Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Great Mills, MD
Here are my two cents on sedation.
We had to put down one of our beloved cats last August. She suddenly began vomiting blood. It was my very first time having to put any animal to sleep, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Once in the room, the vet looked her over once and said that it seemed like she had developed little tumors all over her tiny body. She had been seen by a vet a little under a year prior who noticed a very tiny lump on her foreleg, but the vet stated that she may have just gotten it from rough housing with our other cats. The cat never really liked to be handled to begin with, but we kept an eye on her; watching her food/water intake and watching her mood. Nothing changed until the morning we found her in the bathtub, her front covered in foul smelling blood.
The vet confirmed the only option was to be put to sleep. They did not sedate her, I was not told that was an option (I would've done it, even though I didn't know what the difference was between using and not using), and I honestly didn't know it was an option.
They stuck my pretty baby over ten times trying to find a vein. She screamed the entire time. Once they found a vein, for some reason, the medication didn't take. It took thirty minutes and four different syringes full of the drug before she finally went to sleep. Each time they poked and prodded her ten or more times. The last two were injections straight into her heart, yet she wouldn't go to sleep. I remember asking if they could just overdose her on Ketamine or some other heavy grade drug done IM, but they kept telling me that, "This one will do it..." or, "It might just take her a while." When it was finally over, they were going to take her and dispose of her, but I took my girl home with me instead; I didn't want them touching her anymore.
With my Princess Puppy, Chey, they immediately sedated her. She was comfortable and happy. The last thing she did before she fell asleep was eat a hot dog. It took them a while to find a vein, as her blood pressure dropped dramatically after the first injection, but she never flinched, whimpered, or yelped. Once the injection was in, the vet listened to her heart and I kept my hand on her belly until she let out what we called her happy sigh and that was it.
I will NEVER, EVER go to a vet that does not automatically sedate before euthanasia ever again...heck, I think it should be a law that they cannot administer the medications until the animal is properly sedated. Sedation is the only way to go.