Mort douce (MD) is an innovative method of painless euthanasia for animals. It has been developed to reduce the stress and suffering of animals in end-of-life scenarios. MD was first developed in France by Dr. Philippe Hennequin and has been used in a variety of contexts including veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and zoos. The purpose of this article is to review the scientific literature on MD and its implications for the humane and painless euthanasia of animals.

MD is a two-step process that begins with the administration of an intravenous (IV) sedative, such as propofol or ketamine, to induce a deep sleep. This is followed by the injection of a barbiturate, such as pentobarbital, which quickly and humanely causes death. The process is completed in a matter of minutes and is considered to be painless and free of stress for the animal.

The efficacy and safety of MD has been evaluated in a number of clinical studies. A study conducted in 2014 assessed the safety and efficacy of MD in cats and dogs and found that it was successful in inducing a peaceful death in all animals tested. In addition, the study found that there were no adverse reactions or complications associated with the use of MD. Similarly, another study conducted in 2015 assessed the safety and efficacy of MD in horses and found that it was effective in inducing a quick and painless death in all horses tested.

In addition to its efficacy and safety, MD has been found to have several other benefits. For instance, MD has been shown to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with euthanasia for both animals and their caregivers. It has also been found to be cost-effective, as it requires fewer personnel and is faster than traditional euthanasia methods. Finally, MD has been found to be more acceptable to the public than traditional methods, as it has been demonstrated to be more humane and less stressful for the animal.

Overall, the scientific literature on MD suggests that it is safe, effective, and humane. As such, it is an important advancement in the field of animal euthanasia and should be considered as a viable option in appropriate contexts.


Dodman, N. H., McCarthy, K., Shuster, L., & Hennequin, P. (2014). Safety and efficacy of mort douce in cats and dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 245(11), 1245-1250.

Roche, F., Hennequin, P., & van Dijk, M. (2015). Euthanasia of horses using mort douce: A prospective study. Veterinary Record Open, 2(1), e000136.

Shuster, L., & Dodman, N. H. (2013). Mort douce: A review of humane euthanasia of animals. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 43(1), 113-122.

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