Monday, January 02, 2012

A spunky 12 week old kitten that had come in for some vaccines. We did a routine feline leukemia test and it came back positive. The doctor recommended euthanasia which the owner agreed sadly. Because the kitten had been so feisty during the initial blood draw for the test, the doctor told me to do an IC, or inter-cardiac, injection for the euthanasia because hitting a vein long enough to get the full dose of the solution in would have been very challenging. I stared and said, "with her awake?! Won't that hurt?!" I have only ever done IC injections on anesthetized or nearly dead already animals. He rolled his eyes and said "fine, you can sedate her first" so I gave an intra-muscular injection and she fell asleep peacefully, then I did the IC injection.

Afterwards I asked what kind of internment the client wanted. The options are for them to take it home and bury it themselves, general cremation with no ashes returned, or private cremation with ashes returned. The first, of course, costs nothing but the latter two do have a fee, with the ashes returned option being pretty steep. She couldn't afford either cremation option and lived in an apartment with no where to bury the kitten. The doctor told me to just double bag it and put it in the dumpster. I said okay, then put the kitten in a box and snuck out to my car to bring her home. I'll bury her in our orchard in the morning.


Blogger eriko said...

You have honor.

Blogger Jeff Gillman said...

Thank you for doing the right thing (and going above and beyond, actually).
Note that the wishlist link on your profile page ( is no longer working; the domain seems to have expired (

Blogger whatikilledtoday said...

Jeff - Thanks for pointing that out. I've updated the link.

Blogger ~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

You gave that precious kitten the dignity it deserves. Thank-you for all of us who love animals and are thankful that there is a caring, kind and compassionate caregiver there at the moment when it's so needed and afterwards.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, you did the right thing in both cases. Sounds like the doctor is a heartless asshole.

Anonymous Katie said...

Peace to you in this new year, and thank you for doing your job with such compassion.

Blogger Anne said...

i think my euthanasia manual says that you should never IC an animal unless it is unconcious or deeply sedated- otherwise it is extremely pianful and considered and inhumane death

Anonymous owlana said...

mew. that kitten will rest on good country now. i don't understand why it had to die though. love love.


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