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Ethical dilemmas in practice
Injured fawn

Abstract

The dilemma in the last issue concerned a client who brought an injured fawn to a mixed practice (In Practice, October 2009, volume 31, pages 470–471). The animal was disoriented, distressed and fracture lame on its right leg and the client was willing to cover all costs. Annie Kerr commented that the consulting vet should take into account welfare considerations, the fawn's age, the extent of any injuries or disease and the likely quality of life after treatment when formulating a prognosis that would influence whether treatment or euthanasia was the most appropriate option. It was important to manage what might be an emotive situation with care in an attempt to effectively communicate the patient's health and welfare needs. A possible way forward would be to give careful consideration to both the short- and long-term health and welfare needs of the animal, the capacity of a rehabilitator or sanctuary to accept the injured animal and the resources available within the veterinary clinic to accomodate such a patient.

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