Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Euthanasia

Contributor(s): John Dodam, Kathleen Cooney

Making the decision to euthanize

  • Euthanasia is considered acceptable when a disease has become unmanageable and suffering is imminent. It can be very difficult to decide when this point is reached. Aspects to consider include:

    • Is the cat still eating/drinking enough to sustain energy?
    • Does the cat respond to attention from his owners?
    • Is there uncontrollable pain?
    • Has caring for the cat become too difficult - fecal/urinary incontinence, mobility issues, night-waking, etc?
    • Can the owner afford to continue care?
  • It is imperative that the owners do not feel rushed into making the decision to euthanize, although it may be necessary to educate about point pain and suffering if the owners are not aware of it. There are other situations when euthanasia of a cat may be requested such as aggression or when the cat is no longer wanted. Legally, as long as it is performed humanely, an owner may request euthanasia of a cat for any reason. Ethically, we aim to offer euthanasia when no other options are possible.
    Print off the owner factsheet on Saying goodbye - options for euthanasia  Saying goodbye - information and guidance on euthanasia  to give to your client.

Consent for euthanasia

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Requirements of the consent form

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The euthanasia procedure

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references fromVetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Bishop G et al (2016) 2016 AAHA/IAAHPC end-of-life care guidelines. JAAHA 52 (6), 341-356 PubMed.
  • Harris J M (2000) Regarding euthanasia. JAVMA 216(1), 20-1.
  • Michell A R (1999) Longevity of British breeds of dog and its relationships with sex, size, cardiovascular variables and diseaseVet Rec 145(22), 625-629.
  • Mallery K F et al(1999) Factors contributing to the decision for euthenasia of dogs with congestive heart failureJAVMA 214(8), 1201-1204.
  • Goredetsky E (1997) Epidemiology of dog and cat euthenasia across Canadian prairie provincesCan Vet J 38(10), 649-652.

Other sources of information


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