Is He Going to Make It Doc? (chs. 68-70)

Is He Going to Make It Doc?This topic is a tough one. If an animal is really sick it is sometimes hard to know whether or not to proceed with treatment or to make the hard decision of euthanasia.

As vets, we owe it to you to give you all of the options when it comes to care for your pet. However, I do feel that not all of us vets are good at letting clients know that euthanasia is a valid option.

I have heard many stories of people who have spent thousands of dollars on chemotherapy only to lose their pet a few months into the treatment. Often, a vet will give clients a number of treatment options but will not give a good idea of prognosis.

Sometimes it can be hard to know what the outcome will be. However, many times there are documented studies that give us facts such as “the average survival rate for an animal with this cancer who is given this treatment is xx months.”

If your animal is really unwell, ask your vet to level with you and give his or her opinion of how likely the pet is to survive (and for how long) if you proceed with treatment.

If your vet is pushing treatment, but your gut is not agreeing then it is a good idea to seek a second opinion or to ask an online vet for their opinion which is generally unbiased.

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Which is better, pills or liquid?

Letʼs face it… no one likes to administer medication to an animal. I will often have people ask me to prescribe their medication in a liquid form if it is available. Similarly, most of the time if we have a small animal we will prescribe medication in a liquid form.

In most cases, the liquid form of a medication is significantly more expensive than the pill form. If your vet is prescribing a liquid you can ask if it is at all possible to have the medication in a pill form. (Of course, if you have an animal that is very difficult to give a pill to then this is not a good idea!).

Ask for a half or quarter pills if possible

Many veterinary medications come in a pill that can be cut into halves or quarters. If your vet is prescribing pills you can ask if you can save money by having a larger pill prescribed. Here is an example of what I mean:

• Iʼd like to put an animal on 250 mg of Clavasceptin twice daily. Instead of prescribing a 250 mg tablet to give twice daily, I will prescribe a 500mg tablet and instruct the client to give half of a tablet twice daily. This ends up being significantly less expensive!

However, not all medications can be reliably divided like this.

Article by Dr. Marie

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