Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques; A Practical Guide, First Edition
Kathleen A. Cooney, DVM, MS; Jolynn R. Chappell, DVM; Robert J. Callan, DVM, MS; Bruce A. Connally, DVM, MS

VSPN Review by Lynda Paul, LVTStar
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This text covers euthanasia techniques based on AVMA guidelines for a variety of species including dogs, cats, horses, production animals as well as exotics and pocket pets. As the title implies, it is a practical guide with step by step instructions to performing euthanasia. The techniques discussed address a variety of situations that may be encountered including techniques suitable to be performed in the clinic setting, home setting and farm setting, all outlined in detail. Any complications that may arise in such situations are explained, thereby helping the practitioner avoid these pitfalls.

Chapters cover Client Considerations, Equipment, Positioning and Restraint, Pre-euthanasia Sedation and Anesthesia, Euthanasia Techniques and Body Aftercare. Each chapter addresses species specific considerations and techniques. Where applicable, drug dosages are provided for various species as well as a variety of routes of administration that may be humanely used.

The text is written with the right blend of clinical detachment necessary (in this reviewer’s opinion) to complete an often emotionally difficult and unpleasant task while maintaining compassion and sensitivity for the animal being euthanized as well as the owner or any other bystanders that may be involved (both human and other animals).

While some of the images and techniques included in the book may be a bit disturbing (primarily images of farm animals with guns pointed to their heads or the technique of pithing the brain of some reptiles), the text is handled in a very matter of fact way that helps to diminish this impression. With each technique proposed, the welfare of the animal being euthanized is always a primary consideration with importance placed on performing each task without undue stress or suffering on the part of the patient. This ideal permeates throughout the entire text lending to the delicate balance of clinical detachment and empathy needed when performing euthanasia. The text would be useful both in an educational as well as clinical setting for review and further study.

Publisher: Wiley and Son (2012)

197 pages, soft cover

ISBN# 978-0-4703-5918-3


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Pain Management in Veterinary Practice (VSPN)
 
Patient Assessment (VSPN Review)
 
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Date Published: April 29, 2013

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