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What to expect when your dog is pts :((41 Posts)
Our lovely dog is being put to sleep tomorrow. He has been under investigation for a few weeks after suddenly losing a lot of power to his hind legs. He hasnt improved despite medication and i actually feel this should have been done a week ago but DH disagreed. Hes worse this morning and DH has reluctantly agreed its what needs to he done.
He called the vet today to see if she could come out to our home. Very naively we assumed she could administer an injection and he would go peacefully. She says he needs to come in but as shes on call today shes on her own. She explained re sedation and IV drip and from previous investigations over the past few weeks where Ddog has became aggressive she would prefer another vet present. She stressed she CAN do it today if hes in serious pain but ideally wait until tomorrow. As far as we can tell hes not in pain, just unable to walk or toilet. Its horrific watching him try. She suggested upping the tramadol in the meantime
Sorry this is longer then i meant it to be. Dh is in bits. He will be taking him tomorrow. Can anyone tell me so I can tell him what to expect? Will it be traumatic for Ddog? Will it hurt him? Will it be peaceful? How long will it take? Cant believe its hapoening
I’ve been with plenty of animals when they’ve been pts and I’ve never seen anyone have IV fluids , generally it’s a sedative and then the actual drug . Personally all of mine have been relatively peaceful . What I would say , although it’s probably not something you want to think about , is what you plan for afterwards . I have found that it is much cheaper to organise my own cremation and return of ashes than going through the vet ( £100 difference with my large rabbit) . Although that depends on whether you want your ashes returned . Best wishes for tomorrow , it’s very difficult but you are doing the kindest thing for your dog .
Thanks floral, I assumed the IV was to administer the drug?
We have planned to bury him in the garden and let the DC choose a tree to plant there.
With my dog he had a cannula fitted, he was taken out of the room to do this, when he came back into the room we sat on the floor next to him and stroked him, he rested his head on us and they administered the drugs through the cannula. His head grew heavier and within a minute he had gone.
It was very peaceful for him, no stress and was definitely the right time and thing to do, but it's hard.
You'll go in the room and the vet will confirm your wishes. You'll be asked to sign a consent form to consent to euthanasia and also what you'd like to do with his body afterwards. You can either take him home for a burial, they can arrange a cremation for you, either where the crematorium scatter the ashes for you, or he can be individually cremated and his ashes returned to you, either in a scatter box for you to scatter or bury somewhere, or in a casket or urn for you to keep. They'll discuss these options with you. Alternatively you can arrange your own cremation via a pet crematorium.
The procedure itself is usually quite quick. They will need access to a vein in his leg so will clip a small patch of hair from his leg if he hasn't already had that done for the investigations. They will gain IV access either with an IV catheter, or with the needle and then the drug (it's essentially an overdose of anaesthetic) will be administered directly into the vein. They'll probably have a nurse to assist them in gaining IV access. You can be present, you can hold him and stroke him as he goes off, if you want to of course. If you don't want to be present, you don't have to be, he can be held and fussed by the nurses instead. You will be offered some time with him afterwards, again, if you wish.
He will literally just go off to sleep.
They'll pre warn you, but it's worth being aware that they can grasp and/or vocalise after the injection. It doesn't happen all the time, I'd say probably about 1 in every 10-15 euthanasias that I see do this gasping and/or vocalising. They are completely unconscious when this happens and are unaware of anything that is going on. It's just a primal reflex caused by the brain not getting oxygen after the heart has stopped.
If your dog's temperament isn't great at the vets, you could discuss the use of a sedative with them. There are pros (mainly that the animal is pretty zonked!) and cons (it can make it harder to get IV access and it also makes the process last longer, the sedative takes time to take effect) but you can discuss this with your vet.
I'm sorry that you're going through this, it's the hardest thing, but equally we're lucky that we have the option of not allowing our pets to suffer at the end.
I can’t answer your question,but I understand what you are going through. I’m facing the Same thing this week, when I spoke to the vet on Friday, he said that they would come out and do it at home. My dog is also aggressive now and I’m dreading how it will go. It’s such a horrible situation and one I haven’t experienced before.
I'm sorry you are in this situation. From what you say you are doing absolutely the right thing.
I've held a much loved dog in my arms to be pts twice. Neither time was it distressing or painful for the dog. They were both old & ill & it was clearly time.
The vet put in a cannula as I held them, then administered the sedative & the drug which stops the heart. It was very quick & peaceful, they slip away within seconds & go heavy in your arms.
It was important to me to be there for them at the end. It is upsetting though. I cried, but I am certain the end was not distressing for the animal.
Ours are buried in the garden too
Thanks everyone you have reassured us about what to expect. DH is bringing him but is unsure if he can be present. I have to work, and would be present in a heartbeat and hate the thought of him being alone in a place he hates. He HATES the vets! But I cant force DH either. I just hope he'll have the strength to stay when the time comes.
