Beyond Pentobarbital: Alternative Euthanasia Methods


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CE Credits: 1.8 Scientific

Euthanasia is a sensitive, yet necessary, topic — now more than ever. Many veterinarians find themselves searching for alternatives as the widely used drug, pentobarbital, is in short supply and its use is discouraged in some jurisdictions. Hear from four experts as they break down alternative euthanasia methods currently available. Equine practitioners will be the focus of this course, but there will be key takeaways for all veterinarians working with large animals.


Monica Aleman, MVZ Cert., PhD, Dipl. ACVIM (LAIM, Neurology)
Dr. Aleman obtained her veterinary degree at the University UNAM-Mexico. She completed residencies in large animal internal medicine (equine emphasis) and neurology and neurosurgery at UC Davis (UCD) and obtained board certification by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in both specialties. Dr. Aleman completed a PhD in comparative pathology in neuromuscular disorders at UCD, and her research has expanded from the comprehensive clinical description of neurologic disorders to the discovery of a genetic mutation, development of novel diagnostic modalities, and understanding of pathophysiology of neurological and muscle disorders in multiple species with equine emphasis. She speaks regularly at national and international meetings and has over 120 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Aleman was recently awarded with the Terry Holliday Equine and Comparative Neurology Endowed Presidential Chair by UCD, and an award in excellence in clinical, teaching, research and service for her work in equine neurology by the UNAM-Mexico.
Dr. Aleman is one of the co-founders of the Equine and Comparative Neurology Research Group at UCD and co-directs the Neuromuscular Disease Laboratory and Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at UCD. She has dedicated part of her research time to study humane and welfare aspects of various methods of euthanasia.

Ryan Breuer, DVM, DACVIM - LAIM
Dr. Breuer holds a dual appointment as one of the Diagnostic Case & Outreach Coordinators at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Large Animal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (UW SVM). He is from a diversified, rural farming community in southeast Wisconsin with a background rich in agricultural experiences. He completed his DVM degree in 2012 from the UW SVM. Dr. Breuer then practiced large animal medicine in general practice for two and a half years in Wisconsin. He then went on to the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine where he completed a residency training program in Food Animal Internal Medicine. At the UW SVM and WVDL, Dr. Breuer has a special focus in consulting with veterinarians as well as teaching veterinary students the many concepts of AVMA-approved humane euthanasia for large animal species. Other areas of interest for Dr. Breuer include large animal internal medicine, herd health investigations, and diagnostic and infectious disease consultation.

Howard Ketover, DVM
Dr. Ketover is an ambulatory practitioner in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the current president of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association and a past president of the Wisconsin Equine Practitioners Association. He founded Irongate Equine Clinic, a four-doctor equine exclusive practice, in 2008. In 2012, Dr. Ketover co-founded Wisconsin Large Animal Emergency Response, a non-profit 501c(3) organization that brings large animal technical rescue training to Animal Control Officers, Fire Fighters, Law Enforcement, Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians. In addition, he has worked closely with multiple mounted law enforcement agencies to bring emergency rescue principles including firearm euthanasia strategies for working horses to the departments. In 2014, Dr. Ketover worked with clinicians from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary to develop a five-day Large Animal Rescue and Patient Management course that instructs twenty veterinary students annually. With the university's assistance, he continues to bring emergency animal training and response opportunities to the veterinary students.

Dr. Lund is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin in the Diagnostic Imaging Department. She has worked as an equine ambulatory veterinarian, a small animal emergency medicine veterinarian and an instructor for veterinary technicians. Dr. Lund is also a preventive medicine veterinarian in the United States Army Reserves Veterinary Corps. She enjoys using diagnostic imaging to solve every day, practical issues while improving our understanding of disease processes, and increasing our ability to care for patients.