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Euthanasia Gone Wrong

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Pit$Bull
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Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:22 am
Tell us about yourself: Trouble - tripawd cancer survivor. - Age 13 Rest in Peace, Sweet Girl.

Duke - rescue - Age 11
Emmi - rescue - Age 5
Location: Orange, TX

Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Pit$Bull » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:51 am

PLEASE NOTE: Graphic and may not be suitable for everyone.

Euthanasia - A quiet, painless death.

Spirit Trouble taught us so much in life, particularly during and after the cancer battle. Our lives were changed forever having to make so many choices about her treatment, about her care. She touched the lives of many and was a great ambassador for cancer, for her breed, for dogs in general.

And in the end, she sent us forth with a last mission - to educate the grieving pet owner to demand quiet dignity as they are prepared for passing.

This last story is not to frighten, not to chastise - it was an unfortunate chain of events that could have been prevented.

We had set up an evaluation with Dr. F to see if their were any other options or treatments that could be taken as she had become completely immobile due to arthritis in her right rear leg, she didn't seem to be in pain but expressed embarrassment to be carried out and held to do her 'business'.

After the non productive evaluation we opted to have her laid to rest that day.

Dr. F had treated Spirit Trouble through her amputation/chemo for 28 months and she was very special to him, he explained the procedure and told us to possibly expect things like involuntary movements, loss of bowel and bladder control, but said she would have already passed and that it was a natural occurrence after death.

Trouble was a chemo recipient, and as such her veins were gone. On blood draws, they frequently took it from the jugular. When they began to try to administer the fatal injection, they were unable to locate a vein. An area on her front leg was shaved, still nothing. We were asked to leave the room while they placed a catheter. It took an agonizingly long time (45 minutes) while they searched each of her remaining legs for a vein. I twice told Shanna we should take her home and she refused because she knew we would just have to go through this all again. I now wish I had followed my instincts.

Once the catheter was placed we were allowed back in the room with her, she was shaking all over and pleading with her beautiful eyes to go home, I have only seen her shaking once in her lifetime and that was after a chemo treatment when she was having chills.

The injection was to be quick acting, a peaceful passing. Not with Trouble. As in everything, she would fight her way through it. There were agonizing seconds of gasping and gagging, she turned eyes to me as if begging please daddy take me home. It took a further injection prior to her succumbing to the fatal drug.

Why do we choose to tell this? Because, even though we would have made the same choice again, we would have insisted she be let go in a different manner. There would have at the very least been a sedative to keep her calm as they located a vein or placed a catheter. In the perfect world, she would have been heavily sedated or anesthetized to avoid her fighting the drug.

If or when you face this final act, be kind to your faithful companion and be kind to yourself. Demand sedation at the very least. Don't leave and carry with you the guilt of having not let them go peacefully.
'Spirit' Trouble - Forever in my Heart.

Kristie E
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Tell us about yourself: I have had a DS for almost a year. Gwen and I are considering participating in PSA and or possible Ring Sport. I also have a Great Dane. I have grown up around working GSDs and my last GSD was a working K9 officer. I am all about dogs and animals in general and want to learn as much as I can about training.

Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Kristie E » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:20 pm

Thanks for the story, it brings tears to my eyes and reminds of the two best friends/family members I have lost in the last year. (one to old age and one to a corrupt legal system that insisted he be put down). In both cases, my boys were given a sedative, the first one was the first time I have had to do this. I was amazed at how peaceful their passing was. Please rest assured that not all of our treasured family members have such a difficult passing. Thank you for letting us know that what was done for our boys may not be the standard. I know how difficult it must have been to tell your story. We will not forget and Trouble's suffering will not be in vain.
Kristie
Rommel's Guenhyvar (Gwenice the Menace) BH, PSA PDC sleeve

Raven
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Raven » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:32 pm

I am sorry for...and understand...your loss. Luckily, we have those most wonderful memories to keep our beloveds forever with us.

Just two days ago, I had to make "the decision" with one of other rescues (a relic in age). The vet explained an alternative way to go--because of veins--and I chose that. It was a longer process, but the best.

A couple of years ago, I had a DS who was riddled with cancer. Even if treatment were an option at the stage she was diagnosed, she wasn't eligible for treatment because of her less-than-sparkling personality with others. And because of her "personality," we also chose an alternative way to go, to make it easier on her.

This...deed...even under the best conditions is the hardest thing we do to offer them peace. It was unfair to you both what happened. Try to not feel guilty...easier said than done, yes, but your heart was in the right place, your intention pure.

My thoughts are with you.
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

Marjolein
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Marjolein » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:49 pm

Sorry for your loss :(

I do not know it any other way overhere, sedation first, then the "final" drug that stops the heart. Most vets do it at home, where the dog is at ease (yes, you pay extra, but most people don't mind).
even my pet rats were euthanised this way :oops: because there they cannot find a vein and inject straight into the heart, right throught skin and chest, they sedate totally first.
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leih merigian
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Tell us about yourself: Had a GSD, am getting a DS puppy in a few weeks. Compete in agility, obedience, and cross train in tons of stuff. Found out about this site from the DS Rescue yahoo list.

Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by leih merigian » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:55 pm

I am sorry for your loss, tho I couldn't bring myself to read the actual post.
leih merigian
Vrijheid's H'Geyser
Zodiac vom Younghaus (over the bridge)
Central VA (near Charlottesville)
It's never too late to have a happy childhood...

Sugars Mom
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Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Sugars Mom » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:02 pm

Your story touched my heart and I'm sorry to hear what you all went through.
Sue (and Sugar)

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Dutchringgirl
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Location: Ct, USA
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Dutchringgirl » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:07 pm

thanks for the post, It brought back memories of Molly who I had to put down years ago too. The vet right away said they would sedate her first. But its good to get the word out anyway in case the vet dosnt mention it so pet owners are aware.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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cake73
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Tell us about yourself: I live in Metro-West Boston with my husband and our two rescued Dutch Shepherds, Marley and Minnie. He loves to nap. She loves anything involving activity. Our first rescued DS, Kaya, loved to tug. I volunteer for the North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue and am a member of the NADSR BOD.
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by cake73 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:41 am

Bob, I am so sorry for your loss and I am so sorry it had to be more stressful than it should have been.
Cheryl in MA, with rescued DS
Kaya, adopted January 2006 (over the bridge, September 2014)
Marley, adopted February 2008
Minnie, adopted March 2015


North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue
https://www.facebook.com/NADSR.DSRescue

vneerland
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by vneerland » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:44 pm

Oh Bob, I am so sorry. I too had no idea that it was still possible to do this without sedation. With that being said: I had an old dog once, who underwent the fight due to the sedation, not due to the euthanasia. His heart was so weak that he ghasped for breath and stuggeled under the sedative that had started killing him instead. The vet was shocked and apologetic. I do not think he could have done anything differently. Maybe I had put off the decision too long, I don't know. But in the end, I have been grateful for every peaceful passing that I witnessed after that.
My thoughts are with you and Trouble. May fond memories of her alive overshadow her struggle with disease and death :(
ImageJudith Van Neerland Dutch Shepherds Image

Christie M
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Christie M » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:59 pm

After over ten years of assisting in this procedure, I can say that often sedation causes more issues than not. It is always a case by case situation, but sedation causes a lower blood flow and can make finding a vein that much harder. Couple that with an already debilitated patient, and it can be a nightmare. That being said - obviously the potential for a nightmare always exists and I am so sorry that you had to live through one. I am so very sorry for Trouble.

Please know that my thoughts are with you and Shanna. Hopefully it will be a very long time before you ever have to live through a similar circumstance.
Christie Meyer
http://www.northwoodsk9.com
http://www.dutchshepherdrescue.org
http://www.thunderhawkcanine.com

Be proud of the things that you have taught your dog. Be humbled and grateful for all of the things that your dog has taught you. - Unknown

turnnburn52984
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Tell us about yourself: Lifelong animal person- I professionally trained horses before my children were born. New to DS's, but not new to high drive working dogs. :) Currently have a 1 1/2 yr old DS, Koenig, and a 2 yr old English Pointer Sara. They are both rescues. Oh yes, I work at a multi species non-profit animal rescue, on Bainbridge Island, WA

Want to know anything else, just ask!
Location: Tacoma, WA

Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by turnnburn52984 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:36 pm

I agree with Christie... Sedation on a case by case basis... if you are going to sedate a dog, do it AFTER a IV cath is placed.
You should ALWAYS demand is to have an IV cath be placed. That way you eliminate any fishing for veins, veins blowing out during injection, etc. It is just kinder to the pet. The euthanasia solution is a very very thick liquid. I can only imagine how strange it feels being injected to a dog. Another common curtosey we can give our pets (We, being people working in the vet field as I and several others here do) is to give far more of the drug then the math tells us we will need. Forgive me for being blunt- but you're aim is to kill them, you can't really over-do it. Forget saving a few pennies, and ensure someones best friend a quick passing.


To the OP- I'm so sorry for your loss, and that it happened in such a traumatic way. Your vet should have also cautioned you about a last breath, or shudder. It's not uncommon at all. Thank you, for helping your friend Trouble pass. It was the kindest thing you could do, even if it did not go as planned. You being there with him was much more comforting then a sterile room full of strangers.
Kelly
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Pit$Bull
Technical Administrator
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:22 am
Tell us about yourself: Trouble - tripawd cancer survivor. - Age 13 Rest in Peace, Sweet Girl.

