Pet Euthanasia Gone Wrong

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My cat Yogi was 20 years old, but the very picture of health until a malignant tumor took up residence in his mouth. It grew quickly and began causing Yogi much discomfort – so much so that he wouldn’t eat. I didn’t want my buddy to get to the point of immense suffering.

I moved about a year ago, and had looked for a veterinarian with Fear Free or Low Stress Handling credentials. I found a clinic that advertised itself as a fear-free hospital within an hour’s drive, and had visited the clinic several times without being either impressed or dismayed. I made an appointment to have Yogi euthanized at this clinic.

When the veterinarian entered the examination room, I told him I’d like Yogi to be sedated before the euthanasia drug was administered. He indicated that this was fine, and left the room. He came back with an assistant and a tiny syringe, saying, “This will sting a little but within less than five minutes he’ll be completely sedated, though his eyes will remain open. Are you ready?” I said yes. He then said that after he gave the sedation injection, he’d leave and come back in five minutes to euthanize Yogi.

yogi the cat

I’m not new to this procedure, but it never gets easier. As a vet tech, I assisted in the euthanasia of hundreds of pets; I’ve also supported friends, family, and clients during the euthanasia of their pets, and was present when all of my own animals passed. But what I experienced that day haunts me.

Yogi was very weak, had recently stopped eating, and had failing kidneys. Many animals in this condition don’t even notice an injection. I expected that he might feel a little prick and then slowly go to sleep – but that’s not what happened.

When the vet injected the drug into the muscle of Yogi’s hind leg, my cat screamed the loudest meow I’ve ever heard and, with a power he hadn’t displayed in years, thrust himself backward almost off the end of the table. The vet said, “You can let him go.” What?! I heard the words but my protective instinct kicked in; I was not going to let my frail friend crash to the floor! I was able to prevent him from falling off the table, but then he launched himself forward and upward out of my arms, flailing toward the wall. The vet and the tech stepped away from Yogi, as I flew to the other side of the table, catching him mid-air so he wouldn’t crash into the wall. They then excused themselves and left the room!

I sat with a now-comatose cat, limp, with eyes dilated and glassy. I held his fragile, soft, furry body – the same body that had just acted like super cat – and wept. What the hell just happened? I was in shock; the peaceful end I had hoped my friend would experience had instead turned hideously painful and traumatic.

A few minutes later, the vet and tech came back in, to give the final injection in a vein in Yogi’s hind leg. Within a minute, my boy was on his way to getting his wings to soar. As for me, the shock of Yogi’s last moments kept me silent except to say thank you as I picked up Yogi’s lifeless body to take home to bury.

That night, I couldn’t sleep, thinking how I betrayed my companion of 20 years by holding him while someone hurt and terrified him. I couldn’t shake the vision of Yogi’s last moments. Since I’d never experienced such a horrific euthanasia, I thought it was an anomaly – that his reaction was rare – and I vowed to disallow that drug, whatever it was, from being used on any of my animals again.

Horror Redux

Sadly, a few months later I would be facing another end-of-life decision, this time for a dear friend’s pet. My friend had passed away, and her spouse was having a tough time grieving her loss while caring for the special-needs dogs she left behind. In her honor, I asked if I could help care for the two senior dogs: Hopper, a 17-year-old, deaf, blind Chihuahua; and Buddy, a nine-year-old dog who was disabled with a spinal injury. My friend’s husband agreed, and I took them into my home.

It soon became clear to me that Hopper was failing. After a lengthy conversation with my friend’s spouse, we decided that it was time to let Hopper go, before his suffering was unbearable. Since I thought what happened with Yogi was an anomaly, I called the same veterinary practice to make an appointment to euthanize Hopper. Still, I planned to ask the veterinarian to use a different drug to sedate Hopper, so that the experience would be like all the other euthanasias I had witnessed. In addition, when I made the appointment, I asked for a sedative that I could give Hopper before we ever even got to the veterinary hospital; this little guy was blind and deaf and very vulnerable in his dark and silent world, and I wanted to give him all the help I could.

Hopper was very relaxed in my arms as we waited in the exam room. The veterinarian entered, and asked if I wanted to sedate Hopper further before administering the euthanasia drug. I said yes – but added that I didn’t want him to use the same drug that he used with Yogi.

The doctor responded that it should be fine for Hopper, because it’s harder on cats than dogs; just a little prick and in a few minutes he’d be completely sedated. I was stunned, thinking, “Wow, really?! You know it’s harder on cats than dogs and you gave it to my cat anyway?” But at the same time, I had this tiny dog in my arms on the table, not knowing what was going on, unable to see or hear, pressing his body against mine. I didn’t want to prolong the experience. I decided to trust the doctor’s word, that dogs don’t react to this drug like cats do, and since Hopper was already relaxed from the sedative I’d given him, it would be fine. So I said, “Okay, if you think the same thing won’t happen, then it’s time; yes, go ahead.”

I held Hopper while the vet gave the injection into the muscle in Hopper’s hind leg. There was no reaction from Hopper, thank goodness. Phew! The vet left the room.

Five minutes later, Hopper was still sitting in my arms, as awake and relaxed as he had been since we arrived. The vet came back in and looked at Hopper, amazed that he wasn’t fully sedated. “Wow,” said the doctor. “I’ve never seen this before. He’s not sedated at all.”

“No, he’s not,” I said. “Perhaps the syringe was empty?”

The vet looked at me as if I was crazy. He said, “NO, I gave the injection.” I remained silent, having said what I thought to be true, that perhaps the syringe was empty. He said he would go get another injection.

When the vet came back in, I suggested that he inject Hopper’s other hind leg. He agreed, saying, “There must have been no circulation in that other leg and that’s why the first injection didn’t work.”

I held Hopper while the vet gave the injection – and this time, Hopper screamed, became Superman, and started biting at the air. Blind, he was in a state of sheer panic and pain as I held him, snapping wildly. I looked into the vet’s eyes with fire in mine. He left the room, saying he’d be back in five minutes.

The moment the door closed, Hopper collapsed in my arms. I held him close, apologizing to him and crying my eyes out. I couldn’t believe this happened again. I was stricken because I had let Hopper down – I had let down his owner, my deceased friend! I was reliving Yogi’s horrible experience, and beside myself with anger and despair – and it still wasn’t over for Hopper.

Five of the longest minutes later, the vet and the technician came back in. They said nothing as they worked together to insert the needle into a vein and administer the euthanasia drug. I wept quietly, petting Hopper and silently imploring him to forgive me. Hopper’s end, like Yogi’s, wasn’t painless nor fear-free. I felt this was a heinous crime and I was complicit.It was all I could do to drive home afterward, taking deep breaths to calm myself, wiping the tears that kept falling down my face, and talking out loud to both of my deceased friends, Hopper and his owner, the whole way. It was gibberish chatter to help me make it home.

I feel terrible that it took two awful experiences to investigate the drug that caused such pain and terror in the two animals in my care, as well as the credentials behind the “fear free” claim made on the veterinary practice’s website, only to learn that the drug used in this way is not remotely the best protocol, and that no one in the veterinary hospital had any actual training or credentials in fear-free or low-stress handling.

After being upset to the point of immobility for days, I decided that I could, at the very least, try to prevent any other animals from suffering needlessly before being euthanized while their loving guardians witness their pain and terror. I don’t want any animal to go through what mine did, or any guardian to have this haunting memory seared into their minds for the rest of their lives.

I am now on a mission to spread information about ways to do everything a guardian can do to ensure a good death for her beloved animal companions when it’s time.

138 COMMENTS

        • You would think so wouldn’t you! I would have it blasted all over the place! The drug and the Vet clinic! I’d make sure others would know!

        • I can’t believe after the first horrific experience she took that poor little dog also to the same Vet. What an idiot !!!🤬🤬🤬🤬

          • She explained this in the article. Remember, she drove an hour trying to find a compassionate vet. She did all she could.

          • And the award for self righteous, blind and deaf moron would be YOU Jackie! You have obviously never been in the position and so foolishly think you would do any different you pompous ass!

          • Agreed. It was a horrific mistake. How could you do that twice? I know the author feels bad, but you have to research before hand. At least after the first mistake. I’m glad they wrote about it.

        • I would like to know what injection can be used that is pain free, and does not “sting”. I’ve been trying to research it, but have not found a satisfactory answer yet. The same thing happened to my cat….

          • And mine too! The writer speaks from a position of authority as having witnessed hundreds of mercy deaths. My experience euthanizing my cat at home (to avoid a traumatic car drive) suggests maybe what the author describes is absolutely normal. I believe my cat hated the vet, and she knew what shots felt like. When she got the sedation shot at home, she immediately reacted by scrambling away (even though she could barely move prior to it). I don’t blame the vet nor do I blame the medicine. Vets love animals. They wouldn’t devote their lives to such work if they weren’t pet lovers.

      • I have had the same experience with my cat. As he’s was so traumatised by going to the vet I decided to have him euthanised at home. The vet came and Finley was sleeping in his favourite place in the garden. I sat down next to him and held him while the injection was administered. Then for the next 5 minutes I ended up holding him down while he went into complete panic. The guilt is overwhelming and my heart is broken.

        • I too had the same experience at home with my cat and I’m having a hard time dealing with the sense of betrayal and guilt. What information should one know before deciding on a vet for this? What are the best drugs/procedures?

        • My 10yo cat that had diabetes blood sugar of 513 and the vet I go to gave her a shot and it seemed like it was painless I felt so bad for putting her down like I was deciding when she would go not her. The only thing that was weird she threw up but I knew she was gone when the purring stopped she was such a awesome cat first cat I ever loved.

      • Is there any way to complain about the effects of this drug? I too am suffering from the shock and guilt of what happened to my cat. I have been online and have found no links. I have been in touch with my vet who recommended the at home service but as yet have had no reply from her.

      • Jill, I just took my 12 year old Lhasa Apso, Piper, to be euthanized last Friday (May 14th, 2021). My dog had adenocarcinoma of the lungs, and her breathing had become labored and painful. It was time. Because of CV protocol, we had to wait in the car while the vet gave my baby the anesthetic, and then they brought her out. What I saw in the side mirror as the vet tech brought her out will forever be burned into my retina. The fear emblazoned in my precious pup’s eyes and how tense her body was, told me she was FAR from relaxed. She looked as though she was trying to escape. My heart sank. The vet tech laid her in my arms, placed a blanket over her, and in under one minute my dog died as I held her. They tried to tell me it only appeared that she was dead from the anesthetic, but her breathing had completely stopped, her eyes lost all life, and all color inside her mouth gone. She was gone. I suppose it was better that I was holding her when she left this world, but I will never get that image of how scared she must have been when they initially injected her with whatever it was that was supposed to relax her prior to the second phase of euthanasia.

        Needless to say, I will be looking for a new vet.

