Pet Hospice Care Bismarck ND
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Tuesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Friday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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West Fargo, ND
Decision Making and Old Cats
By Alice Villalobos, DVM
I am frequently pulled into the decision-making process for old pets. One of our elderly feline patients named PP had successful brain surgery twice over the past five years.
At both surgeries the neurologist removed a large meningioma. PP was 18 years old when the tumor recurred. Her family declined further diagnostic work up (MRI) because they did not want her to undergo a third surgery at her advanced age.
PP was circling, blind, very tense, unable to use her litter box and in a two-month decline.
The family was ready to euthanize PP but they met Dr. Katalin Grant, who referred them to me for an end-of-life care consultation.
Six months have passed since then and PP is nearly back to normal. She responded to our Pawspice program's palliative brain tumor and immunonutrition protocols. The family could not be more pleased. Their other family cat is PP's 17-year-old offspring. He is on subcutaneous fluids for chronic renal failure.
The decision-making process is alive and well for these families. But for many pet owners, their decisions can be greatly influenced or practically dictated by paternalistic doctors.
Paternalism is abused when the attending doctor influences decisions based on interests other than those of the patient's needs and the pet caregiver's wishes.
Paternalism is being replaced by self-determined education. Clients gather information and partner with their veterinarian in the decision-making process.
Copyright 2009 BowTie Inc.