Duke - rescue - Age 11
Emmi - rescue - Age 5
Location: Orange, TX

Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Pit$Bull » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:40 pm

turnnburn52984 wrote:You should ALWAYS demand is to have an IV cath be placed.
This was the problem, they spent over 45 minutes trying to insert the cath as
her veins were so bad due to chemo 28 months prior.

turnnburn52984 wrote:Your vet should have also cautioned you about a last breath, or shudder. It's not uncommon at all.
We were aware of the 'after death' bodily functions and were prepared for this.
When we returned to her after cath placement she was alert but shaking all over, frightened, choking and begging to go home.
I'm crying now as I'm still being haunted daily by her last pleadings.
She was a strong girl, breezed through her amputation/chemo and never looked back, her Vet commented once after a chemo treatment that she had given him a kiss during cath placement.
When we were ask to wait in another location while the cath was placed she was still wagging her tail as she always loved the Vet and tech's.
She was the center of our lives and she deserved better.

R.I.P. baby girl, run free at the bridge.
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'Spirit' Trouble - Forever in my Heart.

Travis
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Travis » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:32 pm

Wow... that was a difficult read. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

We were fortunate enough to have had a peaceful dignified passing with our 15 and half year old Malinois after he'd gotten to the point where it was clear he would never rise on his own unaided again or stand unaided for more than a couple of seconds on his own.

He passed though eating grilled chicken from our hands and wagging his tail unaware of the cath or the injection into it. Despite this it was by far the toughest thing I've ever gone through.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I was that blubbering guy who needed a while before I could leave the room, nod to our vet, and drive home. Thankfully my wife was strong enough to handle the talking and billing end of things at the appropriate times.

I'm sorry to hear that such a painful experience ended up being that much more so for you.
Travis -> human (of questionable sanity)
Doggies:
  • 1 senior NADSR rescue dutch shepherd
    1 pocket Dutchie tennis ball addict
    1 geriatric pomeranian (yaps incessantly)

Lauren
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Tell us about yourself: I am a wife, mother of 2 kids, 3 cats, 1 Standard Poodle (10 yrs) and Xena, a Dutch Shepherd Puppy.

Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Lauren » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:30 pm

I am so sorry that you and your girl had that bad last experience. It is a selfless act of kindness to let them go and to be there to lend support. She is free now, I hope that you can come to feel better about it too.
Lauren from Western NC

alspyce
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Also have a horse-old quarter horse mare-32.
Can't wait for all the snow to get gone! Spring is coming too slow this year!
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by alspyce » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:19 pm

So very sorry, not enough words to express the sympathy I feel for you and your courageous girl.
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France
Chris Carlton/Lyric

Pit$Bull
Technical Administrator
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Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:22 am
Tell us about yourself: Trouble - tripawd cancer survivor. - Age 13 Rest in Peace, Sweet Girl.

Duke - rescue - Age 11
Emmi - rescue - Age 5
Location: Orange, TX

Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Pit$Bull » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:26 pm

A belated THANK YOU for the kind words. 'Spirit' Trouble will live in our hearts forever, I'm sure she is responsible for the recent addition to our family https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

Regards,
Bob
'Spirit' Trouble - Forever in my Heart.

Marjolein
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Location: Warbeyen, Germany
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Marjolein » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:44 am

whoohoo, what a nice dog, she found a good home :)
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Dutchringgirl
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Location: Ct, USA
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by Dutchringgirl » Tue May 03, 2016 6:34 pm

:DSlove:
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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k9lexi
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Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by k9lexi » Fri May 06, 2016 1:34 am

I sorry for what you and girl had to endure in her final moments. Both of my old girls I had put down, with different vets, had the same experience. I was told the first shot was to relax or make sleepy and the second shot would put her down. Did your vet skip the first shot my vets did? I never questioned their procedure, they just explained to me this is what is going to happen. My first dog and I lived together, alone, for 10 years so it was more than putting down my dog ... it was making ecision to kill my friend, my companion :( I knew I would be sad. I knew I would cry. I did not know i would feel like someone was choking ne and I could not breath. ... all that with her passing peacefully. I'm still not over it. Crying now just thinking about it. I can't imagine the trauma of watching what yiu did .. I'm so sorry for you. One of my friends was struggling with putting her dog down. The vet told her one of you will suffer. Either yiur dog will continue to suffer in pain because yiu don't put him down or you will suffer because you will miss him. My vet sent a sympathy card to me. My friend wrote, I wish we could have made her young for you again. That is how it us ... they have a much shorter life span than we do. Wish they stayed with us longer :(

hugapitbull
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Tell us about yourself: I am the wife of Pit$bull who was technical administrator for the forum for years.

Re: Euthanasia Gone Wrong

Post by hugapitbull » Sat May 07, 2016 12:22 am

I am the wife of Pit$Bull, the technical administrator for many years. He is in end stages of COPD and is no longer physically or mentally able to contribute. Pit$Bull enjoyed the time spent helping Eric and then Michael with the forum. The Dutch Shepherd family is special to him even though he never owned a shepherd and was not active on the forum itself. It is his desire that I have a presence here and can let you know when his last day comes.

A special thank you to MIchael for allowing this topic to stay as a sticky topic, it is a subject dear to Pit$Bull's heart. In addition he would like to acknowledge the two ladies who brought him to Eric and the forum - Christy M and Kate73.

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