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Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques


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Table of Contents

About the Authors vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

1 Client Considerations 1

Companion animals 3

Species-specific considerations 6

2 Equipment 19

Technique-specific equipment 19

Euthanasia area equipment 29

Drugs 30

Species-specific considerations 35

3 Positioning and Restraint 43

Positioning 43

Restraint 45

Species-specific considerations 45

4 Pre-euthanasia Sedation and Anesthesia 51

Anesthesia 52

Sedation 53

Drugs and routes of administration 55

Assessing unconsciousness and sedation 56

Specific-species considerations 57

5 Euthanasia Techniques 73

How death is achieved 73

Choosing an appropriate method 75

Inhalant methods 78

Injectable methods 79

Physical methods 79

Species-specific techniques 79

Unacceptable methods for domestic animals 164

Death and associated signs 165

6 Body Aftercare 169

Burial 170

Composting 172

Cremation/incineration 173

Rendering 174

Species-specific considerations 174

Conclusion 183

Bibliography 185

Index 191

About the Author

Kathleen A. Cooney, DVM, MS, is founder and owner of Home to Heaven, P.C., a mobile veterinary hospice and euthanasia service based in northern Colorado. Jolynn R. Chapell, DVM, is in private practice, specializing in exotic medicine, at Aspenwing Bird and Animal Hospital in Loveland, CO. Robert J. Callan, DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM, is a professor at Colorado State University (CSU) in the Department of Clinical Sciences and service head of the Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service at the CSU James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Bruce A. Connally, DVM, MS, is a former assistant professor and faculty member in equine ambulatory services at CSU.


This is a book that you should purchase and not let siton the shelf. Use it to perfect a good death for yourown patients. (Australian Veterinary Journal, 1April 2013) So while this is not a perfect book, it definitely doeswhat they intend and I genuinely look forward to futureeditions. (Veterinary Practice News, 1 March2013) Overall, this is a wonderful resource for anypractitioner or technician. The information is logically organized,enabling quick and easy retrieval. No other resource covers thetopic of euthanasia as completely. (Doody s, 25 January 2013) The text would be useful both in an educational as wellas clinical setting for review and further study. (Vspn.org, 1 January 2013) Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques is very much apractical guide for veterinary surgeons and technicians on what isa difficult decision to make and to get right. (Veterinary Record, 15 December 2012) "The book can be used as a manual covering step-by-steptechniques or as a starting point for discussing options withclients. No vet's library should be without this manual!." (The Bookwatch, 1 November 2012) On balance, the authors of this new book have succeeded inproviding a practical guide to the euthanasia techniques for allspecies the practising veterinarian is likely toencounter. ( Animal Welfare, 1 November 2012)

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