Euthanasia Fees & Protocols

VTH Policy #Bill309
Implementation Date: 07/23/2009  Date of Last Revision: 06/13/2022  Next Review Due: 06/12/2024 
Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 03/12/2014  Reviewed by VTH Board: 07/23/2009 
Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: N/A

Subject to modification by the VTH Director without approval.


The referring veterinarian should be notified prior to (preferably) or immediately following the euthanasia or death of a patient.

Professional service charges for euthanasia may be waived for small animals (SA) when the animal has previously been a patient or is currently a patient of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) and associated services. Clients presenting animals to the VTH for euthanasia that have not been patients previously will be charged the current euthanasia fee for the species.

Owners of large animals (LA) (Cattle, Sheep Goats, Swine, Horses, etc.) will be charged the current fee for euthanasia services regardless of current or previous patient status.

In all cases (LA and SA) clients will be charged for euthanasia drugs and the associated supplies (catheter, injection cap, etc.) needed to perform the euthanasia.


Euthanasia at the VTH should be guided by compassion, respect, and sensitivity to the needs of clients.

In recognition of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient relationship, individuals who have been clients of the Small Animal Clinic may not be charged for professional services for the euthanasia of their animals. However, persons presenting animals to the VTH for the first time, with the sole purpose of euthanasia or as the elected outcome of their animal’s care, will be assessed a professional service euthanasia fee. The current price for euthanasia may be found in the Hospital Information System (HIS).

In the Large Animal Clinic due to the intensive and complicated nature of euthanasia of horses and food animals, as well as the expense of necessary supplies, all clients will be charged the current professional fee for euthanasia as found in the HIS.

Fees will include, where appropriate, patient registration, examination, catheter placement, a euthanasia procedure, euthanasia drug, and after-death care fee.

Procedure (if applicable)

  • Consent to perform euthanasia MUST be given by the legal owner or by an official designee of the owner.
    • An exception is if the animal’s owner is not known (e.g. animal presented as an unidentified stray) or not available for consultation (e.g. in transit without access to telecommunications), and the animal is experiencing unmitigated pain and suffering that warrants immediate humane euthanasia. All attempts to contact the owner must be documented in the patient record client communication log. Euthanasia Fees Category: Billing VTH Policy #Bill309
  • Consent may be given over the phone but must be witnessed by another individual besides the owner and clinician.
  • Consent must be documented in writing on the Euthanasia/Care of Remains Authorization and Release form.
    • In the event of verbal authorization, the person receiving consent shall sign their name and date and indicate verbal authorization.
    • The witness to the consent authority must also sign and date the form.
  • The animal’s potential human health risk associated with exposure to rabies must be identified.
    • The owner must be informed of the mandatory rabies testing process if warranted.
  • The drug and volume used to perform euthanasia must be documented on the Euthanasia/Care of Remains Authorization and Release form.
  • The fees associated with euthanasia and after-death care will be entered in the HIS by the VTH service staff.

Equine Specific Guidelines

Horses will not be euthanized for non-medical reasons.

  • Clients calling the VTH to request euthanasia of a horse will be treated as other clients presenting a patient to the VTH. 
  • A clinician from the Equine Medicine and Surgery (EQMS) service will evaluate the patient and perform the procedure as deemed appropriate.

Definitions (if applicable)

Euthanasia – the humane ending of life through the administration of medication with the intent to end cardiac, respiratory, and neurological functions while minimizing anxiety or pain for the patient.

VTH - The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.

KeywordsVTH Policy #Bill309   Doc ID123638
OwnerTina O.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-01-30 12:33 CDTUpdated2023-01-31 12:17 CDT
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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