Fellow CPEPs. Welcome to the family!

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / May 15, 2024

Congratulations are in order!  You have a new career achievement, becoming a Certified Peaceful Euthanasia Professional (CPEP). Offered especially for veterinary technicians, assistants, social workers, and practice managers, it means you have completed the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy’s (CAETA) 10-hour certification program (veterinarians earn the designation of CPEV). Our hats are off to you,…

Read More

CAETA Euthanasia Case; Bella the painful cat

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 1, 2024

The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) invites you to consider the following fictional euthanasia case, and reflect on how to proceed. After reviewing the case, read the questions and consider your answers before continuing on to CAETA’s suggestions. This case is designed to test your knowledge of companion animal euthanasia, and be a conversation…

Read More

Receiving Phone Calls About Euthanasia; CSRs – this one’s for you

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / April 15, 2024

As a receptionist or customer service representative (CSR), picking up the phone to discover a client is making their pet’s euthanasia appointment can be difficult. For one, you may be caught off guard, and secondly, it’s simply a tough conversation. You may have clients standing next to you in the front office able to hear…

Read More

My First Euthanasias Weren’t the Best, and That’s OK

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / April 1, 2024

If you’ve spent enough time with me, you’ve likely heard about my first few euthanasia experiences, and how they weren’t my best. Compassionate yes, but technically challenging for me. My stories include such things as hard-to-find veins, not allowing a client to be in the room due to my inadequacies, a vomiting dog, diarrhea on…

Read More

The Benefits of Having a Euthanasia Training Manual

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / March 15, 2024

“Endings Matter,” explains Dr. Kathleen Cooney. Veterinary patients, clients, and team members deserve to experience and deliver a peaceful euthanasia service each and every time. The veterinary team that takes advantage of a Euthanasia Training Manual (ETM) will reap the benefits in delivering a consistent, gentle euthanasia. ETMs hold the hospital’s standard operating procedures (SOP)…

Read More

Assessing Unconsciousness Before Intraorgan Euthanasia Injections in Pets

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 1, 2024

With the recent trend of intraorgan euthanasia methods on the rise in animals as reported by the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA), I want to offer useful pointers on how to ensure unconsciousness and avoid pain. If you are new to the concept of giving pentobarbital (euthanasia solution) in locations other than veins, the…

Read More

CAETA Euthanasia Case; Denzel the anxious dog

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / February 15, 2024

The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) invites you to consider the following fictional euthanasia case, and reflect on how to proceed. After reviewing the case, read the questions and consider your answers before continuing on to CAETA’s suggestions. This case is designed to test your knowledge of companion animal euthanasia, and be a conversation…

Read More

Delivering an Emotionally Intelligent Euthanasia; Part Two…Gift yourself the valentine of self-regulation and control

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / February 1, 2024

As veterinary professionals, we are caregivers who shower love and compassion on others. With all you give to your clients, who is caring for you? It is within your control to acknowledge what you contribute in a day, personally and professionally, in making the world a better place. With Valentine’s Day approaching, give yourself some…

Read More

Elevating Your Skills in Delivering an Emotionally Intelligent Euthanasia; Part One

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / January 15, 2024

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a learned skill. Sure, some folks are born with a higher sense of self-awareness and the ability to perceive their surroundings, and social skills can be learned and enhanced. EI is made up of 5 components: empathy, self-awareness, motivation/passion, social skills, and self-regulation. Now, for us in the veterinary community, linking…

Read More

Become a Certified Peaceful Euthanasia Veterinarian and Professional

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / January 1, 2024

“I’m Dr. Kathleen Cooney and I’m a Certified Peaceful Euthanasia Veterinarian.” This feels great to say and it’s been a long time coming.  Over the years, many of you have asked for a CAETA (Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy) certification to complement our 10-hour Euthanasia Master Program, soon to be called the Peaceful Euthanasia Certification.…

Read More

Veterinary Career Success in 2024; Advancing pet euthanasia skills

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / December 15, 2023

 “Euthanasia is considered one of the most common procedures in veterinary medicine,” states Dr. Kathy Cooney, founder of the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA). You may be surprised to learn that euthanasia falls within the top 5 services a veterinary professional delivers in their practice. Oddly enough, formally trained veterinary professionals receive little education…

