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Are there any vets around or vetinary nurses? I really need to talk but it's very upsetting

(13 Posts)
immortalbeloved Wed 02-Sep-09 19:25:46

Hi I'm so sorry to do this, and for anyone reading this is really not very nice and I wouldn't want to upset anyone......

But I really need to talk and ask a few questions. I had my dog put to sleep last night, she had cancer and was going downhill, she was 4 sad, she was a very big beautiful mastiff

It did not go well sad

The vet (who was beyond fantastic all the way through) warned me that they wouldn't be able to find a vein to inject her in and that they would put her under with the gas and then inject straight into her heart. The vet did warn me it'd be distressing but I opted to be there

To cut a very long story short, it took nearly an hour, it was awful sad and the vet even said it was the worst one she'd ever done. My poor dog just wouldn't give up and fought being put under all the way

And she became very upset and then aggressive. They had to muzzle her sad

And now I'm wondering if I did the right thing after all? she really suffered, and seeing her get aggresive really scared me- was it just a reaction to the drugs or was she really like that all along and I just didn't see it?

We still have her 'brother' who is the same breed and now I'm a little bit scared/wary of him

And of course it would be cruel to tell anyone IRL about this so I'm sorry for venting here

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 02-Sep-09 19:37:36

That must have been awful for you. I think that there are these awful things, like putting an animal to sleep that we have to do when we accept the responsibility of having a pet, it is hard and you might not want to see and it was terrible that it took so long. It's all part of being a pet owner.

I think that her response under the drugs should not be indicative of the behaviour of your other dog. I mean, think if it were you, having the drugs, they might make you behave in many ways, it does not really mean anything.#

You did the right thing, doesn't mean it is easy though.

beautifulgirls Wed 02-Sep-09 19:46:04

Your vet was trying to do the best for her under the difficult circumstances but I can understand that this was very distressing for you. Anaesthetics can induce unusual behaviours in pets as they are administered especially when the induction is "slow" - such as when gas is administered. They go through a phase of excitement and thrash about, then a stage where they are dizzy and feel out of control. The agression was most likely linked to her being scared of that feeling, not because of pain. Simply she did not understand what was happening to her and it felt strange.

I think you need to be confident that you have made the right decision here - if all had been done with a quick injection into the vein and it had been smooth you would be sad but unlikely to be questioning your decision. The outcome here is the same for her, she is now at peace. It is sad that she was scared at the end, but the vet didn't have much option by the sounds of it. Very sick animals or those who have had a lot of recent intravenous medications (anaesthetics included - I guess she had investigations etc done for a diagnosis) can make access to a vein really hard. The vet was trying to find a painless way to administer the drug and that is the option they felt best under the circumstances. There is nothing worse than trying to put a needle in a vein repeatedly when it will simply not go in easily - that is distressing for dog and owner and comes with some pain too.

I'm sorry to hear your dog has lost her battle but I am sure you did make the kindest decision you could have done. Don't doubt her brother - he is still the same dog you always had.

brimfull Wed 02-Sep-09 19:53:10

so sorry about your loss
I'm not a vet or vet nurse but my dog was put down in feb and the vet couldn't find a vein.
The whole process took ages and in fact we left before she actually went as the vet needed to get help etc.

I felt quite upset that it wasn't the easy needle in the vein as I expected and also felt guilty about it but the very fact it was so hard for the vet to find a vein reassued me that she was too ill to live anymore.

I do know that in people medicine(I am a nurse) anaesthetics can make people aggresive.

legoprincess Wed 02-Sep-09 20:01:01

Immortalbeloved, I am a vet so hopefully can answer some of your questions. I am sure you did the right thing - if an animal has a terminal illness it is never in the pet or owner's best interests to leave it too long. Although it is very difficult for you at the moment, when you look back you will know that you did the last kind thing you could for her.

Usually it is quite straightforward to put an animal to sleep but however hard we try, situations like yours arise sometimes. I completely understand you being upset and scared but please don't worry about her behaviour - it wasn't her, it was the drugs. Sometimes sedative drugs cause excitement or panic and some dogs try to fight it - it is not a reflection on you or her, just an unfortunate reaction.

There is no need to be wary of your other dog - if he has behaved well until now there is no reason why he should change. If and when the time comes to make the same difficult decision for him, it is very unlikely he will react in the same way.

