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Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

I know that I may need to euthanize my 13 year-old GSD, Greta. If so, I would much prefer that she "pass" in her bed and in my home. I hate the idea of dragging her to the vet and then going through it there mostly because I think she would be more at peace in my home.

I doubt that a vet would come to my home to perform this task although I haven't asked. I was wondering if there is a do-it-yourself euthanasia "kit" of sorts. It's not something I like to think about, let alone write about, but I would rather it be me that sends her across the "rainbow bridge" as opposed to someone else. However, I am resigned to the likely probability that I will need to take her to a vet.

I googled this question and found some basic horror stories of things going wrong and the animal suffering. I don't want that.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

if you want your animal to be humanely euthanized, take her to the vet and have her humanely euthanized. A sedative is given first so she goes to sleep, then another drug is given to stop her heart. So she dies in her sleep - not a bad way to go. Do it yourself - how would you? Bullet in the brain - yes that can kill her instantly but maybe not. Maybe she would suffer and you would have to shoot her again. And maybe again. Bullets are not 100% reliable.

The only way is with the vet - but you could call around and find a vet who would come to your home. Or, many vets will walk out to your car and euthanize in the car so the animal doesn't have to be stressed in the vet for their last moments.

Take care of your dog until she's gone. Be there for her until she takes her last breath. That's your responsibility and job. She trusts you to follow through with that. It's hard but you can do it.

I've heard the horror stories of things going wrong with humane euthanasia - but really what could go terribly wrong with overdose of sedatives - maybe the dog isn't given enough and she wakes up again - hear of that happening here and there. I've euthanized many animals over the years and never had a single problem. They go to sleep and then their heart stops. The vet checks for several minutes to be sure. Then you take your dog home, or leave her body there, or arrange for cremation, or whatever is right for you. And you go home with memories that will stay with you forever.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Murray View Post

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
I would certainly ask the vet. If yours does not do house calls, they may know one that does.

I live in the boonies and there is more than one that would make that trip.

Good luck to you in this most difficult time.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

Thank you ladies. The day isn't quite here yet but it's coming. She has her age-related ailments but is a happy dog. When she is no longer happy I will not hesitate to do what is right for her.

I'll check around and see if there are any vets that make house calls.

Thank you again!
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

By the way, Greta is the middle dog in my avatar.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

I would definitely talk to the vet about this... after all their business is based on yours. Can't hurt to ask, appealing to the humane part of a person usually goes well, especially if you have more than one animal with them. I remember when I was a kid and our Beagle died, my mom expected a call from the vet to offer a condolence... she never called, we never went back to her. It may not mean anything, but if you cannot appeal to their reason, maybe the pocketbook would work?

I don't envy you at all... reading your post, and looking at my female and new male puppy almost brings tears to my eyes to think that day will come. Funny enough, I'm much more attached to my Mals than I am many people in my life... They just love you unconditionally, unlike many people.

But I digress... ask around, and here's hoping Greta stays happy for the rest of her days!

Sorry again
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

It is sad that we outlive them for many decades, but that's how nature works, unfortunately. A 13 years old GSD is kind of pushing it, so Great had a good run and she may stick around a bit more, too, you never know.

I think what others suggested, the middle of the road approach seems to be the best for all parties.

Have the vet come to your car, you assist him with putting her to sleep and let her fall asleep in your lap.

So, her last moments in fact ARE spent with you, good buddies hanging in the back of the car together, as it should be.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

Please don't attempt to do it yourself, it could go horribly wrong and that would just be so traumatic for all involved.

I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK it is fairly normal for a vet to come to your house to euthanise if the owner asks. I had a vet come to my house for one of my dogs because he was nervous of the vets and I even asked that the vet come dressed 'normaly' and not in vet scrubs so that it didn't upset my dog. He was fine with it.

And my other GSD I took to the vet (because he wasn't bothered) but I asked the vet to come out to the car and put him to sleep there so that I wouldn't have to go into the surgery crying my eyes out and I he loved the car.

I hope you can find a good solution, never an easy time.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

I certainly would ask the vet to come to your home.
In Belgium it also is fairly normal for a vet to come to you house too.
My dog Tim has been euthanised at the vet's place but I chose for that option because the vet is our osteopath and had been seeing the dog every month his while life. Tim was used to him and accepted him which he would not have done with a strange vet in our home.

I hope you find a solution when the time comes.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Do-it-yourself animal euthanasia

My first dog, Ben, here in Switzerland, died at home. I had rung the vet but he asked me to bring him in. I found this far more dramatic, having to pronounce him dead, although it took place only a few minutes after I called the vet - his breathing suddenly became very weak. I had to put the young pup we had out of the way and dash back to Ben, called my husband from the garage to confirm it, etc.

We changed vets after a sad incident with one of our cats and I'm sure our current vet would come home to us.

He gave the Briard, after telling us his kidneys were failing and he would need to stay in the clinic on a drip, a large dose, no sedative, and it was over in seconds. I sat on the floor with him, and as he had been having blood drawn for testing as he was on medicament, he saw nothing strange about it. He was 13.

The Fila underwent the same treatment at 14 years.

In retrospect, I think I should have let him go earlier. My vet's assistant told me a few months before when she treated the Briard for CES that although he was maybe physically not ready to go, I should think about his being a very lively dog and his "quality of life" should be the deciding factor.

I hope I can adhere to this with my current dogs.

I wish you strength to carry out your idea of euthanising the dog yourself but would not like to determine the "when" myself. I think this would be my hardest task, not the euthanising itself.
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