It is minus 15 degrees on this 5th day of March, so why am I talking about ticks?
Recently, the Canadian and American food and drug associations have put out warnings about some of the newest and most effective tick and flea preventative medications. What this tells me as a veterinarian is that our regulatory bodies are working hard to ensure the medications that we use are as safe and effective as possible. However, nothing comes from nothing. Many of the medications that we use can be considered poisons. Our job as health care providers is to weigh the benefit against the risk.
Several events over the last few weeks have highlighted for me the dangers of ordering medications (of any kind) on line, regardless if they are for our pets or for ourselves.
This has been one of those months at Abbotsford. Several long standing patients of mine reached a point in their lives where their families have had to make a hard and difficult choice. When you consider the choices we have to make concerning our furry family members; most are not that hard. What to feed them? Where they will sleep? Who’s turn is it to clean the litter box/side yard? While getting to an answer to these questions may involve a lot of family bickering, none of them are truly difficult. Yet every pet owner knows (or should know) that there will come a time in every pet’s life where the truly difficult question will be asked.
This week at Abbotsford has been a crazy one. Every day we have had pets come in either on the verge of crashing or having just crashed. These sad cases are exceptionally challenging for many reasons. To begin with, everything is a panic. Life is being clung to by a thread. Decisions, often costly, need to be made now with no time for consideration. Time is spent trying to reach spouses or parents to discuss options all the while, precious moments slip by and life fades in front of our eyes. Sometimes the outcomes are good, many times they are not. One of the concepts that we struggle with as health care providers is, “Why did they wait so long to come in?”