        • This is so traumatic to go through this. I believe my Boy was in a coma like state, barely breathing when gave him the second injection. The sedative is supposed to slowly just put them to sleep, so why are our Babies having this kind of reactions to it. Kabuki was calm when she gave him the first one. I don’t believe he was so out of it that he didn’t feel any pain and that his reaction was an involuntary reflex. With that kind of pain in his brain I think anyone would even wake up from sedation. It’s why he had that reaction, bc he felt it. I pray we can find peace. Blessings

      • It’s 3:30 am and I can’t fall asleep thinking about the extreme pain my 16 year old dog, Kabuki must’ve felt. I looked for someone that was compassionate. I didn’t want to take Kabuki to a clinic. Vet has great reviews. She was almost two hours away from my house, but I liked the idea of being at a park than a clinic. We ended up doing it in the vehicle where he was comfortable, and since he was in pain from his arthritis and he was laying calmly on his bed I thought it was best. I wanted so much for him to go peacefully.
        She administered the first injection between his shoulder blades, I expected him to start falling asleep, she said it would be about ten minutes to do the second injection. Almost immediately after she gave the sedative Kabuki started like cluttering his teeth, snapping at the air, I literally saw the top of his head throbbing. Then it was like he had gone into a coma, I wiped just a little bit of drool from his mouth, I think he was trying to breath. I don’t think ten minutes went by and she came back to vehicle to shave his leg, Kabuki was taking like shallow breaths, I asked her about it and she said he was trying to die on his own just as he was shaving his leg.
        There was no reaction with the second shot. I remember telling him after the first injection that I loved him and how sorry I was. He was dying, not falling asleep. I asked her what kind of sedative she gave him, she said it was like a cocktail of four meds, that vets have their own concoctions I think it’s what she said.
        I blame myself bc I told her I feared how he would struggle bc for about a week that we had been trying to get meds in him he didn’t want me close to his mouth or his face, that he wasn’t trusting me. Two days before this horrible episode, I stopped forcing anything in his mouth, I was sleeping with him, walking him outside to the bathroom, he didn’t want to soil his bed. I brushed him, put hot compress on his back, kissed him, and the whole way there he had his head on my arms. I think she probably used a huge dose of the drug because of what I said to her about his behavior, not trusting people.
        I texted her afterwards to ask why that had happened, she said it was like involuntary reflexes, and that she had anesthesized him and the brain stops functioning first and then the organs go. That when he did that he was already asleep. The top of his head was practically raising up and down while he was snapping at the air, he abruptly lifted his head and did it for a few seconds, and I just thought about people in the electric chair. When I wrote her I asked if he had maybe had a seizure. She said no. My poor Baby also had stage three kidney disease, his arthritis had flared up two weeks prior, wasn’t eating but a few bites, he weighed 25 lbs. He had probably been abused before I rescued him. He loved me so much. I hope he felt my love before he was put through that unbearable pain.

  1. I just had to put my 10 year old dog Ginger down 2 days ago. They gave her the sedative and she yelped and almost tried to bite. It was extremely painful and they seemed worried and said they would come back in 20 minutes. She looked at me with glazed eyes. She was still alert. They gave her another dose of sedative and she fought it moving her head back and forth like she was telling me no she isn’t ready. A few minutes later the sedative made her tongue shrivel up and she started snoring with her eyes open. They gave her the final injection and it took maybe a minute and she was gone. It was horrific to watch and I am traumatized. She was not at peace and died a horrible death. I loved her so much and feel so guilty! Thank you for your post! I don’t know if I will ever get over being an accomplice to this “murder”. This went horribly wrong and I hope it’s not the norm

    • Jason – I feel your pain and am so sorry for what happened to you and Ginger! Something very similar happened to me three weeks ago with my beloved cat. I too feel like an accomplice to murder.

      If you want to talk more about this with me, please reach out to the author of this article, Jill Breitner, via her website, and tell her you’d like to get in touch with me. https://shewhisperer.com/contact/ I have already been in touch with Jill about this. She will give me your private contact info and then we can talk. I want to do what I can to let people know they aren’t alone. I also want to do what I can to ensure this doesn’t happen to others. Jill is working on that too. For now, I recommend reading the companion article by Jill to the one above: (they were originally published in the hard copy version of the magazine as one article.)

      https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/care/saying-goodbye/euthanizing-an-old-dog-how-it-works-and-what-to-expect/

      Again, I’m so sorry for what happened to Ginger and you. I really feel for you and know exactly what you’re going through. You are fully justified in being so upset, and my heart breaks for both of you.

    • Dear Jason, I am very sorry for your loss. Your beloved dog would not want you to be burdened with traumatic memories. You were doing your best for her and putting your trust in the hands of the vet.
      I hope in time happy memories will take the place of grief.

      • I recently put my fur baby dog of 15 Scooter, to sleep. He was deaf blind and in extreme pain now from severe arthritis. I was traumatized before going in, but due to covid 19 they took him off me at the door to put an IV in. I would be called in after the IV was in. I had already Given him a sedation pill (that I picked up from the vet the day before) to help as once upon a time loved the car, now he was traumatized due to his deafness & blindness. So he slept on the way. When they told me I could finally go in before they would administer the euthanasia shot, the assistant said they give him more sedation. I wondered why? Maybe it was this bad drug and that’s the reason I wasn’t allowed in yet. In any event I’m going to hope they never gave him something that would make him scream or jump up from pain or fear. The Dr finally came in and administered the euthanasia through the IV and then checked his heart. He then said “ you have my condolences this little guy just left this world” I cried uncontrollably but they left me there alone with him for as long as I wanted. Im sorry most of you’ve had an awful experience. Either way is traumatizing and my heart is broken. 💔

    • This happened to my sweet sweet 16 year old yorkie scootiewho I love with all of my heart it was traumatizing and I’m still not over it even though it’s been almost a year and a half

    • This same thing happened to me when I had to euthanize my precious 15 yr old baby. I was told that she would be given a sedative and after a while they would give her the medicine to stop her heart. When she was injected with the sedative? she screamed so loud and bit back at me because I was standing at the end of the table holding her head and talking softly and kissing her head. It was horrible! It was so painful. I was so upset at that point , I ask how long I had to hold and love her! I was told that she was already dead…No heart beat! I thought I would die myself!

      • Something similar happened to me this morning. My cat fought with the catheter on and had 2 heart attacks fighting me trying to calm her down. She didn’t even get the peaceful death I was trying to give her. I failed her and I’m devestated.

        • I am so so so sorry. The guilt and sadness are overwhelming. Please reply if you want to talk – my friends n family took the “move on, we’ve all put pets to sleep before” approach despite my pleadings to share how i was feeling and that what happened with my boy was not okay or anything like any time I have been through this before. Im not sure about leaving my email. My reddit is southfantastic. My longer story is below. Just wanted to reply to you too. Please msg me I am happy to help.
          And anyone else who sees this and wants to chat please do so. Hugs to you.

    • Jason, please find a different vet. I’ve had a bad experience like yours. It was awful. I switched vets and the others were calm and peaceful. My last dog passed while I held her on my lap wrapped in a quilt, snuggling on a couch licking turkey baby food from my hand.

    • I am completely sympathetic to how you are feeling… I to, went through the hell of watching my little blind chi have what was suppose to be peaceful..a traumatic experience before he passed… he didnt know what was going on… he was blind and going through dementia and would have been terrified…. as his protector I couldnt do anything except say I am so sorry .. 3 weeks later I am still saying I am sorry Herb..and probably will be for the rest of my life …

    • I had the same experience last night with my girl. I’m so, so sorry. This was the worst experience in my whole life. I will never ever get past it.

      • I have had same terrible experience on Friday with my beautifully gentle sweet little 18year old cat who loved and trusted me totally; I have such feelings of overwhelming guilt for not protecting him from so much pain My heart broke on Friday

    • Jason…I feel the same guilt…I just can’t forgive myself for what I did to my sweet little boy. He was old and had heart failure. He got really sick and he couldnt swallow food so i was unable to get his meds in him. His heart was too big to pump effectively and fluid built up in his lungs so his breathing was very shallow…..but he still perked up whenever he saw me or heard me…he would follow me through the house at a slow pace. He slept in my arms all night and part of the days towards the end. He lived to love me and I love him to the edge of the universe and back…I wouldn’t be alive if he hadn’t saved my life. A few years ago I had fallen asleep in my camper with a propane sunflower heater going. Doj woke me up and I felt really sick…my muscles were sore and weak and I had a horrible headache. I let him outside because i thought he needed to potty but he just stood outside the door and whined after i closed it. (It was cold and i didnt want to lose the heat). After a minute I put my coat on and went to see what he was crying about since he refused to come back inside. When the fresh air hit me I knew that I had been lacking oxygen. I was able to think about the situation clearly and that day he became my hero. When i brought him to the vet a couple weeks ago i thought i was saving him from suffering, but his eyes said different…he only wanted to go home and have a nap in my arms…his head shot up when I went to move from standing at his back to being face to face with him before the injection. As if he was saying “are we leaving mom?” When he was diagnosed with heart failure I begged him not to give up…and I promised him I would never give up on him. I let him down that day…i should have scooped him up and brought him home and just been with him until he was ready on his own…I should have tried harder to get his medication in him. I regret what I did and what I didnt do. I wake up screaming his name still. Not every night but most…I killed the purest love I will ever know and I feel like I don’t deserve to live now.

    • It’s exactly how I’m feeling. I contributed to my Boy’s torture. My friend tries to tell me that he was probably asleep when that happened. It was like “cluttering” of his teeth and I was looking at the top of his head raise up and down. It was like his brain had fried. Kind of like you see when people get electric shocks, (in the movies). I think he then went into a coma and was practically dead or very close to death before the second injection. I will never forget or forgive myself. It would’ve actually been better to take him to the clinic. This is so hard. It’s all I think about.

  2. Jason. I am so sorry for your loss. I had to put my 12 year old Doberman to sleep last night. I’m completely traumatized and feel like she was so scared. We had the vet come to our home to do the procedure. He told us to distract my dog as he gave the sedative and said she would be asleep within 15 minutes. A couple minutes later her eyes are wide open and she moving her head back and fourth looking at everyone around the room and looked so scared and sad. I had to hold on to her head and try to comfort herself. Then the vet gave her the second shot and I wasn’t even aware until I looked down and she was dead with her head in my arms. I can’t stop crying thinking she died in fear and pain. 🙁

    • Emily – I’m so very sorry about what happened with your dog, and how traumatizing this has been for you. Something similar and also extremely traumatizing happened with me and my cat a few weeks ago. Please see my comment reply to Jason above, and feel free to get in touch in the way I mentioned if you feel that would be helpful to you. My heart, condolences and thoughts are with you. ❤️

    • I have been in deep depression since July when I had the same experience with my beloved 13 year old maltese,Lily. I have had to have 2 dogs put down in my life. They were only given one shot and passed peacefully. I took sweet Lily in as she has CHF and didn’t want her to drown in her own fluids.They gave her the first shot,she cried out,then started shaking her head back and forth. Her eyes almost popped out, her and still shaking. My daughter and I are still traumatized and cry every day. I betrayed my little friend.Why are they still using this drug?

  3. About 6 years ago I had to put down my beloved Chihuahua, Olivia, due to her having uterine cancer. It was horrifying to see her bleed non stop and even more horrifying to wake up one morning and half of my pillow was drenched in blood from her. After a long debate my husband and I decided to have her put down. I made the appointment for the following day and stayed up all night with her on the couch watching tv. The next day we took her to the vet clinic and she was calm the entire time. My husband and I wanted to be in the room with her to keep her calm, but when they stuck the needle into her arm she just screamed and flailed which knocked the needle onto the floor. The vet got another needle and again as soon as he got it into her vein she screamed. I started crying uncontrollably so my husband told the vet that we needed just a minute and to wait. He took me outside so that I could compose myself for Olivia’s sake. When we went back into the room it was empty. No vet, no tech, and no Olivia. A few minutes later the vet comes walking into the room with my beloved dog limp in his arms. The vet said that he had to take her back to the crusher cage to put her down. I will never forgive myself for putting her through that terror and for not being there for her during her final minutes.

