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My best friend/brother euthanized, eyes remained open?

September 19th, 2007, 10:22 PM
My family, we had to just put down our best friend and most loved family member of 14 years who was a cat but was equally as important as the rest of our family and loved so much more than any human. I feel absolutely terrible but stayed with him during the injection and kept talking to him and petting his head. When the needle was injected, he twitched in pain but his eyes continued to remain open, I stayed with him for 3-4 minutes and after 30 seconds his head went limp. The vetrinarian monitored his heart for atleast 2 minutes and I checked myself multiple times. Were his eyes supposed to shut, and how long could he actually see me for, I made sure my face was there to make him feel good and talked, petted, rubbed his nose. I remember getting my mom and dad to come in after it was over and they were wondering the same thing, they were too upset to watch it. We were probably with him for 15 minutes and after 10 his eyes became cloudy. I tried to close his eyes but couldn't, his eyebrows moved but eyelids wouldn't shut.

I am sorry if this all seems jumbled, I can't think straight and he was my best friend and brother since I was 5 or 6.

September 19th, 2007, 10:32 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss, SBB! :grouphug: It was a great gift you gave your cat--staying with him till the end.

Actually, it isn't uncommon for the eyes to remain open. It takes muscle action to keep the lids shut, so when they relax, there is a natural tendency for the lids to open.

September 19th, 2007, 10:35 PM
Sorry for the loss of your best bud :candle: :grouphug:

Yes if the eyes are open when they pass they will remain open, if they are closed when they pass they will remain closed. The eyelids won't stay closed because rigor mortis is setting in [stiffness that happens to all humans & creatures after death] (only in the movies do the eyes close themselves after death as a way to show the audience the character is gone)

As for how long he could see you, not long after the heart stops so too does the brain, I'm sure he knew you were there for him & could see you until he was gone.


September 19th, 2007, 10:42 PM
I'm sorry I just can't get this off my mind, I feel like a monster for allowing this to happen to him. I remember them saying it was an overdose of some drug, but weren't they supposed to put him to sleep "knock him out with a normal dose" then overdose him in his sleep?

September 19th, 2007, 10:52 PM
sooo sorry for your loss :rip:

my huppy has a pet
cremation company and this is exactly what happens the eyes are open
i know it is heartbreaking but
bless you for staying with him he knew you were there and all of your love for him

September 19th, 2007, 10:56 PM
The drug normally used is Phenobarbital & is measured according to the weight of the animal. They give it in one dose, if they gave one lower dose first then a second higher one certain functions would stop before others & would be traumatic for both you the owner & the animal - it would be like a slow death. The single dose is much better for the animal - they feel next to no pain this way.


September 19th, 2007, 10:58 PM
some vets use a tranqualizer first it all depends on the vet

September 19th, 2007, 11:08 PM
Oh, SBB...I know exactly how you feel! :grouphug: Our vets have used both methods--I've seen both methods... I've not seen any evidence that the single injection causes any more distress than the the double injection does. Mostly, they slip quietly away using either method. :grouphug:

Don't dwell on it, hon. You loved your cat his whole time with you and were there with him at the end. Your presence was the best gift you can give him--he's taken your love with him to the bridge. He'll wait for you there.

September 19th, 2007, 11:10 PM
Thanks for the information and condolences guys. I wish I joined this forum earlier so I could have shared my experiences and contribute in some way. Once the ashes come I'm gonna put him in his favourite catnip container and put him somewhere close to my bed, probably on it and sleep with him like usual.

Goodbye and thanks for helping me get these questions to rest.

September 19th, 2007, 11:17 PM
There is a forum on the board for posting a tribute to your cat, if you'd like. We'd all love to see pics of your buddy, too, when you feel up to it. :o

If you stick around, you might be surprised with what you can contribute--14 years of experience with a cat companion must have given you a great deal of insight...

September 20th, 2007, 07:27 AM
I, like you, had to stay and pat my beloved cat when he was put down. He was always more comfortable when I was in the room. I had the one dose and my kitty just fell asleep.

:rip: kitty.

:grouphug: to you.

September 20th, 2007, 07:48 AM
Me too,I was with all my kitties when they were pts..
Although I was heartbroken and crying,I found it to be a very peaceful passing,they just simply went limp in my arms and fell asleep,away from pain and illness.
One injection is all it took for each one of my 4 kitties,it was over in seconds,no pain just peace..
I am sorry you lost your kitty,but helping your sick kitty cross to the Bridge,is your final gift of love to him..:rip:little boy

September 20th, 2007, 09:21 AM
i do feel bad for you losing your pet, i dont look forward to that day at all (some of you wont believe me im sure)


sleeping with his ashes?

isnt that a bit much. just keep him near the bed, on the nightstand or something..

your friends might find it strange that you sleep with a container of ashes and catnip no?

September 20th, 2007, 09:49 AM
I think we all grieve differently and have a personal way to comfort ourselves. Some do not want the remains of their pet around them for a reminder, others want to keep them close. I had my cat cremated and he is kept out on a shelve because he was clusterphobic (sp?). It brings me comfort to have him close. I truly believe knowing him as well as I do, this is what he would want.

If it will bring you comfort, SBB to have him in your bedroom then do it.

To each, his own!

September 20th, 2007, 10:21 AM
well yea

if it will help you feel better about him not being there then by all means do it

it just seems like a little bit much to me

but like love said

to each his own

September 20th, 2007, 11:07 AM
I hope I have your courage when it is time for mine to go.... I am so so sorry for your family's loss. :sad::cry::grouphug: