Posts by Kathleen Cooney

It’s All About Safe Space

True or false:  A good euthanasia is one that is skillfullly performed and the desired death comes quickly.  The answer is true, but there is often hidden context to questions and answers.  It turns out there is so much more to euthanasia; it’s an experience from beginning to end. A grieving woman who is haunted…

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Pet Euthanasia Work Has Ups and Downs

Talk with anyone who performs euthanasia regularly and they’ll tell you the number one comment they hear from clients is “Your job must be really hard” or “I couldn’t do what you do”. Clients are gently sharing empathy with us and acknowledging what may be correct. It’s true euthanasia work has tough days. Watching people…

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Euthanasia the 2nd Most Common Procedure in Vet Med?

We all know euthanasia is a necessary part of veterinary medicine.  It is an ever present procedure to be called upon when suffering is assured and when the burden of care outweighs our resources (physical, mental, financial, spiritual).  As Dr. Frank McMillan once spoke about, administering euthanasia solution is the ultimate palliative treatment that eliminates…

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Dysthanasia

A Newer Meaning to a Relatively New Word I’m guessing that if you’ve been practicing veterinary medicine long enough, you’ve had the misfortune of witnessing a euthanasia gone wrong. You may be the unfortunate one who facilitated it. Such a euthanasia rattles us, hijacks our thoughts, and forces us to relive it over and over.…

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Useful Phrases to Lend Support

Since 2006, I’ve built up a large library of useful phrases and sentiments to share with clients during euthanasia appointments. Knowing the exact time to offer them can be challenging, especially since you won’t know the full context of the situation until you are engaged in it, but take a moment and picture yourself with…

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Veterinary Technicians in Euthanasia Work; Encouragement

Could our profession be utilizing highly skilled and empathetic veterinary technicians/nurses to perform companion animal euthanasia rather than us relying mostly on veterinarians?  Around 20% of US states allow vet techs to do so with direct veterinary supervision, meaning the veterinarian is on site and overseeing the euthanasia procedure.  This is an important step to…

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A Pet’s Home Burial

As the days warm, pet owners who’ve lost a pet tend to contemplate the option of home burial.  There is no set figure on how many people choose backyard burial over pet cremation or pet cemetery burial, but the number is likely very high. Handling things themselves increases their ability to design the event to…

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COVID-19 and Home Euthanasia; Suggested tips to reduce exposure

The following are suggested tips to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during home euthanasia work. Note these have not been reviewed by health officials and you are encouraged to adhere to local ordinances as well as your own scientific understanding of disease mitigation. When in doubt, follow your instinct, keeping safety at the forefront…

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