Read More

A New Approach to Intracardiac Euthanasia Injections in Small Animals

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / December 1, 2023

For many years, the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA), has taught the intracardiac euthanasia technique in one particular manner for companion animals. I’ll call it “the common way,” which is to insert the needle into the heart from the lateral side of the chest wall, aiming perpendicular to reach a ventricle, atrium, or honestly,…

Read More

Euthanasia Appointments are Common During the Holidays; Share the work and find time for peace

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / November 15, 2023

Do you feel there is an increase in pet euthanasia services over the holidays?  If you do, you are not alone. I asked this question of Erin Bedell, one of Lap of Loves’ Operations Directors, and her query was quite interesting. She discovered the trend for veterinarians performing in-home euthanasias over the past three years…

Read More

Reducing Pain During Pre-Euthanasia Sedative Injections

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 1, 2023

Pain has no place during euthanasia. By popular demand these days, pet patients are being given sedation medications to relax them into deep sleep before the administration of euthanasia solution, to both relieve chronic or acute pain that may have led to the decision to euthanize, and to ensure that death itself is not painful. …

Read More

Team is the Secret Ingredient in Euthanasia Work

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / October 15, 2023

By Rebecca Rose, RVT As we kick off Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week today, we want to reflect on the ways that technicians and everyone on the team can support euthanasia appointments. Getting it right the first and only time is important. Your veterinary team consists of formally trained individuals (veterinarian, credentialed veterinary technician, assistant, social…

Read More

Evangelizing New Euthanasia Protocols to CoWorkers

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / October 1, 2023

I’m buzzing with excitement after this year’s IAAHPC animal hospice conference. There were dynamic topics related to palliative medicine, hospice care, business, and of course, pet euthanasia.  During one of my talks on the latest in euthanasia research, I found myself looking into the crowd wondering how the energized faces looking back at me were…

Read More

Teaching About Pet Euthanasia Takes Love and Passion

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / September 15, 2023

This week, the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) is adding more Instructors to our team.  Over the past few months, growing our speaker bureau has been a priority, as we prepare for expansion into new markets that need our type of content.  In the spirit of providing a strong start, I want to share…

Read More

Compassion for Ourselves

By Rebecca Rose, RVT / September 1, 2023

Written by Rebecca Rose, RVT for CAETA When I asked a friend and colleague how they define “self-compassion,” they replied “being selfish.” I imagine several of you reading this feel the same selfishness because of a conditioning occurring in your past. Perhaps someone once told you to always care for others before yourself. Let’s test…

Read More

Reducing Active Signs of Dying During Pet Euthanasia

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / August 15, 2023

A quiet death is perceived as a better death.  I’ve never heard it stated otherwise, whether human or animal.  A quiet death denotes acceptance, one without struggle or resistance.  And it’s what every pet owner asks of me during euthanasia services. They’ve either seen firsthand what the body can do as it dies….the agonal breathing,…

Read More

CAETA Begins a New Chapter; A special message from Dr. Kathleen Cooney

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / August 1, 2023

Hello friends, As you know, my work is always evolving. The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) has grown steadily over the past 6 years and we’ve been honored to provide training in many veterinary schools, hosted events across North America, Canada, and the UK, and increased our team of Instructors. With all we’ve accomplished, CAETA…

Read More

Disinfecting Surfaces After Pet Euthanasia Protects the Living

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / July 15, 2023

When writing this blog, I tried to think of a way to put a pleasant spin on cleaning. Cleaning as a general rule is like licorice…either you love it or you hate it.  For a traditional animal hospital that sees euthanasia appointments among other appointment types, cleaning and disinfecting is pretty standard. It is typically…

Read More

How to Include Euthanasia Services on Veterinary Websites; It’s important

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / July 1, 2023

It’s 2023 and talking about death is still hard. Putting the topic of euthanasia front and center to clients, in parallel to other offerings like vaccinations or diagnostics, can feel uncomfortable to veterinary teams. Death can be perceived as a failure and lead vet professionals to avoid discussing it unless absolutely necessary. This is likely…

Read More

Challenges Happen During Euthanasia; Vet med industries can learn from each other

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / June 15, 2023

A recent 2022 study highlighted the euthanasia challenges veterinarians encounter outside of the companion animal space (think zoos, wildlife management, research).  I found it particularly interesting reading about the types of species being helped and what the veterinarians deemed difficult, especially in comparison to the situations private practice veterinarians face. Euthanasia is a common veterinary…

Read More

Outdoor Pet Euthanasia; Special considerations

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / June 1, 2023

The warmer months bring a lovely opportunity to gather outside for companion animal euthanasia services, and this includes animals that already live outside like companion livestock. Owners appreciate the option to be closely connected to nature as their pet departs this earth.  Grassy yards, sandy beaches, mountain tops…you name it.  They have a real appeal…

Read More

Doing More to Inform on Pet Burial and Body Handling Following Pentobarbital Use

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 15, 2023

I’d like to begin this blog by acknowledging how important the drug pentobarbital sodium is as a euthanasia drug in veterinary medicine, shelter population management, and lab animal research. Here in the United States, there is no question it is the most common euthanasia agent used in private veterinary practice and shelter work, and in…

Read More

Should We Charge for Pet Euthanasia Services?

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 1, 2023

I recently read an opinion article where the author complained about having to pay for the euthanasia of their dog.  They claimed that since they had spent significant money at their regular vet office, the vet should be willing to perform the procedure at no cost.  This owner wanted a financial “thank you for all…

Read More

Dehydration in Our Euthanasia Patients; A big concern?

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / April 15, 2023

This week I helped a sweet cat named Charlie with what I refer to as age related changes plus kidney failure.  Age related changes are those often seen in geriatric patients like loss of senses, muscle loss (sarcopenia), slowing down, appetite fluctuations and arthritis.  Kidney failure often hitches a ride on age related changes so…

Read More

When Quality of Life Scales Aren’t Enough; Counseling clients who can’t let go

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / April 1, 2023

As a pet patient reaches the natural end of its life, clients face the difficult decision of continuing care or opting for euthanasia.  They seek guidance for what’s best for their pet. In veterinary medicine, there are multiple Quality of Life (QOL) assessment tools that have been created to open dialogue around what the pet…

Read More

Moving Away From Propofol Use During Companion Animal Euthanasia

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 15, 2023

There are some growing trends that are making the use of intravenous propofol less necessary during animal euthanasia.  In companion animal medicine, it’s very common for veterinary staff to administer propofol (often expired) before the injection of the euthanasia solution pentobarbital, with the goal of inducing anesthesia in patients before they succumb to the effects…

Read More

Useful Tips When Starting an IHPE Service

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 1, 2023

Feeling nostalgic today, I tracked down the original digital copy of my in-home pet euthanasia book from 2011. In particular, chapter 10 on Starting a Euthanasia Service caught my eye.  Perhaps it’s the time of year, but more veterinarians have been reaching out to CAETA asking how to get an in-home pet euthanasia (IHPE) service…

Read More

Recording Euthanasia Appointments for Safety and Transparency

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / February 15, 2023

For the past 3 years, I’ve been recording my patients’ euthanasia appointments.  It started out of as necessity to give myself protection should a client every voice concerns about my skills, technique and compassion. I’m a euthanasia expert who has devoted my career to teaching other veterinary professionals how to make euthanasia the best it…

Read More

Euthanasia; An integral part of animal welfare

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / February 1, 2023

Today is a special day for me.  I’ve been accepted as a resident in the American College of Animal Welfare (ACAW). Yes!  Since starting this journey back in 2020, my goal has been to learn everything I can about humane animal death from within all animal-related industries, and share back my knowledge of the companion…

Read More

Becoming a CAETA Instructor

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / January 15, 2023

CAETA is growing. After 5 years, we have reached an educational tipping point, when bringing on talented people is needed to meet the demand for companion animal euthanasia training events.  What a blessing this is.  It shows how the veterinary industry is embracing euthanasia education, and they want more. Universities, colleges, conferences, hospitals, associations, shelters,…

Read More

When Veterinary Professionals Euthanize Their Own Pets

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / January 1, 2023

It’s been 3 years since I euthanized my Daisy, a sweet old Jack Russell Terrier with a love for chasing bunnies and keeping a watchful eye on her family.  As a veterinarian, what I remember of that day was my need to play two different roles. On the one hand, I was loving mother, having…

