having pets euthanized

gibby2015June 6, 2009

I just had to do this for the second time. I've had three cats pass on - one naturally and peacefully on her own and two with assistance. The vet came to our home the first time and though my cat was 20 years old and it was time, he got very riled up when they tried to shave his leg and insert the IV. It was very disturbing - not the peaceful "going to sleep" experience I was hoping to have by not taking the cat in the car to the vet's office.

So my 19 year old CRF cat had reached the point this past week when his time had come. I'd talked to my vet (not the same one I had before) about how to avoid the traumatic situation I'd had before - asking if there was some kind of sedative pill I could give my cat to make him sleepy and relaxed - kind of like a good dose of valium for a human. He gave me a few Acepromazine tablets and I just had them on hand for when the time came.

Well, the time came this past week and I cannot begin to describe how much better this went with the sedative. Though my cat was weak and frail, he still would have been distraught having to go in the car. Instead I gave him the pills about an hour before we left the house. He was a sleepy, relaxed, frail little thing and I just wrapped him up in a blanket and held him on my lap all the way to the vet. The whole event was very peaceful and dignified - much, much better than my last experience.

I thought I would mention this in case it might be helpful to anyone else. This is such a difficult thing to do. For me I didn't want the poor old guy to remember his last hour to be a stressful car ride or a traumatic encounter with an IV. It turned out just the way I hoped - thanks to a couple acepromazine tablets.

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I'm sorry for your loss, but glad things went better for you and for your cat. I think a sedative beforehand is helpful. I just put my 15 year old dog to sleep May 15th. She had no problem going in the car, but the vet gave her a sedative when we got there so I could spend some time with her peacefully before the final shot. Depending on the animal, the pills at home are an excellent idea.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:37PM
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Hi Gibby,
I am sorry for your loss, but glad the Ace worked for you and your cat. The point of euthanasia is that it should not be a traumatic death. A ride to the vet for some animals is traumatic all by itself. It sounds like you have a good vet now. My thoughts are with you tonight.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:43PM
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Weed, I am sorry to hear that you had to let Maggie go, too.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:47PM
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This is great information. We all want our furbabies to be as stress free as possible (since that keeps our stress level down in a time of often tremendous stressors) while we give them the gift of eternal peace. Great share and Im sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 12:27AM
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i did this with my old sibe years ago. my vet is the one who suggested it. i gave my dog the sedative and when i knew the vet was just a few minutes away, we went outside, sat under the big oak tree and shared a hershey bar. :) the end was as peaceful as i had hoped.

i'm so sorry for your loss and i hope that some day soon, you will be able to remember only the good times.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 7:25AM
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ninapearl, what a lovely story.

Thanks Nancy. Hard to believe they are both gone :(

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 9:24AM
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Thank you all for your kind words. It helps that I still have two cats so they are getting smothered with more than the usual amount of love and attention since I'm suddenly not spending so much of my time caring for the ailing CRF cat. I also think this time was a little better because the CRF cat (Ernie) had several close calls where we thought we were going to lose him. I think I did my mourning in several "batches" over time. And as I said, I felt MUCH better about the peaceful departure.

I'm not sure if it's like this at other vets since this is the first time I've done this at the vet. They had a nice what I've been referring to as a "mortuary room". It had a sofa, comfortable chairs, rug - kind of like a living room or one of those rooms in a mortuary. We just sat on the sofa kind of like being at home and that was it. You could have as much time before or after as you needed with your pet. I thought the whole thing was about as good as it could be - only thing missing was flowers!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 9:36AM
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I am so sorry for your loss, but I very much appreciate the info re: sedative. We had to put our kitten to sleep 5 1/2 yrs ago (FIP), and I am still haunted by how horrible it was for her and for us.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:54AM
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I too had to put my 16 year old cat down,as she could no longer walk well, and stopped eating, but my vet only had to give her a shot.I stayed with her till the end. There was no ordeal with an iv.
And she just went to sleep.....regretfully forever.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 12:29AM
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Oh, goodness, I am so sorry for all of you. I know the time comes eventually. I'm actually shedding tears for all of you. This makes me so very sad but how nice that it is so peaceful for your little friends when the time comes. Please find another 'family member' soon.
(A softy when it comes to animals, BT

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:37PM
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It's a terrible thing to have to do. We had to have one of our cats euthanized almost a month ago, and another has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, so we might have to do this soon again. What I find difficult after the procedure is that their eyes stay open and can't be closed. Somehow, looking into the lifeless eyes of an animal you love makes the experience even worse.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:53PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. I had one experience with an animal that fought tooth and nail (literally) and it was so upsetting. They had to eventually gas him down and that was also a bad experience. I don't ever want to put another animal through that. I knew he was terminal, but I think that maybe I was too premature and that was the reason for the big fight on his part. Good idea about the Ace. Will keep that in mind in the future.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 2:26AM
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