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The big pet diabetes survey: Perceived frequency and triggers for euthanasia

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James Shaw



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 by the authors. Current pet diabetes mellitus (DM) treatment necessitates the active daily involvement of owners and can be costly. The current study aimed to investigate the owner population which opts for euthanasia instead of DM treatment. A survey was designed using multiple feedback steps and made available online to veterinarians world-wide. A total of 1192 veterinarians completed the survey and suggested a median one in 10 diabetic pets are euthanased at diagnosis; a further median one in 10 within one year because of lack of success or compliance. Perceived most important motivating factors included "presence concurrent disease" (45% respondents); "costs" (44%); "animal age" (37%); "problems obtaining adequate control" (35%); "pet welfare" (35%); and "impact owner's lifestyle" (32%). Cats in Canadian (odds ratio (OR) 2.7), Australian (OR 2.3), rural (OR 1.6) and mixed (OR 1.7) practices were more likely to be euthanased because of DM diagnosis, while cats presented to referral/university were less likely to be euthanased (OR 0.6). Dogs were more likely to be euthanased because of DM in Canadian (OR 1.8), rural (OR 1.8) and mixed (OR 1.6) practices. The survey results suggest that benefit exists in improved DM education with emphasis on offering a choice of treatment styles ranging from intense and expensive to hands-off and cheap.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Niessen SJM, Hazuchova K, Powney SL, Guitian J, Niessen APM, Pion PD, Shaw JA, Church DB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Veterinary Sciences

Year: 2017

Volume: 4

Issue: 2

Online publication date: 14/05/2017

Acceptance date: 10/05/2017

Date deposited: 08/06/2018

ISSN (electronic): 2306-7381

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/vetsci4020027


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