But Doc, the Dog’s Already DeadPosted: November 12, 2007
Over the weekend, a friend shared this excellent, excellent article with me. Having been responsible for the health and well-being for numbers of dogs since I was a young teen-ager (Mom owned a boarding kennel and caring for the large dog building was my chore…meanwhile my sister Lori’s chore was cooking…hummm – enough of nature vs. nurture!), along with working at a small animal veterinary clinic in high school and graduating post-high school with a degree in Veterinary Technology, I have witnessed the transition in veterinary medicine. This author’s words are right on! And, I could elaborate regarding the experiences of my grooming clients. Because of my own knowledge I wouldn’t allow the veterinarian to try to revive my dead dog, but I can tell you plenty of my clients would. I have wondered, in the past few years, what happened to the option of euthanasia with pets. Veterinarians seem not to present the option. Rather, my clients will bring up the subject with me, as if seeking approval for something they’ve been thinking about. Off the top of my head, I can recall client dogs that tried to die, tried to die at the time their body seemed programed to leave this earthly world. Over and over, intervention prevented this from happening. My heart goes out to these dogs. I’ve even told a dog or three that if he/she wanted to die, go ahead and do it right here, at my grooming shop. I’ll hold you. I’ll be with you. And I won’t call in the ambulance. Now, I’ve never had a dog take me up on that…and I’d probably contact the owner, but, hey, why not give the old dog a fantasy!
I find it very disturbing that insurance companies have become involved in veterinary medicine. Isn’t it interesting what a mess our health care system is in, and now we, as consumers, have opened that door for veterinary medicine. And, isn’t it interesting that many of us have made a living will, expressed our desire not to have heroic methods taken to prolong our lives. Some of us would like to see euthanasia as an option for humans. Yet, that final gift, that legal gift, the gift of release from an aged, diseased body, is being used less and less on our animals.
I have been searching for a new veterinarian. David, my former vet, I really really like. He is skilled. He is competent. He learned to do kidney biopsies for me. He’s a good man. But, his prices have become unreasonable. So high, in fact, several months ago I wondered if I’d be able to continue breeding dogs! The last health certificate I got there cost me nearly $250!! Tests were ran on the dog’s eyes (and, no this wasn’t Panchen) without my permission. The final straw was an entirely new staff.
So, Edie and I headed off to an old-school vet for the health certificate she needed to fly to Houston for the National. I had done plenty of research trying to find a compatible veterinarian. My criteria is somewhat different than the average owner. It’s a pain-in-the-behind to establish a new relationship with a new vet and staff. I knew I had made the right decision when he told me, unsolicited, that he didn’t like the way veterinary medicine is headed!