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Euthanasia Question


Guest SusanP
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Guest SusanP

We had our sweet old girl Sizzlin Simon put to sleep last night after a stroke-like event. She was 11 yrs 3 months old, and we had her 4 years.

 

My question is this: The sedative she got before the second shot caused her to have some moments of rather disturbing agitation before she kid of zoned out. I haven't experienced this when my other pets have been put down, and I'm wondering if some of these drugs affect greyhounds differently--I ask because the vet confirmed it's the same thing she gives them before surgeries, and my guys always end up panting and shaking with it, not "sedated" the way one would wish...

 

I have no brain cells to remember what the drug is at the moment, but are there "better" drugs and "less good drugs" that can be given for this purpose? I'd like to know for future dentals, surgery and the inevitable sad times

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Guest TishaT

We put a dog to sleep (boxer with cancer) last October and I remember the vet telling me that it might cause some involuntary shaking, moving, moaning. We didn't see any of that, but I think it is a possibility with any breed. Greyhounds seem to be so different sometimes, don't they?

 

I am sorry that you lost your girl. Hugs to you.

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Guest SillyDog

I'm so sorry for your loss, and sorry that Simon's passing wasn't as peaceful as you would have liked. Maybe you could talk to your vet? Asking about the effects of this drug might put your mind at ease. In anycase, I'm so sorry.

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Sorry to hear about your dog.

 

Sodium pentobarbital (often under the charming trade name Fatal Plus) is frequently used for euthanasia. Depending upon the timing of events, i.e., cardiac arrest prior to complete sedation, some struggling can result. Not saying that's what went on at your vet's office, as I really don't know.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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Was the drug ketamine, by any chance? That's frequently given as a preanesthetic and there can be some involuntary jerking movements with it sometimes (it is used in people also). Acepromazine can have agitation as a side effect, but I don't *think* that's used as a preanesthetic.

 

When Idol was put to sleep he was sedated first as well and had some involuntary 'chewing' movements. I don't think he knew it was happening.

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when the vet came to the house to put Bailey to sleep, he mentioned that there could be some disturbing reactions and to just be prepared. thankfully, there was nothing.

gallery_2175_3047_5054.jpg

 

Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest trevdog

I'm so sorry for your loss...... :grouphug:grouphug:grouphug:grouphug:grouphug

 

One of mine had some events like you witnessed, the other didn't. It still haunts me over a year later.......

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Oh_Greyt

Euthasol is what is used to put them to sleep (brand name). If a sedative isn't given first, they can often move a lot - from simple twitching to outright barking. This is just the nerves though. The way the medicine works is that it puts them to sleep, then shuts down the organs - so they are unconscious first before the body shuts down. The body is telling them to breathe though, so there is often what is called agonal breathing - great big efforts to breathe in. But the dog is completely unaware of this.

 

However, we often give a sedative before if the owner is present so they don't see this and panic. If your dog had a reaction to it, I'd definately find out what it is... Acepromazine is often used as a sedative, but if the pet is nervous or anxious can have the complete opposite effect. That's why some vets are leary about dispensing it to clients for grooming or even thunder phobic dogs. Also, Ketamine can often make them shake - it's not uncommon for a dog being prepped for surgery to literally shake is head a good bit as we're trying to insert the trachea tube. We call it the Ketamine Shake. Those are just two drugs with common "side effects" like you described that I can think of, although I can't be sure what your vet used. Often it's a combination of drugs...

 

I'm sorry you lost your baby, and that it didn't go as smoothly as it could have. I'm sure Simon didn't feel any pain as she passed though. Hugs to you and your family.

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Guest KennelMom

I've not seen the pre-euthanasia sedative cause this reaction in any of our bridge babies and I've never asked what it was. :cry1 :cry1 :grouphug

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Guest Cris_M

Lots of hugs to you. Even when things go smoothly, letting our beloved pets go is heartbreaking. Add even the tiniest glitch and the heartbreak magifies exponentially. Try and hold on to what Oh_Greyt said; Simon truly didn't feel anything. Then, remember how much you loved her and that she knew that. In time, the sweet and funny memories will be stronger than this one bad moment.

 

Take care of yourself.

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I'm not sure what our sedation mix is, but we do use a pre-euthaniasia sedation to let them go to sleep, and then once the owners are ready, the vet injects B-euthanasia IV. I believe the sedative contains ketamine, which they inject slowly because it does burn. Anyway, our vets always warn the clients that a seizure is possible with the sedative, no matter what the breed. In my training as a nurse a few weeks ago, I was told to get the vet if it happens (we leave the owners alone in the exam room with the pet, but our job as a nurse is to wait right outside the door) and then we are to try to talk the pet out of the seizure until the vet comes in the room, and I would assume they would administer the euthanasia at that point. I know that Dr. Patty put down a rottie on Monday night and she made sure she had the euthanasia drug already drawn up before administering the sedative because she felt it was likely the rottie would seize. I think I heard that he did have a small seizure, but since we had just put Frazzle down that morning, I stayed as far away from the room and situation as possible.

