Euthanasia: not an every day experience

Charlotte Elizabeth Shaw
Saturday, May 2, 2020

Euthanasia can be a very personal and often dreaded time for veterinary clients. As veterinary professionals we carry out euthanasias on a weekly or even daily basis and are therefore liable to suffer from compassion fatigue, potentially leading to burnout or apathetic behaviour. Behaviours such as these could have a negative effect on the care given during euthanasia visits. The aim is to make the 30–40 minute appointment that is a regular occurrence for veterinary professionals truly memorable and special for the client, as although we may not remember every euthanasia we carry out, the client will certainly remember it. Ideally the client should feel comfortable returning to the practice with other pets, although this is not always possible. This article will look at how veterinary practices can provide a memorable euthanasia visit for their clients, from the initial phone call, right through until days or even months after the appointment, using simple skills and inexpensive, but effective methods of making each visit a personalised experience.

Figure 1. The five stages of grief.
Figure 1. The five stages of grief.

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