CSU stresses training, bond-centered practices

CSU stresses training, bond-centered practices

Feb 01, 2002
By dvm360.com staff

Fort Collins, Colo.-Colorado State University (CSU) has taken an innovative step in handling euthanasia.

In fact, the Argus Institute for Families and Veterinary Medicine has taken the study of facilitating euthanasia and grief to a whole new level.

As reported in DVM Newsmagazine, the university broke ground on a new 30,000-square-foot wing of its veterinary hospital. A large portion of the facility will house its Animal Cancer Center, and the other side will become the home of the Argus Institute for Families and Veterinary Medicine. This center will include 12 new examination rooms, and can all be converted into "comfort rooms." Four of these examination rooms will also be equipped with observation windows for use in teaching and training.

Laurel Lagoni, managing director of the Argus Institute, says the physical space will allow the university to conduct more training for veterinarians and students in creating a "bond-centered practice," which has been defined as prioritizing relationships with clients and their pets as well as their staff.

"This focus on building and healing the relationships that stem from the human-animal bond forms the heart of a bond-centered practice," the university says.

As part of its work, the Argus Institute has created guidelines for a bond-centered practice. One set of guidelines specifically focus on pet loss. The other guidelines are currently in varying stages of completion and focus on animal behavior, and trust and loyalty.

Lagoni adds that the Argus Institute is planning on conducting training programs that bring in veterinarians or others from hospital staffs to observe and learn skills focused on communications and grief counseling.

The long-range plan is to set-up a practice certification program focused on this concept of a bond-centered practice, she explains. But that step is still in the formative, planning stages.

Preparing clients for death, should actually start early in life, Lagoni adds. Veterinarians need to think about ways to educate pet owners about end-of-life issues.

She adds that the protocols developed on pet loss are one step in the process, and that it can really start a healthy examination on how the practice handles euthanasia from client education to cremation or disposal of the remains.

For more information about the bond-centered practice guidelines contact Tammy Mimms at (970) 491-4143 or e-mail Tmimms@lamar.colostate.edu.