Read More

Grief and Letting Go With the Seasons

By CAETA Administrator / December 15, 2022

Written by Dr. Kris August. Shared by the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) as a reminder for our readers about the importance of taking time in pet loss; to embrace what is all around us as we grieve. As the seasons change, the days get shorter, and we move into winter in the Northern…

Read More

A Behavioral Euthanasia Requires Patience and Empathy

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / December 1, 2022

Earlier this year, a member of the CAETA Euthanasia Facebook Group asked a very important question about behavioral euthanasia.  In particular, they wanted to know what questions should be asked of pet owners when they request a euthanasia based on their pet’s behavior, plus professional support questions like how do you decide if it’s “right”…

Read More

What if Euthanasia Wasn’t an Option? The driver for palliative medicine

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 15, 2022

I’ve often wondered what pet owners would do if euthanasia wasn’t a choice.  We know that today, veterinary teams have the expertise and drugs to perform highly skilled euthanasia procedures, as well as the authority to do so. If the pet owner requests it, and the veterinary team agrees (or animal shelter), the procedure is…

Read More

Virginia-Maryland Veterinary College Takes the Lead in Euthanasia Training

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 1, 2022

The average veterinary college offers students less than 4 hours of euthanasia training before graduation.  As 2022, the Virginia-Maryland (VA-MD) College of Vet Med, part of Virginia Polytech University in Blacksburg, VA provides 30+ hours to its veterinary students, something no other school has accomplished thus far.  That’s impressive and deserves some special praise.  This…

Read More

Pet Educational Memorial Donations After Death

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / October 15, 2022

“My beloved dog has died.  I wonder if I can do some good and donate his body for teaching.”  This is what many pet owners ponder but aren’t sure how to go about it.  Back in the day when I owned a mobile pet euthanasia service in northern Colorado, I offered a deceased pet educational…

Read More

Euthanasia After a Dysthanasia; Helping pet owners the next time

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / October 1, 2022

Ask anyone who has experienced a difficult euthanasia (dysthanasia) with a beloved pet and they will tell you they never want to go through that again.  For many, the emotions are as real today as the day it happened, no matter how long ago. A difficult euthanasia can mean the pet experienced more pain and…

Read More

Veterinary Teams; Test your euthanasia know-how

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / September 15, 2022

In early 2021, the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) brought a short trivia presentation to a few veterinary conferences around the United States. It proved quite popular with veterinary teams and really sparked some interesting conversations around this most sacred procedure.  It takes great skill to effectively deliver a gentle, peaceful companion animal euthanasia.…

Read More

The Top 4 Things Pet Owners Want During Euthanasia

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / September 1, 2022

Thanks to a recent pet owner survey, we can now say with certainty that a quality companion animal euthanasia is more than just the medical procedure itself.  Owners want (and need) more, and veterinary medicine is poised to deliver.  It just takes know-how and dedication to the modern approach.  For many years now, the Companion…

Read More

Increasing Demand for Owner-requested Euthanasia in US Animal Shelters; Should veterinarians help?

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / August 15, 2022

Recently, it was brought to my attention the number of owner-requested euthanasias in animal shelters may be increasing.  This is when humane euthanasia is provided for pets owned by members of the community. Pet owners may not be able to afford euthanasia services at the local veterinary hospital or cannot be seen by a local…

Read More

The AVMA’s Humane Endings Symposium; A brief overview in preparation for 2023 event

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / August 1, 2022

The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) was pleased to recently learn that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is going to host their 3rd symposium focused on the humane death of animals in 2023.  The eventual end of life will affect all manner of species, whether living in the wild, part of a commercial…

Read More

What’s in the Name; How euthanasia became euthanasia

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / July 15, 2022

During a podcast with Clinician’s Brief this week, I was asked if I had the power of time travel, would I go forward 100 years to see what veterinarians were up to, or go back 100 years in the past. My reply was to go back in time so I could help veterinarians understand safer…

