Veterinary Teams; Test your euthanasia know-how

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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. CAETA thought veterinary professionals may benefit participating here in our blog too.  Answers are given at the end.   

Question One:  In what year was the term ‘euthanasia’ altered to mean the act of taking life?

a. 1050
b. 1623
c. 1870
d. 1945

Question Two:  What does the AVMA, AAHA, Fear Free Program, IAAHPC, and CAETA say should be provided during companion animal euthanasia whenever practicable?

a. Hugs for everyone in the room
b. Pre-euthanasia sedation/anesthesia
c. McDonald’s cheeseburgers
d. Classical music

Question Three:  Which class of pre-euthanasia sedation drug is most likely to cause Cheyne-Stokes breathing in mammals?

a. Phenothiazines, ex. acepromazine
b. Dissociatives, ex. ketamine
c. Alpha-2 agonists, ex. dexmedetomidine
d. Benzodiazepines, ex. midazolam

Question Four: Which is true about euthanasia solution in the United States?

a. Class IIs are 240mg/ml in concentration
b. Class IIIs are pure pentobarbital
c. Class III solutions are thinner with lower viscosity
d. Class II solutions are thinner with lower viscosity

Question Five: How much pentobarbital euthanasia solution (390mg/ml) is needed for a canine intracardiac injection in the United States?

a. 1ml per 10# (4.5kg)
b. 2mls per 10#
c. 3mls per 10#
d. Canine intracardiac injections are not a thing

Question Six:  Where in the body does pentobarbital elicit its primary effects to achieve death?

a. Liver
b. Brain
c. Heart
d. Spleen

Question Seven:  According to CAETA, which 3 euthanasia methods using non-inhalant pharmaceuticals lead to the shortest consistent TTD (time to death) in cats? (IV = intrarenal, IC = intracardiac, IH = intrahepatic, IR = intrarenal, IP = intraperitoneal)

a. IV, IC, IR
b. IV, IP, IH
c. IC, IH, IP
d. IH, IR, IV

Question Eight:  In a 2019 Canadian study, what did clients say they want to hear most from their veterinary team?

a. Number of pets euthanized that day
b. How many pets have been euthanized in the room
c. They are making the right choice to euthanize
d. All of the above

Question Nine:  According to a recent pet owner survey, what did clients indicate led to a good euthanasia experience?

a. Pre-appointment planning
b. The ability to remain with their pet during the entire appointment
c. No pain during the procedure
d. All of the above

Question Ten:  Which hormone is associated with love and trust between client and veterinary team?

a. Vasopressin
b. Oxytocin
c. Progesterone
d. Adrenaline

Modern euthanasia includes understanding new techniques and approaches, and the history of where we came from to get where we are today. Pet owners are asking for more support during euthanasia and have increasing expectations around the procedure itself.  The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) is here to support your educational journey into all components of euthanasia best practices. 

Answers: 1/C, 2/B, 3/C, 4/D, 5/A, 6/B, 7/A, 8/C, 9/D, 10/B

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Dr. Kathleen Cooney

DVM, CHPV, CPEV, DACAW resident Founder, Senior Director of Education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy

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