    • Adriana, That is heartbreaking and horrifying that the vet did that without your knowledge first! THE CRUSHER CAGE OMG! I am so sorry you had to go thru that.
      I just put my beloved Bruschi to sleep yesterday and they gave him that shot of Telazol and he was in so much pain and horrified that I feel traumatized from the experience. I can’t imagine what you felt. I’m so sorry that happened

    • I would be FURIOUS if this happened to me. Please share the name of the clinic that Olivia went to- I am disgusted by the behavior of those monsters.

      I am so sorry for your loss. The dog that I grew up with- a yorkie I got to name Ginger – died of cancer last year, and the blood and glazed over eyes have forever traumatized me. I will never forget her. She died in my Mom’s arms on the way to the clinic, and I now realize how thankful I am that she did. I feel for your pain, and I am so sorry Olive had to endure what she did in her final days. She will never be forgotten, either- just like my Ginger.

    • How absolutely horrible…..I am beginning to think Euthanasia of a pet is not all it is cracked up to be in relieving suffering. We keep people comfortable until they pass, why can’t we do that with pets.

      • Believe me, people are not comfortable while they are dying. My Nana passed away a couple of weeks ago. She had been in hospice for two months. She was always uncomfortable and in mild pain. They didn’t give her anything stronger than Tylenol! She begged to be given a drug to let her pass but they refused and said that it didn’t exist, even though it is legal where we are located and everyone knows it certainly exists! I said to myself, why does she have to suffer like this while we can just put pets down and end they’re suffering right away! Yes, apparently some pets have pain with the sedative for a few minutes, but it’s nothing compared to the discomfort, fear and pain my nana went through in her final months. On top of that, a dog can’t tell you what is wrong and how much pain they’re feeling. Euthanasia is absolutely the most humane things we can do for our pets when the time comes.

        • I totally disagree. If your pet companion can talk, I am pretty sure they would want to spend their last days or hours with you. What right do you have to take another’s life?

          • My grandmother was forced to live out her days deaf and blind and in pain because euthanasia was off the table. She used to save her pills so she could take her life and end the pain, and they would find them and take them away from her. Which is more humane? If an animal is in pain, you put it down, you don’t watch it suffer, that’s inhumane cruelty.

      • That is absolutely true! Why are people put into a pharmacological coma and our beloved friends can’t be? Or have pain control till the very end?

    • Adriana, I’ve never heard of a crusher cage. How can these vets do these things without consulting you. You told them to wait a minute. I’ve been to so many vets bc we’ve moved a lot due to work, have looked for good vets, and have had two vets that were truly compassionate and competent. I don’t trust them. My Boy didn’t have to suffer the way he did. He trusted me. I can’t forget the look of love in his eyes before she put him through the horrible pain. I will always feel guilty about it and can’t forgive myself. I’ve been up most of the night.
      I am so sorry you didn’t get to be with your Baby. Even though I was holding Kabuki’s head, I think he went into a coma and didn’t know I was with him. Prayers to you and those sweet Babies that suffered this way.

  4. All the stories of terrible euthanasia are absolutely heartbreaking I am in tears reading these I had my dog put to sleep 6 weeks ago the vet tried twice to put the needle in his front leg in which he cried and struggled with then sent him into a stressful moan which he usually did when he got lost in the house or garden due to him having dementia but at least the vet gave him a sedative which made him sleep deeply before he gave him the final injection my heart goes out to everyone who experienced their pet in pain and destress in their final moments I still re live that day and always will

    • We had to have a catheter inserted to put in fluids and our Nitty cried and screamed as the view blew out on both legs, so they gave him a sedation which didn’t hurt him and he then got it in the rear leg. He has FeLV and is quick sick and we are going to have to put him to sleep soon, I will get the Sedation first this time. I put one girl to sleep and she went peacefully but I don’t know if it was because they had put the catheter in earlier, as she cried in the other room, the next cat I took there again cried in pain as they couldn’t get a vein for the catheter, I cried and cried it was heartbreaking.

  5. This is all so upsetting… unbelievably so… I had the same experience with my geriatric dog who had had dementia for a few years prior. Wouldn’t it make more sense to anesthetize the animals as is done for surgery rather than to “so-called” sedate them with an extremely painful drug? How does that approach make any sense. My family thought it would be less traumatic to have the vet come to the house but it wasn’t upon hearing this poor dog (nearly blind and deaf) screaming in pain… how can that be a sedative?! My son’s G.S.D. had to be sedated for months after surgery via some tablet medication and there was no issue of pain involved. What about that? So what is a non-painful and traumatic approach? I need to know soon because my Chihuahua is failing (still undiagnosed other than sudden onset diabetes). Honestly it would be more humane to cut an artery and have a dog bleed to death than these other approaches. I only say that because I nearly bled to death myself after childbirth and it was very peaceful and un-traumatic (except for everyone else in the room – especially my husband).

    • Saroj – I’m SO sorry to hear about the horror that happened with the euthanasia of your older dog with dementia. So tragic and wrong! Sadly I can relate to this as my beloved cat experienced a great deal of emotional and physical pain and suffering during her euthanasia a couple of months ago. (Which could have been avoided using other methods.) Yes, any euthanasia sedative (or action) that causes pain or distress is completely unacceptable.

      To best prepare for a euthanasia of your chihuahua that will NOT cause pain or distress:

      1. Check out the helpful advice in the companion article to this one by the same author, on this website, called Euthanizing an Old Dog: How it Works and What to Expect. Search this site for it, or see a link to it in another one of my comments above.

      2. Find a vet who specializes in peaceful and pain-free pet euthanasias. There are many mobile services that focus on this specialty and can do the service at your home. (Note: Just because a service focuses on at-home euthanasia, doesn’t mean their focus is on making it peaceful and pain-free. Make sure that that is their specialty.) Directories of some of these services are available at sites called Lap of Love or In Home Pet Euthanasia Directory. There are also many such services who promote themselves on Facebook.

      As for the greater issue of what can be done to stop pet euthanasia atrocities from continuing to occur, there is a new organization that delivers on-site and online trainings to vets and vet techs on how to carry out peaceful, pain-free and respectful pet euthanasias. Search the Internet for the site CAETA International. (Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy.) Especially see their article The 14 Essential Components of Companion Animal Euthanasia. Go over all points in a pre-euthanasia conference with your vet, make it clear that you expect all 14 points to be fulfilled (especially a pain-free sedative or anesthesia), and have your vet explain to you exactly how that will be ensured.

      Best wishes for a peaceful, gentle, loving and pain-fee passing for your pet chihuahua when the time comes. ❤️

      • I used Lap of Love with Dylan, our cat with cancer. It was horrible, painful and 5 months later we are still broken, as to betraying our baby.

    • I know this probably comes to late and I hope your precious little chi passed through the veil in peace…
      I got the vet to give me some tablets to relax my Basset Hound before he came over… so he was extremely sleepy..borderline sleep when the vet came and did what he did… and my boy went peacefully….. I will forever be kicking myself for not having done this for my little chi as it was a very sudden thing that came on and I thought it would be better for him to pass on to the next world before he has another fit which terrified him… he would have been better going through another fit and having the tablets than going through what he went through with the sedation injection and the euthanasia drug … I can only hope I will see him again on the other side and tell him how sorry I am.

    • I don’t think I will ever have another dog euthanized. If something like this happened to my angel dog I would lose my mind. Give them enough medication to keep them comfortable the same as we do humans. How dare these vets give injections that make pets scream and terrify them. Unbelievable.

  6. I had to put my chihuahua to sleep yesterday 7/23/19 16.9 years old. They inserted the line in her front leg and gave her the sedative and said I could spend a few minutes with her but she started squealing and crying like I’ve never heard before. I banged on the door and said hurry up and put her out. They claim it’s not painful but she’s fighting the medicine. Are they really feeling pain? One time they said it’s a way of fighting to stay alive. It was not bad once he started to put her to sleep but I can’t get her crying out of my mind. My chi before did the same thing but a different sound. I don’t know but feel like I need to research this because I have one that is 14 y/o that is still with me. The sedation part should be quite and a peaceful time to talk and spend time with your baby.

    • I have had several dogs put to sleep from old age illnesses and they never once cried or struggled. They got very sleepy and then they were gone. It really does matter which Vet you use. Do some calling around and also talk to friends and family.

  7. I just put two of my dogs down 7/27/19 and one of them screamed so bad in pain from the sedation, I can’t sleep I feel like I let my fur baby down. His screams with haunt me, they need to ban this drug. Vets who give this drug have no heart.

  8. We all need to contact the manufacturers of the sedation drugs given to our animals. I did contact them but one person complaining isn’t go to do anything. I told them that I would love to give them this medication on their death bed so they would know how our animals felt.

  9. I just put my 19 year old cat down today. It took 1:48. Pure panic and terror. I’ve never witnessed something so inhumane in my life. We’ve done this before. This was so traumatic.

  10. It is out of severe guilt and sorrow that I googled “dog cried when sedated for euthanasia” and this website came up. My little one just passed on Tuesday. My vet was very, very kind…she and her tech were suppressing tears and sniffling. She explained everything that was going to happen and how quickly the sedation would work. It just never figured into my mind or any scenario that he would yelp out in surprise and pain. I was horrified and panicking and since then have been absolutely WRACKED with grief and guilt that his last moments, he was crying – in pain? surprise? fear? I am honestly not educated enough to know if it was the pain of the shot, or the medicine going through him….I just knew he was hurting and I couldn’t stop it. I held him tightly to my chest and talked as calmly as could that mommy had him, mommy loves you so much, you are such a good boy. My darling, I have you, I have you. I love you so so much. I am not happy that I found this page, nor am I saying misery loves company, but I am glad that their are others who can articulate and feel the same emotions that are driving me to near madness in this sorrow. It is hard for my friends and family to understand my deep suffering. If there is an consolation in this at all, it is this: I recently had surgery and was given sedation in the operating room…once it started coursing through me, I was alert enough and had the presence of mind to feel completely relaxed and what a pleasure it was to let go. It felt less like falling asleep and more like diving deep into the air around me. I pray that in the few seconds I had before he fell asleep, my sweet, sweet beloved dog could hear my voice loving him and reassuring him I was right there, holding him tight.

    • It’s sad that so many of us are suffering such guilt and nightmares because of the last awful memories of our beloved pets. I’ve had many pets pts but this last one was the most harrowing, with my poor 16 year old westie yelping and writhing in my arms as the vet who had been treating her all her life repeatedly tried to find a vein. It goes without saying I will be changing vets.

