What Do You Believe About Pet Healthcare?
What are Your Core Values and Beliefs Regarding Pet Healthcare?
“It is a virtue to contemplate and face your fuzzy, grey, moral frontiers on a continual basis. Sharpen your focus on the near concepts and ever-more dilemmas pop up on the horizon. This is how we know ourselves. This is how we know if we are being good pet parents.” –Doc Truli
Do you believe in chemotherapy for pets?
See if you agree or disagree with this comment: “I do not believe in chemotherapy for pets.”
Some people intuitively and vehemently believe that a cat or a dog should never undergo chemotherapy. They have seen human loved ones suffer and do not think a creature who cannot tell you if it is suffering, and if it wants treatment, should not be asked to go through chemotherapy on our behalf. Other people believe any chance for extension of life or a cure is worth the temporary setbacks.
Do you believe any surgery that medical science has approved is okay?
Full mouth tooth extractions
How do you feel about this statement: “I do not believe in extracting all of a cat’s teeth, even though the vet says it’s the only way to cure her mouth pain.”
As a veterinarian, I extract teeth in cats to cure feline stomatitis-gingivitis when medications and cleanings have not worked. But I have been told by some people, “There has to be a different way. I am morally opposed to that solution.” I’ll tell you what: modern medicine knows of no other way at this time. But I cannot argue with a person’s core moral beliefs. I tried my best to educate this person and explain the situation, and she thoroughly understood the situation. She just has a firm moral point of view on the subject. Perhaps you do, too.
Amputation of a dog’s leg diagnosed with osteosarcoma
- Does it make a difference to you if the dog is young or old?
- Fat or thin?
- Sick anyway with some other disease?
- Does it make a difference how long the dog is expected to live?
- one year?
- three months?
- Would you change your mind if you knew the osteosarcoma was incredibly painful and no amount of opioids or anything was going to take away the pain?
- Would you change your mind if you thought the dog would suffer a pathologic fracture at the site of the cancer and bleed in front of young children?
What about “routine” surgeries?
- spaying and castrating?
- what if your dog gets pregnant and needs a c-section?
- what if your dog makes unwanted puppies at a construction site down the street and they starve to death?
- declawing cats
- would you change your mind if the owner was 65, diabetic, lived because of the cat, and couldn’t risk a skin infection from inadvertent clawmarks?
Do you believe in euthanasia?
It’s okay to think about it. Some people do not believe in it. Most people express a wish that they could leave this world with dignity someday. You may be having extra trouble making decisions for your older, or infirm pet because deep-down, you do not believe it is right to decide to euthanize anyone. But we are also mindful of prolonging suffering in a little animal that depends on us for everything.
Hindsight is 20/20. (We say that often at the animal hospital.)
The first center at any major university to study and form a peer group to review research and hold conferences specifically devoted to the scientific study of the relationship of humans and animals together in society was founded by Dr. James Serpell at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. If you enjoy contemplating and debating veterinary medical ethics, this is the premier starting point for your journey!
VirtuaVet is building on online home for interactive discussions and debate regarding issues of interactions of humans and animals in society and our moral and ethical obligations toward animals.
Doc Truli believes, “Committing our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual capital to the study of the moral imperatives inherent in our relationships with animals , as well as each other, actually is our first moral imperative.”
Please write VirtuaVet or leave a message on this page if you are interested in becoming a founding member of this community. Original opinions, true argument, and first thoughts are especially respected and valued in this endeavor.
-Dr. Sandra Truli Springer, VMD, CVA, CVFT