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Ep 23: What A Good Euthanasia Business Looks Like, with Dr. Kathleen Cooney

Episode Details

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End-of-life specialist veterinarian, Dr. Kathleen Cooney, joins Brendan Howard in this week’s episode of The Veterinary Business Success Show.

Kathy graduated from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and went on to specialize in advanced end-of-life pet care in 2006. Seeing the need for comfortable, in-home services for all types of companion animals, Kathy went on the launch Home to Heaven, an in-home euthanasia service in Colorado. Home to Heaven was ‘one of the world’s first exclusive euthanasia companies, which later included hospice and palliative care for animals’. Dr. Cooney went on to sell Home to Heaven in late 2016 and in 2017 founded the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA).

CAETA is an organization that aims to provide ‘better euthanasia experiences’ through onsite or online education, where participants access coursework and instructors to help them understand how best to deliver and handle euthanasia processes. 

Dr. Kathleen is well recognized in the veterinary community for her contributions surrounding animal euthanasia and has collaborated in training for numerous organizations including the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Fear Free program. She has also written two books ‘In-Home Pet Euthanasia Techniques: The Veterinarian’s Guide to Helping Families and Their Pets Say Goodbye in the Comfort of Home’ and ‘Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques’.

During this episode, Dr. Kathleen Cooney discusses how and why she got into specializing in euthanasia and gives advice on how best to handle euthanasias in practice.

Outline of this episode:

  • [01:05] The episode kicks off with Brendan asking Kathleen how she became an educator of euthanasia. 
  • [04:08] How did Dr. Kathleen go from doing euthanasia in her practice to expanding and educating other practices on how they handle euthanasia?
  • [06:45] Dr. Kathleen discusses the You Harmony Programme set up by her company the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA).
  • [07:55] How does an ideal euthanasia go in practice?
  • [10:19] Brendan asks Kathleen about the ‘preplanning’ of euthanasias and how this affects the practice receptionists. 
  • [12:53] Do all practices have advocates for euthanasia and if not how do you find someone that is willing to be?
  • [15:48] Kathleen continues talking through the steps of the ‘ideal euthanasia’.
  • [19:07] Ad break – Join our Leaders’ community. 
  • [20:20] The episode continues with Brendan asking Dr. Kathleen for advice on taking payments during euthanasia appointments. 
  • [23:47] What should vets do if the sedation goes wrong? How to administer correctly. 
  • [28:40] How should veterinarians deal with their emotions during a euthanasia appointment and how should employers make sure their staff isn’t getting burnout from euthanasia.
  • [33:50] The episode wraps up to an end

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Resources Mentioned:

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