      • Yep I am glad that we had issues, although not nice when they couldn’t find a vein to insert a catheter for Fluids, they had to give a sedative which seemed to cause no pain or trauma so when it is time, which is very near, to put our Nitty down we will have a sedative first

  11. Oh my, Oh my…this is what happened to my beloved special needs cat, Baby Tripod. I just can’t shake what happened, her howling at the ‘sedation’ shot in the back (spine?)…she’s never even hissed at a human, swiped or tried to bite anyone ever…she howled/screamed so loud I’ve never heard anything like it and she tried to get up (her front part of her body) and bite them. They held her down…it was beyond horrific. I failed her at the end. It haunts me and this vision keeps coming back and the ensuing part. When she was in my arms before the ‘last euthanizing part’ the actual drug her body was convulsing like she was trying to jump away and fighting it. I said ‘she’s fighting this’…and I felt absolutely horrible. He said yes she might be. He also said she may not know she’s doing it. I was in shock and just trying to stay calm. I just told her over and over again how much I loved her. She was a rescue and my promise to her was the rest of her life with me would be full of Love, Joy and Safety…always. She would always be safe with me and I’d ensure her life was filled only with love, care and Joy always. She was missing her back leg and had other physical issues when she came into my life. Before she was in my life she had quite a bit of trauma. I had her for 9 years. She was diagnosed w Kidney Failure 3 years/4 mo ago and the vet at the time said she had 3 mo…At The Very Most…1 year left. I said oh no. There has to be something. I asked if there was anything that can be done and he said No…maybe special food for renal failure.

    I said no…that’s not okay…I have to get more opinions. I found another vet and they hospitalized her for a few days and gave her fluids with an IV. She bounced right back and was the happy Tripod again. I monitored her carefully over the following years, taking her to the vet when I could see she wasn’t feeling well or had a UTI. I had to smash her food and she had to eat every 3-4 hours. I did all of this happily for her. I bought a pop up timer with 2 pop up containers that sat on a blue ice pack…so at night she could eat the freshly smashed up food. She was missing most of her teeth and her stomach couldn’t digest chunks of food. I couldn’t be gone from home longer than 7 hours. If I had to travel she would go with me (and she traveled so well!). I started an online business so I could be with her too…I knew if I had a full time day job she wouldn’t have made it with my commute time too. I loved her and loved on her. I feel that’s how she made it so long with this dreaded disease and she was happy. She was still playing, jumping around, going up and down stairs, curling up with me, doing our regular routines and purring up until the last week.

    The last week she stopped drinking, eating, was twitching and lost the use of her one back leg. She was also doing this thing called “head pressing” which I learned later that it’s a neurological issue and they’re suffering. She deteriorated fast the last week. She was suffering and I knew my cat…her eyes were glassy and with losing the mobility of her back leg it depressed her terribly since she was so independent and she wouldn’t eat or drink…even after having IV fluids in her for 2 days. I brought her home at night in between the 2 IV days as I knew she would have had a bad time without me. I tried everything to save/help her but I knew she was suffering at the end…so I made the Most Difficult decision of my life. I remembered my promise to her of love, joy and safety. She ‘chose’ me and I had a responsibility to her when she came into my life. I couldn’t take her back to the vet as I knew how it would upset her and it seemed so cold and sterile to me. I had them come to the home (vet and his tech…they did not know her…the vet who treated her the week before was out of the country then) I couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere else but home…that it would be the most peaceful thing and loving.

    I had to do a search on this as the end is haunting me sooo much…the visions over and over again at the end. I was told this would be peaceful and it was anything but. I think there needs to be more awareness out there. I always assumed this was a peaceful procedure. It never even crossed my mind this is what would happen. I don’t understand this…and am racked with these visions and so much guilt.

    • Jaymie – I’m so sorry for what happened to your beloved special kitty. 🙁 My sweet feline angel also had an extremely traumatizing “euthanasia” almost 4 months ago, and I am still haunted daily by the look of panic and hurt betrayal on her face, and the other horrific sights and sounds of that day. I am working on trying to make a difference now. If you’d like to talk to someone who understands completely how you feel because they’ve been through it, feel free to contact the author of this article, Jill, through her SheWhisperer or her Dog Decoder website and ask her to forward your email to me and she will do that. I feel your pain and my heart goes out to you. ❤️

      • Jennifer, thank you so much. I am so, so sorry for what happened with your feline angel…I wish I could change all of this, it’s so wrong and my heart goes out to you. I apologize…I did not receive a reply via email (with your note here) and I was just going through my journal of Tripod and I had saved this link while journaling a while back…I just found your heartfelt note. Thank you for extending the invitation to reach out to Jill the author and for your kindness to talk. I’m so sorry Jennifer…I understand and feel Your pain.

  12. Never mind the name of the drug.

    You should name the clinic.

    And not to make you feel worse than you do, I would have never gone back there after the first time.

    • I too googled dog shrieking when being put to sleep and found all of you. We’ve taken our 19 yr old shihtzu to the same vet her entire life. The last moments were supposed to be as peaceful & comforting as her last days & hours were. It’s hard enough to make the decision & go to the appointment, the last thing anyone wants is having these hunting final memories of pain. Blame, guilt, “what if we had done something different”? It’s a week later and I still blame myself for agreeing to take her to the one vet at the practice who we have the least amount of confidence in. As another person said, it’s helpful knowing that it has happened with others. Maybe it would gave been the same if another Vet had administered the drug and/or if we had the procedure done in our home. I’m hopeful that memories of her extraordinary life will start replacing the final moments sooner than later. She was one in a million ❤🌈🐾

      • I had my 11 you old dog Toby put down last year and I’ve seen many animals put to sleep, but never in my life have I experienced anything like he went through. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and I felt for his sake we had no choice. I expected him to be sedated and relaxed. That did not happen. When the vet injected him with the sedation, he struggled and didn’t want to be held. I finally got him in my arms and he was struggling to breath. Eventually his gums began to turn white and him tongue started hanging from his mouth. I was devastated! They opened the door a couple times and looked in for a second. After 30 minutes, he was no longer breathing, then they came in and gave him the final shot.I just wanted him to go easy. I’ll never get it out of my mind. Maybe he wasn’t ready and I forced it on him. 😢

        • You trusted the Vet.
          Im sorry it went this way.
          My prayers are with you.
          I know its months later. But im readibg this because my beloved Dog of 14 had lung cancer. I chose after seisures from morphine. The whole process is disturbing and heartbreaking. Anyone who has this done to a pet is heartbroken.

  13. So many heartbreaking stories..I have no choice but to put my dog down due to him needing his leg amputated and can’t afford the 2000. We can’t let him live like this..what is the best sedative to ask for? I don’t want him to suffer a bit..thanks.

  14. What’s weird here is that nobody mentioned having words with the vet letting them know how horrible this was for both you and your pet! I would not have left without some very strong words reminding them that their job is to alleviate animal suffering and not to cause more! And that they strongly need to re-evaluate protocol and that you will be spreading the word.

    • I don’t know where you live. I live in Argentina. Vets here are mostly BEASTS, the only thing they care for is MONEY. They know it’s almost impossible to hold them liable. When you have an emergency at weekends, you can hardly find a vet. They just don’t answer the calls!
      My dog, Joy, died almost 3 weeks ago. In the very end, I phoned the vet clinic to put her down. The answer was they were busy, and that I should phone again in 20 minutes.
      She had a terrible end in my arms.
      I finally could gather strength to go to the vet clinic and tell her vet she had passed away. The answer? (while preparing to close for lunchtime): “well, now she’s not suffering”.
      They are butchers!!!

  15. I agree..did anyone confront the vets? I will be letting mine know about this thread and the name of the sedative..they could just use Valium. Probably not as cheap I guess.

  16. omg I had a similar experience recently though I don’t know what the drug was. I’ll surely have to ask now, and give her this article. My sick little Yorkie yelped in pain when injected and the so-called sedative didn’t take effect for several minutes during which the he was lookup up and all around as if in dismay.

  17. A year ago I had to put my large Rottie down she went so peaceful, so this year I had to put down my other little Buddy a small small Pom(bother were very old and at the end of life stag). I though it would be as peaceful as my big girl, it was not. My vet regular vet was on holiday’s for a month, so I got a different vet to my home. Well this ended up to be the most traumatizing passing. The vet gave a sedation which my little dog yelped and tried to bite the vet, then we waited and my little guy still wasn’t out so the vet had to give another sedation and my poor little dog cried and cried and tried is best to get closer to me. By this time I was sick to my stomach, then we waited and finally he fell sedated and the last shot was given. The vet checked his vitals at least 4 times to make sure he was gone, I was terrified I would hear him cry again. I have such guilt now for his pain, but after reading this article and all the comments it helps. I

  18. I live in the Netherlands and like you I searched on Google for info on dogs that cried during the sedative. Exactly the same story with my dog.
    Have to find out what sedative the vet used but it’s obviously an international problem and I’m really beginning to wonder how many other pets this vet put down that ended up in severe pain.
    The only comfort is that she is now in a good place.

  19. I hope this helps a bit as I had a recent bad experience. I am in Australia and over here they use a green liquid that is injected. Nothing else before this…. it is a fast acting drug that puts the brain to sleep…. thus stopping the heart.

    I have had to pup a number of pets to sleep in my life and they, to this point just briefly look up and pass away. It is like a 2 second deal. I did just have to put my Shih Tzu to sleep and it took 2 seconds also….. but for 1.5 seconds of that 2 seconds…. there was yelping. That was a week ago and I am barely dealing with it. There is only one thing that makes me OK with it…. and this is it:

    It is not the vets fault, they were just the best on every level. It is not the drugs fault, it has always been super quick. It is just bad luck. The drug does burn if it gets outside the vein and into tissue. This can happen just via bad luck or it could be a heart condition (which she had) and not having the circulation to move the drug quickly away from the injection area.

    Either way….. she is better off now than suffering another week. I tell myself this all the time as I feel she would have felt betrayed and scared. It was horrific….. but it is just the way it goes sometimes. Just so hard to deal with however.

    • Yes the green dream they call it. My girl had that and was fine. Only reason we will be sedating our boy even if just a sedative is because last time he needed a catheter they couldn’t get a vein and he cried and cried, my son had to leave the room as he cried so much and tried to bite me, as it was afterhours there was only the vet and I, so we gave him a sedation which made him fall asleep without an issue. The time is coming near as his FeLV has taken everything out of him. I think we will sedate him first

  20. Just like some of you, I Googled this topic. I had to put down my 12 year old American Bulldog on Monday. I was already devastated but, it was time. My Roxy loved going to the vet, it was another opportunity for a car ride and, a meet and greet. I think she was ready too because she walked into the exam room and laid right down onto the blanket they had prepared.
    She had been with this vet for over 11years. He had always been very honest and wonderful with her care. He explained the process to me (I’m a nurse so, I do understand the terms used). He warned me that the first injection for the sedative may sting and Roxy may yelp a bit. I was not prepared for the screams that happened right after that. I cannot get the image out of my mind. It was awful and lasted about 30seconds but felt like an eternity. They say euthanasia is peaceful, well that wasn’t my experience.
    I called the vet the next day to express my anger. He sounded remorseful and apologized. He told me he was even surprised by the extreme of Roxy’s reaction. I don’t know if I can forgive him.
    Veterinarians need to do better!