Read More

Today is the Day

By CAETA Administrator / July 1, 2022

Written by Thomas Landes In today’s blog we are taking a slightly different approach with an opportunity to highlight a poem written by a third-year veterinary student after learning with CAETA. In addition to being a beautiful and touching tribute, may this serve as a reminder that the future of quality end-of-life care is in…

Read More
Euthansia instructor

Pet Euthanasia and Deaf Owners; Love can build a bridge (part two)

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / June 1, 2022

In support of part one, highlighting the importance of preplanning and good communication with members of the deaf community, this blog features information on how to choose the right drugs and how to describe death itself. There are simple ways to minimize stress for deaf owners who otherwise may be unclear exactly what their pet…

Read More

Pet Euthanasia and Deaf Owners; Love can build a bridge (part one)

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 15, 2022

Recently I was asked to aid in the passing of a sweet old dog owned by members of the deaf community. This family scheduled the appointment through my online web portal, and even though we communicated via email and a translated phone call beforehand, I found myself ill-prepared to fully support them during the death…

Read More

You’ve Got a Friend in Me; A new model for pet aftercare

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 1, 2022

I used to own a pet crematory as part of my end-of-life mobile veterinary service. Before this, I worked with local crematories in northern Colorado, all of whom did amazing work caring for my patients after death. Building my own aftercare service opened my eyes to what crematory companies can do for veterinary teams. And there’s a lot. Sometimes…

Read More

CAETA’s Euthanasia Review Department

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / April 15, 2022

For many years, veterinarians and pet owners have reached out to me to talk about euthanasia experiences.  They seek to understand if what they witnessed was normal, expected, unexpected or concerning.  Veterinarians tend to look for answers that will shape how they deliver a euthanasia technique the next time. Pet owners want to know if…

Read More

Pet Quality-of-Life Scales in Euthanasia Decision-Making

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / April 1, 2022

I have always approached euthanasia decision-making as finding the path of least regret.  Choosing euthanasia is hard. What REALLY prepares someone to elect euthanasia for a beloved friend?  The physical and emotional condition of the pet, the burden of care for owners and their own emotional health all tend to play a role in when…

Read More

Pet Euthanasia and Natural Death; Similarities and differences

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 15, 2022

Companion animals are likely to leave this world via one of two ways; naturally through the normal progression of physical decline or via euthanasia. Often pet owners make the choice for one over the other and sometimes, as in the case of natural death, the body takes over and does what it needs to do. …

Read More

Pointers on Controlled Substances

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 1, 2022

I’ve written before about how confusing controlled substance ordering and handling can be.  It takes a village to sort through all the rules and regs to play the game correctly and keep the overseers satisfied. In the United States (US), veterinarians can be licensed to obtain controlled substances (drugs) through the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). …

Read More

Self Care for End-of-Life Professionals

By CAETA Administrator / February 15, 2022

Summer Brooks MS, RVT A few months ago, a member of the Companion Animal Euthanasia Discussion Group on Facebook asked what others do to honor the memory of their patients and how to process a stressful or emotional day.  There were many great ideas, both for honoring rituals and for self-care.  I covered honoring and…

Read More

AAHA’s End-of-Life Accreditation; Positive impacts on euthanasia procedures

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / February 1, 2022

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is a leader in veterinary hospital standards. They are well known in the biz for their devotion to protecting the patient and client experience, while striving to improve clinical veterinary medicine from stem to stern.  Hospitals have aligned with AAHA to help them achieve the pinnacle of service through…

Read More

Why I’m a Fan of Euthabag

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / January 15, 2022

Not all body bags are created equal, and indeed there are numerous types out there. Those looking for quality prefer bags/containers that are durable, leak proof, and above all respectful to the precious animal within.  This respect is what changes your typical cadaver bag into a sacred ‘pet transport device’.  Euthabag, a CAETA sponsor partner…

Read More

CAETA Euthanasia Research 2022; Creating new directions

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / January 1, 2022

It’s easy to take the “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” approach to euthanasia work. Many practitioners feel comfortable with what they’ve been doing for years, and as long as the patient has a peaceful passing, it seems reasonable to leave well enough alone.  Companion animal euthanasia is emotional work, and let’s face it,…

