ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0227.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: rehabilitation; stress; reptiles; injury; disease; euthanasia; trauma; clinical care
Online: 9 February 2021 (09:23:18 CET)
Direct and indirect anthropogenic factors play a massive role in driving wildlife species towards extinction. Longitudinal retrospective studies identify key ‘factors’ responsible for the decline in numbers of wildlife, however, lack the reasoning behind the events leading to mortality. The overarching aim of this study was to categorize these ‘factors’ into different stressor categories faced by reptiles to understand its impact on an individual, and to compare how each stressor category influences the survival of an individual. The results from this study indicated that almost half of the number of reptiles being hospitalized were due to exposure to preliminary stressors such as lawn mowing incidents and pet attack. Primary and secondary admissions were fairly equal in number, however the mortality rate for secondary admissions was drastically high (~80%). The discussion integrates species’ ecology and stress physiology which can prove to have multi-faceted benefits across the fields of ecology and animal welfare. Ecologists can use the results from this study to comprehend species’ activity patterns to better plan reptilian conservation programs, whereas, for wildlife clinicians and rehabilitators, assignment of stressor categories could be a beneficial tool for bolstering the welfare monitoring program for small native reptiles in clinical settings.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0084.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: euthanasia; veterinary ethics; medical ethics; end-of-life; assisted suicide; palliative care; assisted dying
Online: 7 December 2017 (05:20:50 CET)
Not a lot is known about either death or the dying process. Politicians and many in the medical profession in the UK tend to shy away from interfering with it by not allowing euthanasia as an end of life option for the patient. This is the first paper in a series of two, comparing the situation in human medicine and veterinary medicine, in which euthanasia is well practiced for relieving suffering at the end of an animal’s life. This first part takes the form of a literature review including best practice around end of life care, its deficiencies and the need for assisted dying. Veterinary surgeons are well trained in the ethics of euthanasia and put it to good use in the best interest of their animal patients. In countries which have legalized physician assisted suicide for the terminally ill reporting indicates that it works well, without increases in involuntary euthanasia and most importantly without intimidation of the vulnerable. However, there is still an ever increasing tendency to overuse sedation and opioids at the end of life, which merits further investigation. With advances in medical science able to significantly prolong the dying process, patient autonomy demands a review of the law in the UK.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0620.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: risk factors; longevity, death; euthanasia; retirement; longitudinal; TeamMate; working dogs; herding dogs; working farm dogs
Online: 25 March 2021 (14:24:34 CET)
Working farm dogs are essential to many livestock farmers. Little is known about factors that influence dogs’ risk of being lost from work. This paper explores risk factors for farm dogs being lost through death, euthanasia and retirement. All enrolled dogs were working and minimum 18 months old. Five data collection rounds were done over four years. Data about dogs were collected from owners and dogs were given physical examinations by veterinarians. Dogs that were lost from work were counted and owner-reported reasons for loss were recorded. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to investigate risk factors for loss. Of 589 dogs, 81 were lost from work. Of these, 59 dogs died or were euthanized and 22 were retired. Farm dogs tended to reach high ages, with 38% being 10 years or older when last examined. Acute injury or illness was the most commonly owner-reported reason for loss. Age group (P < 0.0001) and lameness (P = 0.04, OR = 1.8) significantly affected dogs’ risk being lost. These results expand our knowledge about factors that affect health, welfare and work in farm dogs. Further investigation into reasons for lameness may help improve health and welfare in working farm dogs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0094.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: euthanasia; veterinary ethics; medical ethics; end-of-life; assisted suicide; palliative care; assisted dying; moral stress
Online: 1 December 2017 (16:58:27 CET)
This is the second of a series of two papers comparing the end of life issues in human and veterinary medicine. We outline the main differences between human and animal patients such as patient communication, finance and ‘conflicts of interest’ between animal, owner and veterinarian. We discuss striking similarities between human and veterinary issues such as assessing quality of life and the primary role of the attending veterinarian or doctor being the welfare and care of the patient. This paper takes the form of an ethical argument in favour of allowing euthanasia in human medicine, by providing insights into end of life issues for humans from an independent veterinary perspective. Veterinary surgeons are well trained in the ethics of euthanasia and put it to good use in the best interest of their animal patients. Doctors in the UK are limited and unwilling to put forward a case for the option of euthanasia for those patients who face a slow and agonizing death. With advances in medical science being able to significantly prolong the dying process, autonomy for the patient demands a review of the law regarding patient choice in the UK.