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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)

  • 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.

  • Why clients leave: a negative or neutral euthanasia experience can result in a client leaving even if they like the veterinary team. The plastic bag set a negative tone for the practice, in DVM360.

  • Euthabag and the Environment: This document will answer all of 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 euthanasia by Dr. Andy Roark.

     Understanding Grief

  • Stages of Grief made simple. This chart may help you as well as families understand the emotions they are experiencing.

Books

Programs

  • 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

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 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

  • Alternate Routes for Euthanasia by Dr. Mary Gardner: Euthanasia methods that minimize stress may not always involve an IV catheter. 

COMPASSIONATE TOOLS you can incorporate 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 clinic during this delicate time.

 
Click  HERE  to download this template for your practice.

Click HERE to download this template for your practice.

 

 

TEXT

"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.
"

Click  HERE  to download this template for your practice.

Click HERE to download this template for your practice.

 

Ink Paw Print or Nose Print

 
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Cat nose print

Cat 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

  • Ink pad OR Calligraphy ink and a paint brush OR a bingo marker.

PROCEDURE:

  • After euthanasia, for a paw print, trim the hair and nails on a back paw preferably (as it contains less hair)

  • if doing a paw print (vs. a nose print), wipe paw with alcohol first. This will allow it to absorb more ink and remove dirt.

  • Place paw or nose on ink pad, paint with calligraphy ink or use a bingo and press onto one or more pieces of card stock (or textured paper). For the nose print, rock the nose on the paper.

  • make more than one print for each child in the family or for members that were not able to be there.

The name of the pet and date can then be added to the piece(s) of paper and now you've created a lasting memory for the pets family! 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 3-5 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.

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Finding the right words for a sympathy card can be difficult. Here we offer some suggestions to help better express your feelings.

Check out our sympathy cards here.


 

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


Helpful handouts for PET OWNERS

Handouts

  • BURYING A PET: Although in many regions we are not permitted to bury animals (except on farms in some instances) some pet owner decide to do it anyways. Thus, this document is useful to inform them on how to do it properly.[Click here to download]

  • 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.]

  • ADDITIONAL POEMS:

How to say Goodbye: a nice tool for families to assess when to choose the moment, by Andy Roark, DVM.

Quality of life evaluation

Quality of Life scales can be found below to help evaluate the level of our companions quality of life:

The Quality of Life Question we all should be asking. An article by Dr. Buisson on the questions to ask ourselves when we have to take the decision.

Kathy, an experienced veterinarian, explain how euthanasia needs a little magic and can become a positive experience to live with the families