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Why was euthanasia such nightmare for my pet?

Eeyeore
October 14th, 2012, 09:52 PM
I brought my cat Jack in for euthanasia and the doctor and assistant gave him a needle shot of sedative – in his hind muscle… A muscle shot is very painful! Jack yelped, hissed and jumped up, but then he just sat back down facing me. The vet left me alone with him for a few minutes for the sedative to take effect. Jack got drowsy and lowered his head to the table, but never passed out. When the vet came back in, my kitty raised his head to look at him. He said he would need another shot of sedative. I thought it would be no worse than the first, maybe less as he was already under somewhat from the first shot. The assistant had not come back in, so the vet asked me to help hold Jack. I wrapped the towel around his front and feet/ claws and the vet proceeded to give him the second shot. This is where it got nightmarish. Jack yowled loudly and shot straight at me (my stomach) but was still in the towel and I didn’t know what to do but hold on. He struggled and screamed again and came up off the table and hit the floor half-way across the room. One of his hind legs wasn’t working right, so when he first tried to run he could only go in circles. I wonder if it was just the shot in the muscle or if the needle broke off in him (the vet didn’t say) or maybe he hurt his leg on landing since he was disoriented. Then he started running/skidding and sliding around the room - he ran into and under everything. His front and back weren’t coordinating (besides his back leg not working) so his body kept twisting around and rolling on his back where his vulnerable belly was exposed. It’s scary to have his under belly exposed and vulnerable to a stranger (the vet) as he only does this for those he trust, but he had no control and it happened over and over. He just kept skidding violently around the room running under and into everything over and over. I lost count how many times he went around the room – he wouldn’t stop moving and it went on so much longer than I would have thought. I also fear he associated the traumatic event with me as he was facing me while I helped hold him down. When he went wild, I couldn’t get near him again until the sedative knocked him out. He wouldn’t let me touch him (hissing and crying out violently if I approached him). At one point when he again rolled on his back, he defecated. He’s always been a “nervous pooper” but this was beyond nerves. The vet said he was fighting it hard (the sedative), and might be better if he (the vet) left the room. He turned down the lights and when he left, Jack calmed down somewhat on the other side of the room and looked at me for a moment. He eventually succumbed to the sedative and I held him and pet him in the dark for a few minutes (I don’t know how conscious he was, but he made a couple of small sounds deep inside his body). I had wanted to look at his face and eyes and say goodbye but I was in such shock I just held him the way he liked to be held and rocked him back and forth in the dark. Then they came in, took him from my arms, put him up on the table and inserted the final needle before I was sure what they were doing - and then he was gone… I’ve cried for days.

I was told this would be a peaceful event for my cat, but his last moments were full of pain and terror. It was violent. To be honest, a gunshot to the head would have been more humane! It haunts my memory day and night. I don’t know how to ask the vet and not sound like I am accusing or blaming him. I just want to understand. Why would this happen? Why would the sedative shots be so painful (and why in the muscle)? What would he react so wildly? I don't see much online that this is common. I just want to understand why this might have happened.

hazelrunpack
October 15th, 2012, 09:57 AM
I'm so sorry that this happened, Eeyeore. :grouphug: It's hard enough to make the decision in the first place, and the expectation is that it will go smoothly and painlessly but sometimes things don't turn out that way. :(

Do you have a good relationship with this vet? If you do, he should be more than willing to talk to you about what happened. Be nonconfrontational, just tell him how upset you've been and you're just trying to understand. A compassionate vet will take the time to talk to you and answer your questions.

I do hope he can answer your questions and help you get through this difficult time. My heart aches for you. I hope with time you can gain some peace. :2huggers:

marko
October 15th, 2012, 10:27 AM
I don't know the answer but I'm so sorry this happened as well and please accept my deepest condolences.

:rip: sweet Jack, you are now pain free:candle:

Sincerely

Marko

sugarcatmom
October 15th, 2012, 11:05 AM
Oh wow, how traumatic this must have been for you to experience with Jack. I agree with hazelrunpack that maybe you could try a dialog with your vet about how or why this occurred. Something else that you might find helpful is the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (http://aplb.org/index.php) website. They hold regular online chat sessions with experienced grief councilors who are incredibly supportive and also have a great deal of knowledge regarding pet euthanasia. They might be able to give you some closure.

My heart goes out to you :grouphug:.