 

So yes, the sedative can cause the reaction you saw - I did watch Tyler fight the sedation when we put him down, but I attributed that to the fact that Dr. Patty administered it intramuscularly instead of intravenously - she was trying to give us more time to say goodbye. It was upsetting, particularly since we were choosing to let him go a few days sooner than may have been necessary. Marcus and Frazzle were both IV sedation, and they just fell asleep peacefully.

 

I am sorry about Simon.

Deanna with galgo Willow, greyhound Finn, and DH Brian
Remembering Marcus (11/16/93 - 11/16/05), Tyler (2/3/01 - 11/6/06), Frazzle (7/2/94 - 7/23/07), Carrie (5/8/96 - 2/24/09), Blitz (3/28/97 - 6/10/11), Symbra (12/30/02 - 7/16/13), Scarlett (10/10/02 - 08/31/13), Wren (5/25/01 - 5/19/14),  Rooster (3/7/07 - 8/28/18), Q (2008 - 8/31/19), and Momma Mia (2002 - 12/9/19).

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Guest LynnM

The only way to completely prevent this is to mask the dog down prior to euthanasia.

 

The actions you describe, while unnerving, are normal.

 

Lynn

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Guest MaxAndMazy

We had the same thing happen with our shihtzoo. I thought it would be peaceful, but it really wasn't.

 

I'm sorry for your loss. PM me if you'd like to chat about it.

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my heart breaks for you. I know this can be so disturbing. Knowing you did what was right will hopefully bring comfort to you later. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so dang hard.

scootersig_A4.jpg

 

Pam with greys Avril, Dalton & Zeus & Diddy the dachshund & Miss Buzz the kitty

Devotion, Jingle Bells, Rocky, Hans, Harbor, Lennon, NoLa, Scooter, Naomi and Scout at the bridge

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Guest 1mytymedic

I am sorry that Simon's crossing had to be so disturbing. Sometimes with drugs, used for euthanasia or in surgery, cause muscle defasciculation. This depends on whether or not it had a paralytic effect, like succinylcholine, which is widely used in humans. What happens with this is as it reaches the central nervous system, it sends signals down the spinal cord that cause the muscle to "defasciculate" or twitch as the muscles relax and stop responding to signals from the brain.

 

I hope this can answer any of your questions. We just recently put down a German Sheperd that attacked and killed our Greyhound. But we did experience the slight aggitation. The vet said it can be quite normal, as they never know for sure how the animal is going to react. I of course cannot remember what they used either.

 

Again, I am very sorry for your loss! May Simon Run Free Forever!

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Guest SusanP

Thanks for your input everyone. I'll talk everything over with my vet when the dust settles. It wasn't too, too awful, but she just seemed a little panicky and tried to sit up, turning her head this way and that, and hard to comfort--It really didn't last long, but I'd never seen that in my other animals during euthanasia. The vet attributed it to her having "funny feelings" or "seeing pink elephants" as the drug began to affect her. It was a short time after the injection, not right away at all...so was it likely to be physical pain or psychological? I'm getting the impression from some of the posts that it could have been either.

 

Another issue that's been troubling me--I keep hearing that lethal injection for humans is now recognized not to be as humane as was once believed. Does this have any relevance to the way animals are put down, or are we talking about two different kettles of fish?

 

 

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Guest trevdog
Euthasol is what is used to put them to sleep (brand name). If a sedative isn't given first, they can often move a lot - from simple twitching to outright barking. This is just the nerves though. The way the medicine works is that it puts them to sleep, then shuts down the organs - so they are unconscious first before the body shuts down. The body is telling them to breathe though, so there is often what is called agonal breathing - great big efforts to breathe in. But the dog is completely unaware of this.

 

However, we often give a sedative before if the owner is present so they don't see this and panic. If your dog had a reaction to it, I'd definately find out what it is... Acepromazine is often used as a sedative, but if the pet is nervous or anxious can have the complete opposite effect. That's why some vets are leary about dispensing it to clients for grooming or even thunder phobic dogs. Also, Ketamine can often make them shake - it's not uncommon for a dog being prepped for surgery to literally shake is head a good bit as we're trying to insert the trachea tube. We call it the Ketamine Shake. Those are just two drugs with common "side effects" like you described that I can think of, although I can't be sure what your vet used. Often it's a combination of drugs...

 

I'm sorry you lost your baby, and that it didn't go as smoothly as it could have. I'm sure Simon didn't feel any pain as she passed though. Hugs to you and your family.

 

 

This helped me feel a little better at least.

 

Susan, I hope you are feeling a bit better today too....

 

Hugs......

Edited by trevdog
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