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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to put my baby Stitch to sleep, but I do not approve of the method which our vet uses... Is there any way other than an injection into the heart? I've heard that even when they are anesthetized they can feel it because it is so painful. Even if that isn't true, I'd rather Stitch die peacefully in his sleep at home. My mom is a nurse and said that she will ask the vet about Valium (she says that it eases you into sleep and you die in your sleep, but does not know how it affects rats.) Has anyone ever had their rat pts with Valium? Is there anything you've heard about it? Thank you for any help. I appreciate it...
 

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Injection in the heart. Gosh. Why doesn't the vet give him something to sleep then use the gas? I'm not sure how vets euthanize but I agree, one wants this process to be painless and peaceful. Maybe try another vet?
 

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pentobarbital is usually what they use in the heart. However they should be giving them an injection or a little gas prior to make them subconscious before the one in the heart. An overdose of a valium like drug is fine as a first step to make them go to sleep, but I would recommend pentobarbital afterwards. Are you sure that isn't what your vet had in mind? I would question him/her, I didn't think it was even legal to give pentobarbital through the heart while the animal was still conscious.

Valium by itself I would not recommend. Dosing can be tricky in a very sick animal. Their metabolism is frequently not working properly and the results can be unexpected.
 

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Umm have you thought about asking for CO2 for your rat first? To litterally put him to sleep first? I doubt an overdose is a fun way to go...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure, my mom talked to the vet. They do anesthetize them before the injection (in the heart) but I've heard that they can still feel it so I'm weary...and I don't want his last memory to be of the vet, especially in a container full of gas. I don't know what to do. My mom is going to talk to the vet about Valium and we'll see if there's anything for her to send home with us...Do you think that I could just hop him up on painkillers and ease his suffering then let him die naturally?
 

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Lesti, it's really a personal decision. I don't think anyone can tell anyone when is the best time and how even. I worry about over medicating with sedatives. Reason is I had a very sick ferret who had seizures at the end of his life that could not be stopped. He was already on prescription meds at home. Then my vet tried several others at the clinic to stop the seizures. We ended up agreeing euthanasia was our only real choice at that point. Though we usually gas the ferrets for surgery purposes, my vet used the injectable meds on the ferrets for euthanasia. So she gave him a huge dose. He appeared to go to sleep peacefully. She checked his heart/pulse and we brought him home. Luckily it was in the evening and we did not bury him. He woke us up in the middle of the night with seizures. It was really terrible for him and broke my heart. From then on we still did the injectable to just make them go unconscious, but I prefer the second injection of the pento to be sure. I'm sure all the meds he was on, plus his ailments had an effect on why the drugs didn't actually work. But it's made me very worried since then.

As far as actually making the choice to let them go. I honestly probably don't make this decision as early as some do. I don't think that my way is the only right way, I'm just more comfortable with the idea of them passing naturally if at all possible. If I can use medications, pain killers, natural remedies that can make them reasonably comfortable that is what I will always opt for. Most of my animals have died naturally in my home. However, sometimes that isn't going to be in their best interest, imo. There is a lot of grey area's however, so you have to do what you feel is best for your pet.

You also may try calling other vets that may do euthanasia that you agree with more than the vet your mother talked to. My parents, who only ever own one cat at a time, choose a local vet they trust who comes to their home. He also doesnt charge any more than any other vet, so don't assume a home visit will automatically be unreasonable. There are few mobile vets who do their practice at the homes of their clients.
 

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Usually they gas them to unconsciousness with something like isoflurane and then give the fatal phenobarbital heart stick injection. Bernard was euthanized this way and the vet did multiple checks to make sure he was fully unconscious and could not feel (checking the eyes, pinching the toes, etc.) it was a VERY peaceful and fast procedure. I even got to hold and pet him until he was unconscious.
 

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I'd second the knocking them out with gas then injecting them in the heart. Its useually the best way. Having had a couple of rats injected in the heart whilst awake it can be very traumatic and unpleaseant. You can inject in the scruff and they slowly fall asleep but it can take a while and doseage is tricky
 

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Gas and then a heart shot is the best way to do it.

