Cat Accidentally Euthanized During Routine Vet Visit

Every cat owner wants what’s best for their furry companions. This includes taking them to the vet for regular checkups, getting insurance covers and so on. The vet’s office has to be the one place that cats or pets in general and pet owners consider the safest. It is not expected that the trip your cat makes to the vet would be it’s last, unless you intended to actually get him or her euthanized then that is expected. Well, this is the case for a Texas woman who took her favorite furry pet to the vet for a regular routine visit like any other and ended up leaving the place alone.

What exactly happened?

Michelle Olson took her 8-year-old cat to the Surbubia North Animal Hospital in Texas for it to receive its regular vaccines earlier this week. The vaccine was supposed to be prevention from rabies and a routine check-up to be conducted on Sophie, Olsen’s cat. Nothing out of the ordinary. Having left with her from the animal hospital after she was attended to, they soon received a disturbing call. The call was from the doctor who urged them to get back to the hospital as fast as they could. The doctor asked Olson and her husband to bring back Sophia to the hospital as instead of her rabies vaccine, she had been accidentally euthanized. The couple rushed their cat back to the hospital where the veterinarians did everything they could to try and save Sophie’s life to no avail. The doctors put Sophie on oxygen and gave her fluids to try and flush out the drugs but she, unfortunately, died 2 days later.

Speaking to CNN, Olson said she held her cat closely in her arms and tried to talk to her because she was aware that would be the last thing Sophie would remember before dying. Olson was also trying to come to terms with the fact that her precious pet wouldn’t be coming back to her and that she was dying in her arms. Michelle said that she is unable to get the picture of Sophie’s eyes while facing death off of her mind and that it will be imprinted in there for a long time. The doctors at the hospital apologized gravely for the mistake. They acknowledged the mistake but refused to provide any further commentary on the matter following advice from their lawyers. Olson urges vets to be more careful in the future to prevent such incidents from ever occurring because according to her, this was a mistake that should’ve not happened in the first place. She urged the public to be more vigilant and ask the necessary questions to their vets so that they wouldn’t find themselves saying goodbye to their pets before its time.

What is animal euthanasia?

According to Wikipedia, animal euthanasia refers to the merciful killing of an animal by withholding medical measures. There are various reasons for euthanasia including incurable and in most cases painful diseases and conditions, and lack of enough resources to maintain the animal’s medical procedures. The methods of euthanasia can be either pharmacological or physical. The most acceptable means of pharmacological euthanasia include injecting drugs or gases that depress the nervous system and the heart. If an animal is injected intravenously, it becomes unconscious, experiences respiratory failure and later a cardiac arrest which usually occurs within a time frame of 30 seconds. As a pet owner, you get to choose how your pet is injected. Some vets use the two-stage method of intravenous aesthetics where they first inject the pet to render it unconscious so as to allow the owner to say their goodbyes. The second injection causes death.

Most vets prefer this method because it allows the pet to not get affected by the owner’s emotional stress which sometimes causes involuntary movements which tend to increasingly upset the owner. After the animal’s death, it is common for its body to have jerks or for its bladder to have a sudden outburst. For companion animals that are to be euthanized in animal shelters in the United States of America, 14 states passed the intravenous injection method as the most humane and required method. There are other methods of euthanasia including shooting the animal using firearms or the capotive bolt gun which is commonly used to euthanize livestock and use of inhalants. The capotive bolt is usually fired through the animal’s forehead thereby causing massive cerebral cortex disruption which sees the animal experience a quicker death. The bolt kills horses faster which makes pithing unnecessary.

Some of the most common reasons for animal euthanasia include terminal illness in the animal such as rabies and an accident that would increasingly cause further suffering to the animal. Also, behavioral problems in the animal such as aggression in canines and lack of resources for the owner to fully cater to the animal. Some pet owners choose to cremate their pets or bury them after it is euthanized. There are also pet funeral homes whose specialty is cremation or animal burial. If the owner is too emotional to carry the remains of his or her pet home, the animal hospital often freezes the body and later on sends it to the local landfill. In other cases, animals euthanized in animal control agencies or shelters are sent to meat rendering facilities to be used in fertilizers, cosmetics, gelatin, pet food, poultry feed, and pharmaceuticals. There was a proposal regarding the presence of pentobarbital substance in dog food that may have made dogs unresponsive to the euthanasia drugs. To dispute the proposal, a study conducted by the FDA in 2002 found no cat or dog DNA in the various pet foods they tested. The organization, therefore, theorized that the pentobarbital drug that was found in dog food must have come from other euthanized animals such as horses and cattle. Additionally, the drug was found to be safe.


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