Health Canada warns of shortage of animal euthanasia products

Toronto-Health Canada has warned that due to explosions in overseas manufacturing plants, there will be a shortage of drugs for animal euthanasia globally, but according to the Canadian Veterinary Association (CVMA), pet owners in Canada need not worry.

Tuesday, Health Canada Alert the veterinarianThe alert explained that they realized earlier in 2021 that an accident at the manufacturing site would lead to a global shortage of sodium pentobarbital, which is “the active ingredient used in most animal euthanasia products.”

The agency said: “The shortage is expected to affect Canada’s existing supply in mid-to-late 2021 and continue until mid-2022.”

“Health Canada is working with CAHI (Canadian Institute of Animal Health), CVMA, pharmaceutical manufacturers, importers and distributors to mitigate the impact on the veterinary health system and Canadians who need to provide hospice care for their animals/pets. “

CVMA told in an email that they were aware of the shortage before Health Canada announced it publicly.

CVMA said: “Drug shortages do occur from time to time, so in this sense, it is not surprising, but given the importance of this particular drug to Canadian animal welfare, it immediately became a very worrying issue.”

According to Health Canada, the exact products affected include Euthanyl, Euthanyl Forte and Dorminal, all of which are used in “dogs, cats, horses, cattle, laboratory animals and birds.” Euthanyl and Euthanyl Forte are also used with mink.

The shortage is worrying because being able to provide euthanasia is an important part of veterinary services.

CVMA said: “Euphanism is an extremely important aspect of veterinary practice. It allows pet parents and their veterinarians to ensure that their beloved animals end their lives in a gentle and painless manner.” “For veterinarians, monitoring and managing animal euthanasia is ( a) Privilege is also a responsibility that veterinarians take very seriously.”

CAHI also posted Alert about the situation in late MayThey stated that the manufacturing site needs to recover from the explosion that occurred in December 2020.

“As this production base strives to resume operations, the shortage of active ingredients has begun to have an impact on the global supply of euthanasia products,” the press release said.

Health Canada and CAHI did not provide any further details about the explosion. CAHI is a trade association whose members are responsible for most animal health products sold in Canada.

It requires Canadian veterinarians to take only the recommended amount of sodium pentobarbital and order only the euthanasia drugs they need in practice to avoid hoarding that may exacerbate the shortage of other veterinarians.

Health Canada and CVMA responded to this recommendation.

CVMA stated, “It is recommended that veterinarians keep supplies as much as possible and share supplies with colleagues in accordance with regulations when needed.”

It added that it is developing guidelines for alternative methods of euthanasia that do not use sodium pentobarbital in case a substitute is needed.

“CVMA, through an expert advisory committee composed of veterinary pharmacists, anesthesiologists, palliative care experts, and species experts, is developing resources and guidelines on products, methods, and protocols that can be used to euthanize pentobarbi. It is a substitute for sodium product and will be widely shared across Canada’s veterinary health system,” they said On their website.

CVMA told that pet owners “should not worry” that their pets may not have a dignified ending.

“The existing supply of pentobarbital is being carefully managed and an alternative supply is being sought. Veterinarians can adopt an alternative method of euthanasia that is as humane and effective as sodium pentobarbital.”

In its statement, Health Canada added that it “is currently evaluating the possibility of temporarily importing foreign-authorized alternative euthanasia products to alleviate this shortage.”

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