09 Jun Pentobarbital Shortage – CAETA International News Release
Loveland, Colorado, June 1, 2021-In May 2021, the FDA announced a shortage of pentobarbital, the most commonly used drug for humane euthanasia of companion animals. This is due to the unavailability of the active pharmaceutical ingredient at the factory level.
We at the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA), an international animal welfare training group, are working hard to alleviate the fear and stress felt across the world in our veterinary community as a result of this announcement. Our goal is to work collaboratively to prevent panic and hoarding of supplies similar to what we have all lived through with the Covid-19 pandemic.
As we are considered the leading experts in training the art of euthanasia, we feel it is our responsibility to continue to ensure a peaceful passing for all companion animals and advocate for client present euthanasia.
Therefore, we are hard at work researching alternative drugs, developing protocols, and initiating clinical trials.
At the moment our best alternatives are potassium chloride and magnesium sulphate. These salts, when mixed with warm water at the proper concentrations, can be given intravenously to provide euthanasia. However, they must be administered quickly, and the animal must be under general anesthesia in order to effectively achieve a humane death.
We maintain hope that pentobarbital will soon be back on the market in sufficient quantities. In the meantime, we will continue to support our veterinary community in providing the latest information combined with our knowledge and experience in the art of gentle and humane euthanasia.
The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) was founded in 2017 by Kathleen Cooney, DVM, MS, CHPV, CCFP. CAETA brings detailed training to veterinarians and members of the veterinary team, in all aspects of companion animal euthanasia. Coursework topics include drug pharmacology, caregiver and pet considerations, pre-euthanasia sedation protocols, euthanasia techniques, case review, and more. Training is currently offered in the United States and other countries around the world. The program is designed to improve the euthanasia experience for the pet, caregiver, and veterinary team.