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The Big Pet Diabetes Survey: Perceived Frequency and Triggers for Euthanasia

Niessen, S J M; Hazuchova, K; Powney, S L; Guitian, J; Niessen, A P M; Pion, P D; Shaw, J A; Church, D B


S J M Niessen

K Hazuchova

S L Powney

J Guitian

A P M Niessen

P D Pion

J A Shaw

D B Church


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.


Niessen, S. J. M., Hazuchova, K., Powney, S. L., Guitian, J., Niessen, A. P. M., Pion, P. D., …Church, D. B. (2017). The Big Pet Diabetes Survey: Perceived Frequency and Triggers for Euthanasia. Veterinary Sciences, 4(2), 27.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 10, 2017
Publication Date May 14, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 21, 2020
Journal Veterinary Sciences
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 2
Pages 27
Public URL


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