If the owner and veterinarian decide that the animal is suffering or is unlikely to recover, euthanasia is a way to end the animal’s pain.
This is a difficult decision for both the owner and the veterinarian, but it must be admitted that sometimes this is the best thing we can do for an animal in the last phase of its life.
How Are Pets Euthanized?
Understanding how this procedure is performed can help the owner make that decision. It will also help him decide if he or she wants to be present during sleep.
First, you need to provide the animal with a comfortable environment.
First, the animal is provided with the most comfortable conditions. Some veterinarians perform the procedure at home. If the animal is taken to a hospital, veterinarians often choose a quiet room where the animal will feel calmer.
If the pet looks restless or is in pain, sometimes a mild sedative or tranquilizer is given first. Often, a catheter is inserted into the vein of the animal to provide a rapid flow of euthanasia solution. The solution is usually barbiturate, a drug from the same group as those used for general anesthesia.
In a much higher dose, this solution not only has the same effects as general anesthesia (loss of consciousness, disappearance of pain) but also depresses the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
After the injection of the solution, the animal loses consciousness, and the heart and lungs stop working within a few minutes. Since the animal is not conscious, it does not feel anything.
In most cases, the pet dies so quietly that it is difficult to detect until the vet knows that the heart is not beating. In most cases, the eyes remain open. Sometimes the last breaths are so-called “agonal”, that is, involuntary muscle contractions, but even at this moment the animal is unaware of anything.
After death, complete muscle relaxation occurs, often accompanied by urination and bowel movements. This is completely normal and the owner should take this into account. In addition, after death there is a release of chemicals that usually accumulate in nerve endings, causing periodic muscle cramps in the early postmortem period.
The Animal Die Quickly And Easily
Many owners who decide to stay with their pets are surprised at how quickly and easily the animal dies.
The decision to stay with a pet or not is very personal. Some owners feel they could comfort their pet in the last moments of his life. Others believe that their emotional distress only upsets the animal.
Those who do not want to stay may wish to look at the animal’s body after completing the procedure. Sleep is also an emotional procedure for veterinarians. Sometimes the veterinarian has known the animal for a long time or really wants it to be healthy again.
James Herriot, in his book All-Wise and Wonderful, expressed the opinion of most veterinarians:
“Like all veterinarians, I didn’t like doing this, although the procedure is completely painless, I was always comforted by the knowledge that the last thing these helpless animals hear and feel is the sound of a friendly voice and the touch of a gentle hand.”