One vet offers a sedative before euthanasia the other doesnt, why? also cremation?

Question by Scooby Dooby Doooo: One vet offers a sedative before euthanasia the other doesnt, why? also cremation?
I have to take my cat in tomorrow for euthanasia. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a month ago and hes let me know his time has come. So i called around and one vet does a sedative first but theyre booked till monday. The other vet i called does walk ins but i asked her if they used a sedative and she said its one shot, its lethal injection. Im a little confused. Will he be in more pain without the sedative?

Also they said their cremation service was semi private. I was warned against that but she assured all animals are in individual separators they just all get cremated at the same time and you only get your pets ashes back. I was warned of people cremating say a 5lb cat and getting a 10lb bag of ashes obviously not just their pet. Opinions on that?

Best answer:

Answer by Kali
I have NEVER heard of a vet putting an animal down with out sedating it first. The lethal injection stops the heart. The sedative knocks them out completely and they feel nothing. I had to put two animals down last year (1 was very old dog. and the other was poisoned by someone, my cats do not go on the balcony anymore). and they were both sedated and then put to sleep, 2 separate injections. It happens fast just to warn you.

Never do Semi private. You can get ashes back that are not yours.

I am very sorry. Just remember the good time you had with your kitty and know he will be waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge.

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  1. Reply
    GrammaCarrie May 13, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Hi Scooby. I truly am sorry you are at this point, and you have your baby’s best interests at heart even now. You are a wonderful example of a cat dad. I want to share with you the 2 types of euthanasia we used for our 15 y/o english springer spaniels. We chose the sedative for our first, “Crook” (named so because he stole our hearts.) I have to say, it was a mistake. The vet gave him the sedative and he could barely breath. To me, it was as if it were a horrible dream.
    On the other hand, “Cricket” our wonderful gal who wanted to take on a buffalo in Yellowstone, was given the straight injection and it was as if she just went to sleep in my arms. BIG difference. And no evidence of pain or suffering. Of course when it is time for my own cats, I’ll choose the later. Without a doubt.
    About the cremation. I don’t think you are the kind of dad who wants a mix of ashes. I just don’t believe that they can cream ate several pets and not keep the cremains separate. To me, it would (and was) not acceptable. I only wanted my dogs and I only wanted other folks to have only theirs, you know? It was worth the extra money. The people who did Cricket, had her ashes, a plaster paw print, a beautiful Rainbow Bridge poem, to go along with the photo of her in good health, and a brass engraving of her name. It was so different from Crook’s. Ashes in a cheap tin can with painted paw prints. That’s it. *rolls eyes* What ever you choose, I send my deepest condolences across the miles. Please visit to share about your boy and you can honor him there and get support in your grief. Every now and then, I have to put down a too-sick kitten, and I’m there with them, no matter what. I’ll be thinking of you, Scoob. ((hug))

  2. Reply
    Java May 13, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Very sorry about your kitty 🙁

    The entire concept behind euthanasia is “good death” meaning a death free from pain, suffering, and fear. There are rigid guidelines behind euthanasia by injection but there are some variances depending on the pet’s temperament and the vet’s preference.

    Technically, if done properly there’s *generally* no need for sedation prior to euthanasia by injection. Some vets prefer to sedate cats prior to euthanasia because otherwise they have to inject the cat in a space on their abdomen (there’s an empty space internally – no organs, etc – and is not painful) which can distress owners more so than the cat. If a cat is sedated then the vet can administer the drug iv. You can talk to the vets about what route they administer the drug (abdomen or iv) and which method may work best for your cat.

    When my dog was euthanized the vet also sedated them so it was easier for us (the owners) to watch an iv catheter be placed and the drug administered. Dogs who are adverse to needles/vets/etc may also be sedated so the vet may place a catheter. Dogs and cats who have a compromised vascular system may also have to be **heavily** sedated so the vet can administer the drug directly into the heart (an extreme no-no if the animal is even barely conscious).

    Chemically speaking there is absolutely no reason to sedate. The euthanasia drug is literally the same drug used in some prescription sleep medications used by people. It literally puts the animal through the stages: Sleep, then anesthesia, then coma, then death. Sedation is about easing the process if necessary (and again, many times it’s for the owner’s benefit and not the animal’s).

    As far as the cremation… unfortunately that’ll just depend on what you’re comfortable with. When we would do a cremation for a particular client we made sure to burn the remains of ONLY that animal but there were usually some ashes left from previous burns. Also, it’s generally impossible to collect all of the ashes of, say, a 100lb dog. Most places that *I* know of will usually return the bulk of, but not necessarily all of, the ashes. It hasn’t stopped me from cremating my past pets, though.

    ETA: I should add, cats and iv catheters don’t always mix. They have very small veins and it can prolong the owners experience while waiting for the vet to hit a vein and slowly administer the drug. Vets have to walk a not so fun line of placating grieving owners and providing the “good death” they are required to. One vet I knew refused to do iv on a cat and would, while talking to the grieving owners over their sedated cat, administer the euthanasia drug into the cats abdomen when the owners weren’t paying attention. They said most of the time the owners just assumed the sedative she had given was the actual euthanasia drug.

  3. Reply
    Ocimom May 13, 2013 at 6:48 am

    We just had to put down our Lab today. No sedative is needed. The 2nd vet is right – and believe me they go very peacefully. The vet told us that she would be gone before she emptied the syringe in her leg……….and that is how it was.

    Keno just slowly relaxed and put her head between her paws and was gone. The vet checks to be sure no heartbeat.

    As far as cremation – you have your choice of getting back ashes or just letting them have a group cremation with other pets. We chose not to take the ashes.

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