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Veterinarians' role for pet owners facing pet loss


Fernandez-Mehler, P; Gloor, P; Sager, E; Lewis, F I; Glaus, T M (2013). Veterinarians' role for pet owners facing pet loss. Veterinary Record, 172(21):555.

Abstract

Owners' satisfaction with, and expectations from, their veterinarians around euthanasia, including questions on disposal of pet remains subject to animal species, clients' gender, age, family conditions, area of living and type of veterinary clinic visited were evaluated by questionnaire. Questionnaires were to be filled out by clients consecutively visiting the individual practices and hospitals for any kind of consultations. Of 2350 questionnaires distributed, 2008 were returned and available for analysis. Owner satisfaction concerning the procedure of euthanasia was high (92 per cent, 1173/1272). After the event of euthanasia, 14 per cent (170/1250) had changed their veterinarian, even though 75 per cent of these 170 had been satisfied with the procedure. Most owners (88 per cent) expected veterinarians to talk about their pet's final destination, and 38 per cent expected this to happen early in the pet's life. For 81 per cent clients, the veterinarian was the primary informant about the possibilities concerning the disposal of pet remains, and 33 per cent indicated their veterinarian as the contact person to talk about pet loss. Area of living, or veterinary specialisation, only marginally influenced the answers. Veterinarians play an important role to inform their clients concerning questions around euthanasia and the care of pet remains, and to support them during the process of mourning.

Owners' satisfaction with, and expectations from, their veterinarians around euthanasia, including questions on disposal of pet remains subject to animal species, clients' gender, age, family conditions, area of living and type of veterinary clinic visited were evaluated by questionnaire. Questionnaires were to be filled out by clients consecutively visiting the individual practices and hospitals for any kind of consultations. Of 2350 questionnaires distributed, 2008 were returned and available for analysis. Owner satisfaction concerning the procedure of euthanasia was high (92 per cent, 1173/1272). After the event of euthanasia, 14 per cent (170/1250) had changed their veterinarian, even though 75 per cent of these 170 had been satisfied with the procedure. Most owners (88 per cent) expected veterinarians to talk about their pet's final destination, and 38 per cent expected this to happen early in the pet's life. For 81 per cent clients, the veterinarian was the primary informant about the possibilities concerning the disposal of pet remains, and 33 per cent indicated their veterinarian as the contact person to talk about pet loss. Area of living, or veterinary specialisation, only marginally influenced the answers. Veterinarians play an important role to inform their clients concerning questions around euthanasia and the care of pet remains, and to support them during the process of mourning.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Chair in Veterinary Epidemiology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:26 Aug 2013 10:59
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:56
Publisher:British Veterinary Association
ISSN:0042-4900
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.101154
PubMed ID:23492929
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-80309

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