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Euthanization

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NorthernAutumn

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WARNING: Content is not suitable for all readers.
The following description provides information about humane euthanization practices.

Euthanization by the inexperienced novice can result in trauma to both rabbit and human.

As such, euthanization by a veterinary professional is strongly encouraged. All breeders should consult with their veterinarian for further information.


Euthanasia is defined as a pain-free and/or stress-free death.
There are very specific humane methods that meet the definition of euthanasia.
It is the RESPONSIBILITY of all breeders to practice humane euthanization as necessary.

The following methods are suggested by the AVMA, and respected breeders. The following acceptable methods provide the most pain-free, stress-free death (from the rabbit's standpoint)

ACCEPTABLE METHODS
(in order of most humane to acceptable)

- Barbiturates, inhalant anesthetics, CO2, CO, potassium chloride in conjunction with general anesthesia, N2, Ar (AS APPLIED BY VETERINARIAN.)

- blunt force head trauma (hammer)
- gunshot (slug) (Above and behind crown, between ears)
- penetrating captive bolt
- cervical dislocation (< 1 kg) (pull [not twist] to break neck)
- decapitation (sever spinal cord at neck)

For Kits:
- cervical dislocation
- blunt force head trauma



UNACCEPTABLE METHODS
The following methods are inhumane in terms of pain and stress. All of these are exceptionally cruel.

- Freezing - very painful, extremities will freeze before death by suffocation.
- Drowning -
- Microwave
- Electrocution
- Dry Ice
- Injection of toxic household fluids into body
- Ether
- Live snake food
- Set free


"It's too messy! OMG, too traumatic for me! I wouldn't be able to do it!"

None of the above are valid excuses. The acceptable options may not be pretty, but they are the methods that spare your rabbits pain and suffering.

If you cannot put your feelings of ICK aside for those of your rabbit, breeding is not for you .

Alternately, prepare to invest significantly in your local veterinarian.

Our rabbits deserve the very best in humane euthanization.

*****
Please read: Humane Rabbit Euthanization (Debbie Brown) for details.
http://www.angelfire.com/wy/deb/euth.html

AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (2007) http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf

(General Rule of Thumb: "If you put your dog down using this method, would you be arrested for cruelty to animals?" Same applies to your rabbit. Work to that standard.)
 

jenspice

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The BCSPCA also states that the blunt force, cervical dislocation, penetrating captive bolt must be followed by immediate decapitation.
 

Imbrium

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Euthanization by the inexperienced novice can result in trauma to both rabbit and human.

It is the RESPONSIBILITY of all breeders to practice humane euthanization as necessary.
The acceptable options may not be pretty, but they are the methods that spare your rabbits pain and suffering.

If you cannot put your feelings of ICK aside for those of your rabbit, breeding is not for you .
Alternately, prepare to invest significantly in your local veterinarian.
Our rabbits deserve the very best in humane euthanization.
*hug* to anyone who has to do this... it's definitely not for everyone and can be emotional for even those who are capable of setting aside squeamishness for the good of an animal!

I'm not technically a breeder, but hubby and I occasionally let our diamond doves/society finches hatch eggs (permanently adding their offspring to our large animal family). Our first pair of diamond doves bred successfully a couple times... but then there came a day a few years ago when they had two little beebs (closing in on 2 weeks old) when the father (Jay-bird) was unexpectedly found dead at the bottom of their aviary. I did my best to offer supportive care; feeding the babies and "babysitting" to make sure mom could get off the nest to eat/drink/potty... but a couple days after dad died, I found one of the babies dead in the nest with what appeared to be a broken neck. I suspected that Tabitha knew they were about to fledge and increase their demands for food and decided she couldn't keep up, so she killed one.

I hoped that Tabitha would be more confident she could care for a single offspring, plus I upped my game as pseudo-father to the remaining baby... but then the next day, I found the remaining baby in the nest... it was very much alive, yet clearly had a broken neck (head flopped to the side in a very unnatural way). The little beeb was alert and active; surprisingly, it didn't appear in shock or anything... but at the same time, it seemed confused with the new perspective on life caused by its head being flopped over. It kept peeping softly as though it were asking me to help/to fix the problem (which was rather heartbreaking, since I knew I couldn't do anything for it).

There was no hope for the baby bird, yet it didn't seem anywhere close to death. My objective assessment was that since the baby wasn't going into shock, it could easily take hours or even a day for it to die naturally (most likely of thirst or hunger). With our tight budget, though, we couldn't really afford a vet trip for simple euthanasia on an animal that I believed, scientifically, I could humanely kill myself.

