Thursday, May 21, 2009

I want to scramble some eggs now myself

Sorry for the length of time between posts lately. I've been kinda down because the practice is not very busy due to the economy. Also, sitting at work and playing on the Internet isn't good blog fodder.

I've been enjoying Dr. May B. Insane's posts a lot. I get a lot more detail over the phone, but her writing style is superior to mine and very fluid. I can only write like that when I really get in the mood to write, which isn't often anymore.

Someday I will cease to be amazed at people's stupidity. But not today. My receptionist got a call today from somebody wanting to know if we'd sell him some euthanasia solution to euthanize his own cat with. When we said no he asked if there was anything he could give his cat to euthanize it himself. And this is the second time this month.


AMAMMAL said...

and you say, "sure, we'll give you some pentobarb. but no extra bottles so you have to carry it home in your aorta."

AMAMMAL said...

In all seriousness though, you can understand why a person would want to euthanize his own animal in the comfort and privacy of home.
We've put down a few of our critically ill animals here, and since we do not have access to drugs we give them a 9 mm slug in the medulla. More humane, I would argue, than intravenous or intra-abdominal injection.
In the hospital, the patient is restrained, maybe he gets a muzzle, and his last memory is a needle-stick. At home, you avoid the critter carrier, the drive to the clinic, the crying in the car, the waiting room, the glaring lights, the barking dogs, the coldness of a financial transaction. And with a well-placed shot, you're snug in your nest and then your medulla and brain-stem are instantaneously deactivated--lights out.
Of course there's usually problems with local ordinances and holes in the floorboards, but hey, we need to keep our priorities straight. Euthanasia by firearm is, of course, not an option for everyone. But at the very least, house-call euthanasia, especially for anxious patients, should be a routine practice. Does anybody premedicate condemned critters with sedatives or anxiolytics? Is that accepted practice?
But really, euthanasia is one of the most wonderful things about veterinary medicine. If you're an MD, your 98 year-old CHF patient in multi-organ system failure, you keep that sucker alive at all costs. If he dies, you un-die him, right quick, unless instructed otherwise. But with animals, the clinician is blessed with the capability to do everything in her power to reduce suffering.