I had one of mine PTS that way and it was very peaceful- she didn't feel anything and it was over very quickly.
 

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In the end its up to you. Personally I believe gas is the most humane way to put them to sleep then followed by the injection. Its like surgery. You dont feel yhe doctors cutting you open because you sleep so deeply you cant feel pain.
 

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I've been involved with hundreds of euthanasias as a part of working for the humane society and I can say that you definitely want the pento. There is no way they feel the heart injection while under anesthesia (after all, humans do not report feeling major invasive surgeries while under anaesthesia) and it really is the best way to know that they are really gone. The worst thing is when a euth goes wrong and the animal does not pass peacefully or wakes back up. You DO NOT want this. That is why after anaesthesia we usually inject into the heart, because it is so effective yet (relatively) non-invasive.
 

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I'm not sure what you're comfortable with, but I do know that CO2 is considered the only humane way to euthanize feeder rats before they are frozen. However, CO2 needs to be used in a sealed container, so you wouldn't be able to hold your baby while it happens and there'd still be the new environment issue of a closed box/container. I honestly doubt they can feel the procedure while knocked out, but what you chose is really up to you. Overdosing on medication can be pretty unpredictable. Whatever you choose, my condolences. I know how hard it is to lose a pet.
 

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MyrtlesMom, the reason why CO2 is the most humane method for euthanizing FEEDER animals is because they are going to be used as food, thus they can't be euthanized by something that will affect the animal eating it afterward. It doesn't mean CO2 is the most humane option for euthanizing pets (imo, it is not). My vets and I have always done isoflorine or sevoflorine gas then IC (heart) or IP (abdomen) injections of euthanasia solution. I have also done IP alone in some cases, which is ok as long as the person performing the euthanasia knows what they are doing. IC is only ok in a fully anesthetized animal, any vet doing a heartstick on a conscious animal should be reported.
 

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I would definitely not use the sealed box CO2 method as it can be tricky to get the right dosage, I've read. And if it's too much or too little, it is not peaceful at all and the animal will be able to tell that it is suffocating and will go into a panic rather than gently falling asleep. Like Blackthorn said, they use this because they are feeder animals and there aren't generally any toxic chemicals left in the body for the animal eating to be effected by.

I would definitely not do Valium either though. That just feels like it could go wrong very very easily and might give you a really bad reaction or traumatizing passing.

The idea of the heart injection is sad, but if they're fully unconscious and fall asleep peacefully, there's nothing to worry about. I am absolutely dreading the time that I have to go through this with my rats, but that is the way I would choose since it seems the most peaceful and humane way.

I'm so sorry about your tough decision. I hope your baby passes as peacefully as possible. there are some vets that will do euthanasia in your own home which might help reduce the stress by not having to travel to the vet's office.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you guys. Just to clear this up for some people: my vet DOES anesthetize them before doing the heart stick, but I've read that they can feel it. While that probably isn't true, my mom also said that she would not let me watch/hold him while they did it if they did the heart injection. I don't think we will use Valium. If he doesn't pass naturally soon and seems to be in a lot of pain we will see what we can do about getting him on some pain killers and just waiting it out. Last night he was looking pretty good though, maybe we can scrape by for a couple more months like this. I don't know.
 

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It's not true at all. Isofluorane gas is what they use to put them under for surgeries, and as you know, no one feels surgeries :p

You said that they use Isofluorane gas and then cardiac stick right ....? That's actually the best method right now.

I've had two babies put down by other methods by vets and it was unpleasant- I pray that one day the vets in my area use gas+cardiac. :(


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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If they are under a general anesthetic like isoflurane they cannot feel it at any level -- but don't be afraid to ask the vet about the procedure they use he/she should be able to explain it. I think there are various methods that can be used humanely by a skilled technicaion and general anesthesia with cardiac injection as a secondary method is one of them -- also acceptable per AVMA euthanasia guidelines.
 
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