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Old 10-27-2002, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Putting an animal "to sleep" at home

We have a cat who had had some on-going mental problems. He's been quite a interesting pet over these past years. Now he's gotten up there in age and is getting quite sickly. His teeth are starting to get rotten, he won't eat much, and.. well.. he's old.

I plan on taking him into the vet in the next week and having him put down. I just can't see spending a bunch of money just to milk a few more months out of his mentally unstable life. I mean, I love the little guy but sometimes you have to take quality of life into consideration.

My wife doesn't like the idea of carting him off to a vet and having him put down. He gets scared so easy and she hates the idea of his last hours freaking out. She wondered about a nice way to do it at home.

I couldn't come up with a way I thought would be peaceful for him.

I've never really thought about it before. All the past animals I've ever had to put down were next to death from an accident or so old and sick they didn't even know what was happening to them.

Are there any sure fire home cures for something like this?
Old 10-27-2002, 06:36 AM
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My wife bought herself an cut little Lahso Apso puppy about 10 years ago. We only had Earnhardt (she named him) about 6 months when he was hit by a car. It crushed the whole back half of him. My wife wanted to run him to a vet but I could tell there was nothing that could be done for him. I took Earnhardt in the garage and using a hammer, put him out of his misery. I balled like a baby while doing it.

Damn, got something in my eye........
Old 10-27-2002, 06:43 AM
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That should be cute, not cut.
Old 10-27-2002, 07:27 AM
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I think carbon monoxide is supposed to be peaceful. Don't people sometimes die of accidental CO poisioning without ever realizing what's wrong?
Old 10-27-2002, 07:43 AM
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Vets will make housecalls to put animals to sleep. It costs, but I've had it done, and making my cats as comfortable as possible for their last time with one is very important to me.

It's terrible, pets dying. It makes me not want to ever have a pet again.
Old 10-27-2002, 08:05 AM
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Another thing you could consider is to get the vet to prescribe an oral tranquilizer to give to the cat before you take him in. Then he won't spend his last hours freaked out. The vet gives me a tranquilizer to give to my cat before taking her in for routine visits - otherwise she totally spazzes.
Old 10-27-2002, 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by racer72
..using a hammer, put him out of his misery. I balled like a baby while doing it.
Old 10-27-2002, 08:33 AM
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Location: Eugene, OR
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gingersnap - bawling - give the dude a break, he appears to have been a wee bit upset whilst typing that post....
Old 10-27-2002, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 28,701
When I was about 13, my dad (an MD) and I humanely put down my aged pet rat when I was younger. We put her in a plastic bag, got a Calor [Benzene] gas canister, and filled the bag with gas. She dropped peacefully off to sleep, and died of asphyxiation. I wrote a very moving poem to the poor rat.

Unfortunately, my next-door neighbour, of the same age, heard what we had done, and one day a few weeks later, when his parents were out, decided to put his gerbil to sleep in the same fashion.

He dropped it in a bag, filled it with Calor gas, but then released the top of the bag. The result was that the gerbil revived slightly and started twitching. My friend panicked, and for some reason decided the best way to despatch the gerbil was by setting fire to it, so he got a cigarette lighter and lit the gerbil's fir. It awoke fully by now and started squeaking in pain.

My friend was greatly distressed by this, so in his panic he ran around the kitchen holding the poor smoking creature, and beat it to death on the kitchen counter. He then lay on the kitchen floor and howled so loudly that my sister heard him in our house, even though all the doors and windows of both houses were shut.

I am afraid that, despite all the distress in this story, the image of him running round the kitchen flailing a burning gerbil tickles me greatly, in a sick fashion.
Old 10-27-2002, 10:07 AM
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When we had to put our 13 year old chow chow to sleep, we had the vet come to the house to do it. It was one of the most horrible things that I have ever had to do but it was 100 times better than if we had to take her to the vet to do it. Plus, the whole vet office didn't have to be subjected to watching my wife and I crying our eyes out.

My heart goes out to you, Seven, in this tough time.

Old 10-27-2002, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 4,124
Eeegh. I'm not sure I like the idea of Crazy Bean beaten to death with a hammer. I'm not sure I'd count that as a "peaceful ending". LOL

Having a vet come to the house is a damn good idea. As well as drugging him into La-La Land before I take him to a vet.

I think the 2nd choice there will be the best and cheapest. Perhaps I can get enough kitty qualudes to know him out all together so his last memory is falling asleep on the couch.
Old 10-27-2002, 06:06 PM
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You do not want to do it yourself. Take this from a guy who had to shoot a broken leg horse. You want the vet to do it because you can be sure that the vet will not screw up and the beast will be put down quickly and cleanly with the minimum of pain and fright. As far as I can tell the only reason to try to do it yourself is if you have both an emergency and an animal in pain.
Old 10-27-2002, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Akron, OH
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Originally posted by Kalashnikov
I think carbon monoxide is supposed to be peaceful. Don't people sometimes die of accidental CO poisioning without ever realizing what's wrong?
This may be an urban legend, but I've heard once or twice that with modern ('90s and beyond) cars, the emmisions are not foul enough to kill you on any reasonable time frame. If you have a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner, you can kill yourself with CO poisonic, but with a '99 Plymouth Prowler it ain't gonna' work.
Old 10-27-2002, 11:06 PM
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I'm not sure about that. I remember a case around my way a year or two ago where a whole family died of carbon monixide poisoning from a running car in the garage. Admittedly I don't know what kind of car they had, but it was prob not circa 1969.
Old 10-28-2002, 02:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
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If you know anyone who works for a pharmaceutical company, see if they can get you some isofluorane, a widely used anesthetic. My friend and I did this when we had to put down one of her beloved pet mice due to illness. The isoflo will evaporate readily, so pour a little bit on a piece of paper towel, stick it in a bag, put the bag over the animal's head, seal off the bottom with your hand, and wait. The mice didn't jerk around or anything--they just peacefully went off the sleep and never woke up. It was completely painless, quiet, and free.
Old 10-28-2002, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,166
While you might be able to do it yourself, especially if you have a source that can get you something like isofluorane, I personally would take him to the vet. I'd just be afraid of botching it and causing him a painful and traumatic death.

