10 June 2016

HEALTH - More Treatment Options Can Mean More Stress for Pet Owners

There is no question that through advances in technology there are more veterinary options available to pet owners, including medication, surgeries and mobility assistance devices, but according to Dr. Danny Joffe of Associate Vet Clinics in Calgary, the primary veterinary focus must remain on ensuring the pet’s health and safety come first.

“Because of advances in veterinary medicine, we are allowed to offer a lot more options for care…but our duty is to the pet and not to the owner, and if gets to the point where the quality of life for the animal is compromised, our responsibility is to ensure that pet does not suffer,” he explained.

Expenditures on vet medicine have nearly doubled in just over a decade, according to marketresearch.com – from $8.5B in 2005 to $15B in 2015.

Much of this may be attributed to advances in veterinary medicine, as well as pets being held in an increasingly familial regard; as less people in North America have children, the desire to nurture is frequently extended to the love for a pet.

“There are even hospices for pets, to help deal with pain management and end of life care,” said Joffe. A simple online keyword search for animal hospices returns pages of information, services and centres.

For many, however, the care for an animal – particularly an aging pet – must be balanced with cost.

With the plethora of medications, procedures and prosthetics available for the maimed or failing pet, the ticket price associated with these advancements can place considerable financial strain on the average pet owner.

Add to this the emotional strain of wanting to do absolutely everything possible for their pet and the burden of treatment decisions can be huge.

Joffe said he believes pet insurance to be one of the best investments a pet owner can make today.

While it is unlikely a veterinary clinic would place any pressure on an owner to pursue options beyond what is affordable, for some pet parents there are feelings of guilt that may be associated with knowing that there is a veterinary solution that could save their pet’s life versus accepting that this option may be out of their financial reach.

Joffe said where he sees the most pressure is when family members disagree on course of action for their pet’s care.

“I always tell people I have the easy job – they have the hard job because they have to make the decision that is right for their family.”

By Lindsay Seewalt
Lindsay is an experienced journalist and mother of three whose heart and home is always open to a four-legged friend. With her Corgi, Angie, as household editor-in-chief, Lindsay gives back to the animal planet through the written word on anything and all ado about pets. She is passionate about topics regarding animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, which she aims to instill in both her readers and children to be compassionate animal lovers who are conscious and considerate that furry friends around the globe deserve a voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment