Posts by Kathleen Cooney

Resisting Complacency in Euthanasia Work

A colleague told me recently how frustrated she was when a client verbally lashed out at her following a dysthanasia (bad death experience). The client was upset with the dog’s negative reaction to the pre-euthanasia sedation injection and the vet’s apparent ‘non chalant’ attitude to the dog’s distress. Wanting to get the bigger picture, I…

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A Guide to Intracardiac Injections by Dr. AJ Smith

The intracardiac injection as a euthanasia technique in animals has been utilized since the early 20th century. The heart is a central vascular pump able to move euthanasia drugs effectively up to the brain, where many anesthetics like the barbiturates impart their actions. While perceived by many as objectionable to watch, the art of administering…

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A Brief History of Pentobarbital

Pentobarbital

For those curious about the discovery of barbiturates, their origin can be traced back to Germany in 1864.  Ludwig von Baeyer, the founding father of the Bayer company, synthesized urea (a natural bi-product of the body) with malonic acid (derived from applies) to create barbituric acid.  The term ‘barbituric’ is said to have arisen from…

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Utilizing Euthanasia to Reduce Compassion Fatigue

Compassion Fatigue

In medicine, we seek treatments to our ailments.  Find a cure and fix the problem. Compassion fatigue is a real condition that affects millions of caregivers around the world.  While complex, there are simple things that can be done to combat it. Does performing euthanasia, maybe lots of euthanasia through the course of the week/month/year…

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What’s Behind a Good Pet Euthanasia?

Have you ever thought about how much really goes into a euthanasia appointment?  If you really start to explore all the components that go into a good death experience, it’s no wonder euthanasia appointments are being scheduled for longer and longer time slots in the day’s calendar.  There is a lot that goes into making…

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The Growing Trend of Intraorgan Injections for Pet Euthanasia

senior citizen with old dog before animal euthanasia in living room

As a newly minted mobile veterinarian, my first home euthanasia experience was anything but perfect.  A sweet old Golden Retriever named Sage was about to teach me the importance of options. Intravenous injection of a euthanasia solution is traditionally the most common method to achieving a peaceful death in pets. Having not placed IV catheters…

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