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Abstract

Objective—To determine perceptions of the human-animal bond (HAB) among veterinarians in private practice and evaluate how these veterinarians incorporate the HAB in their practices.

Design—Survey.

Sample Population—1,602 veterinarians in private practice in Washington state.

Procedure—Participants were contacted and asked to complete a survey.

Results—Response rate was 26% (415/1,602). Most respondents agreed that veterinarians will be more successful if they recognize and facilitate the HAB, that facilitating the HAB was important to their practices, that they actively evaluated the degree of bonding between clients and their animals, and that the bonding between a client and his or her animal affected the way they practiced medicine. However, > 50% of respondents did not train veterinary technicians and front office staff members in the HAB or encourage veterinary technicians or front office staff members to learn about the HAB. Fifty-one percent of respondents offered few or no HAB resources to clients. When asked to quantify the importance of 10 nontechnical skills associated with private veterinary practice, respondents ranked communication skills, ethical reasoning, and business management first, second, and third; the HAB was ranked fifth.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that for veterinarians in private practice in Washington state, there is a dichotomy between how important they consider the HAB to be in their practice and the degree to which they facilitate the HAB with regard to communication, training, and client resources. More research on the HAB is necessary to better understand what the HAB encompasses and its implications for private practitioners.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors influencing satisfaction with procedures for small animal euthanasia and to compare the relative importance of those factors among clients, staff, and students at a veterinary teaching hospital.

Design—Survey.

Sample Population—18 nonclinical hospital staff members, 13 clinical staff members, 10 veterinary technicians, 19 veterinary students, and 91 clients.

Procedure—Participants were asked to complete a survey that was designed to assess satisfaction with various aspects of the euthanasia procedure.

Results—Overall response rate was 48% (151/313). Respondents most strongly agreed with the statements that clients should have the option to be present, that having a private place was important, and that employees should be trained to attend to the emotional needs of the client. When asked to place factors in order of importance, those that were ranked the highest included compassionate and caring attitudes of the hospital employees, the option for the client to be present during the euthanasia, and the client being informed and well prepared.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Overall, all groups (nonclinical staff, clinical staff, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and clients) identified the same factors as being important in the euthanasia of a pet. Results may help facilitate healthy euthanasia experiences. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1774–1779)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association