Euthanasia today - question about sedative

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euthanasiatoday

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Hope this is an acceptable place to post, didn't think it fit in Rainbow Bridge.

My cat is due to be euthanised this afternoon. I'm trying to find out how long the sedative will take to act, but can't seem to find that information anywhere. Can someone with previous experience help me out?
 

Antonio65

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Hi and welcome, though on such a terrible moment and occasion. I'm deeply sorry for what you are going to go through, and I know what I'm talking about because I've been through this several times.

As for your question and concern, I'm afraid there's no a straight and unique answer to it.
The time the sedative takes to act depens on a few factors. The age of the cat, the health conditions and methabolic situation, the strength your cat has in him/her and the will to let him/herself go, and, I'm afraid to say, the ability of the vet who is giving the drug.

Sometimes the cat is so debilitated and weak that the sedative only is enough for the cat to pass away (this happened to me once), though the vet will give the cat the final drug all the same.
Sometimes the cat's methabolism is so altered by the disease that the sedative doesn't kick in (this happened to me once) and the vet needs to give one or more doses of this sedative.
Sometimes the vet underestimates the cat's weigh and gives it a lower dose of sedative and it doesn't act properly.
Sometimes the sedative acts quickly, within a minute or two, and this is the ideal scenario.

I'm sorry for presenting so many different cases, I know this might be scaring, unsettling and concerning.
What I can suggest you is to focus only on your cat in those moments, do not look at or watch what the vet is doing.
The vet will let you spend a few minutes with your cat, then they will ask you if you are ready for the first injection. After that you will have a few minutes alone with your cat to say him/her goodbye, before the vet will ask you again if you are ready to let your cat go.

Though I have experienced this moment many many times, it's always an unbearable pain and I'm crying now while I'm typing these words.
Be strong for your cat.
Hugs!
 

gilmargl

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So sorry you're having to go through this process. I'm not sure whether there are international standards for euthanasia. Here in Germany I've had many cats euthanised, both at the surgery and at home. But, perhaps because my cats and foster cats were old or very sick, the whole procedure did not take more than perhaps 10 minutes, though I've never timed it. The first injection, is similar to that used before an operation. It will take a few minutes till the cat is completely relaxed (some cats take longer to sedate, and, if this is so, it is perhaps best not to talk or pet the cat - just let her go to sleep). Once she is sedated, you can stroke and pet her. The lethal injection will be given. For a small animal like a cat, the heart will stop beating within minutes.

You'll be in my thoughts this afternoon. Poor kitty.😿
 

Antonio65

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Reading gilmargl gilmargl 's post, I think you were meaning the whole procedure, how long it takes for the whole procedure to act?
Well, the lethal injection is given when the vet is sure the cat is fully sedated and unconscious. The lethal injection can be given IV or in the cat's heart, depending on the vet's ability, habits and experience. This last injection acts in a few seconds, I'd say not longer than 5 seconds.
 
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euthanasiatoday

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Thank you both for your replies.

Antonio65 Antonio65 , I was asking specifically about the sedative injection, but thank you for the additional information.

Can anyone give me a ballpark in terms of the *longest* amount of time I should expect the sedative injection to take? He's 18, has high blood pressure and kidney disease.
 

Antonio65

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Thank you both for your replies.

Antonio65 Antonio65 , I was asking specifically about the sedative injection, but thank you for the additional information.

Can anyone give me a ballpark in terms of the *longest* amount of time I should expect the sedative injection to take? He's 18, has high blood pressure and kidney disease.
I'm sorry for adding details you weren't asking for, I hope this hasn't unsettled you further.

Like I said, unfortunately it is almost impossible to give such an answer, but I'd say the longest time might be something between 5 and 10 minutes. Like I said, the ideal scenario is when the cat gets asleep in a couple of minutes, but this depends on so many factors.
In my signature you'll read of a kitten named Leo, he was a little older than 2 months when he was put to sleep, he had a terrible and hopeless kidney malfunction, he was born with both kidneys defective, and this impaired a lot in the sedative taking time to act. The vet said that the bad kidneys were to blame for this very very long time. In his case I think it took nearly 20 minutes.
I don't want to add further details here.
I'm so sorry for you and your beloved kitty :hugs:
 

sivyaleah

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Thank you both for your replies.

Antonio65 Antonio65 , I was asking specifically about the sedative injection, but thank you for the additional information.

Can anyone give me a ballpark in terms of the *longest* amount of time I should expect the sedative injection to take? He's 18, has high blood pressure and kidney disease.
First, my condolences to you. It's always difficult to let go.
When we took our near-18 boy that first sedative took mere seconds to kick in. It was done via IV and they had set him up prior to us coming into the room, and started the sedative while we were in the room. He was an extremely cooperative patient at the vet and like yours, also had kidney disease and a few other concurrent health problems. We were allowed to be with him from the start and stayed until he passed on with the vet giving us time between each stage to comfort him and say our goodbyes.
Each situation is different of course as already mentioned but for us, it was quick and calm for our boy. I do hope your boy has an easy a crossing.
 

gilmargl

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I agree with the above - the sedation has never been a big problem with my cats. The vet let us spend as long as we wanted with them while they were going under sedation and before giving the lethal dose - no vet has ever hurried us or given us the feeling that he wanted to get it over asap. Some cats vomited, which is often the case when sedated. It's all so very hard to bear.
 

Willowy

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It's usually pretty fast, IME. Less than 30 seconds to start working, and a few minutes for the pet to be entirely sedated. Of course there can be complicating factors but that's how it's always gone for my pets.
 

fionasmom

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I am so sorry for your loss. You are evidently a very caring and loving cat guardian to have been concerned about his last few minutes on this earth. He knew that you took care of him until the end and that is the most important thing.
 

neely

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We understand your loss and empathize with you. :hugs: May his memories live on in your heart. You gave him his forever home and for that he was eternally grateful. RIP sweet angel.:angel:
 
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