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WARNING: Graphic Post - Euthanization with anesthetic

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just had my 21-year-old cat euthanized and it was horrible. Not the having to put her down part -- she was blind, in pain and generally ready to go -- but the act.

I had the vet come to the house thinking it would be less stressful for her. He said he'd give her an anesthetic first before administering what I assume was Pentobarbital, I went along with that, but it was everything I was trying to avoid -- stress before death.

I had fed her a bunch of canned no-salt salmon as her last meal. I thought I'd hold her on my lap, the vet said 'fine'. First the jab obviously REALLY hurt. My usually placid act yowled when he I think unsuccessfully gave her a shot around her neck or shoulder (maybe the scruff, don't know if he was trying subcutaneously) and when he quickly gave her the rest IM in her thigh, she shrieked and hissed and started throwing up. She continued to throw up for a good two minutes, towards the end laying on her side throwing up, obviously VERY stressed.

She finally got limp I put her in her bed, and THEN he gave her the final shot -- it seemed to be a little clip or something he attached to her side or stomach -- and she stopped breathing within seconds.

I don't understand why she needed the first step. I can't imagine the pain and discomfort being greater that it was.

Thoughts? Experiences?

RIP Putty.
post #2 of 12
Oh my gosh, what an absolutely horrible experience for both you and your sweet

While I don't have any thoughts or experience with this, I just wanted to say that I am deeply sorry you had to go through this.
post #3 of 12
RIP Putty

I have pts 3 animals in under 2 yrs ...

One gave a horrific scream , the vet apologized but I know it was the Queen B@@ch saying good bye ... she went in my moms arms with me right next to her at home

One was not ready to go , her eyes said no but she had a huge tumor ... After they got the cath in her she was fine and went peacefully in my arms ... She went at the vets office

The third one went very very easy ... one he was tranquilized and two knew he needed to go .. He went very peacefully in a special room at the vets

PTS an animal is never easy ... for your loss
post #4 of 12
I am so sorry you and your cat had to go through this.

Whenever I have had to have a pet euthanized the vet has always used a vein in a front leg to administer the drugs. All my experiences, but one, have been pretty peaceful. The one that wasn't, was for my cat, Furrari. He went into convulsions before the vet could administer the final shot. It took the vet tech and I to hold him still enough for the shot. Once the shot was given he passed almost instantly. Animals can have bad reactions to the sedative. It's not common, but it can and does happen.

Again, I am sorry Putty's passing was so rough. Try to remember all the silly, cute and endearing times you had together. That's what I do whenever I start to think of Furrari's last moments.

Rest in peace, Putty.
post #5 of 12
I am sorry things didn't go peacefully, but that reaction isnt common, I have had numerous cats pts unfortunately. If they have a sedation first, and they have eaten, they are likely to throw up, or try to. I have never had that severe a reaction to being sedated first though, and all 3 last year were sedated, although the two this year weren't. I am sorry for your loss, RIP little one
post #6 of 12
Unfortunately this happens sometimes.

When we had to put our Gracie down we had a similar experience. We had to bring her in to the office to have it done. We were real lucky there was someone there, it was after regular office hours. She never liked her cat box or the car ride or the Vet poking her.

She could barely breathe (was open mouth panting) yet she managed to crawl all over my father and I triying to get away from the Vet tech who ws doing the deed.

My mom still feels guilty about waking her from her nap with the vacuum. If she hadn't she probably would have gone quietly in her sleep.

It's hard not to feel guilty about not making their exit the best it could have been. But try to think about the 21 good years you had. Bottom line is, the Vet has to poke them to get the drugs in, and if you have a cat who does not like strangers poking them, they are going to get stressed out about it.

Also cats have a marvelous sixth sense about 'there's something going on'... Dogs are easier. They just sit them on the floor with a big bowl of dog biscuits and most of them are so busy blindly munching away that they don't even notice when the doc slips the IV in. Not so with cats.
post #7 of 12
I'm so sorry that you had to witness this.

I'm older than a lot of you and have been rescuing animals for a long time. I've witnessed this more times that I would have ever liked. In all cases but one, the end has been very peaceful. A vet explained to me once that the animals with certain types of illnesses sometimes have a more difficult time with it than others, and its often those with illnesses that restrict blood flow. The one bad time I had was with my dear Shep, who had a massive stroke. She couldn't move to fight it, but you can tell she had a lot of discomfort.

Don't assume that this is the norm.

post #8 of 12
Jack's passing was not as smooth as I would have liked, I wish I would have known to not let him eat before the tranquilizer, he threw up from it, he had been throwing up a lot from CRF anyway, but due to the nausea he was trying to get away from me a bit at the end :-(

About 5 seconds or so after his hart stopped his tail puffed up a bit, I didn't like that. I'm sure the brain still "lives for a short period of time with no blood flow, as the brain "realized" it was "passing" it got scared and puffed up his tail a bit. Maybe we should have waited for the tranquilizer to circulate more, maybe that happens with all cats.

The experience was one that would have sucked really bad no matter what, and all in all Jacks passing was decent, but I will always feel pain over it...

RIP Putty.
post #9 of 12
Some people request that their pet first be given a sedative thinking that this will ease their discomfort/stress. The problem is, almost every sedative stings and many cause vomiting. IMHO, it's best to just give the euthanasia injection. It is very quick, doesn't sting, and it's effects are almost instantaneous.

I'm so sorry you had to have that experience, .
post #10 of 12
I am so sorry you had this experience *hugs* .. like everyone has said, try to focus on the good times, and your baby is in a better place now. Prayers for you hon.
post #11 of 12
Sorry that happened.

post #12 of 12
I don't know, it seems to me the transition out of this life is smooth for some, and rougher for others (animal and human alike). Most of the time I feel unqualified to say what it is all about, in terms of the way the end comes. I kind of think that for some a little drama is what they need to push their way out.

I have a friend who experienced something very much like you did with your little one, and I have to say, my friend and her cat were so alike, and loved each other so much, I would have been stunned if she would have gone down easy.

I had a beloved little cat who was my best friend for seventeen years with whom I had a very profound, meaningful relationship. She died in my arms after a brief illness, without assistance. She always took care of me, and I know she wanted the end to be low maintenance. That was her way.

It is kind of a big philosophical conversation, really. And in the end, what matters is that you loved your little one, and she loved you. My friend's kitty endured similar horrible reactions as yours, and my friend was pretty traumatized. And that was without the anethsesia. She went straight to the "final shot", which caused her kitty to run around with her tongue hanging out, and kind of blindly panicking.

It was hard for my friend and she tortured herself over it, but let's not forget that the kitties are no longer suffering, and that guilt and grief tend to accompany each other all too often. We think we are in control because we make a phone call and someone has the right needle and medicine, but I don't know. I think all we really have is love to give our animals, and we have to just know that is enough. And remember, we dwell on suffering more than just about any creature could ever do. Maybe put that tough ending behind you and focus on all the love and joy you guys shared.

I think you did the best you could for your little one.
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