Djurägares upplevelser i samband med avlivning på smådjursklinik beträffande känslor, personalens bemötande och stöd
Sammanfattning: The aim of this study was to get an insight into the pet owners’ experiences associated with euthanasia at small animal clinics, concerning their emotions, the treatment by the personnel and the experiences around various types of support provided by the personnel. The target group was pet owners who had had their animal euthanized at a small animal clinic. Incomplete survey responses and responses where it was clear that the euthanasia took place in the owner’s home were excluded. In the end, a total of 442 pet owners participated and out of those were 92 % women and 8 % were men. The study was carried out using a web-based questionnaire consisting of standardized questions with the opportunity to give further comments to each question and in the field of “Other comments” as well. Swedish small animal related companies and forums were contacted via email and were asked to alert about the present study on their website or forum. Five, aktivhund.se, skk.se, sveland.se, zoonen.se and lantmannen.com (Doggy) agreed to participate, either by alerting about the study on their website or through their newsletter. A web-based questionnaire was then conducted and sent to the participating companies and forums to be available during two weeks in March 2012. The present study indicates that Swedish pet owners find the overall perspective of the personnel’s encounter associated with small animal euthanasia to be satisfying, with 56 % saying “very good”. The experienced emotions varied among the owners, with sadness, acceptance and despair as the three most common. A total of 76 % said they hadn’t been offered any support from the clinic following the euthanasia. In addition, without regard to whether they had been offered support or not, 22 % said they would have wanted support from the clinic. However, although this is a very satisfying result, the present study also indicates that there are some deficiencies and thus, that there is room for improvement. Hence, as well as further studies to clarify these deficiencies, the author also stresses the need for this kind of communication to be more involved in the veterinary technician curriculum. Since communication and interaction with the client is a vital aspect of animal care, improved communication skills in connection with the euthanasia procedure can as a result lead to improved animal care in a way that is beneficial for both the owner and the pet and in the end the personnel and the clinic as well.
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