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Understanding and responding to grief in companion animal practice

Williams, S. and Mills, J. (2000) Understanding and responding to grief in companion animal practice. Australian Veterinary Practitioner, 30 (2). pp. 55-62.


Veterinarians and their staff are likely to be more effective in managing the human side of veterinary practice in relation to the death of their patients if they are aware of the needs of bereaved owners. This paper outlines the process of grief, draws parallels with human loss and describes factors, including aspects of the human-animal bond, which may influence the owners' reactions. It provides practical examples of empathic responses that will help to validate owners' reactions to the natural or assisted death of companion animals. Suggestions on managing staff stress are also presented.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association
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