What is Euthanasia?

head tilt muttThe word euthanasia comes from the Greek and means “easy death”.  It is the act of ending a pet’s life for humane reasons.  Many people refer to it as “putting to sleep”, “put to sleep”, “put down”, “euthanize”, “mercy killing”, “humane end of suffering”, or “painless death”. Some may misstate this procedure as a “euthanization”, or to “eutanize”, etc…

A sedative is given prior to euthanasia if the pet is very nervous or stressful.  After an IV catheter has been placed in the leg, an overdose of an anesthetic agent is injected directly into the vein. The pet does not feel the euthanasia solution when it is given, but very quickly relaxes and then goes to sleep. The solution then slows and stops the heart, by which time your pet will not have any sense of pain or consciousness.