We will first give a very heavy sedative injection; this allows him or her to settle into a sleep state much like undergoing a surgical procedure. Once he or she is completely relaxed and comfortable, we will use a small butterfly needle to inject the euthanasia solution into a vein (usually in the back leg). You will see the breathing slow and stop within a few seconds.
Once the IV injection is completed, we will listen for several minutes to ensure the heartbeats have completely stopped (this can take a minute or two). Occasionally you may see a sudden deep breath; this is called agonal breathing, is not a conscious reaction, and is completely normal to see in some animals. It is also common for their eyes to remain open following the sedation and even after they have passed; this can be disconcerting if you are not aware ahead of time.
If you wish us to transport your pet for cremation afterward, we will give you several minutes to sit with your baby and then will settle him or her on a stretcher or in a basket for the trip.