  21. Hi, my name is Glendita I just out my dog down 2 days ago and reading this article makes me wonder if my dog was treated the right way. I was not in the same room I couldn’t see the vet injecting the shot in him I was already heartbroken for taking him there in the 1st place…My question is what if my dog came back alive and survived the euthanasia shot and is trying to call for help 3 feet under ground inside he’s cardboard casket. I don’t know what to do I feel like digging him back out to make sure he isn’t breathing, can he survive 3 feet under grown in he’s casket!?

    • Oh Honey I feel your pain. I was with my girl, and I also held my girl at home for an hour later while my dad dug her grave. I thought she seemed peaceful and asleep and I kept thinking what if she wakes up. Once their heart has stopped it won’t happen but I understand the thought.

  22. In my personal opinion I would like to tell you of horrible experience with Dr. Susan Holt of Say Goodbye at Home in Quincy, MA which was quite different from reviews telling of a caring, engaged, compassionate and comforting person, as she was nothing like the person who came to our door. However, there were two of us present and we both agreed this is what happened.
    From the outset she never touched or greeted our dog or gave him an exam. There was no interacting, engaging or acknowledging our dog, and he looked quite tense and kept looking around.

    Waiting for some sort of guidance and direction, we were standing around, holding our dog, when she suddenly came up behind us and quickly injected our dog startling him and causing him to loudly yelp as it was painful. Never asked if we needed more time to say goodbye or if we would have liked to sit down for the injection. She was very uncommunicative, barely answering me at times. But now our opportunity was gone because our dog was drifting off to sleep.We had to quickly put him on the couch, where she instantly prepped him for the IV, causing him to awaken because he wasn’t given enough time for the sedation to work, so yet another injection was given, then the IV. We felt rushed through the whole process.

    His final exit was being wrapped in a disposable puppy pad and placing him into the overloaded trunk of her car with just enough room for him as he was pushed into a lightly colored trash bag and shoved to the back.

    This final farewell was devastating and heartbreaking and not what I envisioned. I expected so much more and got so much less. Our dog deserved better.

    Where was the Dr. Holt who takes the time to pet and talk to a dying dog, making him feel comfortable, encouraging owners to sit down and say their goodbyes before sending him to a peaceful sleep and brings them out in dignity. She did not live up to my expectations.

    NEVER EVER hire a vet who is about to go on vacation. It is too late for my dog but don’t let it be too late for your dog.

    Dr. Holt replied that in our grief, that what we saw didn’t happen and that she explained everything and how she is overworked, working 3 jobs. That you can’t please everyone and here we are (my partner and I) both agreed on what she did. But she went on to say she knows she did her best. May respond thru the Yelp app but it appears they took my experience off.

    • Disgusting. If she is “overworked”, she should not be working a job in which the LIVES of another living thing are put in her hands. What an awful human being Dr. Susan Holt is.

      • I had to have my 14 year old “tweenie” dachshund put to sleep 3 days ago. After being the shot of Telazol, at first she seemed to be going to sleep, but then she started jerking her head and limbs around violently, screaming and crying the most awful I’ve ever heard, then lost control of her bladder all over my lap. I think she had a seizure actually. She calmed back down enough to get the final medication. I feel so guilty, and feel like I should have stopped the procedure. But this would have been the second that I backed out of doing it. I had made the appt. Last November but couldn’t go through with it when I got her there. She had a lot of health issues, but I will always feel guilty and uncertain after the way her final moments went down.

    • It’s not the patient’s problem that she was overworked. In no way does she treat a patient in this maner. I would bring her up to the State Board if I were you. This is not the way to put down any animal, and there is no excuse for it. It’s hard enough for any pet owner to put their animal down, and then for a vet to be showing no compassion, and just hurrying up to the do it…is not a way to perform in any practice.

  23. Like many of you I googled to find out about the sedation. Our almost 15 year old cat went through a similar experience yesterday. We had planned it to be a very peaceful event (although extremely sad), with her little family around her. I gave her some relaxing medication before the doctor arrived- but not enough apparently. The vet said she’d not feel anything but a small prick when the needle entered. On the contrary. Our otherwise calm cat screamed so loud, she was in so much pain and it took forever (like 30 seconds) before she removed the needed with the sedation. Wow. We were in shock and crying and trying to comfort our hurting kitty who was seemingly very upset at us for letting her down. The whole point in having it done at home was “less stress” . The vet had to give a second sedation – as she was still moving a bit – but this time she didn’t show any signs of feeling it (maybe she couldn’t express it). The rest of the procedure went without incident, but this experinece made us swear that we would tell everyone about what to expect, and to give your pet a good amount of relaxing drugs before the vet arrives. My husband and I are full of guilt and wish we had known before we started the process. It’s very hard to think about good memories right now, all I can think of is her screams and how this otherwise very calm cat was injected with something that was very painful in the very end, organized by us – the people who committed to take care of her and protect her. I will never be able to forget this experience. Please, please distribute your messages out to as many people as possible. Thank you for writing it, and I’m sorry I read it too late.

    • Cannot believe that so many of us have gone through this with such incompetent vets. It was difficult enough to make the decision to have my wonderfully sweet cavalier euthanized, which I am still feeling torn about, but then to add to our grief by treating my dog and yours like this makes the pain worse. I am still totally upset because I looked at all the reviews and everything pointed to her being the type of vet we felt would make our dog’s final time comfortable and peaceful. Her website said to remain as calm as possible and not to get emotional as this would upset the dog, so I am holding in and separating all my emotions and she causes my dog pain and upset him. Not what I wanted for him. From the moment she walked in, the effect she had on my dog was he looked uncomfortable and tense and kept looking over his shoulder. Because my dog had quickly been sedated from around the back of us, we never got that extra time to say goodbye while he was awake, and then when we put him on the couch, And she injected him twice more, caused me to shut down and zoned out because I was so stressed out, She was local person but I wish I had gone with Lap of Love. The AVMA supposedly trains these people. I am on the fence about reporting her. Her response to me on Yelp was that things happen and you can’t please everybody and I should go to her Pet Loss Groups because of my anger and emotions. Well, that wouldn’t have happened if she did her job right. Her excuses were she works 3 jobs, has bills to pay, mother had died, her profession had high suicide rate, etc.
      In the end, we all wanted the best for our dogs and since our dogs are very loyal, loving and wonderfully forgiving creatures, they are looking down at us, and would want us to know that it’s ok, because we did our best and it wasn’t our fault, because they are at peace now and want us to remember all the good memories we had with them and will always love us no matter what.

  24. This is absolute B.S.

    This is not physically possible. This has the warning signs of a completely fabricated story and you’re a sick and twisted fucked up person for trying to manipulate people’s sympathy like this. Fuck you.

  25. Wow. I found this site and story tonight…every once in a while I still go searching online to find out if anyone experienced what I did…to find answers about how and why it happened. It’s been a few years now and it’s still painful for me – I still cry. She was my cat, my best friend. She got very sick and the vet recommended it. Now, several years earlier, I had to make the same choice for an older cat, and I remember a peaceful experience. There were 2 injections – a sedative and then the big one. She went quietly. But for this cat, it was a horrible experience. The vet was not helpful or supportive through any of the treatment leading up to the final decision. They just wanted money. I paid until i had nothing left (I don’t have much anyway)…and she was still sick. Finally, they recommended putting her to rest. The day came, and they just asked if I had any questions, and did not really explain any options for us. They left us alone for our last few minutes together. I held her in my arms. Then they came back with a syringe. She became panicked and tensed when they came near her again – she wasn’t ready. Since I had seen this done before, I thought this is the shot that will calm her – the sedative. They injected her hind leg, and…she bolted upright, backwards almost flying over my shoulder, and collapsed on me. I was in total shock, and started crying. They told me to lay her on the table so they could check for vital signs. They said she’s gone. Gone?! That was it!? I sobbed, about to cover her up with her blanket, and then it happened. The most horrible noise, like a grunting cough…and convulsions. I distinctly remember counting three violent convulsions and thinking dear God make it stop! Suddenly, it stopped. I was horrified and at a loss for words. They checked her again and said she’s gone. Again? Are you certain this time? They left us for some time, alone…me and the lifeless body of my girl – I could barely pull myself together to leave the hospital. To this day I have unanswered questions, like…was the vet responsible to explain more to me even though I had no questions? Remember I assumed there would be two shots as with my first cat and the better experience so I went with it. Did I have the right to ask for a sedative? Was the convulsing and awful noise normal? Should the vet have known better to sedate her? – she was alert and wide eyed, she was sketchy when they started to come near her. However after the above story, not even confident about the sedative. Today I have no cat and I’m literally afraid to have the whole ordeal happen to me again. I miss cat company. I miss my girls. I wish I had brought my last to a different vet.

    • Please see my story below. You are the first person to describe the noise my cat made after the first shot. I never forgot it and I never got answers to it. Perhaps it was agonal breathing? It was very disturbing.

  26. I had the same experience, many years ago with a young cat in heart failure. It’s something that will always be in my memory and one that caused me so much pain. Our cat was only a year and half when he suddenly went into heart failure. He apparently had cardiomyopathy that went undetected until he crashed. I rushed him to a large emergency vet hospital and after a day of trying to diagnose and stabilize him, he had a seizure that put him into a coma. It was recommended that I euthanize him. The vet took him out of the oxygen tank and walked us to a little room where we could say our good-byes. He explained the familiar procedure of the two shots and assured us that our cat would go peacefully. We were doing all we could to not completely break down since this whole thing was so sudden and unexpected. So my husband held him as this young vet gave him the first shot. He left us in a room alone with him to say our good-byes and told us he would be back to administer the final shot. I fully expected that first shot might even help him cross over since he was already limp and seemingly a hair away from death. How wrong I was! As my husband was cradling our cat, we both began to sob. Suddenly though, our cat “woke up”! His eyes opened and we looked at each other like this was a “miracle”; our cat was coming back to us. But instead, his claws extended all the way out, like he was grasping for his life. His eyes widened and suddenly he began to convulse; tail twitching in a circle and head jerking. But what I remember most was the horrific sound he made! He honked like a goose and it was loud! I ran out of the room in complete horror, screaming for the vet to come help us. The vet ran in, grabbed the cat and slammed him down on the cold metal table and injected his heart!! I remember just collapsing in tears, barely being able to breathe myself. The shot to the heart stopped the noise, but I went into shock. This kid vet (who really was fresh out of school at the time) said he was “sorry”, but offered no explanation to what happened. I was too traumatized to ask questions and just left with my husband, crying tears like there was no tomorrow. By the time I thought to ask this vet what happened, he had transferred out of that hospital. I doubt he could have said anything that would have helped. I know what I saw and heard that day. I even needed PTSD type counseling afterwards when I couldn’t function without hearing and seeing that last scene with my beloved cat. It’s safe to say that I have been looking up this topic for years now, wanting answers. This is the first real forum I have found with stories that ARE similar to mine. I am so sorry all. It’s not something you ever get over. At least I never did.

  27. I just experienced all This tonight. My young chihuahua with cancer. She was already in so much pain and uncomfortable and I couldn’t believe my dog’s response while I was holding her head. She actually bit me, and has never bit anyone before. I tried to hold her down and get her to sedate and I couldn’t believe how traumatic it was. Someone. Weds to create a gas sedation that smells like bacon. Fuck this shit it’s pure evil.

