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Prolonged Treatment of an Ill Pet

If your pet has a disease that requires extensive, prolonged treatment, the complexities of the illness and the required treatment should be discussed with your veterinarian so that he or she may better serve you and your pet's interests.





A decision to proceed with such treatment is based on several factors:  Is it humane?  A common statement by owners is, "I don't want my pet treated because I don't want to see him/her suffer."  With modern drugs and techniques, pain can be effectively suppressed in most cases.  Many prolonged diseases do not necessarily produce excruciating pain; however, various degrees of discomfort can be expected at times during the course of a serious disease.  This is a major concern of veterinarians, and action will be taken to minimize pain and discomfort according to your pet's individual needs.


Will the animal remain an acceptable pet?  In other words, will your pet's life be normal enough to allow the family to enjoy it after the current crisis is over?  The answer depends on several factors, such as its age, types and frequency of possible treatments, and extent of disability.


How long will treatment take and what is the estimated cost?  It is difficult and often impossible to estimate the total cost and time of extended and complex treatment.  Your pet is an individual and will show various rates and qualities of response to a given treatment.  Therefore, the duration of treatment depends on both your pet's response and your own personal economic priorities.


Usually the doctor will suggest a time shortly after initiation of treatment to give you a medical report and a prognosis (medical forecast), based on your pet's current status.  From that information, you can decide whether it is financially and emotionally feasible to continue treatment until another mutually agreeable evaluation time.  If the pet's condition worsens, or the doctor becomes convinced that treatment is to no avail, you will be advised accordingly.

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