Please ask if you have any more questions or phone and speak to your vet tomorrow. It is upsetting for us too when a euthansia is difficult and I have never minded talking it through with an owner.

Hope that helps.

spugs Wed 02-Sep-09 20:11:25

Im really sorry about your dog xx

moosemama Wed 02-Sep-09 20:49:12

I'm not a vet, just wanted to come and say how sorry I was to hear about your dog, but please don't feel you did the wrong thing. As someone else said, if she was so ill that they couldn't find a vein, you did the best thing you could for her.

We had a similar experience when we had to say goodbye to our boxer x gsd. They were actually just taking him in to scan for secondaries as he had a fibrosarcoma that had recurred, but as he hated the vets and was very large he had to be sedated before we left. He fought and fought and fought, we spent over an hour with him while they kept upping the dose and we tried to keep him calm, even putting towel over his head and lying on the floor of the consultation room with him at one point. Ds1 was only 10 days old and the reception staff had to come and take him out of the room and watch him for us as our dog was thrashing around so much and despite repeated doses he was literally throwing himself at the vet everytime she came in the door. It was really distressing (especially as I was already really hormonal). The upshot was that when they eventually did get to scan him he had secondaries in almost every possible organ and there was no hope so we had to agree for them not to bring him round.

The reason I'm telling you all this is that at the time, after the whole fighting sedation thing, we felt like he didn't want to go and was fighting our decision. But, looking back, remembering how ill he was, how we sat up with him all night the night before and comparing that frail, weak dog with the fine big strong healthy fella he used to be, we now know without a shadow of a doubt that we did the right thing by him. It just wouldn't have been right to let him suffer anymore.

I know its a cliche, but its true that time really is a great healer. Seven years on and when we think of him, its not his last horrible morning that comes to mind, but his happier days running on the beach, chasing around with our other dogs, him cheekily stealing things from the fridge! etc etc

Please be kind to yourself, allow yourself time to grieve and try not to be wary of your other dog, it wasn't the dog you knew and loved that reacted that way, it was a combination of the drugs and a horrible situation.

I really am very sorry for your loss.

latestincarnation Wed 02-Sep-09 21:02:56

I am really sorry that you had to go through such a difficult euthanasia. It is a very hard experience for all of you. Unfortunately reactions as you described can happen, and it is no reflection on the decision you made or your dog's personality - there are no grounds to be worried about your other dog in the future.

Take time to grieve, give you other dog a big cuddle on the sofa and give your vet a bottle of wine - they will have been as traumatised as you were by how it went, as all we want to do is make it as peaceful as possible for everyone! They will be happy to answer any questions that you have - its what we are there for

I'm sorry for your loss

immortalbeloved Wed 02-Sep-09 23:25:45

Thank you all so much, really, you have no idea how much your responses have helped

I am at work at the moment (and crying my eyes out) but as soon as I can I will come back and respond properly to all of you

I know I'm being silly about my other dog- I don't think I'm really thinking straight at the moment- it was just so strange seeing my soft loving girl be so aggresive it made me doubt my instincts with the dogs iykwim?

And I don't know if I made it clear in my op but I absolutely don't blame the vet at all, she was amazing and tried so hard to make it as easy as possible

Thank you all again, you really have made me feel a bit better and a bit less guilty

bedlambeast Thu 03-Sep-09 11:00:16

Message withdrawn

minimu Fri 04-Sep-09 09:19:07

You poor poor sweetyimmortalbeloved what an awful time for you. Do remember that your poor dog was very very poorly and even though this may have looked awful it is a much better option than if he had been allowed to suffer in pain and distress for longer. You are a super brave loving owner who has done the right thing. Do not replay this upsetting incident over and over in your mind but think of the great times you gave your special dog. Pour loads of love in your other dog and take care

hayes Fri 04-Sep-09 11:11:48

aw feeling so sad for you. You know you did the right thing and as others have already said the drugs would have affected her behaviour. Be kind to yourself, cuddle your other dog and try to remember your other one as she was when she was well.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 04-Sep-09 12:54:13

sorry to hear about your dog - 4 is very young to be put down

but you did what was best for your dog - hope you are ok ((HUGS))

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