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Reference Desk July 2012

A Practical Guide to Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques

    LOVELAND, Colorado, July 30, 2012—A new book focused on veterinary euthanasia techniques, “Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques: A Practical Guide,” has launched this month aimed at training veterinary practitioners, technicians, and students on how to successfully perform and provide competent, compassionate euthanasia services and meet the AVMA euthanasia guidelines. The idea for the book came from its head writer, Dr. Kathleen Cooney, DVM, MS, a nationally-recognized veterinary euthanasia and hospice expert and owner of Loveland-based pet end-of-life care company Home to Heaven.

    The book is aimed at providing the necessary technical and practical information to educate veterinary professionals on proper techniques and how they differ for different species; how to determine the appropriate method and procedure for a patient; proper equipment; afte rcare, and client communication.

    “As veterinarians, we may understand why euthanasia is chosen, but it is time that we learn how to perform euthanasia. There is extensive discussion on why it should be done, but more attention needs to be paid on how to do it properly, compassionately and as pain-free to the animals—and their families—as possible,” said Dr. Cooney, the guide’s head writer. “Through my work, I have experienced the benefit of proper training and hope that this book will help eliminate bad euthanasia experiences by arming veterinarians, technicians and students with the detailed guidance on what to do, how to do it and how to do it well.”

    The book provides detailed guidance on euthanasia procedures in a wide variety of species, including dogs, cats, exotics, horses, and production animals. Based on the current AVMA guidelines, it offers step-by-step descriptions of the recommended methods of euthanasia, conveying the information needed to perform these techniques with confidence.

    Compassionate and pain-free euthanasia is a goal for Dr. Cooney in her day-to-day work at Home to Heaven, and it is her hope to improve the process at veterinary practices everywhere.

    About Home to Heaven
    Based in Loveland, Colo. and established in 2006, Home to Heaven provides euthanasia and hospice service to dogs, cats, and small animals such as rabbits, birds, and reptiles, allowing them to make a peaceful end-of-life transition in the comfort of home. Home to Heaven primarily focuses on euthanasia services, both in-home and at its euthanasia center in east Loveland, but also provides in-home pet hospice services. For more information, call (970) 412-6212.

    Source: Home to Heaven


    Did you know... 4.4% of veterinarians younger than 30 work with food animals or a mix of food and companion animals, while 44% of those who do are 50 and older.

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