2EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA ReferencesAVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia, June 2007Alberta Regulation 229/2000, Livestock Disease Act
3EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA AgendaCriteria for a Painless DeathEthical ConsiderationsAnimal Behavioural ConsiderationsHuman Behavioural ConsiderationsMode of Actions of Euthanizing AgentsInhalant AgentsNon-inhalant AgentsPhysical MethodsResponsibilities of the OwnerSpecial ConsiderationsIt is our responsibility as PMed Techs and ultimately as Human Beings to ensure that if an animal’s life is to be taken, that it is done with highest degree of respect.Over the next three periods you will be taught the process to Perform Animal Euthanasia
4EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA A Humane DeathEuthanasia is the act of inducinghumane death in an animalHighest degree of respectPainlessAnxiety and Distress freeThe term Euthanasia is derived from the Greek terms EU meaning Good and THANATOS meaning Death. A “good death” would be one that occurs with minimal pain and distress.Euthanasia techniques should result in rapid loss of consciousness, followed by cardiac or respiratory arrest and the ultimate loss of brain function.
5EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Criteria for a Painless DeathPain – sensation that results from nerve impulses reaching the cerebral cortex via neural pathwaysTwo Pain CategoriesSensory-DiscriminativeMotivational-AffectivePain is the sensation that results from nerve impulses the cerebral cortex via ascending neural pathwaysSENSORY-DISCRIMINATIVE – indicates the site of origin and the stimulus giving rise to the pain. It is accomplished by mechanisms similar to those used that provides the individual with information about intensity, duration, location and the quality of the stimulus.MOTIVATIONAL-AFFECTIVE – the severity of the stimulus is perceived and the animal’s response is determined. This process involves the formation for behavioural and cortical arousal by involving input to the forebrain for perceptions such as discomfort, fear, anxiety and depression.
6EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Criteria for a Painless DeathStress – the effect of physical, physiologic or emotional stressors that induce an alteration in an animal’s homeostasisThree Phases of StressEustressNeutral StressDistressStress and the resulting responses have been divided into three categoriesEustress – harmless stimuli initiate adaptive responses that are beneficial to the animalNeutral Stress – the animal’s response to stimuli causes neither harmful nor beneficial effects to the animalDistress – an animal’s response to stimuli interferes with it’s well being and comfort
7EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Physical HandlingControl and RestraintSpeciesBreedSizeState of DomesticationDegree of TamingPresence of Injury or DiseaseDegree of ExcitementMethod of EuthanasiaAs with many other procedures some methods of Euthanasia require Physical Handling of the animal.The amount of control and kind of restraint will be determined by the animal’s species, breed, size, state of domestication, degree of taming, presence of painful injury or disease, degree of excitement and method of Euthanasia.Proper handling is vital to minimize pain and distress in animals, to ensure safety of the person performing Euthanasia and always to protect other people and animals.
8EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Methods of EuthanasiaSpecies of the AnimalAvailable Means of RestraintSkill of PersonnelNumber of AnimalsHUMANE DEATHSelection of the most appropriate method of Euthanasia in any given situation depends upon the species of the animal involved, available means of animal restraint, skill of personnel and the number of animals involved. Acceptable methods are those that consistently produce a HUMANE DEATH when used as the sole means Euthanasia, conditionally acceptable methods are those that by the nature of the technique or because of the potential of error or safety hazards might not consistently produce HUMANE DEATH or are not well-documented. Unacceptable methods are those deemed INHUMANE under any conditions.Appendix 1 – lists acceptable and conditionally acceptable methods of Euthanasia categorized by speciesAppendix 4 – provides a summary of unacceptable methods
9EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Ethical ConsiderationsProfessional ConcernsSocietal ConcernsFederal, Provincial and Local LawsEthical Considerations that must be addressed when Euthanizing healthy and unwanted animals reflect professional and societal concerns. They are always complex and warrant thorough considerations by those concerned with the welfare of the animal.Euthanasia must be performed in accordance with applicable Federal, Provincial and Local Laws governing drug acquisition and storage, occupational safety, and methods used for Euthanasia and disposal of the animal
10EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Verifying DeathExamination for Cessation of Vital SignsIt is imperative that death be verified after Euthanasia and before disposal of the animal. An animal in deep narcosis may appear dead, but may eventually recover. Death must be confirmed by Cessation of Vital Signs.
11EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Minimize Animal DistressGentle RestraintCareful HandlingTalking during EuthanasiaCalming EffectRoute of Least DistressThe need to minimize distress must be considered in determining the method of Euthanasia. Gentle Restraint, Careful Handling, Talking During Euthanasia often have a Calming Effect on animals. Sedatives or Anesthetics given prior to the procedure may delay the onset of the Euthanizing Agent. Preparation of observers should also be taken into consideration.A route of injection must be chosen that causes the least distress in the animal.
12EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Minimize Animal DistressWild, Feral, Injured or Diseased AnimalsMethods of Pre-Euthanasia handling may not be suitable for non-domesticated animals. Because handling of these animals unaccustomed to human contact the degree of restraint should be considered. Calming may be accomplished by minimizing visual, auditory and Tactile stimulation.
13EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Human BehaviourPsychological ResponseGrief at the loss of lifeWhen animals must be euthanized, moral and ethical concerns must dictate that humane practices must be observed. Human psychologic responses to euthanasia animals need to be considered, with grief at the loss of life being the most common reaction.There are six circumstances that you must be aware of the effects of animal euthanasia on people.
14EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Veterinary ClinicOwners make decisionsRely on Veterinarian’s judgmentOwners present during the procedureOwners of the animal make the decision relying upon the veterinarian’s advice and judgment about whether and when to euthanize. Often a very difficult decision for the owner to make.When owners choose to be present during the procedure, they must be prepared for what will happen. The Vet must explain the procedure thoroughly. Further discussed later in lecture.
15EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Animal Care & Control FacilityUnwanted, homeless, diseased and/or injuredDistressConstant exposure and high turnover of employeestraining & educational programspeer supporttime off for stressFacility where unwanted, homeless, abandoned, diseases and/or injured animals must be euthanized. This process is almost a daily occurrence. Distress develops among employees directly involved in performing euthanasia repeatedly.Constant exposure to euthanasia procedures can cause a psychologic state by a strong sense of work dissatisfaction or alienation, creating a high turnover of employees.
16EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA LaboratorySimilar to pet ownersResearchers, technicians and students become attached
17EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Wildlife ControlInjured and/or Diseased animalsThreatening property and human safetyExcessive numbersExtreme distress and anxietyWildlife control personnel are often responsible for euthanizing wild animals that are often injured, diseased, threatening property and/or human safety or any in excessive numbers. These people must deal with these animals sometimes under public pressure to save the animal rather than to euthanize can experience extreme distress and anxiety.
18EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Slaughter FacilitiesVery large numbers of animalsPhysically and emotionally desensitizedThe sheer volume of animals processed daily can take a toll on employees both physically and emotionally to the point of being desensitized to the process.
19EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Public ExposureZoo animalsRoadside and Racetrack accidentsNuisance or injured animalsNatural DisastersHuman attitudes and responses must be considered when dealing with these types of animals drawing public exposure.Natural disasters and foreign disease present with a public challenge.These situations should not alter responsibility of using the most rapid, painless and humane method possible under the circumstances.
20EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Basic Modes of Action1. Direct or Indirect Hypoxia2. Direct Depression of Neurons3. Physical Disruption of Brain Activity
21EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA HypoxiaLoss of consciousnessPainlessDistress FreeHypoxia causes loss of consciousness. For death to be painless and distress free, loss of consciousness must precede loss of motor activity. Agents that that induce muscle paralysis, such as muscle relaxants, without loss of consciousness are not acceptable.
22EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Direct Depression of NeuronsDepress nerve cells of the brainLoss of consciousness followed by deathNon-purposeful vocalization or muscle contractionDeath by cardiac arrestThis process depresses the nerve cells of the brain, followed by loss of consciousness and then death, usually very quickly. Often there are non-purposeful vocalizations and muscle contractions. Death is due to cardiac arrest following direct depression of the respiratory centres.
23EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Physical Disruption of Brain ActivityConcussionElectrical Depolarization of neuronsdestruction of the mid-brain causing cardiac and/or respiratory arrestThis process is conducted by a direct blow to the head (concussion) or by electrical depolarization of the brain neurons causing the destruction of the mid-brain inducing cardiac and/or respiratory arrest.
24EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA InhalantsInhaled gasTime ConsumingSuitabilityAny gas that is inhaled must reach a certain concentration in the lungs prior to it being effective, therefore these agents may take time to be effective.Suitability of these agents depends on whether the animals may experience distress prior to the loss of consciousness
25EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Inhalant AnaestheticsHalothane EnfluraneIsoflurane SevofluraneMethoxyflurane DesfluraneEther Nitrous OxideThere are seven inhalants that have varying degrees of acceptability, depending upon the suitability. They can be used with or without Nitrous Oxide (N2O), however Nitrous Oxide is never to be used alone. In Order of preference:Halothane is the most effective. Ether is highly flammable. Nitrous Oxide – never to be used aloneAlthough acceptable these agents are not normally used in larger animals because of their cost and difficulty of administration
26EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Advantages for Inhalant AnaestheticsRecommended for smaller animals where venipuncture may be difficultNon-flammable and non-explosive under normal circumstances
27EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Disadvantages for Inhalants AnaestheticsAnimals may struggle and become anxiousvapours may be irritating and cause excitementEther is very flammableMethoxyflorane is slow actingOccupational Exposure by personnelPotential for human abuse
28EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Inhalant AgentsCarbon Dioxide – (CO2)Acceptable for the appropriate species (see appendix 1 of reference)CO2 gas cylinder – only acceptable sourceCO2 is acceptable for appropriate species such as dogs, birds and rabbits to name a few; Compressed CO2 gas cylinders are the only acceptable method of delivery. CO2 generated by any other source is unacceptable.Inhalation of very high concentrations may be distressing to certain species as the gas will dissolve in the moisture of the nasal mucosa.
29EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Advantages of CO2Rapid DepressantReadily AvailableInexpensiveNon-flammableNon-explosiveMinimal hazard to usersNon-accumulatingDisadvantages of CO2Incomplete filling of chamberSome species may have a toleranceTime consumingSome species breathe to slowlyHigh Concentrations may be distressful
30EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Inhalant AgentsCarbon Monoxide – (CO)Acceptable for dogs, cats and other small mammalsCO gas cylinder – only acceptable source
31EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Advantages of COPainlessMinimal DiscomfortInsidiousRapid effect in 4 – 6% concentrationsDisadvantages of COExposure to personnelOther equipment used must be explosion proof
32EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Inhalant AgentsNitrogen (N2)/Argon (Ar)Death induced by HypoxemiaDistressful to some species – ratsN2/Ar gas cylinder – only acceptable source
33EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Advantages of N2/ArReadily AvailableMinimal hazard to personnelDisadvantages of N2/ArLoss of consciousness preceded by hypoxemia – distressfulIntroduction of O2 too soon may induce full recovery
34EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Non-Inhalant Pharmaceutical AgentsInjectable agents are the most rapid and reliable method of EuthanasiaAdministered through intravenous injectionMinimal fear or distress to the animalIntra-peritonial InjectionIntra-cardiac InjectionAggressive, fearful, wild or feral animals should be sedated prior to IV InjectionWhen restraint necessary for administering an IV injection would impart distress or pose risk to personnel, intraperitonial or intracardiac injection may be the preferred route of injection. Intraperitonial may be used provided that a neuromuscular blocking agents are not used. Intracardiac injection may only be used if the animal is heavily sedated, anaesthetized or comatose.
35EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Barbituric Acid DerivativesDepresses the Central Nervous System in descending orderAdministered only through IV InjectionPotentLong-actingStableInexpensiveSodium PentobarbitalDescending order – Cerebral Cortex with loss of consciousness, depression of the respiratory centre, cardiac arrestDesirable barbiturates must be potent, long-acting, stable in solution and be inexpensive – Sodium Pentobarbital best fits these three criteria and is therefore most widely used.
36EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Advantages of Sodium PentobarbitalSpeed of actionMinimal discomfortSmooth drug actionInexpensiveDisadvantages of Sodium PentobarbitalPersonnel trained in IV InjectionAnimal restraint requiredTerminal “Gasp”Persists in the carcassToxic for scavengersFederal Drug RegulationsThe advantages for using Sodium Pentobarbital for Euthanasia in small animals far outweighs the disadvantages
37EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Barbituric Acid DerivativesPotassium ChlorideUnacceptable in unanaesthetized animalsAcceptable to induce cardiac arrest in anaesthetized animalsAlthough unacceptable and condemned when used in unanaesthetized animals, the use of supersaturated potassium chloride injected intravenously or intracardially in an animal under general anaesthesia is an acceptable practice to produce cardiac arrest and death.
38EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Advantages of Potassium ChlorideNot a controlled substanceLess toxic for scavengersDisadvantages of Potassium ChlorideRippling of muscle tissuesSeizuresIt is of utmost importance that personnel performing this procedure are highly trained and knowledgeable and are competent in assessing anaesthetic depth
39EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Barbituric Acid DerivativesPentobarbital CombinationsChloral HydrateT-61Tricaine Methane Sulfonate (MS 222)Pentobarbital Combinations – added local anaesthetic – slowly cardiotoxicChloral Hydrate – depresses the cerebrum slowly, progressive depression of the respiratory centre, may be preceded by gasping, muscle spasms and vocalization.T-61 – mixture of 3 drugs to produce Euthanasia – general and local anaesthetics and Curariform by IV Injection only – banned in USTricaine Methane Sulfonate (MS 222) – used for Euthanasia of amphibians and fish
41EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Physical MethodsCaptive Bolt Gun ShotCervical Dislocation DecapitationElectrocution Microwave IrradiationKill Traps Thoracic CompressionExsanguination MacerationStunning PithingBlow to the HeadEXTREME CAUTION & CAREWhen properly used by skilled personnel and well-maintained equipment, physical methods may result in less fear and anxiety and can be more rapid, painless, humane and practical than other forms of Euthanasia. These methods may be the most appropriate for rapid relief of pain and suffering.Exsanguination, Stunning & PithingMost physical methods produce an inherent risk to both the animal and humans. Extreme Caution and Care must be used with these methods
42EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Penetrating Captive BoltConcussion and trauma to the cerebral hemisphere and brainstemUsed in slaughter houses for Ruminants, Equine and SwineAesthetically displeasing
43EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Blow to the HeadAnatomic features of the animalHumane for neonatal animals with thin craniumsSingle sharp blowRapid death when properly performed
44EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Gun ShotImmediate Death – brainPerformed outdoors away from public accessDangerous Weapon, Aesthetically unpleasant, may not be able to examine for rabiesA properly placed gunshot can cause immediate insensibility and humane death. In some circumstances a gunshot may be the most practical form of Euthanasia. Must always be performed outdoors. The goal is the destruction of the brain. A shot to the heart may not produce immediate death. This method must not be used routinely in animal control facilities.
45EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Cervical Dislocation & DecapitationRapid action and loss of consciousnessNo chemically contaminated carcassesAesthetically unpleasant, mastering a technical skillCervical Dislocation – poultry, mice and other small birdsDecapitation – obtain undamaged brain tissue from lab rodents and rabbits
46EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA ElectrocutionInduce death by cardiac fibrillationHumane act if animal is unconsciousEconomicalHazardous to personnel,Aesthetically unpleasant – violent extension and stiffening of limbs, head and neckDoes not always work on small animalsSpecial skills and equipmentTechniques that apply electric current from head to tail, head to foot or head to moistened metal plates are unacceptable.
47EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Microwave IrradiationOnly acceptable use is for very small laboratory specimensThoracic CompressionOnly acceptable use is for small to medium size birds when other methods are not practicalSpecialized microwave, not a commercial type
48EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Kill TrapsDoes not always render a rapid and stress free deathShould be followed immediately by another methodUse is controversial
49EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Adjunctive MethodsExsanguination, Stunning and PithingThese methods can only be conducted in conjunction with other physical and/or chemical methodsNever Conducted as a sole means of Euthanasia
50EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA WildlifeMethods for captive animals more difficult to conduct in wild and feral animalsGun Shot or Kill TrapsAppropriate firearm and ammunitionSkilled personnelAbide and comply with governmental laws and regulationsFor wild and feral animals, many of the recommended methods of Euthanasia for captive animals are more difficult to conduct. In these cases, gun shot and kill traps may be the only practical method. The firearm and ammunition must be appropriate for the species and purpose. Personnel must be sufficiently skilled to be accurate, in the use and safety of the firearm, and always abide and comply with governmental laws and regulations
51EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Diseased, Injured, or Live-TrappedWildlife or Feral SpeciesWildlife InjuryImmediate action isusually requiredEuthanasia of diseased, injured, or live-captured wild and feral animals should be performed only by qualified personnel. Injuries such as sever trauma from a vehicle may require immediate action. The pain and suffering in the animal may best relieved most rapidly by physical methods such as gun shot or penetrating bolt followed by exsanguination.
52EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Disposition of Dead Animals1. Dispose of the animal within 48 hours of its death2. The animal has died from an infectious disease or from a reportable disease, the owner of the animal shall dispose of it in accordance with the directions of an inspector appointed under the Health of Animals Act (Canada)Prevent scavengers from gaining access to the dead animal, orTransport to a rendering or incineration plantThe owner of a dead animal shall dispose of the animal within 48 hours of its death in accordance with this section.When an animal is known or suspected to have died from an infectious disease or from a reportable disease, the owner of the animal shall dispose of it in accordance with the directions of an inspector appointed under the Health of Animals Act (Canada), but in no case may the animal be disposed of by natural disposal.The owner of a dead animal that has been euthanized with drugs or other chemical substances shall immediately take steps to prevent scavengers from gaining access to the dead animal between the time the animal is euthanised and the final disposal of the animal.
53EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Burial of Dead AnimalsBurying the animal in a burial pit, if the pit is1. at least 100 metres from wells or other domestic water intakes, streams, creeks, ponds, springs and high water marks of lakes and at least 25 metres from the edge of a coulee, major cut or embankment,2. at least 100 metres from any residences,
54EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Burial of Dead Animalsat least 100 metres from any livestock facilities, including pastures, situated on land owned or leased by another person,at least 300 metres from a primary highway,at least 100 metres from a secondary highway, and6. at least 50 metres from any other road allowance
55EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA Burial of Dead AnimalsThe pit is covered with1. a minimum of one metre of compacted soil2. the bottom of the pit is at least one metre above the seasonal high water table
56EO 003.02 PERFORM ANIMAL EUTHANASIA ConclusionIn conclusion, over the past three periods, you have been instructed on the requirement for Euthanasia, methods of Euthanasia and the disposal of the dead animal. You will now be able conduct these procedures with confidence and minimal supervision.