Skip to main content
2 answers
Asked Viewed 99 times Translate

If I become a vet, do I have to be the one to put an animal down?

I love animals and would love to work with them but I'm not sure if I could put someones pet down. I will if I have to but I don't know if I'll get emotional. Basically I'm asking if it gets easier the more you do it. veterinarian veterinary animals

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

3
100% of 2 Pros

2 answers


Updated Translate

Adrianna’s Answer

I worked as a Veterinary Assistant and to answer your question is difficult. I was curious of this topic as well as sometimes owners will come in and try to get doctors to euthanize their animals out of convenience. Every clinic and Dr is different but technically, no, you don't have to. As a Doctor you have the right to refuse service, however you take an oath in becoming a Vet that says, essentially, that if an animal is suffering you will do everything in your power to help. That means when you get a 14 year old lab with unmanaged diabetes that the owners refuse to treat, you are obligated to put the animal to sleep to help relieve suffering.
However when an owner comes in and asks for a euthanasia for there cat is 10 year old healthy cat that only has eye issues, (which did happen) you have every right to say no, give the owner options for medical and financial help or options to surrender the animal.

This is a very difficult part of the job, and you do in fact get more and more adjusted to it. I asked several doctors that I worked with and no one said it was the light that brightened there days, but they understood the necessity of it. I cried almost every time we had a sedation for almost a year, it takes time.
I would not say it is the most difficult however. The industry can be brutal mentally. Very often you are not treated as you deserve, and clients believe that you are more interested in their money than the well being of their pet. I encourage you to reach out to local clinics to get to speak with vets about their journey. It was a major eye opener to see what they go through.

What a thoughtful response! As a pet owner, I've only seen the really caring, compassionate side of putting dearly loved, well cared-for pets to sleep to ease end-of-life suffering. Our vets have always been terrific and, as deeply saddened as I knew they were, too, we all knew it was best for the animal - literally the kindest thing we could do. I'd have never considered the heartless people who do it for convenience. That is what makes this forum so great - the true professional insight that only some one who's been in the role can provide. Thank you for your service to the animals, and the students here! Desiree Giler Mann

2
100% of 1 Pros
100% of 1 Students
Updated Translate

SHANNON’s Answer

I know a lot of vets and this is definitely a challenging part of the job. I'm not sure they ever become emotionally numb however when an animal is suffering and there is no remedy, you are ending their suffering and bringing peace to the animal and family. In my experience, I appreciate it when my vet and vet staff has shown emotion because it helps knowing my dog meant something to them too. You can also consider becoming a vet specialist that would rarely if ever be involved putting an animal down. Like some of the below:
Veterinary behaviorists that use a combination of medical and behavioral knowledge when working with animals. These professionals see patients with needs that go beyond basic obedience issues, so they must be able to take detailed histories and identify the most relevant facts. If necessary, a behaviorist will determine a medication protocol as part of the animal’s treatment plan.
Veterinary Radiology - seeing referral patients in need of x-ray, ultrasound, or other advanced imaging procedures. They work in tandem with the referring veterinarian to ensure the animal receives the best outcome.
SPORTS MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION - The goal of vets who specialize in sports medicine and rehabilitation is to return injured athletic animals to normal function and health. Their training exposes them to surgeries and procedures that other veterinarians might not be able to perform. Sports medicine and rehabilitation specialists can obtain certification to work with dogs or horses.
2
100% of 1 Pros
100% of 1 Students