My husband and I had to have our beloved dog Cognac euthanized yesterday. She had been battling an aggressive cancer since February and the tumors had spread to her mouth and left eye, and she was not eating, despite our best efforts and a whole cocktail of medications. We knew it was time and wanted to relieve her suffering. We wanted to give her the most peaceful transition possible, she’d been our best friend for 10 happy years. So we had the vet make a house call. We sedated her with an oral sedative ahead of time since she had always been extremely stressed out during vet visits. But despite our best intentions she started screaming when the vet showed up and did the first injection, and so her last few conscious minutes she was absolutely terrified. I feel so horrible about the fact that in her last few conscious moments she was so scared and panicked even as we tried to comfort her. Once she was unconscious we were able to sit with her, tell her how much we love her and pet her while she passed. But I feel so guilty about not being able to comfort and hold her when she was still conscious. Try as I can to focus in the good memories with her, I can’t get the image of her out of my head, it haunts me. I wanted her to have a peaceful passing. Everyone has always told me that euthanasia is a peaceful process but I’ve never actually had to accompany my own pet during this process,
and my husband and I feel very alone because it went so badly. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. 
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I had the same experience last week with my 17 year old dog. I knew his time was near, but, he had a seizure/stroke that left him with a head tilt , twitching eye, wouldn't eat/drink. I took him to the vet  and he was given muscle relaxers and pain meds since we, selfishly now I'm thinking, didn't want to let him go. Hours later we rushed him to the vet, whining and scared to be put to sleep. Seeing my baby terrified and in pain was the worst experience in my life. I sympathize with you and realize your profound grief. May he RIP and you gain comfort from the good memories 💔🙏
cathleen Goursau
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I am so sorry for both of what your beloved's and you and yours experienced.

When we put our cat down "Dusty" 20 years ago, the nurses assistant did not know what she was doing and the first injection did not work. And she kept trying. It was awkward and she appeared not trained properly. You could tell it discomforted our cat. The nurse completely botched the euthanasia in our opinion. It was so sad and traumatic we did not have another cat for 15 years.

My cat "Marmalade" also had either a seizure / stroke or nerve damage (on the operating table) and was left with a squinting left eye, lifeless left set of whiskers, damaged balance and he could not eat or drink in the end. So I felt I had to let him go.

What I did not know, and learned in time, when the time came to have my cat Marmalade put to sleep, he was put under via anesthesia gas first and then injected. So he was already asleep when he was put down. I spent around 1 hour before hand reminiscing with him. The anesthesia gas chamber was used predominately to put animals under for surgery and/or complex examinations but can be used to place a pet under before put to sleep.

They just place a pet carrier in the anesthesia gas chamber and press a button to knock them out. Having read what I have, and having experienced what I did, I think this might be less stressful for the animal. Not sure. But the risk of something going wrong and them being scared is too significant for me to not recommend putting them under first via anesthesia. Prior to being euthanized. 

I hope you and yours both heal-up. You did the best you could under the circumstances. There was no way for you to know how it would end for your beloved's. Their lives are not judged by their last few minutes, but from the first moments you adopted and fell in love with them to the time they fell ill. That is what matters. That time between. All those loving, joyous, wonderful moments that you shared together.

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,
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ElodieS...I just read your post about euthanasia not going well and my heart nearly stopped. The same thing happened to my poor dog, Bracken, on Sunday, May 17, 2020.
I desperately wanted a peaceful ending for him, which is why, though it broke my heart, I chose euthanasia.
But when the vet put the first needle in my Bracken screamed in pain. The vet tried again, and Bracken screamed again. I covered my ears and I almost screamed, I begged it to stop.
Like you, I thought this would be completely pain-free and fear-free. Now, my last memory of Bracken is of him in fear and pain. I cannot believe it happened that way.
I wish I had had the forethought that you did, of giving Bracken a sedative beforehand...but I guess I was in so much despair already that I didn't even think of that.
I have spoken with two different vets since Bracken died Sunday. They are both specifically end of life euthanasia vets and they both comforted me by explaining that what my Bracken experienced is not unusual, and that every pet, just like people, is different. Some are more touch sensitive than others, especially when they don't feel well.
Oh, how I wish it didn't happen that way, but knowing that it does happen, not just to my Bracken, but in general, helps me see that we just don't have control over things like that to the extent we'd like. I can truly say you are not alone because I just experienced Bracken's euthanasia the same way you did Cognac's.
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I feel so sorry for you because of the experience you have had. Rest assured that Cognac still loves you and her spirit is still with you.

I lost my best friend of 13 years yesterday while she was having surgery. I have had to have three pets euthanized and was able to be there holding them as they passed. All three of mine did pass peacefully while I held them and stroked their head but yes, you still grieve and miss them. I was robbed of this closure yesterday with my Daisy due to the circumstances.

I will ask that you open yourself up to her presence. I was sitting here having a real good cry this morning and her spirit came to me and expressed her love. I swear I could feel her licking my face, not physically but spiritually, It was like she was licking my soul telling me it was alright.

I am still consumed with grief but I feel much better. I pray that you can find the same comfort.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. I’m so grateful for this support system. I knew saying goodbye to our dog would be difficult. I didn’t realize it would be this traumatic and that the grief would hit me like a ton of bricks. I pray that each of you may also find peace and that you will remember the happy memories with your animal companions. My condolences for your loss.
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I am so sorry to hear of your experience. I too have had a similar experience. On April 16th I put to rest my beautiful 18.5 year old cat related to her progression of chronic kidney disease. Similar to you, my baby girl was terrified at the end. She hated the vets office and clearly didn't want to be there. When they gave her the sedative she was nauseous and retching before passing out. It was horrible and I still haven't been able to get the image out of my head. Looking back now, I'm not sure I would have chosen euthanasia. I wonder if maybe I should have given her more time and the opportunity to pass on her own so that it would have been less traumatic for her. I'm not sure what the right answer is.
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