Read More

Honoring and Grief Rituals for Veterinary Professionals

By CAETA Administrator / December 15, 2021

Written by Summer Brooks, MS, RVT. This blog article was inspired by a conversation on the Companion Animal Euthanasia Discussion Group Facebook page.  A member posted: “I’ve had a few difficult (emotional) cases recently and someone suggested I create a small ritual for myself to complete after a hard or emotional case.  I often light…

Read More

The Best and Worst Things to Say to People in Grief

By CAETA Administrator / December 1, 2021

Grief is such a hard thing. We live in a death-denying society. We hide away our emotions and are shamed into feeling we should be getting over the loss in some well-defined timeline. But grief in pet loss needs to be witnessed, whether death happened naturally or through euthanasia. Grievers don’t want to feel like…

Read More

Oxytocin and Euthanasia; An important combination to get right

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 15, 2021

Recently I have fallen in love with the love hormone oxytocin. While learning ways to establish rapport and build trust with pet owners, this ‘moral molecule’ as it’s sometimes called was just begging to be explored further.  Many of us know oxytocin as the hormone that promotes prosocial behavior such as bonding, wanting to be…

Read More

Why the Use of Intravenous Catheters are Gold Standard in Companion Animal Euthanasia

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 1, 2021

If you take a moment to reflect on the most dangerous substances we inject into the body, you may come up with the same answer as I did.  Chemotherapy.  These drugs by nature destroy cells, and cause considerable damage to tissue in areas of accidental contact such as extravasation outside of the venous system.  They…

Read More

Recognizing Complicated Grief in our Clients

By CAETA Administrator / October 15, 2021

Dave Shuey, MSW, RVT, CHPT. We all tell ourselves that euthanasia has the effect of ending suffering, both for the terminally ill or injured pet, as well as the owner who may have been carrying burdens of care and concern throughout the course of events leading up to euthanasia. How often do we acknowledge the…

Read More

Euthanasia Drugs; Administration rates matter

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / October 1, 2021

If euthanasia becomes necessary to relieve suffering, it should be handled with respect and skill. The speed at which euthanasia solution is administered effects two main things; potential pain and active signs of death. For the most part, veterinarians are taught to inject quickly but it turns out this is only correct part of the…

Read More

Stress + Symptoms = Euthanasia?

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / September 15, 2021

The effects of stress on both animals and humans has been well documented, showing how stress can weaken the immune system, trigger the onset of cancer, increase inflammation, upset the gastrointestinal tract, and leave the body in a general poor state of health. It can look like the end of days for many pets, especially…

Read More

Special Quotes to Carry Us in End-of-life Work

By CAETA Administrator / September 1, 2021

By Lianna Titcombe, International Director for CAETA When I first became a veterinarian some 20 years ago, I suffered from crippling imposter syndrome. What fool had given me this DVM degree? What bigger fool had given me my dream job? I started out as an emergency and critical care veterinarian at one of the largest…

Read More

Pet Loss Support Groups and Resources; Caring for pet owners after euthanasia

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / August 15, 2021

Grieving pet owners benefit when they have access to pet loss support information.  There are a variety of resources on the internet, however many of them are out of date and no longer in service.  The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) has created this list of mainly US-based pet loss support groups, with some…

Read More

7 Steps to Begin Your Euthanasia-Specialty House Call Veterinary Practice

By CAETA Administrator / August 1, 2021

This is a blog for veterinarians interested in starting house call or mobile practices incorporating in-home euthanasia (IHE), at-home euthanasia (AHE), or end-of-life (EOL) services. This includes 7 steps to help with the basics of licensing, legalities, business, as well as the practical, financial, & emotional aspects of starting or building a house call veterinary practice.

