Helpful resources for the VETERINARY TEAM
Literature for your practice
Compassion Fatigue: A website dedicated to better understanding of Compassion Fatigue.
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)
The Art of Euthanasia and the Science of Death: A funny printable summary of the recommendations of this article.
Euthabag and the Environment: This document will answer all of your questions regarding the composition of Euthabag and its environmental impact.
In Home Pet Euthanasia Techniques: This book written by Dr. Kathleen Cooney, was written for veterinarians, students, hospice providers, and technicians to help them gain comfort providing pet euthanasia in the home setting, including well described illustrations.
Stages of Grief can be complex. This chart may help you as well as your client understand the emotions they are experiencing.
Practical Tips for Euthanasia
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.
Pet Loss Counselors & Support Groups
Most of our clients and a lot of veterinary staff are unaware that there are professional Pet Loss Counselors and Support Groups 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. A list of Pet Loss Counselors and Support Groups for Ontario can be found on our PET LOSS SUPPORT PAGE.
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 sent within 2 days of the euthanasia. 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.
Helpful resources for PET OWNERS
BURYING A PET: Although we are not permitted to bury animals, except on farms, some pet owner decide to do it anyways. Thus, this document is useful to inform them on how to do it properly.
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.