The vet that I worked for, we always gave an intramuscular sedative and then gave the pet a few minutes with their owners as they fell into the effect of the drug. At that point we gave the euthanasia injection, if the veins were terrible we didn't place catheters, instead we gave an intracardiac injection of the lethal solution. The agonal breaths were the worst part for many of the owners because they really thought for a second that their pet was coming back. But all in all, it was a peaceful and quiet way to go.
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