Dog Dancer
October 15th, 2012, 11:56 AM
I am so sorry to hear that this was such a traumatic event for you and of course Jack. I agree with Hazel, just ask your vet to discuss it with you, tell him you need to understand what went wrong so you can find closure. If he's good he will help you with this. If he doesn't want to explain it, if you have other pets find a new vet. Know in your heart that Jack knows you loved him for all his life. It's such a sad event at the best of times, please know you are in my thoughts. RIP sweet Jack, you will always be remembered and loved.

Longblades
October 15th, 2012, 06:02 PM
Oh dear, I'm so sorry you and Jack had to go through this. I have not but I've heard of the very rare time things just don't go right. Mostly I have heard of the euthanasia failing and the need for a heart stick. That too is traumatizing for the owner.

Speak to your Vet by all means. I think your relationship will suffer if you don't and may if you do so there is no reason to not speak.

It won't help you now but for future pets you might have, if they are hard to handle, sedation can be done by gas. One of our ferals was gassed in a little aquarium type glass enclosure to spare her the terror of being handled and injected when she was spayed. To spare possible injury to the Vet and his staff too.

I'm so sorry. Jack is at peace now. I hopy you find peace soon too.

Barkingdog
October 15th, 2012, 08:41 PM
I brought my cat Jack in for euthanasia and the doctor and assistant gave him a needle shot of sedative – in his hind muscle… A muscle shot is very painful! Jack yelped, hissed and jumped up, but then he just sat back down facing me. The vet left me alone with him for a few minutes for the sedative to take effect. Jack got drowsy and lowered his head to the table, but never passed out. When the vet came back in, my kitty raised his head to look at him. He said he would need another shot of sedative. I thought it would be no worse than the first, maybe less as he was already under somewhat from the first shot. The assistant had not come back in, so the vet asked me to help hold Jack. I wrapped the towel around his front and feet/ claws and the vet proceeded to give him the second shot. This is where it got nightmarish. Jack yowled loudly and shot straight at me (my stomach) but was still in the towel and I didn’t know what to do but hold on. He struggled and screamed again and came up off the table and hit the floor half-way across the room. One of his hind legs wasn’t working right, so when he first tried to run he could only go in circles. I wonder if it was just the shot in the muscle or if the needle broke off in him (the vet didn’t say) or maybe he hurt his leg on landing since he was disoriented. Then he started running/skidding and sliding around the room - he ran into and under everything. His front and back weren’t coordinating (besides his back leg not working) so his body kept twisting around and rolling on his back where his vulnerable belly was exposed. It’s scary to have his under belly exposed and vulnerable to a stranger (the vet) as he only does this for those he trust, but he had no control and it happened over and over. He just kept skidding violently around the room running under and into everything over and over. I lost count how many times he went around the room – he wouldn’t stop moving and it went on so much longer than I would have thought. I also fear he associated the traumatic event with me as he was facing me while I helped hold him down. When he went wild, I couldn’t get near him again until the sedative knocked him out. He wouldn’t let me touch him (hissing and crying out violently if I approached him). At one point when he again rolled on his back, he defecated. He’s always been a “nervous pooper” but this was beyond nerves. The vet said he was fighting it hard (the sedative), and might be better if he (the vet) left the room. He turned down the lights and when he left, Jack calmed down somewhat on the other side of the room and looked at me for a moment. He eventually succumbed to the sedative and I held him and pet him in the dark for a few minutes (I don’t know how conscious he was, but he made a couple of small sounds deep inside his body). I had wanted to look at his face and eyes and say goodbye but I was in such shock I just held him the way he liked to be held and rocked him back and forth in the dark. Then they came in, took him from my arms, put him up on the table and inserted the final needle before I was sure what they were doing - and then he was gone… I’ve cried for days.

I was told this would be a peaceful event for my cat, but his last moments were full of pain and terror. It was violent. To be honest, a gunshot to the head would have been more humane! It haunts my memory day and night. I don’t know how to ask the vet and not sound like I am accusing or blaming him. I just want to understand. Why would this happen? Why would the sedative shots be so painful (and why in the muscle)? What would he react so wildly? I don't see much online that this is common. I just want to understand why this might have happened.

I was not able to read your whole post as it is so sad and upsetting. That had to been so horrible for you see that happen to your beloved cat. I hate to say this but I think your vet is not a very good and that is way everything when so terribly wrong . I am so sorry for the lost of your cat .