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Normal to cry when put to sleep?

Species: Dog
Breed: bolognese
Age: More than 15 ye
Two weeks ago I put my 18 and three quarter year old dog Bertie to sleep. He would have been 19 at the beg of May.He was actually the oldest Bolognese in the UK.
He was given a sedative by the vet as he was always very nervous when we went there.
When he administered the injection to put him to sleep he let out two high piched cries, which really upset me, as I was not expecting this. The vet told me he would not have felt any pain,but those cries make me think that maybe he may have felt something, they were so shrill and so unexpected particually as he had been sedated! I would just really like your view on this and I do appreciate that this just your opinion!

Many Thanks,

Janine


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry that this happened Janine. I have done thousands of euthanasias and unfortunately this type of thing happens every now and then. I estimate it happens about 1% of the time.

As horrible as it is to see this, the good news is that Bertie was definitely not conscious during this episode. The medication that is injected intravenously is an overdose of an anesthetic. The very first thing it does, is very rapidly induces a general anesthetic. Then, the medication works to stop the heart.

When we see a vocalization like this, it is not a conscious activity. Rather, it is a muscle reaction. I have had some dogs whose muscles continue to move for several minutes after they are deceased. It is very common when people die that they will let out a gasp or even a loud noise.

Please know that your vet did nothing wrong and that the chances that Bertie felt anything other than peace and sleep during this incident are extremely small.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you very much for your reassurance!my vet had looked after Bertie for 16years but I didnt think to ask anything at the time because I was too upset!!The positive side is that he had a wonderful life and gave us so much pleasure and unconditional love!
Thank you once again
Best wishes,
Janine Kay


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.