Once you have made the difficult choice of euthanasia for your pet, it is essential to know what to expect before, during and after your dog is put to sleep.
Before the EuthanasiaFirst, decide if you would like to be present during the procedure. Also decide if you would like family members or friends to be present. Talk to your vet about your decision, and ask any questions that come to mind. Make sure you know what will happen during the euthanasia. Also, depending on hospital policy, there may be a consent form for you to sign before your vet will proceed.
Next, make a decision about aftercare and notify your vet. Many veterinary hospitals work with companies that can arrange for individual cremation (and, in some cases, burial). Some owners will opt for community cremation (sometimes called group or mass cremation). In both the above cases, the company will pick up your dog's remains directly from the hospital. Alternatively, you may wish to bring your dog's remains home so you can handle aftercare on their own.
Your vet may prefer to have an intravenous catheter placed in your dog. This will allow easier access to the vein and make the injection process quick and painless for your dog.
If there will be charges, try to settle up at the front desk first. The last thing you will want is a tearful wait in the lobby to pay your bill after you pet is gone.
Take time to say goodbye. Talk to your dog, hug him, express your love for him. Allow friends and family members to do the same.
During the EuthanasiaIn dogs and cats, euthanasia typically involves the intravenous injection of a solution of pharmaceutical agents that will quickly stop the heart. In most cases, this solution is predominantly made up of pentobarbital, though some euthanasia solutions also contain phenytoin. The solution is usually a pink or purple tint and may be slightly thick. The most effective way to administer the solution is through a vein. Injection into a body cavity will often work, but not as quickly.
Your vet might prefer to administer a sedative to your dog prior to administering the actual euthanasia solution. This will allow your pet to be extremely relaxed and sleepy before the next step.
The euthanasia solution is then injected into your pet's vein, where it rapidly travels throughout the body. Within just a few seconds, your dog will become unconscious, experiencing no pain or suffering. Breathing will slow down and then stop over the next several seconds. Cardiac arrest will soon follow, resulting in death. Typically, death occurs within 30 seconds of intravenous administration.