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Old 04-04-2003, 09:28 PM
pohjonen pohjonen is offline
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How do veterinarians euthanize animals?

Yesterday we had to have our chowchow euthanized after he had become paralyzed. The vet said she was going to do it with an overdose of anesthetic. Why didn't he just peacefully go to sleep? While it was over very quickly, he did bark as though he was uncomfortable. Do they really use an overdose of anesthetic, or is it something else? I wouldn't exactly have called it "putting him to sleep." Not sure I really want an answer, but would feel better to know he wasn't suffering in any way when he died. Thanks to anyone who knows.
Old 04-04-2003, 10:09 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Here is an article about how pet euthanasia is done. Your dog's bark may been caused by this:

In some cases of heart failure, or poor blood circulation, the patient may not carry the euthanasia solution fast enough through their system, and a hallucination phase may occur. In these cases, "crying out" from the patient may be misinterpreted as experiencing "pain". In actuality, the patient is disoriented or delirious, and the vocalization is an expression of a state of disorientation.
Rest assured he did not suffer.

I'm very sorry for your loss and for the difficult decision you had to make.
Old 04-04-2003, 10:13 PM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Most vets use an overdose injection of phenobarbitol (do they sometimes use ketamine?). Such a dose does not instantly cause sleep; instead, it begins a rapid shutdown of the nervous system, which includes dizziness and disorientation, then unconsciousness, until finally breathing stops. Suddenly going all wonky must be as distressing for a dog as for an unsuspecting human, but it wouldn't have been painful.
Old 04-04-2003, 10:23 PM
asterion asterion is offline
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Why phenobarbitol instead of, say, sodium pentathol (which I probably just butchered the spelling of)?
Old 04-04-2003, 10:32 PM
furnishesq furnishesq is offline
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I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. I know your dog was your baby. It took a lot of love to do what you did.
Old 04-04-2003, 11:02 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Originally posted by asterion
Why phenobarbitol instead of, say, sodium pentathol (which I probably just butchered the spelling of)?
Why not? They're both pretty effective barbiturates. Pentathal is shorter acting, and has a lower lethal dose as a result, but giving the meds IV push delivers the necessary dose just as quick. I expect both barbiturates would deliver demise pretty much the same way.
Old 04-04-2003, 11:18 PM
Zenster Zenster is offline
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How do veterinarians euthanize animals?

With great trepidation.
Old 04-05-2003, 08:17 AM
pohjonen pohjonen is offline
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Thank you Lissa. Now I understand. The vet did say that "vocalization" might occur because of his age. Poor old geezer. Thanks for the sympathy everyone. But I do feel a little better now.
Old 04-05-2003, 12:47 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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When they put our Westie to sleep, I believe first the vet gave her something to make her sleep, then the drug that would actually put her down. She went very peacefully and quickly.
Old 04-05-2003, 01:58 PM
Electronic Chaos Electronic Chaos is offline
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The vets have always just told me they made cotton candy...


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