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Spartacus you and DH sound just like us! DH is in pieces already.
My Dh had to take my old dog in as an emergency case. He said the vet an nurse were very kind, they all cried a bit which just shows how much they think of their patients.
I had my elderly dog out to sleep on Friday. Like yours she was off her legs and had severe dementia and was incontinent. The vet spoke to us for a long time beforehand and examined her - I then signed a consent form and he went through the costs.
I held her in the table at her head and the vet put the injection into her kidney, apparently if the dog is quite thin and if they are aggressive this can be better. She didn’t flinch at all, and just got heavier in my arms, her eyes remained open and she had an atonal breath afterwards but she went very peacefully and looked beautiful, like she was just asleep. She did wee herself after she went. It was heart breaking though and I was talking to her throughout and telling her she was loved, her little head was wet from me crying, and I had taken her blanket to cover her up in, which I am glad I did. The vets were great, let us wait in a private room and let us out of another door so we wouldn’t have to walk back out through the waiting room.
I am still wobbly - I know she’s gone to a better place, but it really was heart breaking. I honestly do not think I could have another pet now, as I couldn’t bear doing this again.
It cost me £235, that is with having an individual cremation and her ashes returned to me in a scatter box. About half of those costs are the cremation.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks for sharing everyone. Hes not elderly, only 8 although his breed doesnt have a particularly long life span. To look at him on the couch hes the same big strong dog til he tries to go anywhere.
We went through this on friday so for you. I posted on here and had lots of support which was lovely.
We had ours pts at home. The vet was happy to come here and do it before she went to work ( she had a few days notice so was able to do this). It was very peaceful. She said she would inject to send her to sleep and then once she was fast asleep, injected something to stop her heart. ( was in another country so sorry to be vague). Was the best way she could have gone. Very peaceful, we could hold her and helped us.
Hugs to you and your family, it is very hard.
Op could you get the day off work? Some work places can be very nice about this, if they are dog lovers too? I think it might be hard for your Dh on his own from what you've said.
Big hugs OP. It's such a sad thing to go through but you're doing the right thing
Sorry that you are going through this OP, its really heart wrenching.
I've not had a dog PTS but I've had to have my Mums old cat PTS after she suffered a stroke. I found its really hard and I dont think I could be present again. I know people think thats bad but it was really difficult.
What I didnt realize was that after the cat passed that some fluids would start leaving the body. I think someone should have said. I'm very squeemish with bodily fluids and nearly fainted.
I hope it all goes well for you and it is a painless process.
My two little dogs had their paws shaved and an injection and apparently ‘fell asleep’ pretty well instantaneously in my arms with me talking to them. Very peaceful and I wish I could have a similar death when I am old or in terminal pain. 💐
Moxibelle i have considered it. Im a HCP in the NHS amd have 2 full clinics booked over a 10 hour shift. My manager is not a dog lover! DH work is more flexible. If i got a cancellation slot i could get put for am hour but no guarantees. Annoyingly i work only mornings the rest of the week but feel it would be unfair on poor M to drag this out another day.
So sorry OP, it’s always a rough making that decision, even though you know it’s the right thing to do.
Chocolatepeanuts - you wouldn’t be able to go to work afterwards, believe me. I am an HCP too and there is no way I could have gone from the vets to run a clinic.
I’m really sorry OP- we had our 2 year old PTS a few months ago after a short illness. I’ll be honest and say that it was incredibly sad BUT this was probably partly due to the sudden nature of his illness and how young he was. It was hard to see the fairness in it all.
The actual PTS was easy enough, he already had a cannula and didn’t need a sedative. It seemed very quick and peaceful and I don’t think he was afraid. The vet and nurse were brilliant and talked it all through and what happens afterwards.
I hope it goes smoothly tomorrow- be kind to yourself x
My last dog had a cannula fitted. Taken out for a mild sedative before being brought back in for the other drug.
Sad sad sad but better than another day suffering from lymphoma.
Our jrt totally hated the vets, or even being handled by the vet, which was a very big problem. (He would get very aggressive). We had him pts at home on the sofa in front of the fire, but it took some planning. I had to sedate him with pills about two hours before the vet arrived, so he was more or less asleep on the sofa. The vet arrived with a nurse, he was muzzled, because, even though he was half asleep, he recognised that it was a vet and started growling. He was given a shot of sedative, the muzzle was removed, and he went into a deep sleep. I had been warned that doing this might make finding a vein difficult for the final shot, but there was no problem, and he died peacefully in my arms.
I do miss him, he was such a character, and a brilliant ratter. We think he had heart failure (he was 14 and kept collapsing), but his hatred of vets meant we could never do any investigations without him bcoming distressed and collapsing! A real catch 22.
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