Maybe your vet could give you some cat tranquilizers. That would keep him calm for the trip to the vet.

Good luck.
Old 10-28-2002, 10:27 AM
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Agreed, other than a reliable oral tranq, I probably wouldn't put an animal in any condition other than one that was extreme (like the case mentioned above) to sleep myself; I would prefer some stress at the vet over the chance of botching an overdose, etc.

I assume that cats are put to sleep in a similar fashion as ferrets are (I had to have a ferret put down in the last 6 months). First a sedative is given to make them limp and barely responsive. Then when they're well under from that, a double dose of a typical anesthesia is given - the vet told me it's injected into the bloodstream in cats and dogs, but in ferrets it's often simply injected into the heart to make it easier. I stayed for the procedure, gently petting her while it happened, and she didn't even flinch at the final injection.

Thank you for thinking of ways to make it easier on the animal, and for not wanting to prolong suffering.
Old 10-28-2002, 11:25 AM
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Get the vet to do do it, DEFINITELY, and I think at home is a nice idea actually. Only remember that when you put animals to sleep (same as putting a human or any living thing under anaesthetic) muscles will relax and bladders empty.

I used to work in a vets and held animals while they were put down, and it was totally painless and humane. To relieve an old, arthritic, suffering animal is hugely hard for a loving owner, but it is a really noble sacrifice.
Old 10-28-2002, 12:11 PM
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Can human over-the-counter medicines that cause drowsiness anesthesize a dog or a cat? I'm thinking Sudafed or NyQuil.
Old 10-28-2002, 02:49 PM
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 595
Going to the vet would be the most humane thing you could do for the poor cat. They give the cat a shot first to relax it.....then the next shot is the one that takes the cat to "heaven". Good luck..........
Old 10-30-2002, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 21

I'm SO sorry to hear that 7.

Reminds me of my childhood cat, George. He was 17 years old, toothless, blind, slept all the time and in the end was unable to move to the cat box in time. Dad had to take him in. He gave him a pill.. I forget what it was. He didn't suffer in death like he did his last few months. The vet gave him a shot.. it was all over within a few seconds... so said Dad.
Old 10-30-2002, 06:26 PM
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Call your vet and ask him this same question. He may be able to give you pills or something that will make the cat actually sleep, so you can then bring him to the office to be put to sleep. (Not that pilling a cat is a nontraumatic experience for human or cat, but he would probably forgive you during the time before falling asleep. You may even be able to get something topical - a number of cat medicines can be applied to the ears). Or you may be surprised at the low cost of a house call - a lot of vets are big softies for easing a dying animal's distress any way they can. They wouldn't be in the job if they didn't love animals.
Old 10-30-2002, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Plattsburgh, NY
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Originally posted by Super Gnat
I'm not sure about that. I remember a case around my way a year or two ago where a whole family died of carbon monixide poisoning from a running car in the garage. Admittedly I don't know what kind of car they had, but it was prob not circa 1969.
I'd assume that if you find that story and look more into it you'll find the car was in a garage in a closed in basement while the rest of the family was asleep.
That would be the most likely possibility.
The family goes to sleep (here is the extended period of time) and the gas builds up and seeps into the house.

Oh, and I'd bring it to a vet. I wouldn't do it myself for fear of only hurting it more.
Buy Whizzo butter.
Old 10-30-2002, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 4,124
Just to clear up, I wasn't really planning on a "home cure". I too would be afraid of messing it up and having Crazy Bean on the floor gagging and puking like a junkie.

I was mostly wondering if this is something someone has done before and what options there were. I really like the idea of Crazy Bean just going to sleep on the bed he always sleeps on,. but just not waking up.

I think I can still achive this with pills from the vet right before I take him in.
Old 10-30-2002, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,719
You might want to try giving your local animal shelter, humane society or similar a call. They will quite often perform veterinary procedures for the public at a lower cost than a regular vet.

Under no circumstances attempt medicating your own animal - apart from the likelihood of getting the doses wrong, different animals respond differently to different drugs.

Yes, plenty of people had had their animals put down at home. the only problem I see with the scenario which you envisage is co-ordinating the time when Crazy Bean is maximally tranquilised and out of it with the vets visit to euthanase him.

I think you'll probably find that there are even services available which will come to the home, euthanase your pet and arrange cremation or burial.

I hope you find the solution you're looking for.
Old 10-30-2002, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,719
I just did a google on the topic, and got pages of hits. I hope at least some of them will be for services located near you.
Old 01-03-2013, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
You people are sick bastards you are
So cheap you have to kill your animals if thats
The case don't have any animals at all setting
A hamster on fire that's so peaceful..............
NOT how would u like to be set on fire or beat
To death with a hammer take it to the vet like normal
People oh and suficating is not peaceful
The only peaceful way is to be put down by a
Old 01-03-2013, 04:12 PM
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Location: Akron, OH
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That post is a decade old.
No point in responding.
Old 01-03-2013, 04:13 PM
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We've learned a lot in 10 years.
Old 01-03-2013, 04:47 PM
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It's a bit early
for the SDMB poetry contest
Isn't it?
Old 01-03-2013, 04:50 PM
SD Curator of Critters
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Since this is an old thread that has been revived pointlessly, I'm closing it.

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