  28. We had to put our dog to sleep today. What a horrible experience!! The Vet gave her the sedation shot then left the room, she started (what I call) convulsing! I was bawling my heart out while holding her, my husband took her and when the Vet came back in he said she was sedated enough and her jerking and flailing was normal! He then administered the 2nd shot and told us it would take awhile as her skin was thick!? And he would come back an administer more in a few minutes. He came back and did another shot and said it wasn’t going to work most likely and her leg was bleeding from this now 3rd shot, I don’t think he knew how to give it, he said her BP was low and he’d come back in a few minutes and see if she needed the shot in her stomach! So now she had the sedative and 2 shots of whatever the 2nd part is (did I mention she only weighed 10 lbs?) He comes back and she’s still laboring with her breathing so he starts massaging her stomach and tells us she’s “enjoying this”! We noticed she was laboring and fighting it! He finally administered a 3rd (well now 4th shot) into her tummy and stayed with a stethoscope and then told us a few minutes later she had finally passed. This drug out for a good 30 minutes from start to finish. I’m completely hating myself for allowing this and second guessing our decision. Seems she suffered more being euthanized than with all the health issues we were dealing with. We are having her cremated, when I pick her up I plan on completely going off on this veterinarian office! They didn’t bring a towel or blanket to lay her on that cold metal exam table and once she passed we were told to say our goodbyes and just leave! I wasn’t going to walk out and leave her on that table alone. I’ve never experienced euthanasia as in the past other family members handled it but today my husband and I were there, my husband has done this before and told me this was disgusting the way this all happened today. He left before me to go outside and throw up! We are both completely devastated that we had to make the decision and then to watch our baby go through 4 shots total to end her life. I can’t believe a little 10 lb dog required 4 shots! Has anyone else experienced their baby needing several shots & watching their furbabies fighting each one?
    I’ll never get over this!

  29. This is a shit article. You should have at least named the cunt vet that did this. Name and shame, unless you do, other animals will go through this. It’s your fault that dog died in pain. Hope you’re happy.

  30. I had the same horrifying experience of an extreme reaction to the sedative just 2 days ago with our beloved cat. I can’t sleep thinking about how he must have suffered. I have been present during the euthanasia of numerous pets and it has always been a peaceful thing. The vet said she’d never seen a reaction like that before, but obviously this is not an anomaly.

  31. We had our beloved 19 year old cat put to sleep at home last night. It was a really difficult decision to come to and I nearly changed my mind when the vet turned up. After a long discussion about it we decided to go ahead. If I could go back in time I would. She gave him the first sedation and said it should work in around 10mins, it didn’t. Like everyone says he jumped, tried to bite me and jumped out of my arms. He then sat by his water bowl staring at us. He was fighting for his life. She tried to say it was really unusual for a cat to react like this but from reading everything I find it’s very common. What is this drug they are using???? The vets I used only specialise in euthanasia so how could they get it so wrong. He had to have three large shots. I feel like I’ve murdered him. He was the sweetest boy and we have made him suffer beyond all belief in his last moments. How can these vets get away with this???

  32. It’s really sad to read all these horrific stories of people’s fur babies. 😥
    I had to put my 17 year old Ollie down last December 14th. My 16 year old Piper will be going one of these days too, I’m afraid.
    Last year when I took Ollie in, everyone was so kind and compassionate. I have the best vet in the world…she gave Ollie the sedative, I was holding him and then about 5 minutes later gave him the next one and he just closed his eyes, had about 4 breaths in rapid succession and then was gone. 😥
    I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. I had never taken an animal to get euthanized before.
    I am so sorry for all of you that had to go through such a traumatic experience with your pet.
    When my sister took her little guy to be put down, after the vet gave him the final needle she said “oh! he’s a little fighter!” Nobody needs to hear that either! 😡
    I hope everyone’s fur babies have made it safely to the Rainbow Bridge and we will all see them again someday.

  33. omg, this has happened to two of my cats now! i thought the first one was a fluke but i just put my beloved boy down last night and this is exactly what happened. the in home vet said he wld just get drowsy and go to sleep. that is NOT what happened! i feel HORRIBLE and he did not pass away PEACEFULLY which was my biggest fear and i told the “vet” (sarcastic quotes) this. i worked for a vet 30 years ago and NONE of the euthanasias went like this. why the hell did they change it and why is this being used?! i just want to pommel these people who think this is acceptable! i am so sorry to hear other ppl have had the same experience. please please please, tell me what can be done to change this??

    • Ask what drug/procedure is being used prior to the appointment. If any drug other than barbiturate is being used, I would ask myself why, and do some on line research.

  34. When a move to a new area necessitates a vet change, people and animals are vulnerable. I had a ghastly experience once when my beloved dog went downhill very fast from spinal myelopathy. When the vet told me that they `no longer have the good drugs they used to have for euthanasia’ (barbiturates), I thought the law must have changed, as it can be a long time between euthanasias. The injection to stop his heart caused suffering, undeniably, and was vastly different from any euthanasia that I had ever witnessed. Always in the past a barbiturate euthanasia had very much seemed like going to sleep.
    The next euthanasia occurred probably 6-8 years later, with a different vet, and was totally normal. I came to believe that this man had either lost his ability to have access to abusable drugs due to problems, or was himself using the abusable drugs he should have used on the patient. Both options are bad, and he had retired by the time the next euthanasia came about and I was able to connect the dots.
    It can be hard to ask questions when one is under pressure from one’s emotions and our animal’s suffering, but we have to be reasonably assertive. If something seems off, even with people like vets, or other generally trustworthy people, we should listen to our instincts.
    My current vet does not do the tranquilize to say goodbye, 2 shot process. Her practice is that owners should say goodbye before the appointment. This makes sense to me, because vets are busy, euthanasia is stressful for vets and their staff, and because getting into the vein can be challenging when animals are old or debilitated due to low blood pressure, etc. so it makes sense to do it only once.

  35. I had my beautiful Siamese cat put to sleep last friday and I ve lost so much faith in the vets that i gave ownership to my best friend whom uses pdsa..and she was treated with kindness.
    Isn’t it sad that we have to go to such extremes to get a better treatment for our beloved pets from vets whom actually charge the Earth .

  36. We just went through the most horrific experience I have ever witnessed in my life. It was a very long in coming, hard decision in the first place to put our beloved border collie, Lola down humanly, or so we thought the process would go. She was 15 years old and had been suffering for some time now with severe arthritis and 6 months prior experienced a vestibular episode, which somewhat resembles a stroke, but in this case the dog loses all sense of balance, tilts their head excessively and circles endlessly. Her episode lasted almost 6 weeks, but she improved enough to continue a somewhat normal life. She needed help with stairs to go outside, but we were more than willing to oblige. It wasn’t until a week ago that we began noticing her pushing her head into hard surfaces when we realized that the time has now come to let her go…..to free her of her failing body. We wanted only the best for her, didn’t want her afraid in a cold veterinarian office. Wanted her as comfortable and pain free as possible, so we opted for an in home vet to come out for the procedure.
    I will never forget the fear in her eyes and the sound her frail mouth made as she was snapping at the air, trying to reach the injection site on her hind quarters where the vet administered the sedative to relax her. I’ve never had that happen before in any previous pets we’ve had to let go. After a few minutes she finally gave in to the sedation and fell asleep. After another 5 minutes he asked if we were ready to finally let her go, we nodded yes, and he began looking for a vein to administer the lethal injection. He couldn’t find a vein, or if he could it rolled. He must have jabbed her 40 times in the first leg before moving to the second leg. Same results, on to legs three and four. Still can’t find a vein to get the injection in. Now she is bleeding from all four now shaved legs and he starts injecting this blue liquid into what he says is a vein finally. After a few minutes she is still breathing and he gets a second vial. The jabbing begins again, to no avail. He injects this vial, and then a third and fourth vial. She is still with us. He now begins injecting directly into her veins with a huge needle and it still does nothing. He has to flip her over to get to her left side. All of us with her witnessing this are now sobbing and in complete shock at what is happening in front of our eyes. One would think it couldn’t get any worse, but yes, it did. He is now at this point trying to tell me he is looking for a vein in her chest, when in actuality he is injecting directly into her heart. Again it took two injection and at this point I lost track of how many jabs it took him to hit her heart. She finally took her last breath nearly one hour after this all began. What was supposed to be a peaceful goodbye turned into one of the most horrific torture scenes I could imagine. He now asks us how we want him to pick up her body. Do we want her in a blanket or just in a plastic bag….I will never forgive myself for making this decision. Lola deserved better, and so did the rest of my family who were witnessing this.

  37. You are all crying about how horrific and traumatic seeing your pets last moments in the hands of vets lethal injections yet still happy enough to make such an inhuman decision to end their life in an unnatural way!!! The problem is that by the multi billion $$$ medical sector you are conditioned to believe that ending the life of an ailing or sick pet is perfectly humane and right as you are falsely made to believe you are ending their suffering in this SO called humane way!!! However when you witness the last moments of these helpless souls in the hand of the vets without their consent you are traumatised as your trusted companions that last look in your eyes hunts you and probably tells something different than you were thinking! They trust you unconditionally, they love you unconditionally so the last thing they probably think that you would make such a decision to end their life without their consent simply because they are ailing or sick!!! Yet most of you wouldn’t even dare to think about making such a decision for a member of your own human family when they get ailed or sick! However when it comes to your pets you can easily make such an inhuman decision! Western hypocrisy at its best! Those so called animal lovers will argue and probably will say that animals can’t talk for themselves so they can’t tell if they are in pain so us humans should end their suffering if we think they are not well! If that’s the case then there are millions of severely disabled human beings on planet earth that can’t talk for themselves so they should be also put down to sleep by their families or guardians! How would you know this disabled humans would like to be dead or alive? Another thing is that some other so called animals lovers will tell you animals can’t talk for themselves so they are vulnerable so they need to be protected yet ironically it’s mostly these kind of people that would agree it’s very humane to make a decision on their behalf to murder them if they are ill or ailing! Hypocrites!!! No one has the right to make a decision of ending the life of living being particularly a pet animal as they can’t talk for themselves! You’ll never know exactly if they wanted to be dead and you will be hunted forever for making such a decision! The purpose of life for both humans and animals on planet earth actually is not much different than eachother. Both will try to live until their last breath! If you truly love your pets than you should let the nature take it curse on them and let them die naturally at their most favourite place which is probably is your home or backyard! Then you will be in forever peace knowing that you didn’t end their life and they died peacefully at their most favourite place with the people they loved!

  38. Ohh…before making a such an inhumane death sentence for your pets, just look at animals in their natural habitats and how their natural cycle works. They do get old, sick, injured and might be in great pain before they die but this is just the natural cycle of their life and the pain also is part of this natural process!

  39. Heartbreaking to read so many stories of euthanasia gone wrong. I want to say thank you for sharing this information. I used these experiences to make a decision on my cat who passed on Friday. The vet I went to had a 5-injection process that was wonderfully fear-free. They inserted a catheter first into my cat’s leg. That was really the only uncomfortable part for her. Next, they gave her pain meds and she spent her final moments purring and pain-free. We spent 30 minutes with her in that euphoric state before the vet injected the anesthesia, then the euthanasia, and two more syringes of saline to flush the medications. This is now the standard I will hold for any animals I will have to put down in the future. My heart goes out to everyone who had to endure distress in their pet’s final moments.