Read More
senior dog before pet euthanasia by vet

Euthanasia Comfort Rooms

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / July 15, 2021

A pet owner once asked me what’s the most important thing in my euthanasia comfort rooms. Kleenex was my response. The floor could be dirt and the room cold; as long as we keep compassion and the bond front and center, nothing else matters. I believe this for sure however having special touches to keep…

Read More

A Message to Pet Owners; It’s your decision when to euthanize

By CAETA Administrator / July 1, 2021

Written by Dr. Kari Trotsky with Peaceful Endings for Pets. Being a veterinarian, it may surprise you to know I’ve been on the receiving end of a family member and later, a friend, telling me that it was time to euthanize my own pet. I felt angry and hurt they would imply that I’m holding…

Read More

Special Update: Pentobarbital alternatives

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / June 19, 2021

While pentobarbital shortages are lessening in some parts of the world, many are still without and seeking safe and reliable alternatives. Pentobarbital is the #1 go-to drug for animal euthanasia in many countries. It is reliable with consistent dosing, with minimal side effects leading to a peaceful death when performed properly. Proceeding without this familiar…

Read More

Deceased Pet Care; Beyond the basics for ideal pet owner support

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / June 16, 2021

To go beyond the basics, we’d best start with them so everyone is on the same page.For generations, the go-to plan at most vet hospitals has been the following…~ Pet owner chooses euthanasia~ Hospital asks if they want private or communal cremation~ Pet passes, owner departs~ Hospital places the pet in a cadaver transport bag…

Read More

Sir Henry’s Law

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / June 1, 2021

I’ll begin by saying I try to remove myself from politics whenever possible.  There are inner powers at play that go beyond my comprehension, and when you know little of the mechanisms, it’s best to steer clear until you do.  However, there are times to explore something deeper to understand why it exists and what…

Read More

Pentobarbital Shortage Concerns 2021; Have no fear

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 14, 2021

Pentobarbital is almost back.  Where has it been you ask?  If you perform many euthanasias in your line of work, you know it’s been scarce for months, in the US and other parts of the world.  Due to complications from COVID at one overseas factory (affecting the US supply), and a reported explosion at another…

Read More

Oral Pre-Visit Pharmaceuticals for Euthanasia; Go big

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 1, 2021

I’ll be the first to tell you I like my patients calm and peaceful before euthanasia. Who wouldn’t? Relaxed pets are safer to work with and this leads to a better experience for everyone, especially the pet who may otherwise be experiencing stress. Serenity of mind and body before euthanasia is always welcomed. This is…

Read More

Companion Pot-bellied Pig Euthanasia Requires a Special Touch

By CAETA Administrator / April 15, 2021

Written by Dr. Annie ForslundEdits by Dr. Kathleen Cooney Potbellied pigs are darling creatures loved by families around the world. They have full personalities to match their equally robust shape. Many veterinary professionals have steered clear of euthanasia procedures due to their size and often sensitive temperaments, however with the right combination of gentleness and…

Read More

Workplace Pet Loss

By CAETA Administrator / April 1, 2021

Written and shared with permission by River Valley Gateway. With 67% of Americans owning some sort of pet, it’s no wonder that our furry friends play such a vital role in many of our lives. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, however, only 7% of businesses allow pets in the workplace. This discrepancy…

Read More
certified cat euthanasia location

Taking a Deeper Look at Intrarenal Euthanasia Injections in Cats

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 27, 2021

In the coming days, a group of authors including myself are about to finally submit an academic paper on intrarenal euthanasia injections in cats. This study, first started in 2011, looks at the reliability of this technique in felines and the methodology to carry it out. What we found when following the American Veterinary Medical…

Read More

Telehealth and Euthanasia; How they fit together

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 15, 2021

Telehealth is a hot topic these days. COVID has opened our eyes to what’s possible in the modern tech era. Vet med has been utilizing telehealth since the invention of the telegraph, but these days it includes text, phone call, video chat, emails, and every digital communication platform you can think of. While euthanasia requires…

Read More

Retiring the CAETA Commitment to Excellence Seal

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 1, 2021

Since the inception of the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy in 2017, the Commitment to Excellence Seal has been offered to graduates of the 10-hour Master Certificate Program for use in their business profiles; to show their commitment to gentle and skilled euthanasia. CAETA wanted to create something that would be a constant reminder for…

Read More

Pet Euthanasia During COVID; a 2021 update

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / February 15, 2021

With the COVID pandemic continuing on, CAETA would like to take a moment to address a bit of the new normal around pet euthanasia during this unique time. In a blog post from spring 2020, we reviewed some of the ways veterinary teams (including home euthanasia providers) can adjust and safely continue the work. Provide,…

