Once you’ve made the decision that your pet needs to be put to sleep, you may want to then consider having this done at home. In my experience, euthanasia in the comforts of home, is much easier for our animals. This is especially true for cats who can get very stressed in the car and at the vets. Although the vet may charge more for this, I feel that it is worthwhile. If your vet doesn’t openly offer this service, it may still be something they would do.
Whether you choose to take your pet to the vets or have it done at home, the process of euthanasia is the same. There are a couple of things the vet may or may not do to aid the process and make it as peaceful as possible. They will discuss these things with you and it will depend on the vet’s preferences, your preferences and the temperament of your pet.
Firstly, your vet may want to sedate your pet with a quick injection before the actual euthanasia injection. This can keep your pet calm and assist the vet in accessing the vein for the euthanasia injection. Sedation means that your pet will get very sleepy and not really worry about the vet touching their legs. You can cuddle your pet as they are falling asleep under sedation.
Secondly, your vet may choose to put a canula (or IV catheter) into the front leg (or occasionally the back leg). Again, this can assist the vet in accessing the vein for the euthanasia injection and make the process less stressful for you and your pet.
The euthanasia injection is a bright green liquid and some people refer to it as “the green dream”. It contains a drug called Pentobarbitone and is essentially a very high concentration of an anaesthetic and makes passing away very peaceful.
Once the injection starts to be administered, your pet will most likely have passed away within 30 seconds. Very occasionally, your pet may appear to gasp for air after they have already passed. This can be very confronting and upsetting but please be assured that it is purely a mechanical reflex and your pet will have no awareness of this.
Your vet will give you time to say goodbye to your pet. It is very natural to grieve openly at this point so please don’t be afraid to in front of your vet.