  40. I have had several dogs put to sleep from old age illnesses and they never once cried or struggled. They got very sleepy and then they were gone. It really does matter which Vet you use. Do some calling around and also talk to friends and family.

    • And no wonder vets decide to commit suicide day by day due to the stresses and responsibilities or their job; with higher and higher expectations and slander online from clients.

      Do you really think the vet could of predicted what would happen during the injection process? No one could.

      Do you think the vet gets joy out of knowing they have hurted your animal when they spend sleepless nights and long shifts trying to fix and do everything in their power to help your animals? Ofcourse not

      Yes sometimes animals can behave in a manner that no one can predict and that is not the vets fault. Yes I agree the vet maybe shouldn’t of used the same protocol as previous; but maybe he thought due to it being a dog rather than a cat hopefully the outcome would be different. I’m sure he didn’t like knowing the pet wasn’t in complete comfort during the process and it wouldn’tof been intentional- but sometimes animals do react from injections.

      Maybe spare a thought for the people working day by day doing their best trying to help animals; and also get upset when they lose their patients. Rather than bashing them online.

      • I sympathize with the fact that performing euthanasias must be the worst part of a veterinarian’s job, but with the volume of comments to this article, this horrific reaction to the sedative injection doesn’t seem to be the exception to the rule.

        If this is the case, then alternative protocols need to be used that are in the best interest of each individual pet. It seems that veterinarians are using the IM route to produce the fastest onset of action, regardless of the pain it might cause to the animal and emotional trauma to the owner. I think if the risk was explained, most pet owners would opt to wait out the effects of an oral or subcutaneous medication rather than inflict such pain at what is already a heartbreaking time.

        Had I known this might happen to my poor girl, I would’ve asked that she be given an oral sedative/pain medication instead. You can be certain that I will never, ever forget this experience, her terrified scream has been burned into my memory for all eternity. I just pray that she can forgive me and knows that I only wanted to give her a peaceful end to her pain.

  41. Add me to the list. Horrific. I have had pets euthanized before and it was never this bad. Whatever they used that drug should be banned.

  42. So many of us are in a state of panic when we reach this point.
    I hope that anyone reading ahead of that awful time will remember to
    1) be sure of the vet–there are a lot of bad vets out there
    2) research all the drugs
    3) ask about the whole process and what could go wrong
    4) get an anti-anxiety for the pet and possibly for you
    5) don’t let anyone rush you
    I had Lap of Love come to the house. While the vet seemed to be a kind and most importantly to me, a gentle person, she did rush me and did not suggest I spend time with my pet first. I had been told there was a 15 minute interval between the sedative and deep sleep–there wasn’t.
    Still, I feel fortunate to have had this done at my house–my regular vet was “too tired” to come out when I called, during husiness hours, even though this is a service they provide and I live less than 5 miles from the clinic. I suppose there was no need to make an effort since I would no linger be a client.
    Lap of Love charges a lot of money. Still, they provided incredible support when I would call to schedule, ask questions, cancel, and call back.
    I do not know what sedative they used–one of my many, many mistakes–but the vet said it might sting. My pet shivered a tiny bit at the needle insertion but showed no other sign of pain.

  43. I had to say good bye to my baby boy and was told it would be a peaceful time, but he felt pain I was holding and he nearly jumped out of my arms and he scratched my face when they gave it to him and it hurts me so much that he felt pain, I can’t sleep because I hear the vets voice saying it’s not going to be painful and him jumping and scratching me… all they cared about was getting a first aid to look at the scratch but I was just so annoyed and hurt they took away a peaceful moment away from me, I’m struggling so much she kept saying that if he did feel it it was for a breaf moment, I know he felt it he never scratched me unless he was in pain…

  44. I have been reading everyone’s story about having a pet put down. Sorry for everyone’s Loss
    I had to have my 16 year old Minpin put down on 4-20-2020. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do they gave him a shot to sedative shot to relax him he let out one little yellop and then we took him back to the back room where the vet laid a blanket on the table for him I cried so hard telling him I Loved him. And didn’t want him to hurt no more. We spent ahalf hour talking to him and tell him we Loved him and the vet came in and put a IV in his back leg. And he was gone with in a few minutes he went peacefully. But I can’t get over this.all I do is cry. I miss him so much. He had a mass on his Brain and he started bleeding through the nose and there was nothing that could be done he wouldn’t eat he lost weight. But I just feel like I killed him. I have never had to have a animal put to sleep. I still have 3 dogs. But just not the same.

  45. This happened to my 21 year old cat Fluffy when I put her down a few days ago. We opted not to use sedation as the vet said that older cats have such small veins that makes it difficult to inject the euthanasia drug, and that sedation would exacerbate the problem. She had a very similar reaction to your cat. It was intensely painful for her, and it was a miserable, terrifying end with nothing peaceful about it. I’m so sick at heart that she suffered so much.

  46. I am so devastated I don’t know what to do. Today passes exactly 3 weeks from euthanasia of our cat because of mouth cancer, exactly today she would have been 13 years old. The reaction after first injection will haunt me for life, guilt will never pass and this will remain the biggest regret of my life. I am so sorry that I did not find this page sooner, I wouldn’t have made the decision. Why does everyone promise ”peacefull sleep” when she was in so much pain that I think dying naturally from cancer would hurt less?? I am so sad.

    • I have to agree with you there, that probably dying of Cancer would have hurt less, just like what happened to my cat, Cooper Maxwell who I put down last week for Cancer and Hyperthyroidism. The pain I witnessed with my cat from the first injection is imbeded in my mind for life in what I witnessed!! Just like you, it will haunt me for the rest of my life and the biggest regret of my life…his passing will never be forgotten or heal. Veterinarians, I think have become cold and calused for the many times that they put down an animal that they fail to realize not every cat or dog that they inject is going to react the same…and depending on the weight of the animal and how much pain they are in, the amount of that syringe should be adjusted accordingly, one size does not fit all circumstances or all pets in the final outcome. I know in my heart-of-hearts that my cat did not transition to the next world painless and the whole point of euthansizing them is for that very reason – our way of allowing them to go to the next world peacefully with no pain!

  47. I too like the writer of this blog experienced hell when I recently put down my beloved Cooper Maxwell (cat- all black). My vet gives two shots in euthansizing an animal, one a sedation to relax them, and then the final one to end their life. My veterinarian injects the sedation in between a cat’s shoulder blades. But in doing so to my cat, while that injection was going into his system, before she even finished the cat was trying to pull away from the vet’s needle of her pumping the syring of medication into him. As she was walking out the door, my cat went spastic with a “power he hadn’t displayed ever before by thrust himself backward almost off the end of the table. It was very hard holding my cat down on the table to get him to lay down and be comfortable. Instead it was horrifying watching the reaction from this sedation. It was hard trying to hold him and prevent him from falling off the table as he was definitely trying to get away leaping upward and forward out of my arms, flailing to get out of them and away from me. I have never witnessed a cat behaving this way from getting a sedative before the final injection of putting him to sleep forever. This was very frightening. When the doctor came in, she came in witha new doctor to her practice to do the final injection, and in seconds he was permanently gone. After going through this many times in my head and seeing the reaction my cat gave me from this is imbeded in my mind for life. Instead of relaxing him, she caused him more excruciating pain! I wrote a letter to my veterinarian regarding what I witnessed a day later after I had brought him in. I recall when she initially came in with the medication to sedate him, she said that the medication she was going to inject into him could easily kill a 60 pound dog. My thought afterwards is this shouldn’t be a shot of “one size fits all” in how they will react! to it. Instead of a peaceful transition to the next world which we all want for our pets, this was a very frightening and horrific one! I will never forget this and I have had cats in the past euthansized before with no problem. I don’t think vets take into consideration that every animal is an individual, just like every human is and it becomes very cold and calculating for them. This shot is not “one stop shopping for ingredients for all pets” and shouldn’t be treated as such. When I brought my cat in to get put down, he was very frail and only weighed 7 lbs at 13 years old; loosing weight due to Cancer and Hyperthyroidism. His weight alone should have been taken into consideration, versus loading him up with a medication in a shot that could kill a 60 pound dog when a cat only weighs 7 lbs! This shot should have not been a one size shot that fits all for every animal that you are putting down. I am tempted to write a letter to the Medical Board of Veterinarians for this very reason. No compassion with some veterinarians anymore, just shoot him up with medication and kill them, who cares if they die painfully or not…it’s just another animal that brings in money to their practice!

  48. We made the decision to put our Goldendoodle, Annibelle out of her pain yesterday. She had lung cancer and had been getting progressively worse. She began to have trouble breathing to the point of constant panting that morning. She refused food when she normally loves her meals. She was able to walk into the vet appointment and walked around the yard with us before we took her to the vet. Our vet and the vet tech were very kind. They took her to the back room to put a catheter in her front leg. During that brief time, she went down hill much further. She was limp and unable to walk or stand when they carried her back to us. I lifted her head and looked into her eyes seeing that she was still with us, but very, very close to death. The vet checked her heart and said she was in cardiac arrest, and immediately injected the euthanasia drug as she was clearly, quietly struggling. She then closed her eyes and stopped breathing completely in about 10 seconds. My husband and I were surely devastated at her death, but feel that the vet and tech did all they could to help her pass quickly and to end her suffering. I feel she went down hill when we were separated from her during the placement of the catheter. She must have been scared and it could have caused her cardiac involvement. We learned that we probably should have done this a day or two earlier, however she so clearly wanted to be with us, we didn’t have the heart to part with her. We brought her home and buried her in a small, shady grove on our land behind our home with the bunnies and quail she loved to watch with us. I feel horrible for all those who have had such a horrible experience. Ours was not what we expected, but we felt comfortable that Annibelle passed away peacefully. If I could change anything, I would have asked that the catheter be placed in the room where we were and not had her moved away from us. We regret that, and will never let our pets leave our side if we again have to face this with our other pets.

  49. The vet we used – we used a mobile home vet that came into our home later at night to PTS our Ari.

    She rubbed some cream sedative on his lips so he was a little relaxed – waited 15 mins – then gave the sedative injection. He looked at her doing it and his hind leg but then put his head back down.

    She waited and prepped his leg for the IV injection.

    When he was asleep and gently snoring she then asked if she could inject him and we said yes.

    It took almost 5 mins for his heart to finally stop. He had a very strong heart but he was in kidney and liver failure from lymphoma.

    She left us to be with him for another 15-20mins and then brought in a little stretcher. We helped gently lay him in the stretcher and carry him out to her vehicle.

    We tucked his ball in with him so he would be cremated with it.

    It was very difficult but was gentle and peaceful and I will ALWAYS do it this way if we have the choice.

  50. How can anyone justify euthanasia? Let along for your pets or companion? You say to help them so they don’t feel pain and not suffer. What if your pets would like to receive your unconditional love for them, the same way they did when they were still strong? I cannot believe a lot of you looking at euthanasia as a normal thing. It is not and I will never advise one to get it no matter what.

    • If I couldn’t walk, or go to the bathroom or couldn’t eat I would hope someone would euthanize me. This is the dumbest comment I’ve ever seen. My poor baby peed herself, pooped herself, wasn’t eating, could barley walk without falling over and her eyes I’ll never forget her eyes in those last few days, she was telling me she was in pain and done fighting. Please don’t ever get a pet, you clearly can’t make tough decisions.

