wasn't that peaceful. He put the gas on a cotton ball in a little dixie cup, then put the pig's head into it. The pig struggled. I was getting worried, and was just about to say "forget it"! When he finally went limp, and the vet gave the injection. I didn't even get to hold him, the tech "muscled" me out of the way.

It was so different when my horse was put to sleep. She was already in a coma, and went away very peacefully, with her head in my lap.

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Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 6:46 pm

When I had my rat euthanized, the vet put her into a small box first with the isoflurane. When she fell asleep, the vet put her head into a mask so she wouldn't regain consciousness while giving her the heart stick. It was very peaceful and I'd do it that way again. I was able to hold her.

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