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question about putting cat to sleep

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
First, this is not for the faint of heart, but I have a real question.

My friend put her cat down a few weeks ago. Lucy was ill and it was the best thing, but my friend said the end was terrible.

She said that the vet gave Lucy the euthanasia shot right into her heart. Is that normal?

She also said that Lucy did not go terribly quietly. She twitched, her eyes flew open, her toungue hung out. Is this what happens?

I only know from stories from others what it is like to put an animal to sleep. Every other person I've ever talked to said it was quick and peaceful. This doesn't sound like either.

Any info would be appreciated. (sorry if this is in the wrong place, but I wasn't sure where to post it.)
post #2 of 12
I think this is much better suited for our health forum .I'll move it for you now.
post #3 of 12
When it became clear that my Toby was not going to get better, I made the decision to have him put down. He was very ill at the time, and he had an IV line in anyway, so the vet just used that to administer the injection. He was sleeping at the time, and he just stayed that way. It was very peaceful. My vet did warn me before hand that there was a possibility that he might jerk or move around, so I'm guessing that that is not uncommon. I'm glad it didn't happen in his case, though.
That's pretty much all I know on the subject. I hope it helps a little.
post #4 of 12
The only way I know is to give the animal a medication first to calm them down and then the pts shot and it is usualy peaceful. I have seen a few cats die before . The once who died with out pts did a final screem sometimes . But I think it is with us humans too . Some go peacefuly and some not .I think it depents on a cat and what is going on .
post #5 of 12
2 1/2 years ago, my cat Midnight was put to sleep, and also had to have the euthanasia shot injectioned directly into her heart after the vet tried and failed to inject this into both front legs. This is a completely normal and acceptable way to give the injection.

Euthanasia works even more quickly when it is injected directly into a cat's heart, and the vet will listen for the abscense(sp?) of a heartbeat within a minute or two. After the heart has stopped, it's normal for the cat's eyes to be open, and it's also normal to see some involuntary muscle movements and twitching, and the cat might even look like it's taking a couple of breaths. The cat is not aware of any of these things since it has already passed away, and there is no pain or suffering involved.

IMO, your friend's cat really did pass away quickly and peacefully.
post #6 of 12
I have put several older cats down and have held them in my arms as the vet injected their leg with the "meds". There was no twitching only a relaxing of the animal and then death. It seemed a very peaceful exit.
And this vet's office has a farewell room with chairs and shaded windows for a private goodbye.
post #7 of 12
I am so sorry to hear of your friend's difficult experience with the euthanasia of her cat. I've worked at a vet clinic for 12 years and have seen the cardiac administration done only as a last resort and never in the presence of the guardian. Yes, as one respondant said, it is quicker, but if the cat is upset as your friend's cat seemed to have been, I don't think the cardiac method in front of her was appropriate. When, at our clinic,we have an upset cat that is to be euthanized and the "owner" wants to be with her, we always take the cat back to our treatment area and place an IV catheter in her leg. The kitty may struggle during this process, but the client doesn't have to see that. Then, when the catheter is placed, we return to the client with a calmer cat and all is ready for the administration of the drugs without any further struggle. The client can then calmly hold the cat, talk to her, whatever, while the vet administers the drugs without any restraint by us. The cat then does just peacefully fall asleep and relax. There may be small twitches as muscles relax, and the eyes are always open. That's just the way it is. The cat may also pass urine as the muscles around bladder relax. If the client has been properly informed of what to expect, none of this will be a shock, but rather expected and then if it doesn't happen, how much more peaceful it will be. Sarabi
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the info. I'm sure Lucy is happily over the bridge now.
post #9 of 12
When the vet came here to put down Bravo, he first gave him a sedative in his leg, waited for the sedative to take effect and then injected the drug into his heart. He died peacefully in my arms, a victim of a poisoning that was slowly shutting down his kidneys.
post #10 of 12
I found a baby kitten in my yard last fall. He was maybe 2 days or so old? He still had his umbelical cord...anyways..I had him for 4 days when he started bleeding from his mouth. I took him back to the vet and they told me he probably had pneumonia (sp) and that there wasnt anything they could do because he was so small and that was probably the reason the momma had left him behind. They injected his heart, I was holding him but I couldnt watch, however I did feel his little body shake in my hands. They wrapped him in a towel and let me take him home to bury him and told me that he would continue to shake a bit for up to an hour. I didnt bury him until he had stopped shaking partly because I didnt want to let him go and partly because I couldnt put that baby in a box and bury him while he was still moving. Thats the one and only animal I have ever had to have put to sleep. I guess the shaking and twitching is normal.
post #11 of 12
I held all 5 of my dogs and many cats over the years when it was their time and have never seen a bad reaction. Many have involuntary spasms and all lose bowel and bladder control. I gently close their eyes and mouths when it is done. All were done thru IV injection in their arms. They are all hard to take, but the first was the scariest even though the vet prepared me for what I would witness. But I wouldn't desert any of my babies when it is their time.

Sorry to be morbid, but after witnessing losing both parents to cancer, this is far more humane.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I happen to agree with you that I think I'd rather be put to sleep when my life is no longer livable rather than suffer and die the way some do. I certainly didn't mean that I was against putting animals to sleep, I had just never heard a story like my friend's.
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