Monday, June 30, 2008

Well, there's three

It is a common fact that many medical conditions are seen in "threes", i.e. three UTIs, three Hit By Cars (HBCs), etc.

This month I have seen three cases of brain tumors. Brain tumors. I haven't seen ONE case in over a year, and this month I see three. Two cats and a dog.

The stinky part is that in animals, not many owners are willing to spend the thousands of dollars necessary for specialized treatment in a referal institution with a poor prognosis for long term survival. Chemo can be done to some extent, but an MRI for an animal is a big deal, requiring general anesthesia (I wish you could tell animals to HOLD STILL, but that is a different post...).

Three. Brain. Tumors.



Fat Doctor said...

Found you linked to me via Sitemeter, came over to have a look and will link to you as well. We need more vet bloggers!

Now, I am one of those people who would not put a pet through treatment or workup for what would only delay their death.

I see how painful it is for people, and how they can barely stand it even when they understand it is so they can live. But how do you explain that to a dog?

I don't see my animal companions as expendable and they certainly aren't replaceable, but I can do for them what I can't do for my loved ones...put them out of their misery.

Can'tSpell, DVM said...

Thanks for the link FD! I'll try not to dissapoint.

There are a lot of differences in veterinary medicine to human medicine in how animals respond to different things. My classic example is chemotherapy. Animals do great with chemo. No nausia, no hair falling out (well, some breeds do), they feel great and act great and if they don't, something is wrong. It is truly wonderful to take an animal with lymphoma and give their owner several months to years of a happy, healthy pet before the end.

It is also a huge responsibility to have the moral courage to end suffering instead of prolonging it. There is a fine line to walk there, as well. Sometimes I hate the pink juice and sometimes it is my best friend. It depends on the day.

Arn't I cheery today! (sarcasm intended!)