I am "mommy" to all of our animals and based on the example set by my own mother (especially after my dad died), I learned (growing up) that "mommy"'s job is to do whatever is necessary to take care of and provide for her family without regard for her own emotions or desires. ...And so, I took the tiny, baby bird outside where my husband was none-the-wiser... I talked to it for a minute; apologizing for how unfair life can be and explaining the justification for my actions... and then I used the "cervical dislocation" method to finish what Tabitha had started.

The beeb died pretty much instantly... after which, I had to go explain to my husband what had transpired. I knew he'd understand the necessity of my actions; I just felt it would be easier on him if he didn't know what was going on until it was already done. He's one of those people who I seriously doubt would be capable of being "cruel" to be kind.

My apologies for the lengthy tangent; my point is this: we humans have a certain responsibility to the animals in our care. There are inevitably situations where it is necessary to put your own qualms aside and do what's in the best interest of the animal... even if it breaks your heart a little. Take comfort in being able to understand that you've done a kindness, even if it doesn't always feel that way in the moment. Know that sometimes, in causing yourself pain, you can spare an animal pain (in other words, a sacrifice for the greater good)... and know that you're not alone in your heartbreak. There are others here who have been in your shoes. I could never have explained to that baby bird that I killed it to spare it pain... yet I've never had even a moment of regret for my actions because I know in my heart that I did the right thing.
 

Catlyn

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I am "mommy" to all of our animals and based on the example set by my own mother (especially after my dad died), I learned (growing up) that "mommy"'s job is to do whatever is necessary to take care of and provide for her family without regard for her own emotions or desires. ...And so, I took the tiny, baby bird outside where my husband was none-the-wiser... I talked to it for a minute; apologizing for how unfair life can be and explaining the justification for my actions... and then I used the "cervical dislocation" method to finish what Tabitha had started.

The beeb died pretty much instantly... after which, I had to go explain to my husband what had transpired. I knew he'd understand the necessity of my actions; I just felt it would be easier on him if he didn't know what was going on until it was already done. He's one of those people who I seriously doubt would be capable of being "cruel" to be kind.

My apologies for the lengthy tangent; my point is this: we humans have a certain responsibility to the animals in our care. There are inevitably situations where it is necessary to put your own qualms aside and do what's in the best interest of the animal... even if it breaks your heart a little. Take comfort in being able to understand that you've done a kindness, even if it doesn't always feel that way in the moment. Know that sometimes, in causing yourself pain, you can spare an animal pain (in other words, a sacrifice for the greater good)... and know that you're not alone in your heartbreak. There are others here who have been in your shoes. I could never have explained to that baby bird that I killed it to spare it pain... yet I've never had even a moment of regret for my actions because I know in my heart that I did the right thing.
Oh dear, that is a sad story. Musti had to go trough a similar ordeal with me. He'd fallen ill with his knee, bacteria eating at its joints for months until the leg was no longer functional. (we'd been told that at his last vet)
So we had option one to clear his abcess, start extensive therapy and pain/infection treating meds in jope that his foot would somehow start moving even though being stiff. There was no guarantee that the abcess wouldn't return.
Option two was to completely remove his sick foot. It would've been expensive, but i would've paid for it no questions if it would've guaranfeed Musti a relevantly full-fledged life.
The problem to that was: it was his hind foot that had been damaged. And he was a big boy, 5.5 kg frenchie. So he would've struggled to live on threes unlike cats and dogs.
The next problems were that he'd experienced appetite loss and unnoticably he'd also lost half a kilo going from 5.5 to 5.06 kg. The vet also saw some dandruff-related parasites and Musti's ears were still filled with scabs. He'd also been low on energy for a long time and he barely moved during the whole two-hour vet visit thing.
So i decided that even if he successfully went trough either of those operations and somehow got his hind foot problem fixed, there would still be many others to come. I felt that he wouldn't make it through in his frailness. So with a broken heart i was left alone with him where i told him my reasoning of choosing the last, third option. He teeth purred and licked my tears as if saying "We're best friends, right? So don't worry about me going, i'm beyond help anyway. We'll always love each other so let me go, and love another bunny."
I knew it was time to make the decision best for him, as i've been taught with the same ideals that mum does everything she can for her family before her.
It was a bittersweet farewell, but i let him go. Now he hurts no more. And now i'm still salty about it but i'm trying my best to bond with my new bun.
 

Remy The Rabbit

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That's really sad, @Catlyn. It made me cry a bit. I'm so sorry you had to let Musti go. From what I've heard about him, I want Remy to be just like him.
 

Catlyn

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I'm sure that some day, in some way, he will. A bun that would lick away your tears, follow you around and lay down right against you. A bun that would love being held and petted, love being groomed and love being loved. A bun that would always nudge you when you didn't pet him enough, a bun that licked everything around him when you caressed his fur. He lived being showered with attention, and with his sweet nature, we loved giving it to him. There will never be a rabbit mlre special than him. He'll always be my bestest truest closest friend.
 
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