When disease or injury conditions arise that diminish quality of life or create pain and suffering that cannot be effectively relieved by medical means, euthanasia is indicated, says Jan Shearer, DVM, MS.

 Examples include:

  • Fractures of the legs, hip or spine that are not repairable and result in immobility or inability to stand.
  • Paralysis from traumatic or calving-related injuries that result in immobility.
  • Diseases that result in a significant loss of production (e.g., severe mastitis in dairy cattle).
  • Advanced eye disease (e.g., cancer eye in cattle).
  • Disease conditions where cost of treatment is prohibitive.
  • Disease conditions where prognosis is poor or time to expected recovery is unusually prolonged.
  • Rabies-suspect animals where there is significant threat to human health (these animals should be attended to or seen by a veterinarian).