When euthanasia goes wrong

My 180 pound Alaskan Malamute was taken to Three Trails Animal Hospital on December 10, 2012, where Dr. Rhodes’ opinion was that Grizz had lymphoma. I left with a prescription for prednisone, and no hope. In the early morning hours of December 21, Grizz could no longer walk, so in a few hours myself, roommate, and friend were on our way back to Three Trails to put my sweet boy to sleep.
I have always stayed with my dogs during this procedure…I never guessed, nor could have imagined a euthanasia going wrong, as this one did. The approximate amount of time we were there was 4 hours! Yes, 4 HOURS! Two different techs spent the first couple of hours trying to find a vein: all 4 of Grizz’ legs were shaved completely to the elbows, he was poked with so many dozens of needles, I couldn’t begin to guess how many times his poor little legs were stuck. The vet came in and cut a leg open, found a vein, but blew the vein out–he said Grizz had no blood pressure.
Next, he said he could do a lung injection. He said it was not the preferred method, but it’s the method pounds use, it was the same lethal dose of drugs, but the drawback was that it took 3-5 minutes for the animal to die. So, the FIRST lung injection: the needle came out bent, Dr. Rick Shrock immediately ordered a second injection “to be absolutely sure” he said. After the second lung injection, Dr. Shrock put his head in his hands, said “Oh God, Grizz” and asked my roommate if Grizz was starting to relax? Actually, Grizs was at that time trying to get up. The tech apologized to me, saying this should have been quick painless and peaceful and had been none of those? Ya think????
My roommate then threw Dr. Shrock out, told him never to come near us again.
I went to get my friend, and to call someone else to try to take my twice euthanized dog to, to be properly put to sleep. When I went outside, another client followed me, asked me if she could hug me. She said she’d heard everything that was going on, and she was praying for me and my dog.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rhodes went into Grizz’ room, and my roommate asked if there was anything she could do to help my boy. She then administered a heartstick. If you’re not familiar with this method, as I was not, don’t research it–it’s better not to know, trust me. Up until that moment, my boy had not protested once! Not one growl, not one ounce of resistance, he was a good good dog. Dr. Rhodes gave Grizz NO sedatives, no muscle relaxers, no pain medication, NOTHING! When she administered the heart stick, my baby spent the next and last, 30 minutes or so of his life screaming everytime he had a heart beat. EVERY HEART BEAT FOR 30 MINUTES OR MORE!!!!
I filed a complaint with the Missouri State Veterinary Licensing Board, who ruled that there was ‘no need to take disciplinary action’–if this example doesn’t constitute negligence at the very least and malpractice, at best, I would like to see a case that’s better qualified to fit those categories.
So, I was not there for my dog the one and only time it really really mattered, and he really needed me, thanks to those 2 vets.

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