Euthanasia Techniques

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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Emotionally Intelligent Euthanasia (EIE)

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…

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Euthanasia Protocol Change Takes a Euthanasia Action Plan

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…

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Equine Euthanasia; Imagining the ideal

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…

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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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