Next Article in Journal
Extracts from Microalga Chlorella sorokiniana Exert an Anti-Proliferative Effect and Modulate Cytokines in Sheep Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells
Previous Article in Journal
Feather Pecking and Cannibalism in Non-Beak-Trimmed Laying Hen Flocks—Farmers’ Perspectives
Previous Article in Special Issue
Why Should Human-Animal Interactions Be Included in Research of Working Equids’ Welfare?
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Animals 2019, 9(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9020044

Austrian Veterinarians’ Attitudes to Euthanasia in Equine Practice

1
Unit of Ethics and Human-Animal-Studies, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
2
University Equine Hospital, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
Full-Text   |   PDF [244 KB, uploaded 30 January 2019]   |   Review Reports

Simple Summary

Euthanasia of companion animals is a challenging responsibility in the veterinary profession. Convenience euthanasia, over-treatment of animals, and financial limitations often present challenging situations in veterinary practice. Only a few empirical investigations have been published which concentrate on the horse owner’s perspective on euthanasia in equine practice. Data findings on veterinarians’ attitudes toward euthanasia in equine medicine are even scarcer. To this end, an anonymous questionnaire-based survey of Austrian equine veterinarians’ examines attitudes to the euthanasia of equine patients in a range of scenarios; to identify factors which may influence decisions on the ending of a horse’s life. The study showed that veterinarians consider contextual and relational factors in their decision-making. They are aware of owners’ emotional bonds with their horses and financial background, however, requests for convenience euthanasia are typically rejected. Although some significant differences between the tested variables, e.g., gender and working experience emerged, the attitudes of the veterinarians were shown to be largely shared. We conclude that veterinarians are aware of the multiple factors that influence their decision-making and gave indications as to the weight of animal- and owner-related factors in the handling of euthanasia in equine practice.

Abstract

Euthanasia of companion animals is a challenging responsibility in the veterinary profession since veterinarians have to consider not only medical, but also legal, economic, emotional, social, and ethical factors in decision-making. To this end; an anonymous questionnaire-based survey of Austrian equine veterinarians examines the attitudes to the euthanasia of equine patients in a range of scenarios; to identify factors which may influence decisions on the ending of a horse’s life. This paper describes the distributions of demographic and attitude variables. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to test the associations of gender, work experience, and equine workload with attitudes in relation to euthanasia statements and case scenarios. In total, 64 respondents (response rate = 23.4%) completed the questionnaire. The study showed that veterinarians consider contextual and relational factors in their decision-making. They are aware of owners’ emotional bonds with their horses and financial background, however, requests for convenience euthanasia are typically rejected. Although some significant differences between the tested variables emerged, the attitudes of the veterinarians were shown to be largely shared. In conclusion, veterinarians are aware of the multiple factors that influence their decision-making and gave indications as to the weight of animal- and owner-related factors in the handling of euthanasia. View Full-Text
Keywords: euthanasia; equine veterinary medicine; questionnaire-based survey; veterinary medical ethics euthanasia; equine veterinary medicine; questionnaire-based survey; veterinary medical ethics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Springer, S.; Jenner, F.; Tichy, A.; Grimm, H. Austrian Veterinarians’ Attitudes to Euthanasia in Equine Practice. Animals 2019, 9, 44.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top