June 6, 2012


A few weeks ago, I experienced my first euthanasia.  The animal was an 8 year old cat that was sick with kidney failure, diabetes, and was 12% dehydrated.  It could barely move, wasn't eating or drinking, and was a perfect candidate for euthanasia.

The process for a euthanasia is pretty simple.  An IV catheter is placed wherever works best (this can be difficult to do sometimes when the animal is dehydrated), and then a euthanasia solution is given.  In general, a euthanasia solution is a mixture of a sedative, and a high dose of potassium that stops the heart.  It is painless and quick.

(This is not a photo of the cat we euthanized)

Our instructors performed the euthanasia while we watched, allowed any questions, and even opened the door for questions people may want to ask in private.  I could not have asked for a better first experience with a euthanasia.  Though it was difficult, I was thankful my first experience was with an animal that truly needed it, and there were no problems.  It was in an environment where I was surrounded by people who cared, and wouldn't look down on my if I teared up.  (I wasn't the only one).  I was also thankful that there were no owners around that had loved this cat from day one, no owners to cry and no owners to try to console, when there are no words.

Side Note
Although I am obviously in the business to save animals, sometimes euthanizing really is what is best for the animal.  The decision is no easy task, in fact Alex and I had to make the difficult decision with our Baby Lincoln just this weekend.  There isn't much more difficult than making the decision to end the life of a family member and a friend.  Someone who has been there for you during your roughest times.  I can speak from my experience this last weekend, that the most difficult part is forgetting that he is gone.  Feeding only three animals, forgetting that he isn't hiding in the blankets in the bed, heck.. I even miss him whining all the time.  That was our boy.  Our little cross-eyed, extra-toed inbred little boy.  I love you Lincoln.  <3

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