Click on the links below for access to some helpful resources
For the VETERINARY TEAM
Reading Aids for your practice
Compassion Fatigue: Compassion Fatigue is a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress; it is an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper.
dmv360: A summary of what Compassion Fatigue is, to help us understand why we sometimes feel so exhausted at the end of our work day.
Veterinary Wisdom: Resources for clients and vet team for everything related to euthanasia.
Practice Building Handling Euthanasia: Tips on how we can do better and make euthanasia an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our clients, by Mary Gardner, dvm and Dani McVety, dvm in TVP.
Why clients leave: a negative or neutral euthanasia experience can make a client leave even if they like the veterinary team. The plastic bag set a negative tone for the practice, in DVM360.
The Art of Euthanasia and the Science of Death: A funny printable summary of the recommendations of this article.
Helping clients cope with the death of a pet : quality of life assessment, how to approach it with kids from VetFolio.
Euthabag and the Environment: answers to your questions regarding the composition of Euthabag and its environmental impact.
Sample Euthanasia protocol: to make sure no steps or details are forgotten by the team, in DMV360.
Why we should stop trying for a perfect euthanasiaby Dr. Andy Roark.
CAETA (companion animal euthanasia training academy) training academy. A complete thorough course to enhance the euthanasia experience for you and your clients. Some very helpful technique in with 10 hours of CE credits.
Low Stress Handling University: Designed for Companion Animal Professionals to be able to find the classes you need to help you better serve your clients, increase business and/or lower worker’s compensation costs. Here you will find all the classes that were offered at DrSophiaYin.com
In-home Pet Euthanasia techniques by Kathleen Cooney. Not only for in home euthanasia but a very good help to prepare. As mentioned in the book, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Blue Juice euthanasia in veterinary medicine by Patrica Morris. Offering a behind the scene look of this unique reality veterinary teams experience.
Hospice and Palliative Care for Companion Animals: Principles and Practice. The first comprehensive reference to veterinary hospice and palliative care, with practical guidance and best practices for caring for sick and dying animals.
Practical Tips for Euthanasia
PREPARING FAMILIES FOR EUTHANASIA: Here is a brief checklist of things to discuss with families prior to euthanasia to help reduce stress during the entire experience.
Give the intravenous injection in the lateral saphenous vein (dogs), or in the femoral vein (cats). This allows the owner to be up in front with their companion
Use the XS Euthabag to transport euthanasia materials in a discrete way. Useful both at the clinic or for in-home care.
Check out this insightful article on euthanasia trends by Dr. Dani McVety: 6 Euthanasia Trends You Didn't Know Existed
Pet Loss Support Counselors & Groups
Most of our clients and a lot of veterinary staff are unaware that there are professional Grief Consultants available to help their pet parents afterwards. Some of our clients need this extra external help to manage their grief; they can bring such wonderful help in just 1 or 2 consultations. Clients will appreciate that you have taken the time to care as much for them, as you did for their beloved pets. See our Pet Loss Support page for more information.
Stages of Grief can be complex. This chart may help you as well as your client understand the emotions they are experiencing.
Compassionate Tools you can incorporate easily into your practice
IF THIS CANDLE IS LIT: This is a document that when placed next to an LED candle, will inform those in the waiting room that a euthanasia is being performed and thus help reduce the amount of noise in the office during this delicate time.
"If this candle is lit, someone is saying goodbye to their beloved pet.
We ask that you speak softly and with respect during this difficult time.
Thank you for your patience and kindness."
Ink Paw Print or Nose Print
This is a very simple, inexpensive and thoughtful procedure you can do to show your pet families how much you cared for their beloved pet.
SUPPLIES: All you need is an ink pad and a staff member dedicated to doing the procedure. Another preferred technique is to use calligraphy ink and a paint brush.
PROCEDURE: After the animal has been euthanized, the hair and nails are trimmed on one paw and the paw is placed on the ink pad (or painted with calligraphy ink) and pressed onto one or more pieces of card stock (or textured paper). The name of the pet and date can then be added to the piece of paper and now you've created a lasting memory for the pets family. Making multiple copies is also wonderful for those family members who were unable to attend the euthanasia themselves (I.e. college children away at school). You can then send the paw print along with the sympathy card*.
*We have learned that it is important that a sympathy card is received 3-5 days after the pet loss. The reasons for this are:
This helps the pets family realize how much we really do care.
Healing may have started and receiving a card a week or two later can bring back unwanted memories from the euthanasia
Horse Tail and Horse Mane Keepsakes
For families that have lost their equine companion, you can cherish their memory by trimming the tail or mane hair, washing it and then braiding it with a ribbon.
-picture courtesy of The Argus Institute, Colorado State University
For PET OWNERS
BURYING A PET: Although we are not permitted to bury animals, except on farms, some pet owners will decide to do it anyway. Thus, this document can be useful to inform them on how to do it properly.
Due to varying provincial regulations on the burial of pets, you can find a customizable document available below:
Download EN Canadian (all provinces except for QC) customizable document here
Download EN Québec document here
Download FR Québec document here
IF IT SHOULD BE: We've highlighted this poem as it was wonderfully designed to help clients and the veterinary team deal with any guilt they may be experiencing. It can also be given before euthanasia to help clients with their grief or to help them make the right decision at the right time. [Click here to download]
How to say Goodbye: a nice tool for families to assess when to choose the moment, by Andy Roark, DVM.
Quality of life evaluation
Some tools can be found below to help evaluate the level of our companions quality of life:
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME-From University of Ohio
Quality of Life Scale by Dr. Villalobos
Quality of Life Scale by Dr. Dani McVety
GREY MUZZLE APP by Lap of love
Masters and Companions is the only cemetery in Canada offering a pet burial service where ashes or animal remains may be buried alongside the ashes or remains of the pet’s masters in the same plot. Located in Laval.