  51. After reading all these horror stories, I’m thinking the kindest thing would be to just do them in Old Yeller style. Or maybe never have a pet to begin with?

  52. I recently had to put my beautiful cat Sidney down, it I am traumatized by the experience but maybe someone here can give me some insight that will make me feel better. So the vet gave her a sedative, one eyes closed the other reminded open, which after reading this seems like it’s normal to have eyes open. So after 5 mins the vet comes back in with the euthanasia shot, goes to her hind leg and can’t find a vein, they poked her about 5 times in that hind leg before her pushed the syringe in. Well it must have not gone in a vein because he rushed and got another one, as her is preparing her front leg to try again I notice her little heart beating so fast. Did she know what was going on??? If sedated I would think the heart rate would be much slower. Finally the front leg took and she passed away pretty quickly. But I can’t get the image of her heart racing after the first one didn’t take. I just want to know that she had no idea and her passing was as peaceful as possible. Even as I write this I am crying just reliving it.

    • I too had a nightmarish, suck the air from your chest while punching your soul in the gut experience.
      It was September, feels like yesterday and I am deeply saddened by this forum and yet thankful because I thought I was alone with this “what the heck happened to the last 5min of your life” heavy guilt-ridden heart.

      I think you’d agree that even a heads up about the (I am guessing?) common adverse events that will traumatize pet parents would’ve been great.

      “Oh I always forget people don’t like to see their eyes open. I don’t even notice” literally watched her pupils blow and that among so much more. A boy cat who got very sick at 5yrs old, hospice came to my home, he tried to jump to the counter to get away after the shot and didnt make it which i freaked out about, then he tried to climb couch and couldn’t. Finally the vet said to ‘leave him be’ so he hid under the couch staring desperately at me while she gently pulled him out. She proceeded to hold him until he was “totally unaware of anything, not you, not me” (woulda been nice to know he cant hear me say goodbye or feel me. She put them down on the ground so that I could not pick him up without hurting him or making a mess of everything. Oh and when he tried to make the counter and slammed with his belly she said “oh valiant effort! “I was stunned into silence by this. I didn’t realize I would have under three minutes for the rest of the nightmare to transpire.

      I’m so sorry for what you went through. I’m so sorry for what everyone has gone through here. I do feel a tiny bit better knowing that it wasn’t something that I did wrong. And now that I have some knowledge to work with I will do my research. Well first I will pray that I’m never in this position again!

  53. I am so, so sorry to read and hear all these heart-breaking accounts. I have just lost my darling little dog, who was pts last Tuesday and my lovely, beautiful little boy cat, who was pts this Saturday. I like many of you were searching the net for answers. Seeing what I am reading on here I do believe I was fortunate in that I did not go through what many of you have gone through. The previous week I had taken my little dog to the vets after I think she had had a seizure. She was 18 and had doggie dementia. They said they wanted to put her down, but I grabbed her off the vets table and brought her home. Not easy to do, when you have someone standing there, who we are all brainwashed in to believing have great authority. But I listened to my gut, again not always easy to do. I am happy I did that, and had another vet at home in the end. I used the same vet a few days latter for my darling boy cat. It was ok, but I still had concerns that he didn’t pass as ‘peacefully’ as I had hoped. He was fine, but I think we all hope and expect it to be a very, very gentle transition. So why am I posting, I can hear you all shout. I am questioning whether euthanasia is the right way forward. When I was a child (oh by the way I am here in England), the farmers used to shoot any animal that was ill or old. If they know what they are doing, it is very quick and more importantly, instant with no pain or fear. I have had a cat die with me naturally and it was upsetting. It was not a calm experience. I think all of us want our loved ones to die peacefully at home, but how do we achieve this? I will not be getting any more companions for quite awhile, I don’t know if I can go through this again. But if and when I am ready, I will certainly try and find an alternative way to look after my pets at the end of the lives. And reading this forum is part of my search for some answers. Thank you to all that have shared. It certainly has helped me in my grief and also in my search for the way forward. I am a great believer in the power of herbs, which i use for myself and for my animals. May look further into that.

  54. I am so sorry for everyone’s loss. My cat was misdiagnosed with lumbar spinal pain on New Year’s Day at a well-known hospital. She had three legs, so I guess it was the obvious diagnosis. After six weeks, I returned to the hospital and got a better vet that diagnosed two brain tumors. I made the difficult choice to put her to sleep and was told they were allowing people in for euthanasia. A tech wheeled my cat into a tiny exam room, and she was still anesthetized from her MRI procedure. I waited an hour, to the point I had to ask if they had forgotten us. A doctor cracked open the door, apologized 20+ times. She was holding a machine, so I thought she was just checking in and would return. Instead, she dropped the machine on the table, and it started loudly beeping and banging. I froze – what the hell was happening? My sweet cat was euthanized by a machine. No doctor was present, not even to listen to her heart and confirm the death. I never had to do this before, so I did not know what to expect other than what friends and families experienced. I heard that loud beeping and banging in my sleep. After complaints, the hospital informed me that – due to Covid – they came up with that system to allow people inside. Really? Because I was not informed nor did I consent to that. I sat in my car while they communicated their bill. I was in the room for an hour. No one I know who has had to euthanize their pet during Covid had automated euthanasia. Covid is no excuse for a lack of communication. The experience was traumatic and not how I wanted to remember my pet.

  55. Im astounded at the volume of various traumatic stories of putting pets ” to sleep”
    Iput myboy dog 14. Lung cancer. Seisures from morphine to sleep and have cried everyday for 2 and a halfmonths scince.

    The drug s. They use are horrible. I regret it …and something needs reviewed for the manber they do this. It is NOT humane. It is PAINFUL and traumatizing.

    Vet practice needs reviewed. NOW!

  56. I am feeling the same way right now. I just had to put down my dog of 11 years. She was in to much pain due to a tumor and they told me with her now seizures that it was time. They promised she would not feel pain. She was upset the whole time but not as bad as when they gave the sedative. She started howling like her little heart was about to explode. I clung to her and cried begging for forgiveness as the vet retrieved the euthanasia and put her to sleep. Her last moments where in so much pain. I don’t think I can ever get her howls out of my head. I can’t share this with my family because I don’t want them to know she suffered and have to live with that thought. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t do anything but relive that moment and cry.

  57. If the freaking vet knows the injection will cause pain why would they not administer some heavy duty pain meds before the painful sedation shot? It makes no sense! I had this experience with my cat years ago and will never forgive myself for her death. She was traumatized. I now need to put down my old dog with dementia and am terrified of the same thing. I am giving him a heavy dose of pain meds before he gets euthanized. I also don’t understand the pushing of meds and treatments on an animal that will die in a few weeks anyway. They don’t understand why they are being giving injections and force fed meds. It’s knder to let them go PEACEFULLY but it seems vets are more about the almighty dollar than the pet itself. I have heard more and more stories from people about keeping very sick animals alive for weeks and months and the guilt that they did this to their pet. When I ask how much it cost to keep their pet alive in a sorry state the cost is always astronomical. Screw you money grubbing vets, do your job properly!

  58. I had to put my childhood dog of 11 years down yesterday. I thought I was doing the right thing by ending his suffering. I thought it would be peaceful. It went horribly and I think I’m forever traumatized by it.

    He had a multitude of problems and his body seemed to be shutting down. He was in respiratory failure and heart failure. The vet told me he can go any day now and it would be more painful for him to die at home. I spent all my time with him the last days. Made sure he had a nice, peaceful last few hours the day of. Then things went horribly wrong. The vet told me they would administer a sedative. It would take 5 minutes and he would be “laid out”. As soon as they administered the sedative I could tell something was horribly wrong. My poor baby was terrified. He screamed when he was injected and a few seconds later started looking around and moving his head back and forth like “how do I get out of here, someone help me”. It was horrifying. I tried to calm him down, I tried to tell him everything was okay. I was holding him, trying to get him to lay down. Anything. But then it just got worse. The vet came back in 5 minutes later and asked my brother and I if we were ready. I said yes because I couldn’t bear to see him in that confused, terrified state. He told me once he finished the syringe my baby would be gone. That’s when things got so traumatic. What my brother and I witnessed will never ever leave my brain. My dog was screaming as the vet struggled to put the syringe in. Once it was in and finished I thought my dog would be gone but he was screaming and sounded like he was in an extreme amount of pain and fear. The vet technician was holding him at that point and I was desperately trying to get my dog to look at me. The vet scrambled to get another dose and was shocked that it didn’t work. My poor baby’s eyes were bulging out of his head, his tongue was sticking out with his mouth shut. It sounded like he was suffocating and screaming at the same time. It was so horrible. He administered the second dose and my baby still wouldn’t go. I knew something went wrong but the vet just said “he’s a fighter, I’ll tell you that”. He went to get ANOTHER dose (my dog is only about ~25-30 lbs so I really do not understand how this could’ve happened). And at that point his was limp in the technicians arms but still making horrible horrible noises that have been HAUNTING me. The vet had called in another vet to do the third one which really solidified to me that something had gone wrong on THEIR part. They were sticking him over and over trying to find a vein that would work. They finally started the third dose and while administering it I put my head on my poor baby’s head and told him you can go now. And that’s when I saw his final heart beat. A few seconds later the vet told us “he’s gone now.” It was honestly the most horrifying experience and the worst day of my life. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I told him i was sorry over and over. I could not believe what had just happened. The vet apologized and said he had to give him the dose of a 150lb dog and seemed shocked by what had happened. He said that my dog was fighting it and “was fighting it since the sedation.” I knew everything about that was wrong. I could not believe that after all the hardships my poor baby had gone through all his life, he would have a traumatic and extremely fearful death too. He was so scared and I could tell he couldn’t even sense me there with him. I blame myself. I feel like I failed him. I tried so hard to make his last days peaceful but I just don’t feel like I did enough. I’m not sure how I’ll ever move on. I keep having dreams of looking down at his limp body in my arms. I hate myself for what happened. Even though my brother keeps trying to tell me it was only about 5 minutes of suffering and he’s at peace now, I just can’t stop crying. I feel immense guilt and pain. He had a rough life and a rough ending. I tried and I just feel so horrible about everything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And I’m so sorry to those of you who have experienced something similar. It truly was the most horrible thing I’ve ever witnessed.

  59. I can’t believe how may shared similar experiences. I just put down my Rocky and am traumatized and overcome with guilt. I knew the time was coming, my beautiful bichon Rocky was nearly 20 and was really in decline (arthritis, blindness from cataracts, deaf, warts, and most likely cancer) . I was working up the courage to make the appointment this week when he took a turn for the worse. I went to the vet hospital and decided to go ahead and let him go. They suggested a sedative to help calm him and I agreed. For 45 min he was wailed and was absolutely terrified as they tried to sedate him and put a catheter in. It didn’t work, then it seemed so rushed when they brought him to me, gave him a second sedative, in seconds he screamed and thrashed his head and then went unconscious, then the vet immediately injected the medication to end his life. This wasn’t at all what I expected, I didn’t want him to experience pain and suffering. How could I let this happen him? I am so overcome with guilt.

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