Monday, May 20, 2013

...But is it Possible?

I feel like I did a pretty good job in my first veterinary related post explaining the brevity I use in these posts. Today's post is different, however.

Take what I said before and add on that:

Yes, it is truly an awful thing to lose a pet or be in a position that you have to euthanize. 

Very sad, sad indeed.


People call up to deal with these issues all the time, and at some point, you've got to stop dancing around a word you don't want to say.  Like "body". Kind of when you get these 20-something girls trying desperately to refer to the male genitalia on their dog, but not having the adequate vocabulary to avoid the word "penis".

Yet they reallllly don't want to say it.


So let's head to yesterday.

I got one of those calls where bells started ringing in my head. Bells accompanied by sirens and a voice saying, "Stop. Pull over. Go straight to the blog. Do not pass go. To the blog. NOW."

Me: Veterinary Hospital, this is Redgirl!

Her: Do you do euthanasias there?

Me: Yes.

Her: Do you have to have an appointment? How much do you charge?

Me: Twenty-four hours a day, no appointment needed. The injection is $100
Good girl, Red! You remembered to say "injection" rather then "liquid death"

Her: Well darn! I wish I had known about you guys. (pause. Will I get off this lightly?) The vet placed like a shunt in their leg. I'm uses to it being in the arm. Why would they pick one over the other. (ooof course not.)

Me: They need to find a vein. It's possible the hind legs are easier to find one in.

Her: A vein? Why a vein? I would think they would just inject it into the leg.

Me: The injection is meant to euthanize. It would be painful to be released on the tissues and take longer to have effect.

Her: Oh. (Please please please...what do you want? Why are we having this conversation? Do you have an actual problem?) We euthanized my cat yesterday. We took her home because we wanted to bury her. 

Me: (waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop)

Her: She was all stiff, but now she's.....soft.

Me: Okay...?

Her: And I was wondering, I mean the head looks the same, but I was wondering if there was a chance....

Me: (Oh no. Tell me this isn't going where I think it's going.)

Her: I mean, medically, in your experience, is it possible...? I mean because she's soft.

Me: Well, once the rigor has passed, the muscles relax again, so that's normal.

Her: But the head looks the same.  Because we were going to bury her, but if there's any chance.....

Only way around here to get a decent night's sleep!
Me: (Good lord woman! Lets hail back to Victorian times and you can rig kitty with a bell and string on her little paw. That way, when she wakes up buried alive, she can jerk it and alert you!) Well, you took her to a vet, and you tell me they euthanized her. That means they wouldn't let you leave if they hadn't completed the job. They know how to tell.

Her: Yeah, they did listen to her heart and said it stopped. I listened for a heartbeat just now, but I couldn't hear one. Is it possible though, could her heart start beating again?

Me: Like spontaneously?

Her: Yes.

Me: No, not at this point.

And that's how it kept going. She kept circling around and around this idea that her cat would, because it was soft again, suddenly get up and be normal, mewling. Why they hadn't put it in the ground already is a mystery.

Maybe they were doing a viewing?

It makes me wonder if it was something along the lines of a guild manifestation, like she regrets having put down her cat and now hopes for a spontaneous heartbeat that will undo her decision. It was really bizarre.


1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Obviously, there are folks out there who have never seen "deceased" before.