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Discussion Starter #1
my pair of old men, Iden and Igor, are not doing well. I have been making the hard decision of perhaps letting Igor go but I am still in the deciding stage.
i've been calling vets to see what methods they do and i don't like the method all the vets are giving me. but maybe i'm wrong so i decided to place the question here.
they said he will be placed in a chamber with co2 until he is unconscious, then injected into the heart. i always heard that method was painful so i said that. the girl said no, there too out of it to feel it. but 'out of it' isn't the same as completely unconscious and not feeling pain. also i am not able to be present which was really important to me as he was my first rat and, obviously, very loved. i mean, i don't want to be sitting out in the waiting room and he's in pain with strangers somewhere.
so far three vet clinics have said the same method and will not let me present.
i'm calling the other ones tomorrow.
opinions?
 

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So, it is my understanding that a CO2 chamber is sufficient to euthanize a mice or rat.. they may be using the injection as a second form to make sure. If they use the correct flow rate of CO2, a rat normally just falls asleep and then dies in its sleep. I had to take a class in euthanasia when I volunteered in lab. That method was approved by AICUC and their main purpose is to ensure animals are treated humanely in a research setting.. didn't realize the same method was used in general veterinary practice. Just thought I would let you know about my experience in case it gives you a little peace of mind. I'm sorry you are having to make this decision.. it is never easy.
 

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No. Unless the chamber is flooded it will be a slow death struggling for breath and the blood will become toxic...

The acceptable euthanasia for companion animals is gas anaesthetic (type varies) followed by a heart stick. The gas puts them to sleep and generally is enough to euthanize them, the heart stick makes sure.
 

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The CO2 chamber will render them completely unconscious. It would be inhumane to do a cardiac injection on a rat that was not completely knocked out. The main question you should be asking is if they will let you stay in the room while they do it to ensure things go smoothly and to let you have those last moments with your rat
 

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Reading more about it.. it seems like there is a lot of controversy on the subject. The euthanasias I've seen were peaceful, but they were also on a low rate of displacement. Flooding a tank may be quicker, but apparently can be more painful. Gas anesthesia provides no analgesia and normally the pet is stressed when they are going under. Reading more about this on VIN... it seems the preferred method involves sedation followed by an intraperitoneal injection of euthanasia solution for situations when owners want to be present.

I don't know if you have a regular vet you go to... but you might want to request a call back from the vet so that you can discuss your concerns/desire to be present. They may be willing to work with you.
 

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I had my first and best rat ever put to sleep a couple of months ago, they anaesthetised him and then injected him in the heart. I wasn't allowed to be present which I was fine with, I said my goodbyes and they took him into a different room and then brought him back afterwards so I could have some closure. I really trusted the vet that did it, you could see he cared about the animals so I had no problem not being in the room. Now I only have peaceful memories of the event, it's a terrible thing to have to decide but you'll know what's right for you and your rat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well now I've called literally every vet in the city and no one will allow me to be present which really sucks... Most do co2 and heart stick.
Called the vet I always go to who has three small animal specialists and they always seem very caring about small animals. They do gas and injection but still will not allow me to be present.
I suppose that's my best option.
 

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I'm sorry about that. I agree that having him seen by a small animal specialist would probaby be best since they probably have much more experience with pocket pets.. I worked at a small animal hospital for several years (the vet didn't see pocket pets though) and I witnessed many euthanasias. Sometimes owners would elect to not be present and with those pets we would try to make them as comfortable as possible with lots of blankets, give them lots of kisses and snacks if they wanted. . Basically treated them as our own. Generally vets don't go into this field without caring deeply for the welfare of animals. I'm sorry that you have to make this decision, but it is good that you are planning ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone so much for your replies. I will have to accept that I can't present but I know the vets at my regular place love small animals and always love my guys when I bring them in. So I'll trust that they are treated lovingly when the time is right. I hope I still have some time left with him and he doesn't go downhill again so soon.
 
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