Read More

Preparation for a Peaceful Goodbye

By CAETA Administrator / February 1, 2021

By Dr. Amy Sugar: As veterinary professionals, we are privileged to provide our patients with one final service — ending their suffering through euthanasia. We also have the opportunity to honour the human-animal bond by recognizing the impact of the patient’s relationship with the family. It is a final gift we can give our patients…

Read More

Pet Euthanasia Holds Legacies

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / January 21, 2021

The very first home euthanasia appointment I facilitated was a bit of a debacle. The dog’s name was Sage and she was an old, beautiful Golden Retriever. While she ultimately did have a peaceful passing, the technical challenges I faced in those 60 minutes stuck with me for years. Looking back, it would have been…

Read More

Pet Loss Bereavement Training for 2021

By CAETA Administrator / January 1, 2021

By Summer Brooks, RVT The dawning of a fresh New Year often motivates us to look around for new ways to be inspired. How can we add more value to the services we provide? How can we offer deeper and more meaningful support to the animals and pet guardians we serve? One way to find…

Read More

Controlled Substance Handling by Veterinary Technicians in U.S. Mobile Euthanasia Services

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / December 15, 2020

“If confusion is the first step to knowledge, I must be a genius.” ~ Larry Leisner To say controlled substance management is confusing is an understatement for most of us. Just when we think we’ve got it down, a conversation with a colleague can get us thinking we’ve dropped the ball on best practices. The…

Read More

It’s All About Safe Space

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / December 1, 2020

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…

Read More

Pet Euthanasia During the Holiday Season; An extra layer of sadness

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 17, 2020

For many of us, holiday celebrations include our pets. In my home, the dogs have stockings, leftovers are shared, and we will snuggle in to watch traditional holiday movie classics. If we are lucky enough for snow to fall fresh and bright, the dogs will partake in sledding and steal our hats in great fun.…

Read More

Pet Euthanasia Work Has Ups and Downs

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 2, 2020

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…

Read More

Euthanasia the 2nd Most Common Procedure in Vet Med?

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / October 14, 2020

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…

Read More

Doing Better Through CAETA

By CAETA Administrator / September 16, 2020

By Stephanie DiTraglia, CAETA Administrative Assistant Like many of us who find ourselves within and among the veterinary industry, I’ve always known the animals’ world is where I wanted to be. Also like many, I thrive and find fulfilling satisfaction when I contribute to the ‘greater good’. The desire amongst veterinary care professionals to elevate…

Read More


By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / August 13, 2020

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.…

Read More

Useful Phrases to Lend Support

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / August 3, 2020

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…

Read More

Veterinary Technicians in Euthanasia Work; Encouragement

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / May 7, 2020

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 overseeing the euthanasia procedure.  This is an important step to show that technicians…

Read More

A Pet’s Home Burial

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / April 13, 2020

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…

Read More

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

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 18, 2020

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…

Read More

Emotionally Intelligent Euthanasia (EIE)

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / March 2, 2020

Emotionally Intelligent Euthanasia A veterinary student recently shadowed me for a week to learn how I cope with the emotional strain of euthanasia-centric work.  Her backstory was filled with highly sensitive post-euthanasia episodes, wherein she needed to cry; intense crying for upwards of 15 minutes.  It was deeply affecting the rest of her day and…

Read More

Euthanasia Protocol Change Takes a Euthanasia Action Plan

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / January 8, 2020

Have you ever gone to an educational conference and learned so much you didn’t know where to start? It’s easy to get overwhelmed with information and then struggle implementing it in your daily work. The ideas you heard were wonderful, useful, and potential game changers for your team and your patients. It’s essential to act…

Read More

Equine Euthanasia; Imagining the ideal

By CAETA Administrator / December 4, 2019

Written by David Shuey RVT, CHPT Lily was an elderly Arabian mare who lived with chronic laminitis in her later years. In recent weeks, her pain had become unmanageable. Her owner called my attending veterinarian and me out to euthanize her beloved horse whom she had owned, cared for, ridden, and loved for decades. We…

Read More

Resisting Complacency in Euthanasia Work

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / November 4, 2019

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…

Read More

A Guide to Intracardiac Injections by Dr. AJ Smith

By Dr. Kathleen Cooney / September 29, 2019

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…

Read More